Tag Archives: empathy

Once Bitten, Twice Shy

I was recently accused of maliciously and deliberately setting out to inflict emotional pain on someone already in crisis. It was further insinuated that this is something I do routinely for the sole purpose of entertaining myself, as if I derive some sort of twisted pleasure from watching other people suffer.

I take particular issue with this accusation because I most certainly am not the kind of person who would even wish harm on someone, much less set out to cause that harm.

I don’t even wish suffering on those who have hurt me most in my life. At times I even hurt for them, knowing that they will never experience, much less enjoy, some of life’s simplest pleasures, or understand the deeper meaning of “tea for two”.

Because these accusations run so completely contrary to who I am as a person, I cannot bring myself to let them go unchallenged. Writing also gives it a sort of physical form, making it easier to process and providing a place to “put” it all. Perhaps other writers can relate.

So, what the hell happened anyway? Continue reading

Un-benching The Homeless

I came across a disturbing news article while tag surfing yesterday. The link was posted at Livinintheloin.

The article begins by saying that about eight years ago, all the benches were removed from Civic Center Plaza in San Francisco to prevent homeless people from “camping” on them. But after a serious crackdown on criminal activity, Supervisor Sophie Maxwell says that it’s time to give visitors and government employees a place to rest and admire the architecture.

“The plaza is a beautiful place, [where] people could sit and think and look at the beauty around them,” Maxwell said. “There’s a concern about homelessness, but if you put the rest of us in this position because of the homeless, that’s not a good way to run a city.”

A concern about homelessness? Here is what the alleged concern about homelessness sounds like this to me:

The homeless are putting real people in a terrible position. I mean, we don’t want to recognize their existence or acknowledge them as being human. We want to pretend they don’t exist while we sit and think and admire the architecture before returning to our comfortable suburban homes or hotels to sleep on our pillow-top mattresses. The homeless are ruining the scenery for everyone!

That is not a concern about homelessness! There is no concern about homelessness here. There is a concern that the homeless will make real people uncomfortable, but that does not even resemble “a concern for homelessness”, not one jot or iota!

Good thing Maxwell knows how to run a city, though:

Continue reading

My Fiction And Me

As a proud member of Idiosyncratica , a writers blog-ring founded by my friend, Gary Murning, I will now embark on the first of our monthly writing topics:

[…] each member should introduce the other group members to the kind of fiction they write or enjoy reading and explain a little about how it relates to them — why it inspires/drives them etc.

Since I’m still developing my writing style and have only ever written short stories long, long ago for a creative writing class, I don’t have a lot to say on that front. That being the case, I will share with you what I enjoy reading, and do my best to explain why.

Continue reading