Children and Apologies

Children and Apologies

Children do not perceive mistakes the same way we do. They are oblivious to most social norms and cultural taboos. However, children have been found to have an understanding of right and wrong from as early as 19 months old. I believe they can empathize from a much earlier age (depending on the emotional nourishment they received as infants).

The article below discusses how parents sometimes force their children to say “I’m sorry”. It’s a double mistake: first of all, the child is humiliated and secondly, the child doesn’t even understand the reason why the apology is made, hence damaging his or her understanding of the concept of being sorry.

Salma Hayek Frida

Salma Hayek and Harvey Weinstein

Weinstein’s disgusting behavior towards women triggered the famous #MeToo social media campaign. It’s all history now. There are some very good articles out there about Weinstein and other libidinous rich men. There’s also the shocking leaked audio of the predator in action.

In this eye-opening timeline, we are shown how much things have changed because of the scandal that has rocked Hollywood, the world’s #1 exporter of corrupt cultural values. Thanks to #MeToo, the protest went global. I feel like women’s rights have made an important step forward since then.

But from all the articles I read, I took a particular liking to Salma Hayek’s story about the movie “Frida”, produced by Weinstein. This vulnerable, heart-felt story made me empathize with the victims more than anything else I read or heard on the topic.

Shark dragging

This Year’s Dose of Horrible Behavior Towards Animals

How would you feel if some dudes would grab somebody dear to you, tie that person to a car and drag them around town for a couple of miles? While doing this, of course, they would laugh, because torture is fun.

And then there’s this horrific way to celebrate students: a jungle-themed prom where majestic wild animals are disrespected and psychologically tormented. This sets, of course, a wonderful example for the adults, parents and decision makers of tomorrow.

Ants Rescue Their Wounded

Ants Take Care of Their Wounded

It’s impressive how creatures with a (much) smaller brain than ours are capable of complex behaviors such as taking care of their wounded. Could it be that instinct is smarter than being smart?

This is evolution at its best. As the main author of instinctual behavior refinement, evolution has given these ants an edge. Because they take care of their wounded, they could very well prevail should they get into a contest with other (ant) species.

The Three Gates

The Three Gates

Before you speak, let your words pass through three gates. At the first gate, ask yourself ‘Is it true?’ At the second gate ask, ‘Is it necessary?’ At the third gate ask, ‘Is it kind?’

This beautiful Sufi saying has been with me for several years now. I wanted to write a few words about it since quite some time ago. First of all, this is one of the best rules for life that I’ve ever encountered in any culture. I’d like to also paraphrase it as such:

Before you take any action, let your thoughts pass through three gates. At the first gate, ask yourself ‘Is it an honest action?’ At the second gate ask, ‘Is it necessary?’ At the third gate ask, ‘Is it kind?

Free Bleeding

Free Bleeding (Menstruation)

Even though it’s obvious that such a practice exists, living with free bleeding in the “civilized” world (read: “taboo world” or “rigid culture world”) can be tricky. What is free menstruation you ask? Well, here’s an interesting read.

Do I have an opinion about the practice? No! But I do have an opinion about people who make a fuss out of this: oh yes!

Neonicotinoids and Bees

Pesticides Harming Bees Banned in Europe – Major Win for Our Ecosystem

Good news is even better when it arrives unexpected. In a major win for our ecosystem, the European Union has banned the use of neonicotinoids. Other than the fact that the use of such poison is another example of arrogant human interference in the environment, this category of pesticides is destroying bee colonies worldwide. Bees are responsible for pollinating a majority of our crops, so a major bee die-off would seriously impact our food supply. When it comes to respecting our ecosystem, it’s lovely how Europe leads the way!

Reef Death

Reef Death

“One-third of the 3,863 reefs that make up the Great Barrier Reef — the largest, most extensive reef system in the world — went through a catastrophic die-off after a searing heat wave in 2016, according to a newly published study in the journal Nature. A bleaching event in 2017 devastated even more of that reef, and the cumulative effects have killed an estimated half of the magnificent system in just two years.”

It’s a quote from the article below, a work that fits in the “doom and gloom” category. But unlike articles about Planet X, the “unavoidable catastrophic” eruption of Yellowstone or the reversal of the Earth’s magnetic poles, this is “real doom and gloom”. Corals around the world are dying at an alarming rate. This can lead to sudden, disastrous effects on the ocean ecosystem (and thus, the entire planet).

China Social Credit

China’s Social Credit System

Something big was set in motion in China. It’s called the Social Credit System. It leverages the latest in technology in order to build something akin to a criminal record, except that it’s updated much more frequently (possibly even real-time in certain cases). It doesn’t only cover crime, but pretty much any action that the government can track, online and offline.

As we know, China has an extremely well-developed tracking & censorship apparatus. Through the Social Credit System, even minor social offenses such as jaywalking or smoking outside designated areas can be turned into punishments that can seriously affect one’s life. In the article below you can find a rather shocking video (well, not entirely shocking to me since I suspected this was coming) about the country’s highly developed video surveillance system.

Breastfeeding

Body Pleasure and the Origins of Violence

Every year or so, there’s one article/essay that stands out from everything I come across. This is one such work. It shows the correlation between violence and repressed sexuality, lack of affection towards children, sensory deprivation and various forms of social damage. It’s a long read, but you can also read just parts of it and I’d wager you’ll still be enriched by this amazing work.