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supportive Humanism
Posted: 26 May 2011 07:42 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 16 ]
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My wife and I will be at the next one. Will we see you there? You and I seem to have similar thoughts on this social aspect of Sec Hum. The story of your elderly mother is enlightening. Is there anything I could do to help your family out with that?

JUNE 8th is marked on my calendar.  grin

[ Edited: 26 May 2011 07:45 AM by traveler ]
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Posted: 26 May 2011 10:22 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 17 ]
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I have been thinking for a while about meeting you, guys. I’ll try to make it there on the 8th as well.

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Posted: 26 May 2011 10:33 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 18 ]
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George - 26 May 2011 10:22 AM

I have been thinking for a while about meeting you, guys. I’ll try to make it there on the 8th as well.

Awesome!!!

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Posted: 26 May 2011 06:13 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 19 ]
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Thanks for posting your story Gary.  I’m wary of writing about my situation as it seems self serving, and more personal than the usual post here,  Your post reassures me that this might be appropriate:

I’m caring for my partner of 25 years who’s in the severe stage of Alzheimer’s. This experience has made me aware of how poorly we address the end of life.  It is as much a passage as a birth, but it is an almost hidden occurrence in our society.  Too often, when a member of a family, or community is failing, the care giving either falls on the shoulders of a single individual, or is farmed out, at great expense, to an impersonal institution.  The exception to this situation seems to occur among members of strong theistic religious communities.

When Esther was diagnosed I decided I would take care of her for as long as I could have a positive effect on her quality of life, or until I was physically or mentally unable to care for her.  So far, it’s been the hardest, most exhausting, thing I’ve ever done.  But, and I want to emphasize this, it has not been tragic, sordid, or demeaning.  It has been an intense experience, opening my eyes to types of beauty I never noticed before and raising all sorts of questions about the value and quality of existence, empathy, the choice of subordinating your own desires to serve another, what is a “good life”, and on and on.  I don’t know as I’ve come up with any answers, but I’m pretty sure I’m a hell of a lot more of a human.  (He says modestly).

When we don’t commit to each other I think we may be missing a huge part of what it means to be a human being.  As Humanists I think most of us would say that this conscious experience, whatever it is, is likely to be all that there is, and we damn well ought to pay attention and experience as much of it as we can.  Birth, life, death, love, sorrow, joy, pain, service and being served.  I think when we work together it can expand and enhance the experience.

I’m not finding fault in people who can’t make this sort of commitment, it’s almost impossible for people to step away from the rat race.  Most people can’t just take the time off from a career or precarious financial situation,  I’m lucky, we’ve got a little money and a supportive community and I can choose to take some time for this.  And I love Esther very much.

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Posted: 26 May 2011 06:14 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 20 ]
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I’d come if I was in Buffalo. Call me if you get a minute.

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Posted: 27 May 2011 05:38 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 21 ]
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PLaClair - 26 May 2011 06:14 PM

I’d come if I was in Buffalo. Call me if you get a minute.

PM me your phone number and we can call you from the dinner and put you on speaker-phone so it’ll be like you’re there.  grin

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Posted: 27 May 2011 05:52 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 22 ]
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Jeciron - 26 May 2011 06:13 PM

Thanks for posting your story Gary.  I’m wary of writing about my situation as it seems self serving, and more personal than the usual post here,  Your post reassures me that this might be appropriate:

I’m caring for my partner of 25 years who’s in the severe stage of Alzheimer’s. This experience has made me aware of how poorly we address the end of life.  It is as much a passage as a birth, but it is an almost hidden occurrence in our society.  Too often, when a member of a family, or community is failing, the care giving either falls on the shoulders of a single individual, or is farmed out, at great expense, to an impersonal institution.  The exception to this situation seems to occur among members of strong theistic religious communities.

When Esther was diagnosed I decided I would take care of her for as long as I could have a positive effect on her quality of life, or until I was physically or mentally unable to care for her.  So far, it’s been the hardest, most exhausting, thing I’ve ever done.  But, and I want to emphasize this, it has not been tragic, sordid, or demeaning.  It has been an intense experience, opening my eyes to types of beauty I never noticed before and raising all sorts of questions about the value and quality of existence, empathy, the choice of subordinating your own desires to serve another, what is a “good life”, and on and on.  I don’t know as I’ve come up with any answers, but I’m pretty sure I’m a hell of a lot more of a human.  (He says modestly).

