Wednesday, August 29, 2012

To the Unempathic and Unloving

To the Unempathic and Unloving:

You are, perhaps, the people  who I think about more than anyone else.

“Why oh why isn’t your heart bleeding?” I cry out when I can’t sleep -- for the hungry, those who are not able to go the doctor, those who are sleeping in their cars, those who never considered college because they have never met a college graduate outside of school or church. “Why?” I rage.

When I am in conflict with someone who refuses to see my point of view -- even though I endeavor mightily to see h/ers, I scream inside, “What is wrong with the human race?” How does anyone ever get along?

Well, I won’t even go into the Holocaust or the horrendous tragedies in Africa and what those say about human nature.

So, of course, I went to Facebook for answers!

There is a possibility that I have been over estimating human nature and ordinary people are even worse than I thought. More lacking in empathy. Less compassionate. Less committed to relationships. Less capable of caring. I thought I was fairly cynical, but I think I may need to lower my standards. Just how sucky are people? Really.

Sandra   Don`t let them get to you Viv...the good out-number the sucky...

Becky  Actually, most people are pretty alright, it's just we all have sucky moments and those are the people and encounters we remember.

        Janet   I'm with this "marty" person: most people suck. at least that's
been my experience over  the last 40 years. i'm sure in part due to the  
fact that i'm an empath so i tend to see and feel all the sucky parts of people that most people don't.

Steven   These are differing evils, but they are common works of man. They reflect the imperfection of human justice, the inadequacy of human compassion, our lack of sensibility toward the sufferings of our fellows. RFK

Dorothy  To answer, pretty damn sucky. Compassion is in short supply. Those of us who understand the discipline needed to have empathy are feeling tired of pulling the load for others. But what is the alternative? I've turned away from the "sucky people" for now in order to recharge my discipline. Amazing when one 'turns away' how our true allies in compassion seem to *show* themselves. We're here for you too. Some of us have just 'gone fishin' for a bit. Don't lower your standards - raise them!!! ♥ ya Vivian!

Leslie Ann  i think i knew i loved marty when he said ... "most people suck." he's right, they do, and under certain circumstances that list includes both him and i. we just try to stay off the list, more than on.

Barbara  Some people really are sucky but I think we start out expecting a lot without knowing the capabilities of a person. Sometimes we get too close, too quickly and we get disappointed. Don't give up hope on mankind. There are some great people out there. You are one of them!!!

So, my friends answered my questions and I saw myself in their answers! There I was!

I see love and empathy as requiring discipline and I work at it. So, I am frustrated when others don’t -- and indulge their most base instincts. Or, actually form entire political parties and major policies based on a “dog eat dog” view of the world.

I am idealistic. I have very high expectations -- even from people who do not have the capacities to meet my expectation. Their needs were never met; they never had role models; no one ever set standards or expectations for them. And, many people, including our politicians, have never been outside their “bubble of privilege.”

Some time ago, a friend stopped speaking to me and would not tell me why. A couple of years later she asked my forgiveness and we reconciled with no real explanation. Our friendship fell apart again. What I will do next time: forgive and decline to become friends again with such a person. Neither of us had learned anything. I had not learned to be a good judge of character. She had not to be non-judgmental. 

Both learning to have good judgement and learning to be non-judgmental are necessary personally and politically.
I forget that human potential includes incredible potential for evil as well as for good. We all have human frailties. It is up to those of us with the highest of ideals to work for good.

I have the tendency to see people who do something “sucky” as a “sucky” person rather than a person who had a bad moment. At my very worst, I am a horrible person! If someone judged me on my worst behavior -- EIYEEEEEE! I wouldn’t have a single friend. Discernment!

Oh, I am narrow-minded and judgmental. I am open-minded about LGBTQ people, other cultures, races, religions, etc. But, I don’t like those who are parochial, prejudiced, ignorant -- all part of the human condition and often amenable to education. Then, my face tightens, my nose raises, my eyes turn steeley. I become, as my daughter says, “Judgemental about judgementalism.”

I am working on being loving and compassionate. I am a work in progress. 

I invite everyone to join me in developing the highest value -- unconditional love and the ability to truly put oneself in someone else’s place.

Your Friend,


Friday, August 24, 2012

Dear GOP: Ryan, Romney, and Akin

Dear GOP:

Mr. Ryan, Mr. Romney, and Mr. Akin: of course I include you!

I am now using “Bold” Arial 12 -- because you have just not been listening to your wives, mothers, sisters, daughters, voters, women’s organizations, scientists, legal authorities, constitutional authorities, historians... psychologists...

