Tag: advice

Who are you? The difference between liberals and conservatives

“You don’t need to be a weatherman to know which way the wind blows” Bob Dylan

True, but it helps.

An essential difference between the Right and the Left solicitudes the way each seeks to better society.

Conservatives think that the way to a better civilization is almost always through the moral development of the self — by each person doing battle with his or her vulnerabilities and imperfections.

It is the most significant battle of the individual must be with inner forces — that is, with his or her moral shortcomings.

The Left, on the other hand, thinks that the way to a healthier society is virtually always through doing battle with society’s moral shortcomings. Thus, in America, the Left concentrates its efforts on fighting sexism, prejudice, bigotry, xenophobia, homophobia, Islamophobia, and the various other atrocities that the Left understands permeate American culture.

One necessary outcome of this Left-Right difference. Is that those on the Left remain far further preoccupied with politics than these on the Right. Considering the Left is so considerable more interested in solidifying society than in setting the individual, politics necessarily becomes the vehicle for societal improvement. That’s why whenever the term “activist” is performed, we almost always assume that the term refers to someone on the Left.

Another consequence of this Left-Right distinction is that, since conservatives believe society is changed one person at a time, they accept that evolution happens gradually. That isn’t quick acceptable for the Left, which is always and everywhere concentrated on social revolution.

Conservatives not only have no interest in radically transforming the United States of America, but they are also strongly opposed to doing so. Conservatives understand that fundamentally changing any society that isn’t fundamentally bad — not to mention changing.

What one of the most decent organizations in history is — can only make the nation worse. Conservatives believe that America can be adjusted, but should not be transformed, let alone substantially molded.

The Founders of these United States understood that the conversion that every generation must work on is the excellent change of each citizen. Thus, character evolution was at the core of both child rearing and young people’s enlightenment — from elementary school through college.

How is that?

Democracy demands self-control. A free nation needs restraint. If the majority of people don’t check themselves, the state — meaning an ever more powerful government — will have to manage them.

We are now creating vast numbers of Americans who are passionate about fixing America while doing next to nothing about setting their character.

The dilemma, however, is that you can’t make society better unless you first make its people better.

It’s Thanksgiving Stupid: The reason you can’t stay happy

The reason you aren’t happy might surprise you.

You can’t be a happy soul if you aren’t appreciative, and you can’t be a great person if you aren’t grateful. Almost everything harmonious flows from gratitude, and almost everything terrible streams from thoughtlessness.

Let’s begin with ingratitude.

Here’s a proclamation of life: callousness guarantees unhappiness. It is as easy as that. There isn’t an ungrateful happy person on the planet. And there isn’t an ungrateful reasonable person on Earth. There are two understandings.

 

Reason one is always feeling victimized.

Ungratefulness always leads to or comes from victimhood. Ungrateful people—by definition—think of themselves as victims. And perceiving oneself as a victim or perceiving oneself as a member of a victim group may be the single most significant reason people hurt other people—from hurtful comments to mass murder. Somebody who thinks of themselves as victims tends to believe that because they’ve done maltreated by others, they can hurt others.

And the following reason selfish people aren’t good people is that rudeness is always followed by fury. The careless are angry, and angry people lash out at others. If ingratitude makes people unhappy, then gratitude provides people happiness.

Think of the times you ought felt most grateful—were they not always accompanied by a feeling of satisfaction? Weren’t they also tailgated by a longing to be kinder to other people? The explanation, of course, is yes. Grateful personalities aren’t angry, and they also don’t see themselves as sufferers.

The problem, however—and it’s a big one, is that in U.S and much of the rest of the world, people are growing less grateful.

How?? Because people are always told that they are entitled to things they haven’t earned—what are perceived as “perks” or “entitlements.” And the more stuff that people believe they should get, the less grateful they will be for whatever they do get. And the angrier—and therefore unhappy—they will be if people don’t get them.

Here are two rules of life.

Rule number one: The less you feel entitled to, the more gratitude you will feel for whatever you get and the happier you will be.
Rule number two: The more you feel entitled to, the less fortunate you will be. That’s why, for example, kids who get whatever people want are usually less happy kids. We have a name for such children: spoiled. And no one thinks of a spoiled child as a happy child, and probably not a kind one.

The more that you feel that life or society owes you, the angrier you will get, the less happy you will be. As a result, we are raising the number of angry, unhappy, and selfish people. The other way we are making people miserable, and even meaner, is by cultivating a sense of victimhood. People are always told that they are victims because of their upbringing, because of past prejudice against their group, because of material inequality, because they are female, and for many other reasons.

Next time you want to assess any social policy, ask this question first: Will this policy increase or decrease gratitude among people? You will then know whether it is something that will bring more goodness and happiness to the world—or less.

If I were allowed one wish, it would be that all people be grateful. Gratitude is the source of happiness, and the source of goodness; and the more good people, and the more happy people there are walking around, the more comfortable and better our world will be.

Read this when feeling down: “Desiderata” will always pick you up when times are tough

 

 

Desiderata

 

 

Go placidly amid the noise and haste,

 

and remember what peace there may be in silence.

 

As far as possible without surrender

 

be on good terms with all persons.

 

Speak your truth quietly and clearly;

 

and listen to others,

 

even the dull and the ignorant;

 

they too have their story.

 

Avoid loud and aggressive persons,

 

they are vexations to the spirit.

 

If you compare yourself with others,

 

you may become vain or bitter;

 

for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.

 

Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.

 

Keep interested in your own career, however humble;

 

it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.

 

Exercise caution in your business affairs;

 

for the world is full of trickery.

 

But let this not blind you to what virtue there is;

 

many persons strive for high ideals;

 

and everywhere life is full of heroism.

 

Be yourself.

 

Especially, do not feign affection.

 

Neither be cynical about love;

 

for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment

 

it is as perennial as the grass.

 

Take kindly the counsel of the years,

 

gracefully surrendering the things of youth.

 

Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune.

 

But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings.

 

Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.

 

Beyond a wholesome discipline,

 

be gentle with yourself.

 

You are a child of the universe,

 

no less than the trees and the stars;

 

you have a right to be here.

 

And whether or not it is clear to you,

 

no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

 

Therefore be at peace with God,

 

whatever you conceive Him to be,

 

and whatever your labors and aspirations,

 

in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.

 

With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams,

 

it is still a beautiful world.

 

Be cheerful.

 

Strive to be happy.

 

-Max Ehrmann