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Category Archives: ethics

ethics_theodore roosevelt

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if u want happiness

Have you ever heard something that made your mouth drop open? I have — until I close it, realizing that I look like a trout waiting for the hook.

As an empathetic idealist (I have the Kersey and Myers Briggs to back that up) certain scheming behaviors simply don’t occur to me. It is not that I am dumb, although some might think that I am a naïve simpleton, but actually I am too busy looking at faces, energy, spirit, psychology and the mysteries of the mind. It does not occur to me to look for the “fast track” to get ahead or how to make my next dollar.

Don’t get me wrong, my debt is crippling like everyone else I know.

I have the capacity to get angry, outraged, and incensed like other people. My ego is solidly planted and justice is very important to me. I have plenty of opinions and knowledge and I am not afraid to use them.

However, when you are looking up, and looking out to others, you are not focusing on material goods. You are thinking about empathy, kindness, compassion, caring and lightening someone else’s load. The most amazing people we have ~ teachers, social workers, nonprofit and charitable employees, volunteers, therapists, nurses, soldiers ~ are compensated so poorly for the level of heart and effort that they put into all that they do for others. They are too compassionate, and wired for empathy, to turn away. The funds are not there and they struggle to support their families. But, they do it anyway.

Others figure out how to get the best deal and all the back doors to “success.” How do we measure success? Is it only by the bankbook? There are children who grow up wanting to be rock stars or multi-millionaires. Others want to be policemen and firemen. They want to be teachers and artists. They want to help others and seek employment doing just that even though they are not compensated well for all that they do for others.

There are many lists that measure the richest and the most powerful. Magazines are devoted to the wealthy life and hotels that cost more per night than most people make in a month. They are indeed beautiful, and it would be very nice. Ahhhhh… but apparently I was meant to work for the money I have in this lifetime.

The wealthy that impress me are the altruistic and philanthropic ones who genuinely want to see improvement in the world. They are ambassadors and fighters for the needs of those suffering, in numerous ways, all around the world. They want to improve education in the classroom and bring opportunities for growth and job opportunities. They have achieved staggering levels of income but they are also giving extraordinary amounts to help others. It may be a tax deduction, but how you give charity shows if you really care about it.

Some people are experts at all the dirty tricks and prioritize them. It did not occur to me to look for the lowest common denominator.

Sorry, — I am an idealist and I am too busy looking up!

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freshly-pressed-circle

The search for Artificial Intelligence is abuzz on the Internet. Just Google “Google” and read about their major purchase of technology that will help to expand the use of ordinary items and reimagined integration with computers in the future.

Myriad articles online, and in magazines, discuss the impact that Artificial Intelligence — computers and drones — will have on employment and task-oriented jobs over the next ten to twenty years. However, one thing is clear; while computers can be trained by engineers, and complex logarithms, they are only representational of rational thought. Black and white mathematics, accounting formulas, and document sifting by computers can save thousands of labor hours. Legal firms are already using programs to help them sift through documents, needed in court trials, with the help of complex computations and search methods.

In truth, we are already surrounded by “artificial intelligence” in our daily lives.

Motivation by fear is an act of artificial intelligence. It is not a long term motivator; this has been proven by millions of dollars of psychological and neuro-scientific research. Yet it happens in homes and offices every day in desperation of grabbing hold of some sense of control. “Just wait until your father comes home……..” used to put a little fear into children. But children grow up and, as adults, know better. Threats don’t inspire or encourage growth. In fact, the part of the brain that registers fear actually blocks memory. So, essentially, while you are trying to scare someone into learning a skill, you are blocking his ability to do so. See, what I mean? Artificial Intelligence and false communications.

Intelligent people can lack people skills. Smart people can lack common sense. People, who do things with ulterior motives, can break down trust, create suspicion, and destroy loyalty. There are those who are incapable of thinking beyond WIIFM (What is in it for me). The decisions that they make and the behaviors that they show only serve the self.

Complex cognitive brain functions and processes include kindness, compassion, empathy, generosity, understanding, respect, and charity. Such characteristics are counter-intuitive to the basic primal need for self-preservation and a hierarchy of needs. Truly compassionate and altruistic people reach out to others’ needs before their own.

Empathy is feeling what someone else feels, stepping into their shoes, and how to help them in the most useful manner for his or her needs and situation. Creating empathy is not just strong for neural function but it defies calculation. There is no algorithm for laughter, a hug, true love, the delight of a new mother……those emotions cannot be replicated. If you are fake in your concern, or attempt to make conversation without emotion, human connectedness does not occur. Genuine kindness lights up neurons in the brain, and causes brain chemistry, to produce healing and strengthening chemicals to aid the wellness of a person.

If emotions are merely imitated for show, they lack the essence of spirit and heart. When someone asks you a question without caring about the answer, it rings hollow. No artificial emotion or string of words could replace the truth and gratitude in accepting sincere kindness. Asking “How are you?” and walking away before the answer is given…..The reply could be “Fine” as easily as it could be “I shot an elephant in my pajamas last night.” You don’t know because you did not stop long enough to listen.

Who knows how much good could be created in another’s life simply by listening for two minutes longer?

In my humble opinion, these are the truest acts of intelligence we need, into the future, for the survival, growth, and development of the human race.

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life lessons stop jumping oceans

My life is not meant to be folded, bent, stapled, spindled or manipulated in any way. Have you ever met people who have tried to turn your experiences and darkest moments into their drama? These shallow personalities have abused the things that tear at your heart, or leave a snag in your soul, as their own currency.

My ability to express myself has never been at issue, but my desire and willingness to trust, as an idealist, has been battered. Being empathetic, I am a receptor for a lot of people. The nuances of human development and behaviour are intriguing to me; I observe microcurrents of humanity’s expression.

But my compassion has also been trampled and abused. It has happened at critical times in my life; my enthusiasm, and belief in the goodness of people, has been used to carve out someone else’s advantage. Someone I befriended showed their true selfish nature. I don’t forget, so it makes it harder for me to forgive. A real friend does not use your sorrow to further their personal standing. A real friend doesn’t put you at the back of the line because someone else is more powerful, more famous, richer, better looking, or whatever descriptor draws the comparison between you and the unwanted “opponent.” I have my own battles, so just leave me out of this confrontation. It does not matter who the winner is in your life because you took my mettle to create your standing.

To those who took my strengths, and my weaknesses, and turned them into a way to gain attention, striving for success and validation, you lost a valuable ally. Loyalty is not an easy commodity to gain. It is even harder, if not impossible, to regain. Respect has to be earned, not demanded. At some point, the deceit and hubris will come to light.

Toxic people will take, take, and take some more. They mistake the trust as a tool of power. They will twist situations to appear stronger, but it is the fear of losing some type of control, that makes them behave that way. Real relationships are not built on false flattery or translucent lies. I will not sink down to the level of someone who wants to rise above me and will calculate what my story is worth. But, I also know that the foundations they stand upon are only made of sand.

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How would you describe this experience in your life?

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