August 27, 2010
This memo from the Nettleton Middle School divides student offices by race.
The more things change, the more they stay the same.
(There are new reports that two of the four school administrators are black and they are saying it was a misguided attempt at affirmative action.) I’m not buying it. Limiting the blacks to a handful of seats and determining the race by the race of the student’s mother are not the elements of affirmative action. And, in particular, the fact (at least according to the news) that some administrators are black has no effect in my mind on whether or not it’s discrimination. Someday, people are going to have to wake up and decide that blacks have actual individuals in their midst who have their own points of view, do bad things, do good things, believe wonderful things, believe moronic things and just generally do that human being thing. That a black person says something about other blacks does not make it okay. That a (fill in the blank) says or does something that involves the (fill in the blank) race does not make it okay. Got it?
August 27, 2010
One of the things that keep me in a perpetual state of outrage is the self help movement particularly the self esteem part of it, you know, affirmations, think positive, the “secret,” and other crap.
You feel good about yourself when you accomplish things, when you do actual work and when you have concerned yourself with living in harmony and joint support with other human beings.
But that’s difficult. That’s hard. That would mean you would have to have some kind of perception of responsibility or, gasp, duty.
So, we tape stuff to the mirror, convince ourselves that our thoughts draw money, love and other goodies to us, and a host of other activities designed to make us feel momentarily content without justification.
I was reading an article by a fellow named Tony Schwartz. This is what he says:
In work with thousands of people, we’ve found that it’s possible to build any given skill or capacity in the same systematic way you do a muscle: regularly push past your comfort zone, and then rest. We’ve seen people dramatically improve skills ranging from focus, to empathy, to creativity, to summoning positive emotions, to deeply relaxing.
He then lists the six elements of achieving success.
You might give his short essay a read. Of course, you could always tape something to the fridge.