Defeating The Bait & Switch

How’s it going there? All is as good as it can be here in Nepal—considering that we are still locked down. The lake and mountains are still very beautiful, most folks still have food, and the police seem to be very understanding. But there’s not much happening and so not much to report.        

The latest in a long series of delays puts the end of lockdown at June 14. Hopefully that really happens. More live-from-Nepal chapters will appear shortly after. Meanwhile, here is an oldie but goodie from the Fearless Puppy On American Road book. Most folks that have read it tell me it’s funny. If this is your first read, I hope you get a good laugh from it too.        

It is offered now with a different intent than in years past. This time it is not only the true story of dealing with a troublesome person at work, but is also posted in the spirit of remembering that individual humans are not the only ones baiting and switching us. Institutions, industries, and systems—whether they are informative, corporate, political, educational, cultural, religious, entertaining, or medical—are just as good or better at it than any singular human.                          

Thanks very much for reading, and for clicking the backlinks.                                             

Please stay well and happy. Love, Tenzin

***p.s. As always, if you find these weekly bits bothersome, let me know and I’ll stop sending them to you. If you find the reading at all enjoyable, please—it literally takes only seconds—click one or more or all of the highlighted backlinks following this paragraph. This simple process is completely without risk, cost, or difficulty. All it does is bring you to the site that is highlighted. Each click is a big help in pushing Fearless Puppy up in the Google rankings. Whether you browse the sites or close the windows immediately, your help has been delivered when you click. Thank you!





                                       Defeating the Bait-and-Switch          
       We’re having a little trouble at my workplace. There is a mean-spirited person dragging my co-workers down to her level. She’s an expert at the bait-and-switch move. I smile, refuse her bait, and stay undistracted—but several members of our crew have fallen victim.      

What is the bait-and-switch move? Several different psychological maneuvers call themselves by that same name. The one I’m specifically referring to is the oldest trick in the book. It is most often done without the perpetrator’s conscious awareness. That’s right! More often than not, the folks who do this aren’t even in touch with themselves enough to realize that they are doing it. (It is occasionally more intentional and malicious.)     

  Let’s say that you are Party B. Your boss, a co-worker who wants to climb the ladder of success over your dead body, a new customer, an old acquaintance, an ex, or whoever else you want to think of is Party A. (If you are already saying, “Hey I’m the A. Let that other pain-in-the-ass be Party B,” that’s great! Your chances of avoiding the pitfalls of the psychological bait-and-switch move are very good!)       

You are a nice, friendly, kind, and cooperative person.        

Party A and others like him are nasty, sarcastic, wired-up people who live to annoy and manipulate. They love to pull on your chain and wouldn’t climb off your back if you bought them a diamond-studded rope ladder to do the climbing with. These people may suffer big and truly heart-rending problems in life but behave so badly that they regularly earn more rejection than compassion. Many chronically dissatisfied folks act as if it is their job to insure that everyone else becomes as miserable as they are. Again, this is often not a product of conscious evil intent as much as an unconscious bit of emotional lava spilling out of an abused volcano that has never been hugged enough. But if you’re getting burned to the core by flowing lava, the historical origins of the volcano’s problems cannot be your primary concern.       

As usual, you try to be nice to everyone. You speak to Party A as you would to anyone else—intent on a happy and harmonious relationship. But Party A doesn’t know how to handle this. The painful rip in the fabric of this person’s reality tells him or her that it’s a dog-eat-dog, me-or-you, take-advantage-before-being-taken-advantage-of world where an aggressive defense is the highest priority. This attitude often results in behavior that is nastier than a pickled egg fart collection in a tightly sealed chamber.      

You step up your efforts to make peace. Day after day you are kind and polite to this person, hoping your good attitude will prove contagious. Mr./Ms. A stays deaf to your most cordial approaches and continues to dump bucket loads of emotional garbage and irritating drama into your life.     

It may take a few days, weeks, months, or years but sooner or later it happens. You lose it. After what seems like countless eons of dealing with this situation in a civilized manner, you just can’t take it anymore. You give Party A a rebate on the ration of bullshit that he or she has been shoveling in your direction. After five or ten minutes of yelling and snarling, you stomp away with your blood pressure raised and your day ruined. You are now as stressed, aggravated, soured, angry, and miserable as Party A has always been.      

This is you now! The painful attack on your peace of mind is no longer singularly directed from an external, defensible source. It now grows from an internal base that is a lot more dangerous to you. The nastiness of A, formerly a minor influence outside of your psyche, has eaten away slowly but steadily at your patience and compassion. It has succeeded in boring a hole right through your previously harmonious state of mind. The result is a weakened mental structural integrity, now being further eaten away by your psychologically triggered, newly acquired chemical imbalances. Physical problems arise from the chemical problems. Your stomach may hurt, your head may ache, and your happiness is in pain.       

As this happens to folks like us, Party A people will likely be laughing their asses off!  As the old saying goes, “Misery loves company.” Misery now has the company it loves. As mentioned before, they may have had a conscious plan to do some damage —but it is more likely that they are just blindly lashing out and unaware of the real cause or result of their actions. They are happy anyway!            

 A subconscious mind can be a dangerous thing. That’s why so many of Earth’s wise folk have spent so much of their time very busily moving their subconscious depths to the conscious surface.       

So now, anyone walking into the place where both A and B are present would be fooled. It would appear that Party A was a B, and that Party B was an A—and in fact, until B regains basic composure and simple sanity, that has become the sad truth of the situation. B has now effectively taken over the job that A was doing and is now getting on his or her own nerves! Party A doesn’t even have to be around. B will still have a nervous concern about what A might do or say next. B will now suffer from self-engendered attitude attacks as well as any external attacks that A might still be generating. B may also be burdened with a self-loathing caused by embracing an inferior mindset as well as the embarrassment of losing composure in public.                                       

The bait-and-switch is complete.     

 But believe it or not, there is an even worse scenario! Some folks are just too kind-hearted or timid to explode upon their aggressor. In most of these cases, a B person completely internalizes the stress of dealing with the A person. The resulting internal malfunctions can range from a nervous condition and assorted mental problems to migraines, stomach ulcers, and in the long run even heart problems or cancer.                                       

I refuse to get involved with any of this.It seems best to stay happy and realize that what I want me to be is more important than what any negative external influence wants me to be.                                    

I don’t rent out space in my head to bullshit.       

Disengagement, a simple non-cooperation with the game, seems to work well. I find that chronically toxic human irritants either vanish quickly or start adding some respect to their communication once they realize that you are someone who will not take the bait.        

