Binary Thinking


As many readers know, I've been in recovery from alcohol and other addictions for a few years. I have another blog here where I post more-or-less daily on matters to do with that and other issues. Occasionally I may link to posts that I think might interest folks outside of the recovery community. If they please or offend you feel free to comment, but please keep it clean.

It seems that addicts, especially in early recovery, are exceptionally inclined to find fault with other entities, whether people or organizations. This is especially true early on when we’re in denial about most everything and our fellowships are beginning to strip some of it away as we kick and scream. But it’s also true about the world at large, and not only those of us who admit to addictions are guilty. Psychologists believe this is partially because it enables people to feel better about themselves, but also due to the human tendency toward binary thinking: wrong v. right, good v. bad, black v. white, our tribe v. them, our warriors v. theirs, and so forth.

Binary/black and white kinds of thinking may come from upbringing by caregivers who thought that way, religious influences, our desire–perhaps need–to believe we are superior to others and counteract our own doubts, or other reasons. Actually, regardless of the reasons, we’re stifling our ability to understand others and broaden our own horizons. Continue reading

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Truth


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Revenge Is A Meal Best Enjoyed Cold

How would they know the secrets of the wetlands?


It must have seemed good sense to drain the swamps,
The marshes, sloughs, and other secret places.
For surely they appeared to be land wasted
On snakes, sawgrass, and other useless things.

They would have missed the wonders hidden there,
The rich detritus feeding tiny creatures
Who became meals themselves to feed the larger
Creatures who were surely of no value.

How would they know the secrets of the wetlands?
Why, even if the people there had told them
What did they know, those bands of savage stragglers,
All fugitives, and ignorant of progress?

Thus, everglades and swamps made way for suburbs,
Canals, toll roads and malls, airports and farmland.
Now all must vie for water become precious
Where once it seemed the wetlands stretched forever.

Professors prowl remains of once great systems
Describing remnants in scholastic volumes,
While Seminoles and Miccosukees get rich
Off gambling, booze and cigarettes for tourists.