Latest entries

Buggy WordPress plugin knocked site off the air for about 36 hours

by David McElroy

Although I haven’t been publishing much recently, I haven’t shut the site down. After this website became unreachable early Wednesday morning, I started getting emails from readers asking whether I had deleted the site.

The short answer is that nothing has changed.

The longer answer is that a buggy update to a WordPress plugin took me offline after a routine update around midnight Tuesday night. I wasn’t aware that the update caused the problem until I got emails from readers asking what happened, so thank you to the dozen or so who were concerned enough to ask.

I haven’t felt much like writing lately — for various reasons — but I’m still here. I hope to eventually be back on a slightly more consistent basic. Thanks for the concerned inquiries.

‘Breaking Cat News’ is amazing art and evidence of dreams come true

by David McElroy

For the past couple of years, I’ve been reading a web comic that captured cat personalities in a way that I’ve never seen in art — and it just started running in newspapers nationally today.

Breaking Cat News” captured my imagination from the beginning. The concept was brilliant and the execution was even better. Artist Georgia Dunn watched her three cats — Elvis, Puck and Lupin — and then developed a continuing story around them. She imagined them as the operators of their own television news operation — and she imagined how they would view and report the events of her own household.

If you’ve lived with cats and have a love for them, her work just might melt your heart, because she imagines her cats in ways that many of us have done. (Although I never got around to making the website for him, my Merlin ran for president last year on a platform of every cat receiving his dinner on time.) I immediately identified with the work Dunn was doing based on her cats — and I suspect millions of others who live with cats might feel exactly the same.

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I’d forgotten what I said about her necklace, but she hadn’t forgotten

by David McElroy

I noticed the cupcakes in the woman’s arms as we waited for the elevator on the fourth floor. It was a tray of a dozen or so cupcakes you get at any grocery store’s bakery section. It was lunch and I was hungry, so they looked good.

“If I ever turn to a life of crime, I’m going to start robbing people with cupcakes like those,” I joked with her.

A elevator dinged to announced its arrival and we stepped on. As we rode to the first floor, we joked about the difficulty of staying away from sugar.

As we stepped out of the elevator in the lobby, another woman joined her. As we were walking out of the building, the first woman pointed to the second and made a mocking accusation.

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Will you sell more days of your life
or spend them on those you love?

by David McElroy

Every day, the world wants to sell us just a little bit more.

The sales pitch is seductive. You can have this car, this house, this vacation, these clothes, these electronics, these toys. You can have a life of luxury and pride.

People can look up to you. They can envy you. They can admire you. Maybe, the sales pitch whispers, they might even love you. They might give you approval.

And the price? It’s trivial. Just a little bit more of your time.

The world can be yours if you’ll just hand over more of the only thing you really have — your hours, your days, your weeks, your years.

Your family won’t mind if you’re gone most of the time. Your wife won’t care if you work nights. Your husband won’t care if you have an additional job. After all, it’s extra money for the family — to buy all those things that are so important.

And your children? They won’t mind a few extra hours in “school” or being placed with a relative. They won’t mind if you’re not giving them your attention as they grow up. After all, you’re doing this for them. Right?

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Best ways for man to love woman flow from how he lives every day

by David McElroy

We claim Valentine’s Day is about romantic love, but it’s not. The day is really about fantasy — and that fantasy warps our ideas about what love should look like every other day of the year.

Valentine’s Day suggests that love is about over-the-top demonstrations of devotion and adoration, but I wonder if those grand gestures are mostly empty attempts to make up for the way couples live the rest of their lives.

It’s like a guilty way of saying, “I know I’m a terrible husband [or wife], but if I do these showy things for you and your friends to see, I can go back to living the rest of our lives as though you don’t matter.”

I believe love is best demonstrated by the way two people treat each other every single day of the year, not by the showy things they do once a year and attach shiny red plastic hearts. Love that is lived in an authentic way every single day can changes lives; love that’s just expressed when card companies and florists tell you to is shallow and already dying.

I’ve been thinking today about how a man expresses love for his wife. Other people are in better positions to say how a woman can best express her love for her husband (or how it might look in a same-sex relationship). I have no experience with that point of view.

All I know is how a loving man expresses his devotion to the woman who has chosen him:

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Peace won’t come until you quit obeying long-gone programmers

by David McElroy

It’s a staple of science fiction for a robot to dutifully obey its programming and keep performing the task it was given long after its designers are dead and the task is useless.

One of the most emotionally satisfying tales of this sort is Pixar’s 2008 film “WALL•E.” For 700 years, this little robot has been alone on Earth cleaning up the trash humans left behind when they left the planet. It’s a useless job at this point, but it’s the job he’s been given, so that’s what he does — day after day and year after year.