When you run into someone that wants more than it is possible to give; when challenged by an insatiable black hole of negativity that cannot be filled; when you feel the vacuum from that hole starting to suck you into it, perhaps the best way to win the game is to not play.                                                                        

Many thanks to our wonderful friends at Pema Boutique Hotel for their help and support. ***The books Fearless Puppy On American Road and Reincarnation Through Common Sense by this same author are also available through Amazon or the Fearless Puppy website, where there are sample chapters from those books. Entertaining TV/radio interviews with and newspaper articles about the author are also available there. There is no charge for anything but the complete books! All author profits from book sales will be donated to help sponsor an increase in the number of wisdom professionals on Earth, beginning with but certainly not limited to Buddhist monks and nuns.        
***If you missed the Introduction to the new book that will be titled Temple Dog Soldier, or would like to see several chapters of it that are available for free online, go to the Puppy website Blog section. This is a book in progress. You will be reading it as it is being created! Just like you, I don’t know what the next chapter is going to be about until it is written. As the Intro will tell you, this is a totally true story—and probably the only book ever written by and about a corpse journeying completely around the world!

Lockdown Resiliency–Nepali Style

How is life going where you are? I hope you are well.          

The latest from beautiful Pokhara, Nepal follows.          

It’s a given that we’re all going to get a little pissed off and frustrated occasionally under current circumstances. That only becomes a real problem if we forget that like all poisons, anger and despair are much better spit out than swallowed. We have to face the facts. Global change and planetary stability are not within our immediate control. The good news is that personal change and mental stability are not only completely within our own control, but also make us more adept at influencing external change and better at dealing with the effects of worldwide malfunctions. This piece of the new book-in-progress is about recognizing and facing undeniable difficulties, spitting out what isn’t serving us well, and moving on to more comfortable and fertile ground—Nepali style.            

At the risk of being redundant, here for the umpteenth time is one of my favorite quotes. “The most revolutionary act that a person can perform in this country is to be happy.” Patch Adams.             

I’m finding that even if I don’t care at all about being revolutionary, and regardless of which country I am in, practicing the maintenance of common sense, clear vision, and internally generated happiness is still the smartest thing to do.                              

Breathe very deeply. It helps! No joke. Be well. Love, Tenzin

***p.s. As always, if you find these weekly bits bothersome, let me know and I’ll stop sending them to you. If you find the reading at all enjoyable, please—it literally takes only seconds—click one or more or all of the highlighted backlinks following this paragraph. This simple process is completely without risk, cost, or difficulty. All it does is bring you to the site that is highlighted. Each click is a big help in pushing Fearless Puppy up in the Google rankings. Whether you browse the sites or close the windows immediately, your help has been delivered when you click. Thank you!





                     Lockdown Resiliency—Nepali Style                

“Why can’t we just use all the money to fix shit?!?” Jon Stewart  

We are obviously living in a troubled world—but trouble often brings resilience, resilience sponsors resourcefulness, resourcefulness facilitates survival, surviving hard times inspires confidence, confidence can be the birthplace of success, success gives rise to gratitude, gratitude often feeds emotional abundance, and emotional abundance will foster happiness. I’m no Pollyanna. We have a row to hoe that is even longer than that sentence. But humanity has survived and in many cases artistically responded to mass-murdering tyrants, slavery, famines, floods, fires, televangelists, wine in a can, petroleum products in our food, life-size inflatable sex dolls, and Andrew Dice Clay.  We will also survive this nasty virus, and the cartel of mentally ill people that are currently facilitating human suffering for personal satisfaction and material gain.                     

There are many things happening in Asia right now that resemble the America of fifty years ago. Many people here are more innocent and naïve than Americans have been for several decades. They are more trusting of their government, news media, and popular institutions. They are more likely to believe and hope than they are likely to critically think or doubt. This can be a very sweet way to live. There are some very good reasons why the phrase  “ignorance is bliss” became one of our more popular expressions during the past century. But folks around the world, certainly not just in Asia, are rapidly discovering that certain types of bliss can be dangerous as well as delusional.            

Faithfully accepting that there is a “buddy” God who is on your side to the point where he will slay your enemies for you can make life very comfortable for a while—as can blindly believing that politicians work for the benefit of all the people, all the police always protect and serve the entire public, all doctors have the improvement of your health as their primary motivation, parents always know what is best for their children, the news media reports the unbiased truth, schools teach you what you need to know, legitimate business is always legitimate, banks protect your money, the government protects your interests, the church protects and mediates your relationship with Creation, and of course advertising always gives an honest representation of the product for sale. But like any house that is built on a foundation of bullshit, a collapse is imminent. Unfortunately, any systemic collapse will take a lot of the folks within that system down with it.            

Such a collapse is in progress throughout the world right now. Our institutions, economies, and personal belief systems alike are facing the guillotine. Many of us are having trouble releasing our life-long ways of thinking, living, and believing while trying to simultaneously hold on to them. We are stepping on the gas and brake at the same time, and our engines are understandably smoking as they melt.              

This is a strange world we live in and it is getting stranger all the time. Thank goodness people are still people! Some folks may be reacting to their fears more than they usually do, but most of us are as loving and trustworthy as ever. In contrast, most of our global information systems have become a cruel and manipulative joke. Bullshit has now become the prevalent norm, truth is rare, and everyone has suddenly become expert on subjects they know nothing about. Fractions of truth that warp badly under the strain of their division from the whole picture, exaggerated fears that long ago crossed the line between constructive caution and flagrant intimidation, and some very unrealistic wishful thinking have morphed into unfounded subjective beliefs that masquerade as facts while folks panic themselves into irrationality.            

Regardless of any and all theories about the causes and origins of viral disease, or about the motivations of those pulling society’s strings, the results are obviously tragic.          

The reports tell us that India is getting hit as hard by the virus this year as the Western Hemisphere was hit last year. It is often true that as goes India, so goes Nepal. The deaths and many other sad results are due at least in part to an actual plague—and in at least as great a part to the mind-bending results of the way the Corona situation at large has been steered. There is a one-plus-one-makes-three effect that has intensified the problem. Media dramatization fosters fear as corporate/governmental socioeconomic mismanagement and manipulation foster a loss of the control we used to have over our own lives. This produces stress. That lowers the ability of our immune systems to fight off illness. This then strengthens the communicability and effects of the virus, increasing the spread and potency of disease, which then further increases stress. These elements feed each other in an endless loop.             

That being said, a couple of very simple, basic understandings have kept life fun and productive for me in spite of dire global circumstances, a liver cancer diagnosis, and being the foreign round peg that doesn’t exactly fit into the domestic square hole for nearly the past two years. The first is that human beings have, from first breath to last, the obligation to work for positive change within our own minds as well as within our own culture. I’ve found that if the inside of my mind isn’t quite right, everything outside of it suffers. Don’t believe me? Ask anyone that knows me whether life is more fun for them when I am being a jackass than it is when I am taking their happiness as well as my own into serious consideration. Ask your neighbors if the mood in the ‘hood benefits or suffers when you throw trash, be it physical or emotional, into the streets.                                

