Really Listening

A quote from Alan Alda’s recent appearance on StarTalk Radio:

Alan Alda ''really listening''


Guilt Wish

You feel it, don’t you?
One event after the next
The flow of things
One tragedy leads to another
and another

And the mournful
shed their tears
as the destructors
boast their joys
You feel it, don’t you?

The tears, the joys
and every attempt you have made
to change nothing

You feel it…
The curses
The prayers
The loss of air
…don’t you?

Don’t you feel sorry
Don’t you dare

A Predator

What is it?
We don’t know.
It arrived not long ago
in these woods.
Leaves a footprint
that’s not human.
And it’s been killin’.
Killed a grizzly with ease,
from what we can tell.

Where did it come from?
Out there,
from somewhere above.
Some bright lights in the sky
preceded the madness.
It was then that people,
random witnesses,
started talkin’ of this
invisible… thing.
You don’t see what’s movin’,
only that somethin’s movin’.
And when it does appear,
that’s when you die.

What does it want?
It’s been shot at
but still keeps comin’,
pursues as you try to run,
tracks you down
wherever you go.

It’s a hunter.

What does it want?
Your head
as its trophy.

A Morning Ponder

Why do we have eyes when we can see with our minds?
…see the world as it should be,
not as it is when our intentions are applied,
the road to Hell paved with our actions to make things better.

What if the better can’t be done by us?
…can only be imagined but not made real,
for if everyone’s reality is different,
then we truly are separate in our separate perspectives.

Who is to blame for the way we are?
…or should blame not be, as useless as it is,
when despair tingles in the minds of the forgotten,
and all that can help them is an imagined world.

Where is this world?
…in a mind’s eye that is only real to one mind,
as if all that is and all that was and all that will be
exists in this solitary universe.

How can there be many universes?
…that scatter in a shared, cold existence lit by one star.
When will there only be a right existence?
…if a right one exists.

Why can no one agree what is better,
or at least agree how to get there?

Is Equality A Bad Thing?

I ran into someone, recently, who tried to argue that equality in terms of treating people equally is a bad thing. To prove his point, he showed me this picture:

Equality vs Equity

On the surface, that picture makes you think he has a good point. The problem, though, is that the Equality side of the picture is seriously flawed. Can you see it? Think about it for a minute before continuing to read. See if you can catch it.

Got it? Don’t got it? Think you got it?

Okay, so here’s the deal with the Equality side of the above picture: While claiming to depict equality, it’s actually grounded in inequality, at least when it comes to the people. The illusion spun by the artist is in showing equality in the boxes rather than in the people, with a focus on the specific situation in the picture, like a magician that wants you to focus on one hand so you don’t see what he’s doing with the other hand. In the Equality picture, notice how the people aren’t equal in measurement. Instead, it shows equality in the boxes so that we relate equality to the boxes rather than to the people. To be blunt, this is wrong, and what the picture is doing is tricking you into thinking that equality is unfair. The situation, having a fence to see over, helps to sell the trick.

For this picture to work, Equality toward people should depict equal-sized people. An instance of inequality would be showing a lack of a box for at least one of the equal-sized people, which wouldn’t allow them to see over the fence. If the equal-sized people had different skin colors or genders, then you could see why a box for each of them represents equality. Imagine (or draw, if you’re feeling artistic) the words “Voter Rights – One Vote” on each of the boxes, and you’ll see what I’m getting at. Every individual of equal size should have a box to stand on; they each should have the same voter rights.

Now, while the Equity side of the picture does a fine job of depicting fairness, it can’t be used in comparison with Equality, even with the correction I’ve made here. For example, if each box on the Equity side is labeled “Voter Rights – One Vote,” then it wouldn’t be fair for the shortest person to have two votes, the mid-sized person to have one vote, and the full-sized person to have no votes. So, this comparison of Equality versus Equity falls down no matter which way a real comparison goes.

Unfortunately, it is rather easy to glance at the above picture and instantly believe that the artist is correct in giving the word “Equality” a negative meaning when compared to “Equity.” But before attaching yourself to a picture or saying, please analyze it and think about it. Ask yourself if it could be wrong and, if so, how. There are things that will look good and sound good but will actually be flawed, like the above picture. And it seriously pains me when I see people spreading these things because they appear good on the surface. It pains me even more when I see people up-voting this stuff. This is how misinformation is spread.

So, be careful not to be instantly taken in by something you see or read. Think about it. Analyze it. Try not to get caught up in the emotional connection you may have to it. Think for yourself. Trust your feeling. If it feels wrong, it just may be. It’s at least worth an analysis.

I Don’t Know What To Call This

What would you do
if a giraffe said, “Moo?”
Would you act as if
you didn’t have a clue
a giraffe could say, “Moo?”

What if a pig
flipped its wig
watching his brother
combing his wig
while dancing a jig?

Would you think so little
of the pig
wearing a wig
or the cow and giraffe
sharing a laugh?

What about the penguins
playing cards
with the neighing bards,
a weekly gathering
in the horses’ yards?

Would you judge them
or let them be,
let them be what you see,
let them make sense
and smile like a tree?

As the tree has a friend,
a friend with no end
to its wisdom and grace
as it hangs on a branch,
enjoying its place.

But would the owl be allowed
to hang upside down?
What if she wasn’t too proud
to hang upside down
if certainly allowed?

Would you judge them
or let them be,
let them be what you see,
all living together,
living in harmony?