In these days with Americans wanting to pull back from its global role and perhaps beginning a new era of isolationism, I cannot help but think about what we might realistically do in the world. Our mission in Iraq and Afghanistan seem to have been failures. Perhaps history will have another perspective. And it seems that when we look Putin and other autocrats in the eyes, our rose-colored glasses get us into trouble. We can’t be a global cop lest we go broke. And yet, who but us can lead? The UN has many, many problems, but perhaps we are better off with it than without it. Being a Navy man, I do believe that those huge carriers tooling around he world are a Force for Peace. Just cruising about matters. That’s what Teddy Roosevelt’s Great White Fleet was about. And yet . . . and yet we have to have a place where every nation is at the table — at least talking, even spouting off. If we abolished the UN today, we would soon hear cries for its return — warts and all. David Milliken
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The online world’s constant flux of information often results in a mental “overload” that can come to the detriment of short-term memory retention, researchers from the Royal Institute of Technology (RIT) in Stockholm,
A battle is being waged over kin and kind: Did cooperation evolve in humans and other animals because it helped relatives? Or because it promoted group living?
A school of thought known as inclusive fitness theory—or kin selection—sits at the center of the conflict. Most biologists consider it to be the leading explanation for the evolution of cooperation and altruism. But one of the most famous evolutionary biologists in the world, Edward O. Wilson, has challenged the concept and published a book promoting group selection as a replacement. He’s probably wrong, but his book may have reached more people than any scientific publication about cooperation since kin selection was proposed 50 years ago.
What does looking back tell us about the way forward?
Certain people have affected me profoundly. For this reason I post a reflection on Dag Hammarskjöld(1905-1961). Hammarskjold was the third secretary-general of the United Nations during the Cold War period. Prior to that he was secretary of the Bank of Sweden and under-secretary in the Ministry of Finance. He earned a degree in the humanities and a doctorate in economics at Upsala University. Highly privileged he was also highly humbled. Hammarskjold embodied the mind and spirit of scholar, diplomat, international leader, poet and mystic — fundamentally Christian but well-versed in Islam, Buddhism and Judaism. I believe he pursued the One.
Hammarskjold opens his famous Markings with a quotation from Meister Eckhart(1260-1327): “Only the hand that erases can write the true thing.”
I believe Hammarskjold used this quotation first because Eckhart was a soul mate and second because Markings is neither strictly an autobiography nor memoir. Markings is not a diary or journal either. His markings are trail marks through his poignant, shaping experiences. There is evidence that he also constantly changed his marks throughout his life. This indicates a man constantly reflecting on truth, truth in his own intellectual and spiritual growth and his utter commitment to international harmony.
I picture a little boy in school, his tongue licking his lips, diligently writing with a pencil and then with equal ardor erasing and correcting his tablet. He would have been someone dedicated to “getting it right” in all that he did personally and publicly. He was less interested in recording events than in how his hike was evolving. Most likely he did not ever find “the true thing,” but I must believe he came very close. I can see this avid hiker in Lapland earnestly making his way to the top, finding many truths which he hoped would cohere into one Truth — all in the adventure of solving the Mystery. What a wonderful trail mate he would have been.
So what’s the relationship between civility and diversity? If we really think about the goals of diversity, we are seeking a workplace where different perspectives and experiences can be mutually respected and fostered for the betterment of the organization. If we can create a civil environment, we will be better able to cultivate a diverse environment. And if we fail to cultivate a civil environment, all of our diversity efforts will be for naught. To put it simply, a polite, courteous and welcoming work environment furthers diversity efforts by creating a workplace where people—all kinds of people—want to contribute to their fullest potential.
“Yet of all the machines that humanity has created, few seem more precisely calibrated to the destruction of hope than the academic job market.”
“The past few years I’ve been telling them that we’re living in heaven. We have a house, we have pensions, we can buy anything we want at the market,” Ufeyn said, pointing toward the plates laid out in front of us. “But now this, trouble again …”
He rubbed his hands together slowly, as if making sure that after all these years, they’re still there.