The other thing that keeps me from occasionally wanting to bite down on a big blasting cap or just walk around all day with my head buried in my own little bullshit is remembering that, in the long run, there may end up being a lot more silver lining to this cloud than we can possibly see now.  Precursors of better days are obvious in the lighter, more hopeful, more encouraging, and even amusing sides to the horrid world situation. I see them in action every day during this current lockdown. Our resiliency, and the human ability to adapt and survive in any situation, is astonishing! Our manners can sometimes be very sweet as well. Even the most stubborn among the folks in this town that harbor a blind and total disbelief in any damaging abilities of the virus wear their masks out of respect for their fear-ridden neighbors, as well as a respect for the legal ordinance.              

Food stores and essential services are only legally open from five to nine a.m. But a whole Speakeasy/Roaring Twenties style culture has been spawned by creative shop owners and patrons. It is now noon. I knock three times on a sheet metal gate, then wait behind a nearby brick wall as the shop owner behind that gate prepares my carrot juice. With a mindset of invisibility that I remember using during trips through Spanish Harlem to buy heroin from Mr. Lopez in 1972, I slide back around the wall long enough to pay for the juice through a small opening in the sheet metal—and then slide back behind the wall to drink it. While all this goes on, I notice that several other people are also on the street, also on the way to their Speakeasys.             

We respect the understaffed police force and the job they are trying to do. Everyone tries to stay out of their range and not force them into a situation they would have to respond to. Such situations are uncomfortable for everyone. It seems that, at least to some extent, the police respect and understand the public’s needs as well—especially the needs of the area’s remaining tourists that live in hotel rooms without kitchens.            

After juice, I head from my south side ‘hood to the north side of the lake. A friend of mine from Kathmandu lives on the north side. I want to say hi, make sure that he is well, and take home a bread from the Speakeasy cafe/bakery there. There are several police blocking the main street. They don’t want citizens to be wandering any further than necessary to get essentials and so have set a blockade to cut Lakeside Road in half right at its center point. I slide around the blockage through a back street and then a side alley with the stealth of a smuggler on a pirate ship in a Jimmy Buffett song. I meet up with my friend in the alley. We have breakfast behind the closed sheet metal door of the nearby café. I buy a bread, then leave through the cafe’s back door. That rear exit feeds back into the alley and I retrace my steps home.            

For dinner, a restaurant close to my hotel has a similar arrangement. I knock on the window. The manager slides it open. A waiter takes my order and the window closes again. I move away to a nearby stairway while they cook where I’m sheltered from street view by a giant tree. When dinner is cooked and bagged, I slide money through the re-opened window, grab the bag and hide it in my little backpack. Myself and the waiter both smile, nod, and say thank you. I head home to enjoy dinner. No one has been put at risk. I get to eat. The restaurant employees and their families get to eat too.             

No one knows what the future holds for humanity. Our history runs from mass murder to divine benevolence. Our most extreme participants have ranged from Stalin, Cheney, and Pol Pot to Mother Teresa, Gandhi, and the Dalai Lama. But I have to think that if confused residents and business folk that are functionally under house arrest in a small tourist city without tourist traffic, in a third world country that has limited resources even under the best of circumstances and now suffers closed borders in addition to its closed businesses, under what may be the most bizarre and debilitating conditions our planet as a unit has ever seen, can figure out ways to keep most of the population fed and at least part of it employed while not doing any harm, then there is certainly reason to believe that we can fix everything that is broken.                    

The Pokhara story continues in the weeks to come. 

“If you need a sign to remind you to laugh, are you alright?” Sara Schaefer

Eric Idle – “Always Look On The Bright Side Of Life” – STEREO HQFIND ME AT De-dum-de-diddly-dum-de-dum…

Many thanks to our wonderful friends at Pema Boutique Hotel for their help and support. ***The books Fearless Puppy On American Road and Reincarnation Through Common Sense by this same author are also available through Amazon or the Fearless Puppy website, where there are sample chapters from those books. Entertaining TV/radio interviews with and newspaper articles about the author are also available there. There is no charge for anything but the complete books! All author profits from book sales will be donated to help sponsor an increase in the number of wisdom professionals on Earth, beginning with but certainly not limited to Buddhist monks and nuns.        
***If you missed the Introduction to the new book that will be titled Temple Dog Soldier, or would like to see several chapters of it that are available for free online, go to the Puppy website Blog section. This is a book in progress. You will be reading it as it is being created! Just like you, I don’t know what the next chapter is going to be about until it is written. As the Intro will tell you, this is a totally true story—and probably the only book ever written by and about a corpse journeying completely around the world!

