Monday, July 23, 2012

Analytical Trilogy: The Science of the Human Interior

All of us have a reluctance to see our problems as the result of our own actions. The more serious the issue, the more creative we become in our explanations.

To the point of absurdity at times. Years ago, a radio student of mine had a unique twist on the age-old excuse. When I asked him why he handed his assignment in late, he said with all sincerity, "My dog ate my contact lenses."

Laughable and ridiculous obviously. But illustrative of what has become the typical attitude. "Hell is the other people," is how Sartre characterized it, and this lack of awareness is a serious problem in our world today. It's led to obese women suing their mothers as being responsible for their fatness.

Or one country so convinced the problem is out there that they drop bombs on others or erect walls to keep the others out. But seeing our own problems as caused by another makes us lose contact with our own inner lives. Meaning we alienate ourselves from wisdom and knowledge.

Analytical Trilogy and the Science of the Human Interior, today on Thinking with Somebody Else's Head.

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Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Compromising on Love and Truth

Compromise. It's a word ripe for heated debate. A thing to be avoided? Or a necessary evil? Better to bend than break, as an old Scottish proverb puts it. Compromise is supposedly what makes nations great and marriages happy, what people use to justify unconscionable bargaining techniques.

But all too often - in business and international negotiations as much as in relationships - compromise means raising the thresholds of what we'll tolerate while lowering our expectations. Not exactly a recipe for strength of character. And perhaps it is those value compromises, those times when we give in but shouldn't, that cause us the most pain as we look back.

For sure, compromise can be a slippery slope. We develop the habit of giving away the store or fine tun our manipulative techniques to Henry Kissinger-like finesse. The great convert to theology, C.S. Lewis, discussed the gradual road to Hell that I think can be the result of compromise, and it is important to think harder and deeper about this.

Compromising on Love and Truth, today on Thinking with Somebody Else's Head.

Click here to listen to this episode.