Is There A Hidden Purpose To Victimhood?

Monday, February 1st, 2010

An attitude has swept across practically every person in every country on the globe over the course of the past few decades. This is the attitude of victimhood. Why has it become so popular for people to feel like they are victims and what purpose can this serve?

The Lack of Responsibility

Victims feel they can shirk responsibilities because those fall on the shoulders of the victimizers. Victims feel like they have no control over their own lives. Have a drug problem? It’s your parents’ faults. Uneducated? It’s not your fault. You had to take care of your kid. Single parent? That’s the fault of that no good boyfriend that hit the road as soon as you gave birth.

Multitasking Virus In Our Classrooms

Sunday, August 16th, 2009

A few weeks ago, I returned to the classroom of Dennis Dalton, the most important college professor of my life. From the back of an amphitheater seating several hundred students, I realized how much things had evolved at Columbia and Barnard. The lecture hall was now equipped with a wireless sound system, webcams, video projectors, wireless internet. Students were using computers to record the lecture and to take notes. Heads were buried in screens, the tap tap of hundreds of keyboards like rain on the roof.

On this afternoon, April 16, 2008, Dalton was describing the satyagraha of Mahatma Gandhi, building the discussion around the Amritsar massacre in 1919, when British colonial soldiers opened fire on 10,000 unarmed Indian men, women and children trapped in Jallianwala Bagh Garden.

When the Wheels Come Off

Saturday, April 18th, 2009

I grew up in the 70’s and 80’s when parents still told their kids to go outside and play. My friends and I would spend all day in the yard and when we got hot and sweaty enough we’d run to the back patio, open the water spigot on the side of the house and get down on our hands and knees so we could get low enough to turn our mouths up for a drink of water that splashed all over our faces and down our necks.

In the evenings I remember seeing my parents shaking their heads as they watched the oil crises in the 1970’s unfold on the nightly news. Gas prices skyrocketed to 73 cents a gallon! “Turn it off,” my mother would say to my dad. “Good grief! The wheel’s are coming off but they make it sound like the world’s ending.”

Finding Personal Meaning – The Key to Happiness

Sunday, December 7th, 2008

Each of us can be, and should be, deeply happy. What do I mean by “deep happiness”? I mean the kind of happiness that touches your spirit and connects with your soul. Some people call it self-fulfillment, or self-actualization, or being centered. Others call it living their passion, or following their bliss. For people of faith, it’s about finding the divine will for their lives, and then living that will.

Each of us should be deeply happy so that we will be at our best, and will be able to help others to be deeply happy and be at their best as well. When we experience deep happiness, we become more loving, more giving, more patient, more enthusiastic. We become a gift to others. So we should be deeply happy for their sake as well as ours.