Parting Thoughts From The Laughing Dead

Parting Thoughts From The Laughing Dead
Our truth, happiness, practicality, and objectivity all suffer from ancient dogma as well as modern advertising. Behavioral codes that are no longer relevant and fairy tales that never were have been deeply rooted within our psyches since we were too young to own the logic that would dismiss them.
Much of what we’ve been told all our lives is bullshit. It is part of a very old formula devised by a few greedy, arrogant pricks a long time ago in order to keep the majority of humans submissive, productive, and under control. History and morality have both been bent to support the purpose and reflect the ego of tyrants. For example: Lincoln didn’t start the civil war to free the slaves, Columbus did not “discover” America or prove the world round, there is no Santa Claus or Tooth Fairy, greed kills more people than cancer, no brand of cologne will get you laid, there are better solutions than war to almost any disagreement, targeting civilians instead of soldiers is always inexcusable, no sin is original, no one can “give you” the freedom that you were born with, no God is on your side any more than he would be on any other side, and Earth doesn’t need us—not as stewards or anything else—we need Earth to survive.
Neither John Wayne, The Buddha, Allah, nor Jesus is going to ride in on a white horse at the last minute and save us from all the dumb shit we’ve done. Sex is not a sin but overpopulation is. You don’t need most of the shit you own and you certainly don’t need any more. JFK was not killed by Oswald. Violence never works in the long run. Gentle kindness and compassion are not just for the weak—and actually can only be mustered by the very strong. There is no (external) boogieman. You are in total control of your own responses to every situation whether you know it or not, and whether you exercise that control or surrender it—and this is the only thing you are in total control of. Hope and prayer are insufficient substitutes for constructive and appropriate action. Culture controls your children more than you do. Our education system is not an education system. White folks started the tradition of scalping Indians—not the other way around. Praising Jesus and supporting war or racism is a more obvious sign of schizophrenic hypocrisy than painting walls with your own shit. What are depicted as wart-covered witches stirring cauldrons were actually beautiful female herbal healers in pre-Christian matriarchal European tribal culture. Most of what we call food shouldn’t be touched without gloves, much less eaten. The number of people dying from treatment by doctors pushing “properly prescribed medication” is fast approaching the number of people dying of diseases. Much bigger criminals than those incarcerated are making major money from the prison industry. Odds are that he who dies with the most toys is probably a shallow scumbag rather than a “winner.” All wars are economic at their root, no matter how well they are disguised as moral or religious. Ego does not need to be destroyed but transcended. Most of what we think is real, simply is not.
If we do not wake up to the fact that we, and only we ourselves, are both the monster under the bed and the angel flying over the headboard; if we don’t take action as a unified force of humanity that is based on the equanimity of its members; if we don’t start withholding our cooperation and compliance, whether willful or unwitting, from the systems that we know are a detriment to both nature and people, we are very surely and profoundly fucked.
On the bright side, human potential is unlimited. We certainly have the ability to jack up the more beautiful houses we’ve built, move these off the collapsing foundations of nonsense that so many of them currently teeter on, and reset them on solid ground. Got tools? Fearless Puppy On American Road can help. Have a nice day!
1–Most of the trouble we occupy our minds with simply does not exist. No one can possibly overcome that which does not exist! Sure there’s a lot of bad shit in the world, but most of the things we stress about on a daily basis just simply aren’t there in present-tense real life. These horror movies we keep creating in our minds are not facilitating happiness. You can’t control the world, but you can train your mind well enough so that you are comfortable in it. Sane, practical, happiness will substitute very nicely for stewing over what some asshole at the office did, wanting to cry because your so-called leaders are substandard humans, being hurt by an intentional or even unintentional insult, or giving yourself an ulcer reliving past betrayals and fearing future sufferings.
2–Human hearts and minds are what improves human culture–not the other way around. Our culture has been driven to the demented state it now occupies by the less agreeable facets of demented human hearts and minds. It is only when vast numbers of individuals change them selves, as individuals, that the culture has any chance of changing itself as a culture. Even from a selfish point of view, it makes sense to train your mind! There are so many things in the world that are out of our control. Possibly the only thing that is actually within our own individual control is the way we each experience our own life.  Whether you are getting stabbed or kissed, only you get to decide whether to smile or cry about it–to be  happy because of or in spite of the circumstances. Add to all this the painfully obvious evidence that constantly fixing things on the outside while rarely attending to the inside just doesn’t work. We have almost “fixed” the planet into extinction. Humanity’s only hope of survival lies in the individual mental, emotional, and spiritual efforts that its members invest on their own behalf, as well as on the behalf of others.

Short But Sweet

Mr. Mee and Ms. Kumnung
Mr. Mee and Ms. Kumnung are my best friends in the Temple. He is a Monk student. She is a Nun’s assistant and lay disciple. That means she does all the things a Nun student would do but is not planning to actually become one. Neither Mee nor Kumnung drink alcohol, have sex, eat after noon, or partake in many of the things that most of us would consider daily habits, pleasures, or even necessities. They are both happy.
They are like parents, a brother and sister, and friends to me. They help me with my language handicap and never call me “farang.” We eat together and breathe together. When one of us leaves the Temple grounds, we miss each other. I go out from the Temple grounds often. They rarely leave at all. In spite of my financial destitution, I always share tobacco with Mr. Mee and make special efforts to get sweets for Ms. Kumnung. She smiles when I come back from town, whether I’m carrying sweets for her or not. I would miss a hundred meals just to see that smile once.
Mr. Mee is the James Brown of our Temple home. Just like the late, great “hardest working man in show business,” he is constantly making an effort. With tools that would be considered more of a liability than an asset in the Western world, he gets everything done. Raking, hoeing, planting, painting, studying, and cleaning—he does it all and more. There is no lawn mower here. He mows the large lawn with a scythe and scissors.
Neither of these people ever complains about anything although more often than not there are no sweets, and some days we have no money for rolling papers. Mr. Mee and I often make our cigarettes from shreds of calendar paper and donated tobacco.
Mee and Kumnung always try to understand me. This takes all their patience, but they somehow never run out of it. There is very little I wouldn’t do for them and it seems they each feel the same way toward me.
Mr. Mee has enough scars on his arm from heroin addiction to have scared the shit out of Kurt Cobain and Lenny Bruce.
Ms. Kumnung has both heart and lung malfunctions. She takes more prescription medication than any nursing home resident I’ve ever met.
Mee and Kumnung are married. They shared the same bed for eight years before coming to the Temple to sleep apart.
I guess they think things are better this way.
FROM THE BOOK REINCARNATION THROUGH COMMON SENSE “Reincarnation Through Common Sense is a true-story travel adventure book about rural Asian Buddhist Monks and Nuns adopting a very troubled soul from Brooklyn, New York. Westerners have written many books about living in Asian temples. None are like this crazy true story! The main character’s life runs through death into reincarnation without ever leaving his body. He describes this process in a manner so intimate and natural that you’ll think you are having coffee on a bar stool in the temple with him. For simplified street explanations of complex Buddhist thought, and an experience unique in comedic drama, spirituality, adventure, and sheer creativity, buy and read Reincarnation Through Common Sense.”

How To Love A Sociopath And Why It Is So Important To Do So

                       How To Love A Sociopath And Why It Is So Important To Do So

Fearless Puppy Congratulations! You have opened something that is not about the American presidential campaign!

Some of us may have an extra drink occasionally or smoke more than a sensible amount of weed now and then. Others may fudge a number here or there on our taxes. We’ve all literally and figuratively farted in public at least once in our lives—but few humans are as universally toxic as upper level politicians. By now we know that both candidates are a perverse distortion of democracy. Neither they nor any other bad actor on the political stage will be mentioned again here.

This article is about us real people.

Several folks have asked me the same very interesting question. It is possible that someone has asked you this same question, too! Here’s a short paragraph of backstory.

I have some friends (Democrat and Republican) that are politically conservative. Well, they like to think of themselves as Conservatives. As is true for most Americans I know who describe themselves as serious Conservatives regardless of party affiliation, these friends could more accurately be called Regressives. In mind-bending contrast to the personal kindness and generosity they often show to friends and family, these folks seem to turn a blind eye to the cruelty and consequences of our national actions. They don’t really want to conserve anything so much as they want to regress into ways of life that have, at least in part, been rightfully done away with already. These folks hate (i.e. are scared of) certain religions and races en masse. They love everyone in a uniform regardless of the actions performed by the people wearing those uniforms. They defend police brutality and military aggression as long as these actions are disguised as quasi-holy freedom-and-security crusades. These are the people who believe they don’t need to go through all the uncomfortable work of checking their attitudes or the facts because Fox News has already done that for them. My few conservative/regressive friends also, and in spite of all the evidence to the contrary, seem to have strong ties to the Middle Ages regarding an inherited, habitual belief in a God who is always on their side during any conflict. They have never heard Ann LaMott’s quote “If your God hates the same people you do, you have created God in your image.” (Italics are mine.)

