Walking. A morning walk on a dreary day…

Here we are. Last day of 2022. I crawl out of bed, both knees are throbbing, why?   Doris Lessing: “But you just do not believe that you’re going to be old. People don’t realize how quickly they’re going to be old, either. Time goes very fast.” Truth Doris, truth.

970 consecutive (almost) days on this daybreak walk to Cove Island Park. Like in a row. And it’s a dreary morning. Dreariness lines up with the morning news. Bombing strikes on civilian infrastructure in Ukraine. More civilians dead. More civilians without power. It’s winter. It’s cold.

I walk.

I’m having to work to lift the camera off the shoulder. Blah…spoiled after a run of “money” sunrises this week.

I walk to the tip of the point, and stop to look out over the water. I stare at the bench, think about sitting down, and don’t. Body says yes, Mind refuses to walk over and sit. Will not do it.

A 2-man kayak comes round the corner, the most excitement I’ve seen this morning. I reach for the camera.

“Good morning” the man in the rear shouts. I let go of the camera. I reply in kind. [Read more…]

Goose Bumps are Awe-some

goose bumps,portrait,woman

Why Do We Experience Awe?’ by Paul Piff and Dacher Kelner:

…We humans can get goose bumps when we experience awe, that often-positive feeling of being in the presence of something vast that transcends our understanding of the world…Why do humans experience awe?

..awe imbues people with a different sense of themselves, one that is smaller, more humble and part of something larger…even brief experiences of awe, such as being amid beautiful tall trees, lead people to feel less narcissistic and entitled and more attuned to the common humanity people share with one another. In the great balancing act of our social lives, between the gratification of self-interest and a concern for others, fleeting experiences of awe redefine the self in terms of the collective, and orient our actions toward the needs of those around us.

You could make the case that our culture today is awe-deprived. Adults spend more and more time working and commuting and less time outdoors and with other people. Camping trips, picnics and midnight skies are forgone in favor of working weekends and late at night. Attendance at arts events — live music, theater, museums and galleries — has dropped over the years…

We believe that awe deprivation has had a hand in a broad societal shift that has been widely observed over the past 50 years: People have become more individualistic, more self-focused, more materialistic and less connected to others. To reverse this trend, we suggest that people insist on experiencing more everyday awe, to actively seek out what gives them goose bumps, be it in looking at trees, night skies, patterns of wind on water or the quotidian nobility of others — the teenage punk who gives up his seat on public transportation, the young child who explores the world in a state of wonder, the person who presses on against all odds. All of us will be better off for it.

Read entire op ed essay here: ‘Why Do We Experience Awe?’


Credits: Photo – Géraldine Hofmaier

Spite Me

spite-research-

NY Times: Spite is Good. Spite Works:

…Evolutionary theorists have long been intrigued by the origins and purpose of spite, and a new report suggests that sometimes spite can make right.

…The new research on spite transcends older notions that we are savage, selfish brutes at heart, as well as more recent suggestions that humans are inherently affiliative creatures yearning to love and connect. Instead, it concludes that vice and virtue, like the two sides of a V, may be inextricably linked.

…human decency and cooperation require a certain degree of so-called altruistic punishment: the willingness of some individuals to punish rule breakers even when the infraction does not directly affect them — challenging the guy who broke into the line behind you, for example.

…“It could be that Nietzsche was right about punishment,” Dr. Forber said, “that it originated as spite and only later was turned into a mechanism for maintaining fairness and justice.”

“…If you get the reputation as someone not to mess with and nobody messes with you going forward, then it was well worth the cost.”

“…It’s like the Mafia,” he said. “They end up reducing crime in the areas they inhabit.”

Read full article in NY Times: Spite is Good. Spite Works.

 

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