WALL•E’s human creators are long gone but he doesn’t question what he’s been programmed to do. Over the centuries, though, he develops curiosity and something in him finds the awareness that something isn’t quite right.

WALL•E realizes he’s lonely — something his programmers never prepared him to deal with. When another robot finally shows up on the planet, he falls in love. That love for another robot gives him the incentive to go beyond his programming — to find ways to fill a need he didn’t know he had — but it requires him to give up the task he had been mindlessly doing for all those years in order to pursue Eve instead.

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Your words of kindness can show love to strangers struggling in life

by David McElroy

I was about to leave Chick-fil-A Wednesday evening when I noticed a young woman come in who looked exhausted — as though she had been battling monsters all day.

She was tall and slim, with straight black hair and dark brown skin. She wore black pants and a tailored solid blue shirt that fit her frame tastefully.

Even though she seemed tired, she looked graceful and elegant. She looked lovely. We met one another near the door and spoke politely as we passed.

Then as she stood at the counter waiting for someone to take her order, I quickly went over and spoke.

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Emotional health shapes reality of romance more than personality type

by David McElroy

As I read aloud from the book, I could tell that my girlfriend was increasingly upset by what she was listening to. It was nearly a decade ago and my then-girlfriend and I had been learning more about ourselves by working our way through a personality system called ANSIR. I was reading a section of a book which discussed a long-term pairing of her type and my type.

“Then we don’t have any chance, do we?” she said with tears in her eyes once I finished.

I was at a stage in our relationship when I thought we probably should split up. For me, the book was just pointing out obvious problems between us that needed work. In a way, I was letting this book guide us toward the breakup that I thought I wanted and that I thought was right.

I’ve been thinking about that conversation lately and about a lot of the discussions she and I had during that period. Was I right in believing that our personality differences were driving our problems? Was she right in concluding we had no chance because of what the book said about our core differences?

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I wasn’t ready for another dog yet, but Lucy needed a ‘forever home’

by David McElroy

When a former neighbor asked me last year whether I was willing to adopt a dog who needed a home, I said no — and I was emphatic about it.

I already had more cats than I wanted to admit, so there was no room at the inn. I love dogs — and missed having them around, too — but I was determined not to have another dog as long as I was living alone. Dogs require a lot of work and since I no longer work from home, it didn’t seem fair to have a dog waiting all day for me to return.

I had absolutely no intention of adopting a dog yet. And that was final.

But one year later, my best canine friend is celebrating her first full year with me today. How did that happen?

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Silence and darkness allow us to listen to what world drowns out

by David McElroy

I’m sitting in my quiet and darkened office Sunday evening. There are a few raindrops still falling outside and they make gentle sounds as they hit the trees and ground. The only light is from a porch across the street, and that single bulb gently illuminates the rain and condensation on the front windows.

In the stillness, I can hear something which is frequently drowned out by the noise of the world. When the natural silence around me is such that every tiny sound becomes like the crash of cymbals, I can hear something inside myself.

Something in there has a lot to say when I can be quiet enough to listen. My heart feels a lot of things deeply and desperately needs someone to hear those things. My soul seems to know things about truth and wisdom and knowledge that come from somewhere beyond my understanding. Bits and pieces of me have a lot to say — and I need to hear them.

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Start over here

When this site launched in 2011, it was intended as a way to find others who were sick of partisan politics and wanted to connect with like-minded people who were ready to go beyond politics and find ways of escaping. It has shifted focus in ways that reflect my own shifting thinking. I’m less interested in politics and more interested in looking at the things that make life worth living, such as love, creation, self-understanding and connecting with others. Every article I have posted since 2011 is still in my archives, but everything I write is a reflection of my current thinking. Sometimes I’m wrong — and that’s fine with me — and I don’t always end up agreeing with what I wrote five years ago. For now, you can still read what I wrote about the site’s purpose in 2011, but I should rewrite this. Read more.

Contact David

David likes email, but can’t reply to every message. I get a surprisingly large number of requests for relationship advice — seriously — but I rarely have the time to respond. (Sorry.) Besides, with my own romantic track record, maybe my advice isn’t worth taking. I’d like to find a wife one of these days, so maybe I should add an “application.”

Watch this short film

What kind of "educational film" would the U.S. government release today to teach Americans how to be good citizens?
We're the Government — and You're Not
Official selection of 20 film festivals
Winner of several random awards
Plus a boatload of views on YouTube
(Yeah, I was surprised, too)
Drop David a note if you want to write a check to make more of these amazing masterpieces.
Yes, seriously.

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Comments are not presently allowed. They've been allowed in the past, so many older articles have comments. I haven't found most public discussion to be generally useful or healthy, so I have disabled comments for now. I might revisit this policy in the future.

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