Well, basically, you have just not been listening!  And, I know why!

You don’t want to!  But, eventually all of you cave men have to join us in the 21st century. You really, really do! Oh, I keep insulting cave men -- just like that TV commercial!

But, I do still love you unconditionally. I do not love you on your merit because, as far as I can see, you just don’t have any merit.

I do so hope I  haven’t hurt your feelings! I just loathe conflict, don’t you? But, I do love you unconditionally. Please read up on that!

And, you can always go out there and work hard to earn my love and that of sane and rational people everywhere. It is never too late to earn love and respect!  Never!

One can also learn to give love! It takes a life time of practice to learn to love  But, it can be done. And, if there is any group that needs to learn a few lessons on love, it is the GOP!

Love isn’t just a tingle up your leg--an electrifying physical attraction. It isn’t warm and fuzzy. It isn’t that magical feeling when you discover the other person agrees with you on just about everything -- I know you do love to have people in agreement with you. As in "under your authority."

Love is an abiding commitment to the other person’s welfare.  NOT commitment to your own campaign. NOT commitment to corporate sponsors. NOT commitment to the corporatization of kindergartens and pre-schools. NO!

Love is an abiding commitment to the welfare of other human beings! Whether it benefits YOU or not! What? you say! Radical idea, right? And, it involves... are you ready... EMPATHY.

And, I believe & hope that empathy is a learned trait. Even Republicans can learn empathy! I do not care who says they can’t!

I hear you screaming, “NOOOOO!” But, it’s true! The RNC can learn empathy and be transformed by love! YESSSSS!

Empathy is the ability to feel what someone else feels, understand what others think, experience what others experience -- all in your heart and imagination. It takes a lot of effort -- but, you are manly men aren’t you? Aren’t you?

Ahhhhhh... Christ on a cracker! I know you are terrified you will be forced to change your minds, change your opinions, change your underwear if …. if.... you so much as watch CNN. MSNBC -- out of the question. Terrifying.

The idea of empathizing with women, draft dodgers (oh wait, you ARE the draft dodgers!), the unemployed, women, the retired,  the uninsured,  women, displaced workers, women, rape victims, incest victims, women, the homeless, the hungry, Samaritans, women....

Love and empathy are not for sissies. Love and empathy are for the strong and wicked tough.

Love and empathy hurt. Not as much as the original pain hurt the orIginal victims,  but love hurts. Empathy hurts. 

It takes discipline to empathize with others. More discipline than it took Mitt Romney to get out of college without selling any stock! More effort than it took him to get 4 military draft deferrals!

But, Paul -- and Mitt and Todd -- and the entire RNC, if you can diet and exercise like demons with the Double Painful XYZ Whachamacallit Program, refuse to take a bite of birthday cake even on Fox TV, style your hair with cement and consort with the likes of Michele Bachman, then by Goddess, you can hold your nose and do anything! 

Republicans, you can learn to actually feel and express love and empathy.

And, it will raise your ratings!

For example, what if the GOP made some deep, loving, compassionate and abiding commitments to:
1. Women!
2. The separation of church and state: Practice your religion -- the New Testament part. You might want to read it! Don’t legislate it!
3. Keeping government small and out of our private lives, bedrooms, and doctors’ offices!

You know the implications of this, so stand up and shout it:
1. The GOP does not get to define rape!
2. The GOP does not get to make any personal, medical, private decisions for women and families!
3. The GOP must vote to make reproductive health care easily available, safe, and affordable for men, women & adolescents!  

4.The GOP must work to make contraception free and easily accessible!
5. And... the GOP must work to keep abortion easily accessible, very affordable, and safe!
All because these policies are good for women & families & a great investment for our country.

Oh, the GOP does not get to tell anyone what religion to practice. Don’t we all feel better already! 

Oh, you are earning more love by the minute! I just love learners!

Your friend,


Sunday, August 19, 2012

Dear Paul

Dear Paul Ryan:

Who in the name of Ayn Rand are you? If I could pin that down, I would love you! Okay, okay "you- who-ever-the-hell-you-are" surely appear in need of some love and parenting.

I am applying for the job of your mother! Yes, I know your mother is living, but I want a turn and in my fantasy world, I just got it!

No, you don't need a spanking--no one does! No, you don't need a time-out, either.

First, I would like to send you to the Peace Corp for 6 months to dig wells somewhere in a foreign country. No, sweetheart, you cannot teach English in Paris. There is just too much you did not learn as a young man and I am your mother, now.