Here is the question that my more progressive friends ask me. “Whether Christian, Muslim, Buddhist, American, Saudi Arabian, Chinese, or otherwise—how can you hang out with sociopathic psychopatriots? What common ground could you possibly have with these people? Their attitudes aren’t much different than the attitudes of witch burners a few centuries ago.”

I have a few answers. Here they are.

The common ground I have with my conservative friends is the same common ground I have with you. We are all human beings. As humans, we are each equally desirous and deserving of happiness. We all want to be and have a right to be free from unnecessary suffering. This unified mind, this unanimous human direction of desiring happiness and bare minimal suffering is where each of us lives. Our realization of and respect for this common ground we share with all living things is humanity’s one and only possibility for attaining global sanity. That is why the Gandhis, Bernies, and Dalai Lamas keep trying to remind us of it. We all forget this basic fact too often. Honoring this common ground means making a serious effort to be as kind to every other person as one is to one’s self. The system also requires that one treat one’s self as a best friend. “Every other person” includes, of course, people of all political inclinations (as well as all races, nationalities, sexes, etcetera).

The few so-called conservative folks I know are so sweet and kind to the individual humans and animals they personally know, that I can love them for that alone. If that type of compassion spread itself around a little more, this would be a much better world. These regressive friends provide many learning experiences and a constant source of amazement for me, but they also show me how similar we all are. The contrast between the callous disregard they have for so many people who are just as human as the few people they regard so deeply is a schism that happens to some degree in each of us. An exaggerated ego attachment and sense of possession regarding things and people we consider “our own” is too often the defining characteristic of what many people call love. It is often mistaken for being love itself! Noticing this reminds me of how much work needs to be done within each of us, as well as the work that needs to be done in national and global arenas. “The only devils in this world live in our hearts, and it is there that all our battles should be fought.” Gandhi

My view of the “we’re all in this together” thing has to take on more depth and an increased, if ironical, sense of conviction after talking for a while with a regressive person. I am forced to realize that many otherwise wonderful or potentially wonderful people were badly programmed, brainwashed, and damaged—shaped since birth by a lot of inherited bullshit. This bullshit ranges from being as relatively harmless as the Santa Claus and Tooth Fairy myths all the way to the fatal notions that a God living in the sky wants us to kill people or that Nature is here to be dominated by humans. Each specific piece of this bullshit has been consistently reinforced throughout many generations, as well as during each individual’s lifetime, by the nearly constant and highly hypnotic volume of general misinformation fed to us by our culture.

People who once seemed “inherently evil” to me now seem to have the injured glow of abused children about them. You don’t throw sick children away. You help them to get as well as they can, as well as they will allow themselves to be. A lot of these regressive folks have never been hungry, homeless, brutalized, or had a bomb dropped on them for no reason. They have no first-hand concept of what those things feel like. But it goes deeper than that. Not only have they no base-station cognizance, much less experience, for the broader type of compassion to emanate from—they don’t want one. I can’t really blame them! No one wants to feel bad. Many people choose to remain willfully ignorant of the suffering of others—even if it means swallowing some bullshit explanation of that suffering in order to whitewash sympathetic pain and guilt from their minds. Many folks would rather see the wool that has been pulled over their eyes than see the less pleasant truth that would appear without it.

Denial of the painful moral inconveniences that are part of human reality has, to a sad and destructive extent, become the prime directive for many of us. To deny existence of our dilemmas may be convenient in the short run, but it kills any chance of finding solutions for those problems in the long run. It is much more comfortable to wear an inexpensive shirt if you block out or stay ignorant of the fact that it was produced by slave labor. It is easier to enjoy your gasoline-abundant road trips if you convince your self (or allow media-made popular consensus to convince you) that dropping bombs on innocent civilians in oil pimping countries is an effort to liberate victims of dictatorship. That blurry amendment to reality is a lot more palatable than facing the fact that many needless murders of innocent civilians help bring your gasoline to you. These types of moral malfunctions might be resolved with a little thought, effort, and compassionate tactical adjustment—but if they are not given appropriate attention, they can grow into cultural cancers that painfully eat a society and crap it into history’s sewer system.

There is also a deluded but very understandable logic to the regressive person’s tendency to deny problems and instead blame the victim. It is, for example, much easier to scapegoat poor people than it is to face the massive and amorphous job of solving poverty. The logic-of-convenience that allows scapegoating has no truth to it. But, much like everything else we choose to delude ourselves with, it makes perfect sense once you’ve bought the lie.

Nonetheless, and in spite of their tendency to replace objective reality with subjective beliefs, there is a human being and possibly a fine one under the seemingly sociopathic veneer of many a Conservative/Regressive. How can a person who thinks in terms of us/them be helped to see The Big We? Can we communicate the realization that both Yankee and Red Sox fans, strangers, friends, and enemies all equally deserve to enjoy happiness and a release from unnecessary suffering? What can we say that will make a person understand that happiness is doubly important because almost no one kills while they are smiling? How do we get folks to drop a little blind believing in exchange for some open-eyed thinking? How can we help our fellow humans to progress past fear, inherited ignorance, and cultural hypnosis? Maybe we can’t. But if we can, kindness and honesty presented in a respectful and non-combative form are the answers. Hatred and fear cannot survive long-term doses of truth and love.

These doses may be most potent during the immediate moment when we are actually being honest and loving with each other, but the more profound and lasting effect of all this truth and kindness requires time to solidify in the hearts and minds of our regressive friends—and it requires patience and consistency on our parts. No one ever actually changes anyone else’s mind for them. Every person is their own therapist, makes their own decisions, and has the last word about the directions their mind and life will take. But we can certainly open new avenues of thought and point to potential doorways for each other.

The presentation of these new ideas and doorways will rarely rate any attention from a listener unless that presentation is done without condescension or defensiveness.

On the other and much less productive side of this coin, any loss of patience or lack of respect for those we are talking with, any angry/frustrated arguing and screaming, only feeds the fire. Ignorance thrives on battlegrounds. Evidence against regressive thought needs to be presented strongly, confidently, and politely with a genuine concern for the person you are speaking with—without any anger, condescension, or scorn toward them. This kinder approach can eventually dissolve any ignorance.

Other valuable tools are also available. There is plenty of evidence we can site from popular sources that will impress our deluded brethren. It would be easy to show them where many respected public figures that they put stock in, from Jesus and Mohammed to Magic Johnson and Kris Kristofferson, have spoken out against bigotry, war, corruption, and the like. The right historical quote can relate strongly to present-day situations and might make a big impact on folks who are clinging to no-longer-relevant or downright delusional attitudes. Humor helps too. “If you’re going to tell people the truth, you better make it funny or they’ll kill you” Oscar Wilde.