When we don’t commit to each other I think we may be missing a huge part of what it means to be a human being.  As Humanists I think most of us would say that this conscious experience, whatever it is, is likely to be all that there is, and we damn well ought to pay attention and experience as much of it as we can.  Birth, life, death, love, sorrow, joy, pain, service and being served.  I think when we work together it can expand and enhance the experience.

I’m not finding fault in people who can’t make this sort of commitment, it’s almost impossible for people to step away from the rat race.  Most people can’t just take the time off from a career or precarious financial situation,  I’m lucky, we’ve got a little money and a supportive community and I can choose to take some time for this.  And I love Esther very much.

That’s a beautiful relationship you have there. It is emotionally risky to tell personal stories but you told yours wonderfully. What you and Gary bring up here is the biggest hurdle humanists/realists/atheists/whatever face. We need to concentrate on coming together as caring secular persons. Love, and other emotions are a part of our evolution and they are in us to help us survive. I’ve recently discovered that I have some hate issues with the religious right that have taken some luster from my secular self and I am committing myself to lean more toward the love issues I have with fellow secularists. Thank you both for sharing your stories.

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Posted: 03 June 2011 10:47 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 23 ]
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Thanks for the support and replies.  My mother is doing somewhat better,but is still hospitalized.  Sorry I haven’t responded sooner, but between running to the hospital most everyday and the rain has finnally stopped and I have yard work on two homes now.  (Never tell your family you are retired! mad )  I will try my best to make the next potluck and vegan dishes are often sevrved as a number of the regulars are vegans.  (Not me however).  I will call those of you who asked, when I get a break, probably over the weekend.

Thanks again folks.

[ Edited: 05 June 2011 04:51 PM by garythehuman ]
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All the Gods and all religions are created by humans, to meet human needs and accomplish human ends.

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Posted: 09 June 2011 06:12 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 24 ]
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Just wanted to touch base here and report that the local CFI pot luck dinner was nice and that I got to meet garythehuman and many other fine people. My vegan brownies were a hit as was all of the wine wink

garythehuman is also taking the lead in getting the group to be a more organized support group for its members. All for that! I’ll see everyone again on the next ‘second Wednesday of the month.’

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Posted: 13 June 2011 11:47 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 25 ]
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A little example of supportive humanism

http://www.bing.com/videos/watch/video/orangutan-rescues-baby-bird-from-pond/20kmtj9i?q=animal+tricks&rel=msn&from=en-us_msnhp&form=MSNHRO&gt1=42010&overlaytype=multimediaviewer&Name=hpvideo3&Csid=ux-en-us&initialmoduleindex=1

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Posted: 14 June 2011 05:03 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 26 ]
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Write4U - 13 June 2011 11:47 PM

A little example of supportive humanism

http://www.bing.com/videos/watch/video/orangutan-rescues-baby-bird-from-pond/20kmtj9i?q=animal+tricks&rel=msn&from=en-us_msnhp&form=MSNHRO&gt1=42010&overlaytype=multimediaviewer&Name=hpvideo3&Csid=ux-en-us&initialmoduleindex=1

Beautiful! Was that George?  tongue wink

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Posted: 14 June 2011 05:21 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 27 ]
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I guess we need to expand the definition of humanism, or humanity.  What a world we’ve created, where we keep someone like that in a cage, even if we must for their own safety.

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Posted: 14 June 2011 06:55 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 28 ]
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traveler - 14 June 2011 05:03 AM

Beautiful! Was that George?  tongue wink

Yeah, it was cool. But I am not sure why you’re addressing me here…

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Posted: 14 June 2011 07:02 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 29 ]
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George - 14 June 2011 06:55 AM
traveler - 14 June 2011 05:03 AM

Beautiful! Was that George?  tongue wink

Yeah, it was cool. But I am not sure why you’re addressing me here…

Oh, just because of your icon and I’m in a good mood.  cheese

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Posted: 14 June 2011 07:08 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 30 ]
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Oh, I see.  grin

Actually, I see you were not addressing me since there was no comma before “George.”

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