The next 3 months, you are going to build houses for Habitat for Humanity in Appalachia! No, you cannot be a congressional aide in Frankfort, KY. That isn't in Appalachia. I grew up in Appalachia. There is just nothing like watching children go hungry to build character!

Then... Oh, this is so much fun! Oh....! Teach for America! In... Watts! No, you have to live there, too. You cannot live in Beverly Hills and commute! Yes, behind door number 3 is a school district right in the United States that does not have desks nor does it have books or supplies. It does have security, but they rarely answer! Sweetie, you have to live on your grant but the good news is that you will be able to complete a Master's Degree! I have always thought you needed more education.

The following year, you still have no allowance, you remain off the government dole, off family charity and you must earn a living for a year. On your own. No family or political influence. That means your wife cannot support you and you cannot use her trusts nor the trust funds of your children! Yikes!!! Your blood pressure just spiked. I felt it from 5 miles away!

At the end of this time, you may re-enter your bubble of relative wealth and privilege. Lovey, you do know that dear Mr. Romney views you as a pauper and you are just not in his social league, don't you? You can have your trust funds and inheritance back and you may spend your wife's money, also. If she allows you, too. I don't think she should, but that is her decision.

As your mother, I will always love you unconditionally. The really bummer part of this is that I expect you to be learning unconditional love every MF'ing day of your life. Parents love and adore their children and teach their children to love and adore others. We teach them social responsibility. You will be hearing more from me.

So, as your mother, I ask you such questions as:
"How do you think XYZ felt when you said/did that, Paul?"
"How do you think women feel when they are raped, Paul?"
"Do you really have the right to make medical decisions for others, Paul?"
"How did those poor villages in Iraq feel when they were digging their child out of that rubble, Paul?"
"Paul, do you really think victims of rape and incest want you to make their decisions for them?"
"Close your eyes and put yourself in the other person's shoes now, Paul."

Oh, talk to my daughter--she used to rail against my questions! But, I like to think she is a better person for them.

You appear desperately in need of unconditional love. That is just my distant observation. But, can you learn to dish it out?  First to yourself: Your hair does not have to be perfect; you do not have to exercise quite so... obsessively--just sufficiently; you do not have to diet so... obsessively--just be healthy; you do not have to dress up every time you step outside--why not just shop around town in your PJ's today!

Then, "Love they neighbor as thyself."  Great advice.

Meanwhile, I love you. I really, really do. Because what the world needs now is love, sweet love (Hal David) and that is so, so, so much more difficult than remaining in one's bubble and following one's prejudgments.

Your friend,


Thursday, August 2, 2012

Dear Positive Thinkers

Dear Positive Thinkers:

Before pledging my undying love and devotion, I have some serious questions.

Are we supposed to pretend that nothing is wrong? Or believe that nothing is wrong? Just put on a happy face no matter what?

Was  Anne Frank supposed to be look on the bright side? Are the destitute, the homeless, the jobless, the hungry supposed to count their blessings? The mentally ill? The who are physically ill and suffering? Prisoners of war? Victims of war--women and children? Are those involved in the civil war in Syria supposed to look on the bright side?

What about, "Those who are not tall thin beautiful intelligent attractive well-educated self-actualizing  accomplished people who live in lovely homes and take exciting vacations and eat in great restaurants?" Are they allowed to long for more of what they don't have or do they just have to count their blessings?

What about just plain old ordinary people who really have given every challenge they have face their very best effort with every personal resource they had at the time they faced it? And, failed. And, are just personally and privately unhappy.

They damn better keep that a secret.

Lordy, Lordy. We hate unhappiness and negativity in this country. Uh uh. Better not be in pain. Better not be suffering. Better not be poor. Or hungry. Or a failure. Or filled with longing. Or disappointed. God knows, you better not be unhappy. We just hate that!

Positive people, I am pretty sure I can love you unconditionally by midnight tonight. But, you are, frankly, harder to love than far right wing ultra conservative Christian fundamentalist Republicans. To me. Because, my mind is a dark, dark place.

And, my goals in life are to see life as it really is; to see myself as I really am; and, to see others as they really are. Those are scary goals. I do want to see the positive. But, not at the sacrifice of reality.

Dear, dear, positive thinkers! Smiley face people! Cheerful folks. People who have cute shit all over their houses and homes and cars and Facebook walls! I forgive you! I really, really do. And, by midnight tonight, I will be loving you unconditionally. Because, that is just how I roll.

If I can love an optimist, I can love anyone! In one hour and 15 minutes, I will love you unconditionally!

Oh, dear! This couldn't possible hurt anyone's feelings--could it?

Your friend,