unequal footing

I find it curious this idea that we have to give all viewpoints on some issues equal footing with other views.

Certainly the people who hold the view that there’s Reptilian overlords in the world, and the Bush family are some of these aliens is not given any credibility.

People who search for Big Foot, Yeti, Loch Ness Monster, and so forth, are not given equal consideration to biologists (current or paleo)

People who insist that alien abductions are real are not on the same footing as NASA or anyone in the space industry

the only reason that the god side isn’t on that scrap heap is because they are a majority in the world

but, that is changing as people tire of the religiously inspired violence, bigotry and hatred.

There’s too many people in the world and we are no longer isolated from each other.

We need to put aside these false divisions and these false cultural concepts like religion that ensure we are never equals.

Anyone who claims to consider a person their equal when they genuinely believe that person to be destined for an unfavorable afterlife – is a liar.

Why does it matter how other people “have it”?

I often feel at odds with the pat expressions and meaningless exchanges others seem to not think about.

Like walking by a person you know and they ask “How are you?”, but they keep walking by; not even waiting for the expected “fine” or “good”.

Why not just smiled and nod to acknowledge each other, without the charade of conversation and asking a question when you’re not interested in the answer.

Although, since my response is “better”, often the person will stop in their tracks and become concerned that I’ve been sick. I’ve now taken to saying “bitter”.

But, the meaningless exchange that’s troubling my thoughts is a rather bizzare idea of being comforting.

When a person is depressed about life or are in the middle of a crisis, I just do not understand what possible relevance or how it’s supposed to be comforting that being told that “other people have it worse.”

Yes, for every single person on the planet, there will be others who are suffering more and still others who are having a rather better time of it. And? This is supposed to mean what?

To a person in crisis or depressed, what other people are or are not experiencing isn’t relevant to their situation and isn’t a solution.

When a person invokes the “other people have it worse” is it nullified by “others have it better”?

Are references to these vague “other people”  just another way to say, chin up, stiff upper lip and that other soldier on bad advice?

Vague words of comfort are no comfort at all – and certainly, they do not lead towards solutions to the situation.

Maybe the better thing to say to a person who’s suffered a loss is to acknowledge that no words are comforting at this juncture. They are more honest and don’t have the backfire potential that false or meaningless comfort pat phrases do.

(For example, it’s not at all comforting to hear “your grandparent lived a long life” or “at least they are out of pain now”)

Even offers of help don’t really penetrate the greivor’s brain in the moment, but are generally remembered later as a kindness if followed up by helpful actions.

To a person’s who’s depressed about their current circumstances, being told to buck up isn’t helpful because part of depression is low or no resiliance. You simply do not have the mental, emotional and often physical capacity to pull yourself together, so this only invokes guilt that you’ve failed again or fallen short of the minimum requirements.

Shifting the depressed person to thinking about the future instead of dwelling on the current situation – what they want to be different and reverse engineering how to achieve it gives them goals and something to look forward to. More importantly, it’s a plan of action that can restart the resiliancey, energy and capacity needed. Sometimes you just need a chemical helper for your brain chemistry, antidepressants can be a good friend.

Considering people in disaster zones, Katrina, Tsunami 2004, Haiti Earthquake 2010 – the people in these areas have had their lives utterly disrupted – there’s no question that they have it bad.

But it doesn’t lessen the suffering of the people living with decades of drought, starvation, disease and corrupt governments in Africa.

These just make for sexier headlines because they are big events rather than a continous reality of multiple generations.

And neither of these conditions reduce the suffering of a middle class western person who’s just had a death in their family or circle of friends or lost their job or some other traumatizing event.

Calling a comparason between a person and vague others tends to have the effect of making a person feel guilty for feeling bad when “others have it worse”.

Isn’t that the opposite effect of what the phrase is supposed to accomplish?

Tasty Tomato Salad

Here’s a fast and tasty salad:

cut into small pieces and mix together:

1 avocado

1/2 pint of grape or cherry tomatoes – (cut in half)

1/2 white onion

boccuccini cheese (or other unripened cheese) – use pearl size or cut

Dressing

mix together 6 oz of balsamic vinegar with 3 tablespoons olive oil, 1 tsp minced garlic and 2 tablespoons Italian seasonings (oregano, parsley, thyme)

shake well and pour a small amount over the salad mix to taste.

your taste buds will love you

looooove you

so many bits

My, not even halfway through the first month and so many things happening at once.

Vatican – Stupid or Paid Promoters?

http://jam.canoe.ca/Movies/2010/01/12/1243149…

Apparently, the Vatican has failed to learn the lesson of if you protest it, you’re guaranteeing the audience

so, are they that dumb or do you think studios are paying them to call blasphemy on movies?

not that Avatar, which has broken the 1 billion dollar mark, needs the help

Harper and Proroguing

http://cnews.canoe.ca/CNEWS/Politics/2010/01/11/12424986-cp.html

Are we finally hearing a politician admit we’re better off without the government of the day?

For a guy who ran on an efficiency and senate reform, he’s certainly gotten into the throwing everything into chaos.

Let’s recap – when he was opposition leader, he promised to work with the Martin Minority goverment and instead, brought it down the first chance he got.

He claims to want to be PM of all Canadians, and when he became PM of a minority government, he somehow thought he was a majority and immediately attacked gays and lesbians, women and the civil service.

He ran on a government accountability and senate reform platform – and his “accountability” has only resulted in government decisions being pushed up at least 3 levels of management from where it used to be – so work is slower, less efficient and the people who should be accountable are not.

His first term, he appointed a campaign person who wasn’t elected to be the minister of Public Works and then appointed that person to the senate – a trough manoever if there ever was one – and added a new low by removing that minister of Public Works out of the reach of Question Period.

He passed a fixed election date law and promptly broke it.

And has now prorogued Parliament twice to protect himself -and be able to appoint more senators.

Is it too much to ask that people behave as they demand others to?

What a curious amnesia seems to occur that’s specific to politicians and occurs in the interval between being a minority party member and the majority one.