Any quote that helps to make sanity’s point and keeps the people we are speaking with comfortably engaged is a quote worth using. “Regardless of the source, any phrase of proven truth that serves a noble purpose should speak its truth and serve its purpose.” OK, I just made that shit up—but in our age of search engines you can find a quote to fit any occasion, if you aren’t too stoned to go look for it.

Gently presenting alternative information to a partially clouded, somewhat fossilized mind may take months, years, or even generations. It can seem just as frustrating as the proverbial process of shoveling shit against the tide—but there is no better choice of action. Trying to explain the intricacies of global warming or the kharmic disadvantages of killing civilians to someone holding onto their materialized literal beliefs can leave us feeling like we might as well try to kick water uphill. Concretized misinterpretations of things that were written long ago as symbolic references can provide a severe test of any one’s patience. It can be mind-warping to attempt to speak sensibly with folks who have a firm belief in a white-skinned God that: is always on their side, loves America more than any other country, created Earth in six 24-hour days, asked penguins to toodle halfway up the globe in order to catch Noah’s boat ride, and through an adulterous affair with a virgin had a boy child named Jesus who liked to ride around on dinosaurs. But speaking sensibly to the folks who are making the least sense desperately needs to be done—and it needs to be done with a smile! It is very important to remember that every revolution is really an evolution. Anything that seems to occur spontaneously has actually been on a very long trail of grind-it-out activity leading up to that event.

I’m driven to drink (admittedly a short trip) while trying to explain things as basic as the fact that killing people for profit is wrong. The world is very painfully facing the obvious truth of that right now, yet there are still so many folks who believe that killing people solves more problems than killing the greed in people.

Changes (outside of self) don’t happen as or when we want them to. You can’t take a cake out of the oven before it is done. Logical realities will only ripen and surface in the regressive mind when they are ready to do so—the same as they do in your mind or mine. That is when the change happens and things can improve. But unless we keep our brains, hearts, compassion, patience, convictions, honesty, internal strength, loving kindness, respect, determination, and structural integrity to the grindstone on a very regular basis, improvements will never follow. The pissed-off dismay took a long time growing strong enough to spread through the American and French psyches in the 1700s before the colonists dumped tea into Boston Harbor or Marie Antoinette had her date with the guillotine. That type of violence is no longer an option—but boldly stating the case for universal decency, as Jefferson and Rousseau did for decades before their revolutions ripened, will never go out of style. Neither will Gandhi’s ideas about non-cooperation with evil.

We are now in a time and situation where triggering off gunshots or oiling up guillotines won’t work. The “fight fire with fire” mentality is actually what we need to eliminate. Its previous results are what we are trying to repair. Fighting fire with fire doesn’t work. It has never worked. It produces bigger fires sparked by more advanced arsonists. Ask any Fireman. You fight fire with water, or smother it by using sand or chemicals. The flame loses its source of oxygen and suffocates out of existence. Sanity and honesty presented with patience and kindness can suck the oxygen out of fear and ignorance, and then repair damage from traumatic experience and misinformation.

I have heard folks defend police who shot a man although both of his weaponless arms were already pinned to the ground. I have heard people defend the needless murder of innocent foreign civilians and the death of our own misled American soldiers. I have heard folks say so very many things to rationalize their own fears, selfishness, and human frailty—that people with a different imaginary friend than they have are damned to hell, that Native Americans/Blackfolks/Tibetans/Jews/Indians/etc. are uncivilized and savage people who needed to be abused for their own good, that hungry and homeless people all deserve their plight, that obscenely irresponsible and blatantly greedy industrialization haven’t brutally damaged our environment, that foods containing more petroleum and toxins than nutrition are good for you, and so much more. It is easy for me to think, as the bumper stickers say, “If Jesus was here, he’d slap the shit out of you” and “Your god must have had a sharp stick up his almighty ass when he created you.” It is very easy to get angry at all the injustice and ignorance that allows so much painful and unnecessary suffering to continue. If I’m sick or have a bad day, the thought can briefly run across my mind that, “If someone would just bury this idiot in the hills, at least there would be one less idiot.” But I very quickly remember that: 1—becoming an asshole myself won’t help.2—truth, intelligence, patience, and real compassion are the only things that will help. 3—right now, the only things that matter are the things that will help.

Using kinder, more helpful, nobler qualities is our only chance to reach the folks who (although they may be quite wonderful to the individuals they know personally) are political and religious sociopaths due to inherited ignorance, hypnotic fears, and the ever-continuing programmed reinforcement of this ignorance and these fears by our culture.

Using kinder, nobler, and more helpful qualities is also my one and only chance of keeping myself in tow! The kindness I need to muster in order to be a decent human, to speak with folks that I strongly disagree with in a calm and respectful way, reminds me that life is about cooperation. It is a joint venture that must attempt to benefit all and hurt none. Ideas like these are valuable tools that keep me from getting frustrated to the point where I may start doing more harm than good. They protect me from becoming an angry jackass and lashing out at others—or myself. I hope I remember to use these tools more often. I hope you do too. Fearless Puppy


Fearless Puppy Commercial TV is designed to steer the viewer through a maze of products for sale and consumption, not to offer productive programs. As a result, a lot of the basest emotional bullshit designed to hump your adrenalized attention into peak readiness for commercial messages is presented on PBS’s corporate counterparts. In contrast, a lot of positively oriented, non-violent, spiritually uplifting, dramatic, comedic, nature related, intelligent, artistic, and exciting programming happens on the public’s network.
Ever wonder “why Johnny can’t read,” or add, or subtract, or concentrate, and has attention deficit disorder? Not discounting diet, societal pace and pressures, systemic cultural dishonesty, and a baffling system of mixed messages running rampant throughout the society, it has a lot to do with the single digit attention span Johnny has developed while being habitually hypnotized by watching short spurts of violent cartoons in between even shorter spurts of flashy commercial messages. The rapid turnover of both commercial messages and program segments have patterned Johnny’s mind to stay grounded in singular focus for very, very short time periods.
The violent, shocking, dramatized nature of what Johnny’s mind is absorbing shoots an adrenaline reaction through his system. The subconscious mind doesn’t know the difference between a real threat and a mentally manufactured threat. Damaging stress chemicals are released and the basest survival senses are heightened while watching violent programming. This results in poor Johnny’s brain circuitry being heightened for fight or flight, and more receptive to commercial messages. The products advertised in these commercial messages are not health food. So now, in addition to having his ability to focus for more than a few minutes in a row being dissected by fragmented programming and machine gun intensity commercial messages, Johnny has been sold and is eating sugar laden petroleum products while being hypnotized by his own adrenaline. These induced adrenaline rushes, impending sugar crashes, and the perverse programming that caused them do not exit his psyche after the sale has been made. At this point the marketing culture has built for themselves another nervous, undereducated, and addicted consumer—just the kind of person most advantageous to their goals. They profit. Johnny’s screwed.
This process, along with the carnival of death that the video game industry has become, helps Johnny get all warmed up for pushing bigger buttons a bit later on in life. Killing people who are more physically existent than the ones in his video game won’t be a problem for Johnny when he reaches military age. He only sees images on a screen, not real flesh and blood carnage.
Of course, people have been killing each other since long before modern video games or commercial TV were around, but (with the possible exception of ancient Rome) murder has never been so widely advertised as an impersonal process, recreational sport, source of amusement, economic necessity, and heroic act.
Commercial television with its base motivation of greed, orientation toward mindless violence, and selfish consumption is a pretty good example of how to negatively program a population. It is an even better example of an obvious, easy, and immediate opportunity that humanity has to better itself. All we have to do is change the station.
PBS is a good example of what can go right if the public is in charge of its own destiny instead of being manipulated by a small, warped, perversely motivated minority. PBS programming helps people avoid the sales pitch hypnosis of network TV. We, the viewing public, actually vote for what we want to see through our responses, requests, and contributions to local PBS stations. Your TV would look better on PBS, or with a hammer put through the screen.     Fearless Puppy