Back then, I didn’t really know what I was doing. I had no experience in blogging, plus I didn’t exactly have the confidence to market and start running a business.
Sounds crazy, right?” — more —
Only tell others what is of importance to them. Only ask them what you need to know. In both cases, that is, limit the conversation to what the speaker really possesses — Argue only in order to reach a conclusion. Think aloud only with those to whom this means something. Don’t let small talk fill up the time and the silence except as a medium for bearing unexpressed messages between two people who are attuned to each other. A dietary for those who have learned by experience the truth of the saying, “For every idle word . . . ” But hardly popular in social life.
- – - Dag Hammarskjold, Markings, p.44
“But I say to you that for every idle word men may speak, they will give account of it in the day of judgment. 37 For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.”
- – - Matthew 12: 36-37
I do not recall when I first read Dag Hammarskjold’s Markings, but his words have been with me for years. I may have been a teenager or certainly a college sophomore. My copy of Markings has nearly more bookmarks than pages which means his every thought struck me as profound. Hammarskjold has had an honored place in my bed stand. He was profoundly spiritual, poetic and a great man of state.
Dietary? Yes and a lean one at that. And Matthew’s words, also, are austere and tough as well. Obviously neither man had much truck with gossip and idle drivel. But does it mean we are not to enjoy a little small talk, hanging out with friends? No, enjoy it seems, if friends can attune to each other. That’s the meaning of hearing unexpressed messages. What expectations for friendship! On some rare occasions I may have been attuned in this manner. Still, how can a man be sure he has truly understood an “unexpressed message?” Anyway, who has time for judicious language, let alone thought? There’s danger here. Best to chat about the Chiefs or the Royals, eh?
By our words we are both justified and condemned. Think what this means these days when stupid use of words flows daily in torrents of misuse, abuse, intent and non-intent. No, serious, careful, judicious speech is colorless and boring. So what is “telling it like it is?’ Who can presume to know truth?
“This argument ignores the fact that taxes on entrepreneurs and investors are already historically low, even after this year’s modest increases. And it ignores the assertions of many investors and entrepreneurs (like me) that they would work just as hard to build companies even if taxes were higher. But, more importantly, this argument perpetuates a myth that some well-off Americans use to justify today’s record inequality—the idea that rich people create jobs.”
Time was when I was younger and believed that there are certain political “leaders,” who mostly told the truth. Today I’m a wiser man and while I still do believe that many politicians are not exactly liars They do not, however, consistently tell the whole truth — just as many sales people do not. That’s why caveat emptor is wisdom. Voters and consumers alike must be smart buyers through comparison shopping, reading reviews and asking around. That’s why education is so important.
Nothing is more slippery than language and that fact enhances the slipperiness of politicians in touting their own interest. Perhaps it was in the interest of Obama to leave unsaid many things about the ACA. Perhaps it was in the interest of Republicans to claim voluntary dis-employment as job loss and not noting that voluntarily dropping of jobs opens up opportunities for the unemployed. No politician as no sales person is obligated to mouth the pitch of the competition. Ford salespeople may know that GM uses better whatsamajigs in its engines than does Chevy. Promoters are smart to leave such discoveries up to the consumer. Besides so much is a matter of opinion between multiple choices. Better the monkey is on your back and not mine. To each his own pitch.
And so, while it may be true that some really rich folks are creating new jobs by investing in new enterprise directly or through investments, that creation is only a percentage. Is it a tithe, one percent or 20 %. Besides, if high taxes are throttling business, why is business so good in New York? Planetary experience with human nature leads me to believe that some other percentage goes into casino gambling. True, going to the casino supports dealers, bartenders and servers, but this investment is not like investing in a new computer parts factory where value is really added to raw material.
The attached article reminds us that most of what we hear, really and truthfully is not likely to be wholly true.