Showing posts from September, 2020

The Correct Use of Pity

    People say, "If the feeling doesn't come naturally, don't force it."  In my tradition of maximum contrariness, I'm going to say the opposite: do force it.   Of course, quite often, emotions can take us by surprise.  You know how this is: you're saying to yourself, "This is stupid, this is stupid," and then you discover a lump in your throat.  You find it a little bit difficult to talk.  Your eyes are watering, quite beyond your will.   You try to hold it back, but you can't - the tears are welling up, and at a certain point you just let it go, and you feel the tears coming down your cheeks.  Those are beautiful moments.  I wouldn't trade them for anything.  And yet, I'm also going to say that emotions can and should be a matter of will.  Emotions are more valuable, the more difficult they are.  The emotions that don't come automatically - the ones that are hard to feel - these are often the most important for us to feel. To will

What is Trump?

  Some presidencies are obviously historic; others are quickly forgotten.  George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton, and Gerald Ford will be names of which our great-grandchildren's generation will likely have to be reminded, just as we have difficulty remembering what exactly happened during Warren G. Harding's administration (or even exactly when it was).  But I think we will be talking about Donald Trump for a long, long time.  Granted, most likely he will be a historical curiosity and a bit of joke.  Bring up his name to someone in the far flung future, and they will likely reply, "Oh yeah - I know him!  He was the leader of a political faction who aggressively believed in not wearing masks during an epidemic, and then he wound up catching the disease himself!"  And everyone will laugh. Of course there's more to his presidency than that humiliating embarrassment.  Already during his presidency, and even before it, there has been a wave of think-pieces about who Trump is