The Most Valuable, Yet Inexpensive Gift Anywhere

These are perfect holiday gifts! Buying these books will help you and everyone else too! Here’s the latest in a long string of 5*s

Crazy Wisdom & Great Fun For You! Perennial Wisdom and Big Help For Us All!

They give many hours of enjoyment, may cause permanent happiness, and they sponsor projects that help all humanity. You can’t beat that! Take a look. You might want to buy one for yourself too! You can give many gifts for the price of one! Buy many copies of the highly acclaimed books Reincarnation Through Common Sense and Fearless Puppy on American Road now and you will not only have perfect gifts for everyone on your list, you will be funding the growth of world wisdom as well! ALL author profits are donated to sponsor wisdom teachers, beginning with Tibetan nuns and monks. An increase in wisdom is the best chance we have to give ourselves, and leave our children, a world that’s worth living in. Twenty-one 5* reviews on Amazon don’t lie! These are great reads that sponsor a great cause. It’s the best gift idea this year! See the very entertaining author background and exciting project details—and order your books at Fearless Puppy (or Amazon/Kindle/Smashwords, or ask for it at your local book store.)


Above are links to the 5* reviews for Fearless Puppy on American Road, and for Reincarnation Through Common Sense, on Amazon.

A Video That May Reincarnate You!

A Video That May Reincarnate You!

Great video discussion about… well, a lot of notions that would be very valuable to whoever takes them into account. Below is what the interviewer thought. I thought highly of her too. Catherine is a vivacious, intelligent, woman–lovely in every sense of the word, and she’s damn good at what she does.   Fearless Puppy

If you are looking to be inspired and been wondering if you can make a difference…you have to watch Ten’s video chat with me! I’m so grateful for his candor and simplicity on what appear to be complicated matters!

What Does Matter

What Does Matter

(*This piece is from next year’s book, Voices of Reason From the End of the World. It is the lead chapter in a section that pays respect to great teachers and influences. It is dedicated to George Carlin. We’re lucky in America. There have been and still are many comedians that infuse heavy doses of wisdom into their humor, but “Uncle George” was always at the top of that mountain. I, and so may others, give thanks for the fact that he was on Earth—and for the little bits of his brilliance that rubbed off on us. Thank you, Mr. Carlin. You brought us laughter, truth, integrity, courage, and conscience—and you did each of them better than most folks do any one of them.

Fearless Puppy

        Just so there are no misunderstandings, I would like to officially state something right here at the beginning of this section. Almost none of the people (there are a few exceptions) who are complimented here as teachers and influences actually know, or ever knew me. I’m not trying to make believe that I am in some kind of buddies club with every genius on Earth, or that I have personally met and had social what-to-do with any of these people. I go to lectures, classes, concerts, get the books, and watch them on the computer, HBO specials, or PBS—just like nearly everyone else who has been smart enough to seek them out or lucky enough to stumble across their information.

I have an active imagination. Even video contact can affect me strongly at times, but that’s where the “relationship” ends.

What is the big deal with this meeting-a-famous-person shit, anyway? A few people have become a lot more known than the rest of us. Sometimes this happens because we admire a person’s genius, talent, or merit. Just as often, it happens through no actual accomplishment on the part of the famous person! It often happens because shill marketing and media conglomerates with paper assholes are selling the public an image, and an artificial relationship to it. These media and marketing folks work for corporate pimps that collect big bucks from this artificially manufactured hero-worship. This hero-worship results in bizarre purchasing habits on the part of consumers who have been hypnotized into believing that their imagined connection with the “hero” is concrete, meaningful, and has some connection to the product for sale.

Being famous is no big fucking deal. It is even less of a big deal if your major accomplishment is that you’ve met one of these celebrity heroes, whether they are of the real or artificially manufactured variety. Celebrity itself is often bullshit. Celebrity by association is even more so. There’s no end to the respect I have for the people who are mentioned in this chapter, but I wouldn’t brag about meeting or knowing them personally (if I’d ever done so). Meeting someone means less than a rat’s ass.

Brag about meeting, say, Mother Teresa or the Dalai Lama? I don’t think so! I’d brag if I spoke and acted as nobly as Mother Teresa or the Dalai Lama!

No, on second thought, I guess I wouldn’t.

Regardless, meeting or knowing someone else doesn’t make you, yourself, an improved or more admirable individual. That happens when you are actually being, doing, or somehow taking part in something admirable.

I feel so strongly about this that the following true story is one of my all time favorite moments in life.

It was a beautiful autumn day in the mid-1980s at Hugo’s bar in scenic Northampton, Massachusetts. After an all day effort to deplete the world’s beer supply, a sudden flash of inspiration came to me. Over the course of the following several months that inspiration developed into a successful statewide charity project. It got a lot of attention and publicity from the press because it involved high-level politicians, famous musicians, major league sports teams, unions, volunteers who didn’t get paid at all, and a hot button issue. Above all, the project went well because none of the money passed through our volunteer group but instead went directly from contributors to very well established and reputable charities. There was no possible question-of-trust factor. (More details are available in the About the Author section or at Fearless Puppy if you are interested.)

Several months after the project I was back at Hugo’s, again doing my part to help society drain free of its alcohol content. I made this effort many times during the 1980s. A guy (decent sort) who infrequently frequented our watering hole came through the back door. He was known and well liked by one of the regulars at our table. We invited him to join us. Decent-sort-Mike was then introduced to several people who were famous for not being able to remember names.

Mike downed half a beer and suddenly turned wide-eyed. He stared at me for a few very long seconds. It was the kind of stare that made me wonder if he was on some powerful drug and I was showing up as a freshly tapped keg in his hallucination.

That wasn’t it. The mad stare was his sudden recognition of a person whom he knew had experienced the proverbial fifteen minutes of fame.

