They say that the act of reading gives people more empathy and makes them more critical and reflective”. Do you think this is true?

I think by “critical” you’re referring to critical thinking, rather than judgmental kinda critical. So that’s the premise for my response.

I think it probably depends on Read more

Do you think having a purpose is a real thing, or should a person just do whatever his heart desires?

Personally, I think discovering a mission of service, or purpose that serves the greater good, is a useful guide to living a meaningful life.

It serves as a benchmark for the contributions one is making to humanity. For instance, Read more

How does being vulnerable affect how people can connect?

Your level of vulnerability with yourself and others is the foundation for the depth, quality, and intimacy of every connection – including with yourself.

Yourself

It takes vulnerability to acknowledge that you’ve made mistakes. That you feel resultant guilt or shame (instead of repressing and ignoring your feelings), for example. Read more

Why do so many men lack empathy?

Great question, thanks!

Actually, empathy is only one of many traits that men lack, that stems from repressing any emotion except anger.

Western society devalues emotions. So many messages – particularly for men – that emotions are somehow to be denied and ignored. Did you ever hear any of these? Read more

What is something everyone complains about, but you have never personally experienced?

Technically, I don’t have an answer to your question, because I don’t know “everyone”.

But in the circles I move in, I’ve heard Read more

What is it that makes other people deserving of empathy? What are the criteria that you use to determine whether someone else’s life matters?

Everyone’s life matters!

If we reserve our empathy for “only those who deserve it” it becomes a slippery slope to playing god.

Like it or not, we all have blind spots. Our opinions are molded and formed by cultural norms, religion, political parties, media and government influences.

This is why the USA is so divided today – because of the idea that if you don’t agree with me on some issue or another, you’re wrong, and not deserving of my consideration. And why the USA is so aggressive in the world.

The only way to shift that is to hold that everyone is entitled, as I am, to make their own choices. Everyone is entitled to be different from me. And everyone deserves my compassion and empathy.

Namaste!

How does one maintain detachment from everything in life as the Gita says but still pursue his/her goal/aspirations and continually love their family?

There’s a world of difference between establishing goals and being attached to them.

Goals and aspirations form useful guides that Read more

What’s the word for people who attack someone’s vulnerability?

I’m sure someone else will have a noun for this. But I’ll go with the Read more

What is the purpose of changing one’s gender? What’s the gain (I ask this purely out of curiosity, no offense intended)?

Some people are born with disabilities. Four fingers. An inability to hear or see. A misformed organ.

Or malformed genitals.

A girl born with a penis or a boy with a vagina.

It’s not apparent at first, because the common knowledge is that gender identity is dictated by the child’s genitals.

But at the point the child becomes self aware (usually around age 5 or so) it starts expressing its true nature. Part of that true nature is gender identity. So the little girl with a vagina starts acting like a boy. Because that’s the true inner nature of that child.

It’s not a choice. It’s not a decision. It’s who they are. It’s who they know themselves to be. And nothing can change that.

As the child gets a bit older, he has absolutely no doubt about his gender, and eventually comes to realize he was born with the birth defect of the wrong genitals (and later, hormones) for his identity. Can you put imagine how distressing that might be for the little boy? Read more

How do successful people mentally deal with negative situations or people?

No one can speak for “successful people”, but only for themselves – because each of us is an individual, each with his/her own coping strategies.

So I’ll speak for myself. Read more