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Things Aren’t the Way We Hoped They Would Be

June 15, 2019 by Charlie Hedges − 0 Comments

“What the thing the sixties did was to show us the possibilities and the responsibility that we all had. It wasn’t the answer. It just gave us a glimpse of the possibility.” John Lennon

I just recently went to a movie titled Echo in the Canyon. It was all about the beginnings of a whole new kind of music, kind of mixture of folk music and eclectic guitar. Truly, the very, very beginnings of what we now call rock ‘n roll. Featuring music by Buffalo Springfield, The Byrds, the Beach Boys, the Beatles, and the Mamas and Papas including interviews with David Crosby, Steven Stills, Jackson Brown, and a lot with Tom Petty.
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#114 Charlie: Apathy-The Dark Side

June 11, 2019 by Charlie Hedges − 0 Comments

Show Notes 

Today Producer Paul and I plan to have a conversation on what seems a deep and yet pervasive onslaught of apathy both culturally and individually we are experiencing today.

Apathy is a strange bird. Psychology Today calls it the “emotionless emotion.” Jimmy Buffet, said it best, “I’ve been wondering if what I am feeling is ignorance or apathy. Hell, I don’t know and I don’t care.”

In Psychology Today I read, “Paradoxically, what makes the feeling of apathy unique is that it’s essentially the feeling of not feeling. And doubtless, it’s something that at some point in your existence you’ve encountered. We all have. For whenever you feel that something vital is missing from your life, yet lack the motivation or drive to pursue it, you’re afflicted with this curiously “emotionless” emotion.”

So at the heart of apathy, is a feeling that “something vital is missing from your life.” You feel you have nothing worthy of your effort to pursue. There is no anticipation of hope, and without hope life becomes almost pointless. In Victor Frankl’s brilliant book documenting his psychological state in a Nazi concentration camp he clearly stared that it was only HOPE that kept people going.

All of the drivers of meaning and fulfillment have dissipated to a point of a profound disinterest in all that motivated you in the past: a cause, your job, your most meaningful relationships, your worthiness in pursuing something essential in your own estimation.

In my observation apathy occurs in two conditions: First is what Paul is most intrigued with and that is an a culture of apathy regarding politics and religion and the second is what I am calling personal apathy and that is when you get a case of the “I just don’t give a shit.”

Let’s deal with the second one first.

Personally, for a few weeks now, I have been in the doldrums of a bit of apathy. Activities that once inspired me I find rather unexciting. As a very passionate person this feeing is rather disconcerting. “I just don’t care about what I desire to care about: I no longer paint, I spend less time writing, and even my volunteer commitments have suffered. I still do what is required but I am not currently satisfied by it.

My feeling is that I just want to quit everything. But, obviously, that is not the solution because somewhere deep inside I still love all these activities.

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The Dangers of Genuine Dialogue

June 8, 2019 by Charlie Hedges − 0 Comments

Satire is, by definition, offensive. It is meant to make us feel uncomfortable. It is meant to make us scratch our heads, think, do a double-take, and then think again. Maajid Nawaz

It seems to me that it really isn’t really possible to conduct genuine dialogue or discussion without being offensive. I’m not talking about being rude or obnoxious, I am simply talking about telling the truth as you see it. Because when you do, someone with the opposite opinion will most certainly take offense. The result is too often angry name-calling, a rise in ire, and even total dissociation.

Free Speech???

I guess you could classify my political leanings as center left and yet I remain appalled by the political correctness that is degrading our constitutional right to free speech. Unfortunately it seems that political correctness is rampant in many or perhaps even most college campuses where we are supposed to be teaching young people to “think” with an open mind.

In 2015 (four years ago), in an interview on ESPN Radio with Colin Cowherd, Jerry Seinfeld discussed the growing trend of comedians avoiding college campuses for fear of backlash over political correctness. Chris Rock followed with this… ““I stopped playing colleges, and the reason is because they’re way too conservative,” he added, “Not in their political views — not like they’re voting Republican — but in their social views and their unwillingness to offend anybody.”

I think of my friend Terry who is much more liberal than I am. We have political discussions frequently, vehemently disagree on many topics and yet we have found a way to do so without damaging our friendship. I just called Terry on this subject and he told me his objective in any conversation is to “learn something new.”

Learning Something New

I am currently deep in the throes of two debates in which I am trying to understand each side better—both with politically correct implications. One is a theological debate on the function of Easter and the other is attempting to try to better understand the positions of the right and the left in political debate. I YouTube both Fox News and MSNBC to try to understand each side. Unfortunately I feel I am in need of another resource because each side is so entrenched in vitriol toward the other that I cannot find what I consider truth from either one.

So what is the solution? Quit being so damned offended. Another person’s opinion should literally have no effect whatsoever on my personal ideas. In fact, if I am open, I just might learn something.

Perhaps this comes with age. At nearly 70 I know a lot fewer things “for sure” than I did when I was 35. I am open to radical ideas—as long as they pass the “well thought through test.”

And You?

How about you? Send me a comment.

Freedom of Speech

A Losing Right

Photo courtesy of corners74 at istockphoto

#113 Keith Page: Dying Wisely-Stuff You Need to Know About Death

June 4, 2019 by Charlie Hedges − 0 Comments

Show Notes  

Are you ready for yet another conversation about things we are not supposed to talk about? We’ve done religion and politics, now I want to learn about dying and how we can best prepare for the inevitable.

My guest today is an expert on the subject and, no, he is not a mortician. My special guest is Keith Page, a funeral celebrant who works closely with families in the midst of a death. Keith’s focus is to prepare people of all ages of how to manage the entire process of dying.

Let me read a piece Keith gave me before the show:

“Death is a vast mystery but there are two things we can say about it: it is absolutely certain that we will die, but what is uncertain is when or how we will die. The only sure thing we have, then, is this uncertainty about the hour of our death – which we use as an excuse to postpone facing death directly.

Instead of dealing with it as a normal part of life, death is treated as an unexpected emergency; something that happens when the medical community fails. We always die of something – as though if it weren’t for that disease or accident we could have lived on.

Very often those who take time to plan arrangements with death also end up having made new arrangements with life. After they know they are going to die, people often live and die well. We’ve all heard stories of what happens when people find out they have a limited time to live. Many finally start living well. They simplify their lives, spend time with those they love, slow down and get around to doing many things they had put off.”

So that’s our topic for the day.

Taken from ‘Tibetan Book of Living and Dying’ by Sogyal Rinpoche and ‘From Beginning to End – the Rituals of Our Lives’ by Robert Fulghum.

You can contact Keith Page at

Also check out

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Contemplation Before Action

June 1, 2019 by Charlie Hedges − 0 Comments

“What we plant in the soil of contemplation, we shall reap in the harvest of action.” Meister Eckhart

We live in a world that values action. Indeed some things don’t require much thought, but that is not what I am writing about. Some people are more prone to contemplate and consider the value and intent of actions than others and yet, it is essential for all of us to consider the value of our beliefs and our actions.
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