“You’re that guy from the newspapers. You’re great!” said decent-sort-Mike.

I had to reply, “Don’t be fucking ridiculous. I’m a drunk from Hugo’s, just like you are.”

The light went on in Mike’s more than slightly bloodshot eyes. It was that deeper kind of understanding that rarely happens, even between people who know each other very well. He got it.

A big slow “Wooooow!” came out of his mouth.

Mike suddenly realized that he could have done that charity project, and would have received the same attention from the media if he had. Instant insight told him that anyone could have done it. It was all just about getting up and doing it. I did kick my own drunken ass into the process but that didn’t make me any more of a superman than him. The only difference between us was that I put that situation’s potential to actual use. We bought each other beers and talked for hours after that with no further misunderstandings.

All of us humans have the same potential to be incredible.

Who you’ve met or know doesn’t matter.

Who you choose to be
and what you choose to do with your life
is what does matter.

All author profits sponsor Buddhist Nuns, Monks, and other Wisdom Professionals. Details at Fearless Puppy


Voice Of The People?

Can We Change the Media? We Can Change the Media

Fearless Puppy

I’m trying to promote the sales of two books because all author profits sponsor Wisdom Professionals (beginning with Tibetan Nuns and Monks). It’s a lot of work for no pay but I believe very strongly in the quality of the books, and of course in the cause—as you can tell by the way I spell Wisdom Professionals with caps.

The promotional process includes, among many other things, interviews. There are several places on the Internet to find lists of radio and TV interviewers. These interviewers want to discuss certain topics and are looking for folks who have information that fits into those categories. There are also lists of print reporters looking for information on the topics they have been assigned by their editors, or topics they have chosen to freelance.

I’m grateful to all the folks who organize this and make it easier for media people to find the information they want. Their lists can also make it easier for people who have a story to find a venue that allows them to tell that story.

But I have to admit to needing a stiff drink or two after every trip through one of these lists. I look at them the same way I look at a dog that licks my face directly after eating dried turds out of the cat box. Sometimes one shower isn’t enough to wash it off. Most of the topics listed are mind-numbing drivel. What our media feeds its public makes the whole world appear to be Open Mike Night gone wild at the corner of Tequila and Meth.

Now, of course, I’m not talking about the “regular news.” Not much of what is on these lists pertain to that. The talking heads that color our perceptions of and reactions to staged wars, real fires, Emmy award-eligible politics, predictable corruption, illusory economics, selectively reported/racially profiled criminal activity, and other macabre distractions have their scripts composed by greater powers.

No, I’m talking about the groundwork that mediates our psychological landscape—the mind melting goo that softens our brains up enough so that we can eventually fall prey to the bigger stuff. The reporters on these lists seem, for the most part, to be collecting the type of information that we find in popular magazines, tabloids, the sillier talk shows, “reality” shows, and the like.

Calling All Women Who Struggle With Excessive Sweating! (CBS Television Distribution)

Pet Parents Quotes for Ladies’ Home Journal (Ladies’ Home Journal)

Most Unusual Concierge Requests (National Publication )

These are not the most bizarrely inane listings! They are very ordinary.

So many things in the world need attention. Bullshit is not one of them—and yet it seems that this sort of nonsense gets much of our daily attention while productive matters that could actually make life better starve in obscurity. Where are the reporters who ask for information from experts on cooperation versus competition? Emotional intelligence? How to live better with others? How to live better with ourselves? How to upgrade health and happiness in the modern workplace and in the home? Where are all the eager investigative beavers that gather valuable information about the advantages of using basic golden-rule morality as business ethics? Why love and compassion are so important in every imaginable venue?

They are not to be found on the most popular media lists. This bothers me. So I’m staring to write to a few of these young reporters every day. I pick the ones looking for the most ridiculously functionless content and send them each the letter below.

This may irritate a few people and get me blocked from a listing service or two. That’s OK. The Law (of Karma) works in mysterious ways! Maybe out of all the letters I send, one or two will land on the right reporters who take it to heart. Maybe those reporters will go on to higher ground and then cover, and uncover, material of conscience. They may do this in an entertaining and conscious manner that will be a wonderful catalyst for the growth of world wisdom. Stranger things have happened! No one knows where the next Deepak Chopra or George Carlin will come from.

What everyone does know is that if we keep eating turds out of the cat box, we’re going to get even sicker—and anyone who reads a newspaper, watches TV, or hears the radio knows that we’re sick enough already.

Want to join the effort? Send the letter below or anything like it to an appropriate reporter, DJ, interviewer, editor, station manager, or wherever you think it fits.

We know politicians don’t listen to the public voice, but maybe people who aren’t getting such a high price for sacrificing their integrity will. I hope we can reach some.

Meanwhile, please buy a book. There are nothing but 5* reviews at Amazon for both Reincarnation Through Common Sense and Fearless Puppy on American Road. All author profits from book sales sponsor… Well, you know what they do. If not, please see Fearless Puppy

Open Letter to Media Friends

Hello, **NAME**!

Please don’t misunderstand. This isn’t preaching or attempted teaching or anything like it! I’m not writing to tell you what you should or shouldn’t do or be. Being no smarter or cleaner than the next guy, I wouldn’t presume the moral authority to tell anyone anything. This is just a request from a friend.

You are obviously a talented person or you couldn’t function at this level. With that talent comes a privileged and rewarding responsibility. This responsibility is entwined with your ability, like a car is with the road. One serves no purpose without the other.

If you take the high ground and use your talent to focus on constructive issues, yes, it will help little do-gooder causes like mine and it will help the world at large—but that’s just a pleasant byproduct. The authentic responsibility is to your self. I doubt that I’m telling you anything you don’t already know. Even when you feel great, you can recognize a discomfort within. You know there’s a piece missing and that something is not quite right. Be grateful for that temporary and very fixable discomfort! It means that you are still in touch with yourself, that your heart is working well.

Could the problem simply be that you know you are better than this material you are working on, and that you are frustrated by dealing with nonsense?

In a world that’s falling apart on so many fronts, is spending your precious time and intellect doing an inane feature like this your best move? The only things that matter anymore are the things that help. Does this feature help? Does it substantially lighten the suffering of anyone? Will it help anyone understand how to become happier—or how to help someone else do it? Does it make you happier?

I’m not talking about conservative/liberal, left/right, pro/anti, or any other form of directional, opinionated leaning. We’re just talking about choice of focus.

*By spending yourself on wisdom, justice, and love, you become those things. If you spend your time in the cultural dumpster, you’ll start to absorb that odor instead.

I look forward to the day when we all scrape the less productive layers of cultural nonsense off of our deeper and more meaningful concerns. When we do that, things will start to improve drastically—and when you do that, you will do great things for us all as well as for yourself.

Be well. Your Pal, Tenzin (Doug “Ten” Rose) Fearless Puppy