December 4th, 2008

(no subject)

Read about a page's-worth before posting; not bad but could use improvement. I've got two things on my mind; Letting Go and Christmas.

To take the easier one first, I'm a Jew; I've never celebrated or cared about Christmas. For me personally I still don't; a couple of millennia ago some poor rebbe got nailed to a tree for daring to propose that people be nice to each other and care for the poor; let him rest in peace already. And be nice to people and care for the poor *now*, not because *he* said so but because it's the right thing to do.

But I'm now living with an SO who has kids I want to help raise, and while she recanted her Catholicism decades ago, no new structure replaced it, and so Christmas is what her kids are used to, with a thin overlay of Solstice to go with it. I've introduced Shabbos to the household, and can next bring in Purim and Chanukah, and if everyone accepts that we can work on transferring gift-giving to Purim and thus opt out of some of the mainstream Purchasing Mania. I'm still fishing for what to do with the rest of the customs; I have an idea about turning box-wrapping into an art form and finding a new meaning to attach to that. Not ripe yet.

About Letting Go: I don't. I'm not sure this is hereditary, but my Dad didn't forgive the Dodgers for leaving Brooklyn 'til he had an opportunity to take his grandson to a Dodgers' game in LA in 1996 -- for the non-sports fans in the crowd, the Dodgers left Brooklyn in 1957. What I do instead if offended is find the root principle at the base of what caused me offence, and work to change it. This is much more *efficient* than discarding the old emotion, but it's not complete. And because it's an emotional process, I don't yet intellectually know *how* or *why* it is incomplete -- what is being left behind, and to what is it attached?

I've been shafted by the legal system, as have been many other people; how do we devise a legal system that Doesn't Do That? I don't know, yet. Procedurally, any system based on precedent will make a fetish of preserving its own mistakes, and that approach will have to go before we can have any real "justice" system. But two other principles are in conflict, and I don't know how to resolve them: The need of a civilisation to *make* a certain minimum number of decisions being more important than how elegantly they're being made, and the need to keep the decision-makers accountable for their actions.

As usual, any thoughts, observations, or opinions you may have are solicited. I have to go restate a set of life-goals as prerequisite for planning a day that pursues them, so I'm going to go get busy.