So you can read my books

Wednesday, June 25, 2014


Something there is that doesn't love a wall.
- Robert Frost

At the end of the street onto which I drive when delivering rare blood, there WAS a beautiful vista of our lake.

WAS.  Now, there is a grim brick wall being erected by the mansion being built on lake front property. 

There seems no valid reason for the wall except to deny drivers along the road the view of the lake which cost some unknown person large dollars.

The grey wall seems to say: "I paid for this lovely view,

The mansion is huge and blocks out the view of the lake as well.  A piece of serene beauty which brought calm to my busy day is gone.

It got me to thinking about how selfishness has become acceptable and the norm these days.

I hear words echo from 1940:

"The way of Life can be free and beautiful, but we have lost the way.

Greed has poisoned men’s souls, has barricaded the world with hate,

has goose-stepped us into misery and bloodshed.

We have developed speed, but we have shut ourselves in.

Machinery that gives abundance has left us in want.

Our knowledge has made us cynical; our cleverness, hard and unkind.

We think too much and feel too little.

 More than machinery, we need humanity.

More than cleverness, we need kindness, and gentleness.

Without these qualities, life will be violent, and all will be lost..."

 — Charlie Chaplin’s “The Dictator.”

The problem is that in today’s society and culture, everyone is absorbed in themselves,

and how they can become richer, happier, or whatever it is that they personally are chasing.

Don’t jump — until I get this picture lined up!

How about that incident last year in the Bronx in May, when Bahsid McLean, 23, murdered his mom, Tanya Byrd,

then posed with a picture of her severed head.

The following October in Florida, high-school junior Malik Whiter snapped a selfie in a classroom while his teacher was seen going through labor in the background.

Or this Selfie:
Have we lost our souls?

In an article for Psychology Today, doctor Pamela Rutledge says that taking selfies

can be detrimental to a person’s mental health and

that indulging in them is indicative of narcissism, low self esteem, attention seeking behavior and self-indulgence.

Some experts and physicians feel that society is collectively engaged in deep denial

about how dangerous it is to interact with screens without setting limits on how much time is spent doing so.

Facebook use has been linked to depression while Twitter use has been linked to low self esteem and narcissism.

What do you think about all of this?


  1. I think I like Longmire ethics better. The old west was harsh, but you knew the good guys wore white hats. Most of the time.

    The gaps between those with and those without is increasing. Less is not more when you have nothing and no options. Fewer jobs. Discontent breeds unrest.

    I think I'll go read some fantasy, it's more agreeable.

  2. D.G.:
    Longmire's ethics, both in books and the series, goes against what seems popular in heroes these days: a man who cares for those who cannot fight back.

    Yes, we are becoming a society in a pressure-cooker -- the explosion is coming/we just don't know when.

    Like you, I find a sanctuary of sorts in reading and writing fantasy. :-)

  3. Yes, some of us are lost. Some people from each generation are. More at the moment? I don't know. I refuse to relinquish my hold on caring, and will not join them.
    And find sanctuary in books as well.

  4. It is sad what the world is coming to. Entitlement and self absorption seem to be innate to our children.

  5. We are definitely self-absorbed these days. The selfie phenomenon is quite disturbing sometimes. There's nothing wrong with the occasional selfie - but good lord some people post a selfie per day!

  6. Selfies are the dumbest thing to come around in a long time. Sad it's such an epidemic.

  7. Elephant's Child:
    That is all any of us can do: not to relinquish our hold on caring.

    As Gandhi said, "We must be the change we wish to see in the world."

    Entitlement and self-absorption is the nature of each child -- we were raised to go beyond that -- this generation has children raising children, and so the selfishness becomes ingrained. Sigh.

    Many teenagers post multiple selfies each day. LOOK AT ME! How needy of them. :-(

    A socially sanctioned epidemic at that. The world gets crazier each year.

  8. I have never taken a selfie. As for the student in Florida who took a selfie while his teacher was in labor, I hope he was prosecuted. It is illegal for students to take pictures in school without permission. Regarding the other selfies, I don't know what to say.


  9. Janie:
    Words fail me for those selfies, too. Today, a teen leapt in front of Queen Elizabeth to take a selfie of him and the Queen!

  10. Hi Roland - I don't do it, won't do it and am not at all interested - so completely agree with your post. However I'm glad I don't have kids, or grandkids .. or am close to people who are so besotted ...

    I think I'll leave it there .. cheers and I'm so sorry you've lost that view ... anything attractive while drive cheers up the day - Hilary

  11. Hilary:
    At least parents and grandparents are showing photos of their children out of love not self-love!

    The person has built right at the lake which is unwise here in Hurricane territory. And he has blocked the view of the lake for the people who own the home on the opposite of the road. Maybe there is some sort of hostile revenge going on here?

    Thanks for visiting and commenting! :-)

  12. Great, thought provoking post. However, I have to wonder if social media is the cause of the "Selfie" phenomena, or if it has simply drawn attention to it.

    IMHO, selfishness is not new to mankind. There are several accounts in the Bible, beginning with Eve and the Tree of Knowledge to Cain & Able, David and Bathshiba, etc. More recent history is Hitler, Stalin, HUssain, name the leader and MOST (not all) of them have displayed selfishness.

    It's in the human DNA, IMHO. I'll use myself as an example. I rarely tell people about anything altruistic that I do. Not because I'm so "Selfless," but because deep down I need to know I'm doing it for the right reason, that I'm not looking for validation. This still doesn't take away from the fact that somewhere deep inside, I also feel good about helping others. If this wasn't the case, then I probably wouldn't do it. Much as I hate to admit it, my act is not TOTALLY selfless.

    Let's not kid ourselves, we're all capable of this emotion. Some, like Kim Kardashian, simply embrace it, while others fight it on a daily basis.

    With the insurgence of TV, HBO, Cinemax, and other social media sites like FB, Twitter, etc, "selfi-ness" is in our face more than ever. We're simply seeing what's always been there.

    Thanks for writing such a thought provoking post. I always enjoy the spirit of debate.