The Evolutionary Spiral

From darkness we advance toward the light The metal stairway in this image evokes in me considerations of the evolutionary spiral, the universe’s operating system, which we know to “favor” increased novelty, diversity, adaptation, complexity and higher levels of organization. Along the bottom steps of the oil tank, I see the significant ordering that has […]

Individual Freedom

Independence to the exclusion of concern for others feeds  entropy Obviously, guard rails are intended to keep cars from running off the road—and to reduce the severity of an accident when they do. Not so obvious is the observation that their presence indicates a lack of trust. Appropriately so. Bad accidents, even death, may have […]

The Art Of Giving And Receiving

  I think most people would agree, giving gifts isn’t easy. The challenge is to objectify caring, to make tangible a feeling or sentiment. To complicate matters there are levels of caring and the potential for embarrassment if the offering doesn’t live up to expectation—on the part of the giver or receiver. Indeed, gift-giving can […]

Attitude

One of the differences between mediocrity and excellence In addition to the quiet sensibility that this image evokes in me, it speaks to the human journey, our quest for meaning and purpose, even our individual place and function in the world as we paddle this way and that with attention focused mainly on the surface […]

Environmental Ethics

What is the value of all living things? Tecpan, Guatemala Definition Of Ethics: The basic concepts and fundamental principles of decent human conduct. It includes study of universal values such as the essential equality of all men and women, human or natural rights, obedience to the law of land, concern for health and safety and, […]

Irritable? Got A Case Of The Blahs?

Gratitude can turn it around in short order Gratitude: From the Latin gratia, which means grace, graciousness, or gratefulness depending on the context.  What It Does Gratitude works in at least two ways. It shifts negative thoughts to positive thoughts by recognizing that something in life is good. And because the specific good we think […]

Purpose And Mission Statements

A gateway to peace of mind Twenty-twenty will be remembered as a year filled with crises. The Coronavirus pandemic, Black Lives Matter, political stalemate, police brutality and social polarization top the list. And scientists say the coming decade will be the tipping point in climate change. All can be seen as a catalyst, moments when […]

Adaptation

Evolution’s main principle for survival One of Darwin’s principles of evolution became popularized in the phrase “survival of the fittest.” The problem with memorable slogans like this is that they simplify complex phenomena. In this instance, Darwin’s observations were correct, but his interpretation missed the mark. Scientists now understand that “fitness” does not necessarily mean […]

Life On Autopilot Or Manual

Who’s in control? An episode in the PBS series, Hacking Your Mind, addresses the question: How Do Governments Hack Your Mind. In it, host Jacob Ward cited studies that show “We are not who we think we are… We think our conscious minds make most decisions, but in reality, we go through much of our […]

Parent As Teacher

Job one in a civil society The best kind of parent you can be is to lead by example. Drew Barrymore Every parent is a teacher. When a parent is loving and affectionate in both word and deed, the child learns. When they provide guidance and nurture the child’s health, education, socialization and interests, he […]