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Jesus Zuazo

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Do we really care for others or just think we do?

We talk a lot about how bad the world is, what we could do to improve it. Sometimes we give money to various charitable campaigns or even take part in a project, but often ignore the sadness, loneliness or illness of our closest neighbors. How much good can be done just to give a bit of friendly conversation to someone? How many times have we dodged a homeless man on the street as we come to give money to charity? Do we act and we are engaged? or we deceive ourselves to feel good?

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  • Mar 5 2013: Economists say, do not talk to me about values, just show me your budget.

    This makes a good point. The measure of a person's caring is in her/his actions, not words.

    Yes, many of us deceive ourselves to feel good. Many people feel genuine empathy for the poor, the homeless and the hungry, and say that they care very much, but do nothing. They somehow believe that the emotions they experience are the same as caring.

    By the way, I live in the USA and I was much more inclined to approach homeless people before we emptied most of our mental health hospitals because the mentally ill have the "right" to be homeless. It was no coincidence that this also reduced a lot of government budgets. We are an absurd society. Self deception is common.
    • Mar 6 2013: "By the way, I live in the USA and I was much more inclined to approach homeless people before we emptied most of our mental health hospitals because the mentally ill have the "right" to be homeless. It was no coincidence that this also reduced a lot of government budgets. We are an absurd society. Self deception is common."

      Self deception can be very useful in the wrong hands. Take someone who can convince himself he has done something for a good motive, for human rights, let's say. His actual reason is to help his friends get rich, but he doesn't see it that way. So to reduce a large budget item in the state that has elected him governor, he declares that to have the mentally ill who are deemed not dangerous to society released into society will further their human rights. He promises they will continue to receive the care they need through out patient facilities. When what actually happens is that those facilities lose track of most of those patients almost overnight, he tells himself what he did was the right thing anyway. He continues to justify his failures to himself and others so successfully, that they do almost nothing to prevent him from becoming president of these United States. Even with the whole world watching him on the world stage, he is able to sell ideas that should make children weep in amusement at their absurdity. He remains one of our most popular presidents to this day. A snake oil salesman with a killing charm.

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