Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Parental Licensing?

Futility Closet dot com published a short article concerning the idea that perhaps persons should be trained and licensed before they become parents. On the surface, that might seem to be a good idea. But...

Who decides what good parenting is? Bonding and love are so important, especially in the early years, that no training can substitute for that. How well can the state judge one's capacity to bond with and love their child? How well can an institution judge that? In fact, it may very well be that this capacity does not truly reveal itself until one becomes a parent! Love, providing a child a sense of security of love and support from a parent can override any other consideration that might be involved in the training and licensing process.

And if a person is determined to be objectively unqualified to be a parent, what happens then? They're not allowed to marry, not allowed to bear children? Talk about big brother! And based on institutional and governmental track records in managing such things, I do not think it would at all be a good idea to have the state, or some institution deciding who can marry and who cannot, who can bear children and who cannot.

Or forcing abortions on couples who have conceived a child contrary to big brother's edict.

No! to licensing of parents, but yes to supporting families in all possible ways, including education, in order to promote better parenting.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Empathy vs. Anger

I am currently reading a book about anger management. This book makes a point that developing true empathy makes it very difficult to get angry with another. The author is very scientific about how the brain works, how empathy is developed, how anger affects the brain, what parts of the brain have a role in anger, etc. But this one section really makes a strong point: really comprehending what the other person is feeling and thinking and experiencing makes it much more difficult to simultaneously get angry with that person.

We often tend to make judgments without much reflection, without any true empathy, and those judgments can cause us to feel resentment towards the other, leading to anger. But if we hold off on the judgment, and seek instead to sincerely comprehend where the other is coming from, a completely different dynamic can be formed.

One can hardly avoid referring to the biblical admonition, "Judge not lest you be judged," and "Judgment is the Lord's." Only God can truly know a person's heart, and only God can make a true judgment. We humans, even with the best of empathy cannot, and so, while we may judge an action, objectively, to be right or wrong, we cannot safely judge motives. Often, the person him or herself, doesn't fully understand their own motives, how can another do so? So, we should stop judging, work to develop empathy, and things should be better for all involved!

The book is very good for those who want to understand anger in terms of how the brain works, and related techniques to control anger.

Monday, January 9, 2017


How much time do I, WE, spend on items that are actually, mostly, or entirely irrelevant to us?

I find that I read articles that are interesting, but that don't actually concern me.

When I/we complain about not having enough time, can I blame some of this on the reading, browsing, perusing I do, reading, listening to items that, while interesting, have no real applicable value to me?

It may be fascinating to read some public figure's thoughts about some issue that concerns him, but if that issue does not, or will not foresee-ably impact me or anyone close to me, should I invest my time reading the article? There are probably dozens or hundreds of other interesting articles I could read that DO impact me, that would be more worth my time. And there are probably things I should DO that would be a better use of my time than most of the interesting articles out there.

I imagine we can't really analyze this too much, because that can suck up precious time as well, but it might be worthwhile to stop and consider when about to click on a link: do I really need to know this? Is there a more worthwhile way to spend my time?

That's one reason for Briefthink, to briefly say what I think about something so I don't waste much of your or my time!