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Showing posts from May, 2013

Human Inertia and Blindness

Last night I hosted a small dinner at my home, and among the guests were friends of ours visiting New York from Caracas, Venezuela.  My wife hails from there, but for those of you who haven’t kept up on the situation in Venezuela all you need to know is that people are having numbers marked onto their forearms, akin to the tattoos given to concentration camp inmates during the Holocaust, and these numbers are being used as queuing reference points to alert one when it becomes his/her turn to purchase an allotment of toilet paper.

As shocking and disturbing as this is, what I found even more unnerving is that our friends, who have an apartment in New York that they visit once or twice per year for vacation, plan to return in the coming days to that hellhole called Caracas.  When I ask them “why return?”

Comebacks and Courage

Our society is very harsh and we tend to caste judgment all too easily.  This is especially true when our leaders fail or fall, and the temptation to “bring them down to earth” proves too tasty.  We’ve all witnessed that piling on effect and have seen lives and careers destroyed under the weight of it.  In fact, we have all been a part of it more often than we’d probably care to admit.  It is one of our most unfortunate human tendencies to be fueled by envy and to be moved to reduce others to our levels of perceived futility.  Our most recent victim was Lance Armstrong, but he is just one in a very long list.  Clearly these individuals are not victims, no one is.  They have contributed to their own downfall to be sure, but the unsavory delight that we the public experience at these moments of others’ pain is troubling to be sure, and generally relegates the “offender” to a life of purgatory.