#8 In a time of internet scams and fanaticism

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1.  When  someone is trying to take advantage of you with an internet scam, what do you normally do? Do you want to see another possibility that's full of creativity and bursting with character? Watch this absolutely delightful act of virtuous improvisation. Each moment in our lives is an opportunity. Look harder and you'll find them everywhere. 

From scammer to saint

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2.  Here are two ways of approaching a fanatic, defined as someone who holds a narrow, limited view and will fight with teeth bared to defend their view:

a) You’re not going to change these people’s minds anyway. If you give them an opening, you’re just going to give them room to destroy the decent etiquette of society. Civility is not a suicide pact. As Benjamin DeMott put it in a famous 1996 essay for the Nation, “When you’re in an argument with a thug, there are things much more important than civility.”


b) Ask the fanatics genuine questions. Paraphrase what they say so they know they’ve been heard. Show some ultimate care for their destiny and soul even if you detest the words that come out of their mouths. You engage fanaticism with love, first, for your own sake. If you succumb to the natural temptation to greet this anger with your own anger, you’ll just spend your days consumed by bitterness and revenge. You’ll be a worse person in all ways.

Source: How to Engage a Fanatic

If the second path seems more appealing to you, click on the mindmap photo above created by the wonderfully wise and just plain wonderful Peg Syverson, retired professor of rhetoric and a zen priest at Appamada in Austin, Tx

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3.  "This Miss Universe Pageant; can some please call it Ms. Earth? What hubris we have! It's universal. No, it's earth-wide. I study the universe. If there's a Miss Mars, she was not in the competition. In name, it's very overrated. To call a pageant of women on earth, and the winner Ms. Universe. Come on now." 

Watch Neil deGrasse Tyson sport a serious cosmic vest while giving his thumbs up or thumbs down on other intergalactic matters in this wonderful video. 

4. Beer and Book Club starts this Friday at 6pm @ Radio Coffee! First book we're reading and shooting the shit about is The Righteous Mind: Why Good People are divided by Politics and Religion Click here for more details. 

Bonus Wisdom Pin-Up:

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Do people still give a shit about character? Please forward this newsletter to anyone who wants to be less of a dick to others, to the animals, to the planet or to themselves.