Thoughts and insights about life. Philosophy. Sociology. Politics. How to live life and get the most out of it.

Rabbi Elliot Kukla1 once described a woman with a brain injury who would sometimes fall to the floor. People around her would rush to immediately get her back on her feet, before she was quite ready. She told Kukla,

I think people rush to help me up because they are so uncomfortable with seeing an adult lying on the floor. But what I really need is for someone to get down on the ground with me.

A reminder to me for the next time I see someone in physical or emotional distress. Rather than acting on impulse driven primarily by what makes me feel better, pause to consider what will make them feel most comfortable, then do it.

1 Elliot Kukla is the first openly transgender person to be ordained by the Reform Jewish seminary Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in Los Angeles.

The proper function of man is to live, not to exist. I shall not waste my days in trying to prolong them. I shall use my time.

Jack London

Ithaca Shotgun Christmas Gift

Back in the mid-1980's (maybe 1984?) my brother-in-law gifted me for Christmas a new Ithaca shotgun. I've kept it—unfired—all these years. Not only is it a classic example of a very popular gun from that area and time but also a representation of my family. Both my father and grandfather worked at Ithaca Gun.

Most people have at least heard of the story of the good Samaritan. Maybe we've only heard, "be a good Samaritan," in reference to helping someone in a broken down car alongside a roadway. Likely fewer know that the story is from the Bible. Specifically from the Gospel of Luke. It is a parable (a.k.a. story) told by Jesus as an illustration. And, what was the point of the story? What did Jesus intend for us to learn from it?

First, here's the story from the King James Bible (highlights added):

Written in 1976 by Carlo M. Cipolla his essay on stupid people, defined as those that by their actions cause losses to others without benefiting themselves, asserts that as a group they are the most powerful force. Beyond evil doers such as organized crime.

He provides the following structure to group people by their impact on themselves and others.

Graph with the benefits and losses that an individual causes to him or herself an causes to others.
Benefits and losses that an individual causes to self and others