Why does everything need a scent? My shampoo is made from coconuts, apparently. My shower gel1 smells like apples. My conditioner2 wafts around the lovely scent of licorice (I don’t use conditioner, this is just an example). If I brush my teeth then for a week anyone I talk to is going to think I’ve been chewing eucalyptus bark. What’s so wrong with smelling like a human, and why is it somehow better to smell like a dandelion (not that there is any dandelion-scented product as far as I know, but there will be as soon as they read this post and realize the huge untapped market for it)? Continue reading
The message of this book is essentially the same as many other things you’ve probably read or heard. Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff, parts of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, Sane New World, Song of Solomon; it’s all there. Those are all great works, and it doesn’t do the message any harm to hear it again in a different way – rather, it reinforces it. The message, by the way, is be mindful of what you’re doing, breathe slowly, and don’t worry so much about stuff because none of it really matters anyway.
I did get something new from this book, though: a new definition of a selfless act. Anything you do that you get joy from is not selfless, because you’re getting joy from it. There’s nothing wrong with that – Mother Theresa no doubt got joy from saving orphaned children, and that was great, but it wasn’t selfless. It was a win-win situation for both her and the orphans. A selfless act is something you do for someone else when you *don’t* want to do it, and only they get a benefit. Generally, selfless acts are a bad idea, then, because it’s just going to build resentment or anger or perhaps a feeling of unappreciation within you that’s going to come out on that person later, so what seems like a lose-win situation is actually a lose-lose situation. For this reason, you shouldn’t subordinate your desires to someone else’s except in the most exceptional circumstances.
“You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe deserve your love and affection.”
I’m very good at forgiving. Use my credit card to buy pizza without my permission – I’ll forgive you*. Poke me in the eye – I’ll forgive you. Steal my prized possession and sell it so you can buy drugs – I’ll forgive you. And not just that I wouldn’t punch you in the face, but I wouldn’t hold a grudge. I’d move completely past it and be your best friend afterwards. I don’t think it’s going too far to say that I am the Gandhi, or perhaps the Jesus, of forgiveness. If someone made a movie of my life, people would say “Why is this movie about Jesus called ‘JD’ instead of ‘JC’?” My point is, I’ve never had any trouble forgiving people, and I certainly wouldn’t have thought I needed any help with it. Continue reading