ArLyne's Diamonds

A running commentary of ideas

Monday, June 20, 2005

Burying your head in the sand

It is frightening to learn that people would rather ignore the problems that affect (and effect) their lives, rather than have to confront and deal with unpleasantness. Isn't that exactly what happened in Germany? Didn't people close their doors and pull their curtains shut so they didn't have to see the Nazis destroying the Jews?

Don't people ever learn from other people's mistakes?

Sunday, June 19, 2005

New Friends

How wonderful it is to meet and enjoy people who share common values and interests with you. Last night was especially nice because it was the first time I had dinner and spent the evening with Joanne and Chuck. They are "classical libertarians", highly educated, knowledgeable about a wide range of subjects, and just plain fun.

We had a great evening.
I write this because it bothers me that we have all become so busy with our worklives that we don't take enough time to visit - just plain visit - with people we enjoy.

Coming from New York, I was so accustomed to having friends drop by daily. We spoke about all kinds of things (as kids we solved the world's problems of course) and took walks together, or "hung out" on my front stoop. In a small way we replicated what some great thinkers have created with their "Sunday Salons." How I wish I were part of one.

Friends, let's not forget the value of "hanging out". We nourish each other when we do.

Wednesday, June 15, 2005


Lately, when speaking in public I am ending my talks with a poem I recited when I was a child, playing the role "friendship" in a play called Pandora's Box. My poem was written by "anonymous" - a man I never met (that's a joke folks). It goes:

If nobody smiled and nobody cheered and nobody helped us along.
If every man lived after himself and the good things all went to the strong.
If nobody cared just a little for you and nobody thought about me
And we fought alone in the battle of life, what dreary old world it would be

Life is sweet becauwe of the friends we have made
And the things in common we shrare
We want to live on, not only for ourselves, but because of the people who care.

It's living and doing for somebody else on which all life's splendor depends
And the joy of the words when you have summed them all up
Is in the making and keeping of friends."

Now, my Objectivist friends, don't get too uptight about the phrase "it's living and doing for somebody else, etc." don't take it too literally - the essence is about living with others sharing and helping each other out.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Creating and keeping a dialogue going

Hi everyone. I've received several e-mails and phone calls from people telling me they are enjoying my blog. The real fun will begin when you post your comments and we keep a dialogue going. It would also help if you forwarded the blog information to those people you think might also want to participate in a serious discussion of ideas.

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Decision Making Disputes

Isn't it strange to you that grown adults would personalize disagreements, rather than seeing them as different perspectives about issues or values. I always thought it was only junior high school girls who were so afraid to accept someone's point of view if it was different from their own.

I find in my board of directors and executive team training that even grown adults get upset and decide not to speak to someone with whom they have a business disagreement. The underlying message seems to be that we all have to play nice and agree with each other all the time. Someone even mentioned "The Eleventh Commandment" which apparently means, "If you don't have something nice to say, don't say anything at all."

This is clearly The Tyranny of Pleasantness, about which I am writing.

How can we make better decisions in life if we are unwilling to learn from others - how can we learn from others if they cannot freely speak their minds - and when they do - we feel attacked and fail to listen to what they say?

Saturday, June 04, 2005

Believing what we want to believe

I watched TV tonight and Cold Case had a segment about women during World War II and the news that the Germans had Jews in concentration camps and were killing them. The women didn't want to believe it was true and rationalized that the Germans were acting no differently than we were when we interred the American-Japanese.

While I agree that interrment was an inappropriate response to panic - in no way did it come close to what was happening to the Jews in Germany. Yet,the truth was so horrid, people didn't want to believe it to be true and so rejected the data as it the information was unfolding. Atrocities cause us to put blinders on.

On the other hand, we are so quick to assume guilt any time we hear a rumor about something "bad" someone we know- or a celebrity with whom we are familiar - has allegedly done. Isn't that a strange quirk?

Thursday, June 02, 2005

Deep Throat - Seems I was right

Interestingly, today's papers are all saying the same thing I did yesterday. Some are even going further and asserting that the reason he came forward now, was pressure from his family to make money over it.

Well, sneaking around playing spy is one way of bringing information forth. I like honesty and direct conversations much better - although I must admit, sometimes the price one pays for assesrting one's beliefs is very dear. It is far easier to be a sneak - or to "go along to get along."

Maybe I'm missing a safety gene or something!

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Deep Throat - Hero or Sleeze?

I'd love your opinions on this matter. Here he was,an insider, privileged to sit in on some very powerful meetings, all the while spying on his own people. Did he think he was doing right? If so, why was he ashamed to come out into the open for all these years? Now, when he has had a stroke and apparently isn't completely competent, his family has convinced him to come forward and get some glory.

Isn't it far better to be honorable? To speak out openly and honestly when dealing with wrongdoings, rather than sneak around in the manner in which he did?

What's your opinion?