noun 1: An attitude of scornful or jaded negativity, especially a general distrust of the integrity or professed motives of others. 2: A scornfully or jadedly negative comment or act. 3: The beliefs of the ancient Cynics.
It is easy to get cynicism and skepticism confused. In fact, they sometimes get used interchangeably. However, they are not interchangeable. Cynicism is a posture or attitude toward life. Skepticism is an intellectual activity in which one weighs the evidence and says, “I’ve got some doubts.”
Continue reading Cynicism and Goodness
Growth is the name of the processes that are at work in a living thing that sustains it’s life. Many of those processes are out of sight like the act of producing chlorophyl that a plant does. Or the movement of oxygen in blood to the far reaches of a body.
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Joseph was the eleventh son of Jacob, and he was born into a family stressed by favoritism, intrigue, and competition. Joseph was also the favorite son of Jacob because he was the first son born to Rachel, Jacob’s second but favorite wife. Therein lies the problem.
Continue reading Dreamer: the Story of Joseph
In 1989 I bought a copy of Richard Nelson Bolles best selling book, “What Color Is Your Parachute?” I know it was 1989 because each year a new edition is published.
Continue reading Priorities
I can only imbibe a certain amount of television “news,” especially the kind that daily serves up the same brew even though it is poured out in different kinds of cups. After I got over the novelty of the “Yellowstone” mug and the “I’m allergic to morning mug,” I realized it was still the same drink every time.
I discovered that the monotonous diet was producing in me a huge sense of despondency and resignation. Hopelessness even.
Continue reading Resignation
“Emotional intelligence” (or EI) is an idea that has been around since 1964 but it has been on the radar of psychologists and book writers since 1995. This was the date that Daniel Goleman released his best seller by the same name.
Continue reading Discovering Emotional Intelligence
The essential human condition is rooted in being placed before a choice. The classic biblical story of this choice is found in the account of Adam and Eve and their encounter with the command of God to not eat of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil.
Continue reading Discernment
Normally, when I think about “attitude,” my thoughts go to how a person behaves. For example, a student that “smarts off” to his/her high school algebra teacher has a bad attitude. But when I use “attitude” in that way I generally do not think about how it might be controlled by other factors. I think of attitude as something that is independent and exclusive to that student at that moment.
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Jesus said it. Do not judge, so that you may not be judged. It is perhaps one of his hardest commands to us. We human beings are little judging machines, mostly because we want a way to assess the human being we just met for the first time or have grown annoyed with or that simply makes us have to work hard in the relationship business.
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Many team building workshops inevitably include what is called a “trust fall.” A participant with her back to her group members places her crossed arms on her chest and falls backward. The goal of this exercise is to demonstrate what trust looks and feels like.
The Cambridge Dictionary defines trust in this way: to believe that someone is good and honest and will not harm you, or that something is safe and reliable. This is at the heart of the biblical word, “believe.” It’s actually “trust.” In other words, if I “believe” Jesus, I place my life and my future in Jesus’ hands. It’s a trust fall.
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