Showing posts from December, 2019

Three Men Who Would Not be King

It's rare for someone to give up power. That's especially true if you believe yourself to be a good ruler, and you probably wouldn't be a ruler unless you thought you were a good ruler. So, it's almost never done. Most people hold on to as much power as they can get for as long as they can. They step away only when they are forced to. But every now and then, a leader comes along that takes power, and yet doesn't seem to want it. So they decide to walk away on their own. In 594 BC Solon remade the laws of Athens and created the Athenian Constitution. He got people to swear to abide by the laws. And then, instead of remaining head of the state. Instead of being King. Instead of ruling and wielding power he... get this... exiled himself for 10 years. Yes, that's right. He kicked himself out of his own city. The adventures he had traveling around for the next decade are a series of epic and legendary adventures. But exiling himself so that he couldn't chang

Happy Crying

We cry when we're sad, and we cry when we're happy. It's weird. I have a new theory of happy crying. When we cry because we're sad our feelings can often be expressed as, "I can't believe this is happening!" in a bad way. When we cry because we're happy our feelings can often be expressed as, "I can't believe this is happening!" in a good way. There's a connection here. In my theory of grief I've pointed out that mourning is the process of our good expectations of the future being dissolved, and our new more realistic set of expectations being built. This is intense. There is no way around the process of grief. You can put it off by deceiving yourself, but that's just putting it off, you can't truly escape it. At some point you have to readjust your expectations. When you've lost a good thing, such as in the death of a loved one, you have a feeling of loss. You had good expectations, usually subconsciously, an

On the Subjects of Education

The subject of education is large. It technically covers all of the information ever known, or at least currently known. It's hard to face something that enormous and determine which direction to go. Nevertheless, we must wrest some semblance of order from the clutches of this giant known as education and determine a path forward. I was recently teaching a young actress who is focused on her career to the exclusion of most other things. She's currently in a play, and because they have had intensive rehearsals for the last few weeks she has missed school. This is a normal cycle for her. She has a job that consumes most of her time and energy for a few months. Her mother and father work with her during that time on some subjects. And obviously she still has private English lessons with me. Then, after the job is done, she goes back to school. But, as her career grows that's becoming harder to do, and it seems like a normal high school experience may not be the path for

A Set of Writing Ideas - Part 1

I've written down a few dozen ideas over the last couple of months. Just small notes. I probably don't even remember what some of them mean. Here are the first five. One In China the government decided to build a huge city, a gigantic city. A city for millions of people. But, they built this city without any people being there. That's the kind of thing that happens in a centrally planned (read dictatorship) country. Then, when they opened it up for people to move there almost no one did. Now there's this huge city with not very many people in it. How odd. Something similar to that happened in Myanmar, once called Burma, although it's odder still. They built this massive city and made it the capital of the country, but they won't allow almost anyone to live there. It's the size of New York City, but only a few thousand people live there. There are huge highways, with no cars driving down them. What's up with these giant construction projects th

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