Archive for May, 2016

Earning the affection and respect of a child changes his world — and yours

by David McElroy

Derrick with Bella

I had just gotten out of my car at home Tuesday afternoon. I was in a hurry, but I heard a child’s singsong voice before I could make it into the house.

“Where are you going?”

It was my 5-year-old neighbor, Derrick. He likes to come visit my dog, Lucy, when I have her out. He also likes to come sit on my porch and talk with me. It doesn’t matter much to him what we talk about. He also loves other neighborhood animals, including a calico cat named Bella, whose family moved away a couple of weeks ago. (As you can see in the picture, Bella tolerated him. Just barely.)

“I have some work I have to get done,” I told him. “I have to go inside.”

“Oh,” he said with quiet disappointment.

I looked down at him and he was staring at the ground. He had pushed his bike over to my house and he just stood there next to me for a moment before he suddenly spoke.

“Can you fix my bike?”

I’m not a very mechanical person, so I knew it was very unlikely that I could help. But he seemed to need something. Honestly, it didn’t really seem as though it was about the bike as much as it was about my attention.

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Thank you for being among my first million readers over last five years

by David McElroy

One million visitors

By the standards of a major website, this isn’t a big deal, but it’s a very big deal to me that this site has now had more than a million visitors since it started five years and one week ago.

I wasn’t sure what I intended this to be when I launched and it has definitely evolved through several stages. I’ve published 1,418 articles — not all of which I still agree with, because my own thoughts about what’s important have changed over the years. I’ve elected to leave everything from the past, even the things I wish I hadn’t written, because they show a lot about my own evolution. I haven’t been writing as much for the last six months to a year, but I have a feeling I’ll return to writing more eventually.

According to Google Analytics, I’ve had visitors from 224 countries in five years. When I used to write more about U.S. politics, my readership was about 75 percent American, but slightly more than half of my current traffic comes from outside the United States. Having readers from all over the world makes me happy.

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We’re happier if we learn to ‘sell’ ourselves to people who want us

by David McElroy

Mismatched

I have a bad habit of begging someone to accept me.

I don’t mean that literally. I don’t fall on my knees and beg. But on those rare times when I want something very badly — love, approval, attention, acceptance — I’m very likely to continue to knock on a closed door. I am so terrified of rejection that I’m unconsciously determined not to be rejected at any cost. So I’m willing to destroy myself in order for someone to choose me.

Although this can apply to a number of situations, I’m going to use romantic interest as the example.

Let’s say I fall for a woman. That doesn’t happen often, but when it happens, I fall hard. Some people believe there are many fish in the sea, but my own experience is that a woman who matches me is more like a mermaid or unicorn — and just as difficult to find.

If I spot one of these unicorns and express interest in her, she’s either interested in choosing me or she’s not. And if she isn’t interested in choosing me, that makes me want her more. I end up with a terrible need to win her — probably to prove to myself that I’m worth choosing, that I’m not someone who is going to be abandoned.

A rational and reasonable person would say, “Well, she isn’t going to choose me. Who’s next?”

Instead, something in me says, “I just need to show her how much I love her and how much I can offer to her. Then she’ll want me. Then she’ll choose me.”

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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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