Skip to main content


Getting to the why behind the Golden Rule

“Do unto others…” We’ve all heard the Golden Rule in one form or another. But as with all overly idealistic admonitions, we all too often end up merely pay lip service to it, don’t we? What if instead we worked out why such a rule is in our best interest to follow? In other words, I’m suggesting resorting to the good old “What’s in it for me?” framework. Lately, I was having one of my occasional “excogitations” — aka mental meanderings — as I was reflecting on some basics of interpersonal relationships. A few days prior, someone had accidentally (and unknowingly) overpaid me for a transaction. As a matter of course, I immediately contacted them and arranged to return the superfluous funds, which as you would expect, earned me some thank you’s for my honesty, etc. Now, there are many reasons why one might want to follow the straight and narrow path. For example, it could be out of religious belief. However, it’s not personally my cup of tea. Up until now, I would have tol

Cultivating Karma

In February 2014, I asked Brad Feld to help me with a project by accepting to be interviewed by me via email so I could write a story titled, “ What it’s like to live in Boulder, Colorado .” I thought, “Nice guy, but I’ll never hear back from him -- he's just too busy, and he won't give me the time of day.” A few days later, I went for a walk and listened to a few chapters of one of Brad’s books on Audible. At the point when I was most deeply considering what he was saying in the book, I got an email from him that said, “There it is”. He had answered the questionaire. It felt a little surreal actually, and I told him so. He replied with one word: “Karma”. I even looked up the word in the dictionary to see if I was missing something. In a separate incident, a few months ago, upon returning home from an organic / holistic grocery store I frequent, I noticed that the cashier forgot to charge me for a $13 piece of steak (which is already a great price for a grass fe

It turns out empathy is not a skill everyone possesses

Yesterday Brad Feld communicated on his blog that he and his wife Amy are huge believers in empathy, in response to also having watched the video I talked about in my last post . But then, there was a comment from a software engineer / musician with a PhD degree —a clearly intelligent and thoughtful individual — which I though was intriguing. It said: “I use the term ‘empathy’ when I have actual personal experience with whatever the other individual is going through. I don’t think there’s really any other justification to be able to claim that you are feeling or experiencing what they are. I use the term ‘sympathy’ otherwise. I really don’t like this presentation of her views of these words. She’s adding semantic to the words which is overloading the definitions. And the presentation makes it sound like sympathy is bad and empathy is good. These are fairly precise terms and some of the implications she mentions are beyond their definitions. For example, she focuses on the ‘conn

Empathy is feeling *with* others

The central reason why I wanted to create was to create more empathy in the world through inspiring stories from real people which share what a particular set of experiences is or was like. Today, I came across this video while reading the comments section on my favorite blog .   It is the most awesome explanation I’ve ever come across of what empathy truly is. As human beings, we all have our share of challenges to be dealing with, whether we’re transparent or opaque about our respective situations. If we could get ourselves outside of our shells long enough to sense and come in contact with what others are also feeling, we could thereby dramatically bolster the quality of our lives, as well as others’. Technology currently offers a lot a promises to take humanity to a higher place. But materialism is still way too prevalent. Unless we can break down the barriers between one human to another, we’ll be leaving on the table many opportunities to feel t