Suggestion Saturday: February 22, 2014

Here is this week’s list of blog posts, comics, and other tidbits from my favourite corners of the web.

Hunting and Belonging via KSal1958. One of my very few complaints about living in a big city is how disconnected urban people are from the land. Hunting is unfashionable here and very few people garden (well, other than possibly growing a few herbs or a tomato plant if you’re lucky enough to have a windowsill/balcony). Our parks are either immaculately groomed or have strict rules about where people are allowed to roam if they’ve been kept “wild.” I totally understand why the culture is the way it is, but this essay makes me miss my more rural upbringing.

Remorse Pixie. This is so true.

10 Stories About Grandmother via Millie_Ho. It’s funny how much you can learn about someone through anecdotes.

Shipwrecked in Whole Foods. I don’t necessarily agree with everything I share on Suggestion Saturday, but I do think this author makes a good point about the weirdness of marketing sustainability, social responsibility, and genuinely healthy food to wealthy households. Everyone needs nutritious food to survive, and human civilization can only survive for a limited amount of time if we use up our resources faster than they can be replaced. Yet somehow these ideas have become trendy and luxurious. Paradoxically, I also feel like this author is being a little harsh on the environmental and health food movements. You can have a very healthy lifestyle on a tight budget with enough preparation and (informal) education.

The False Memory Archive: Did That Really Happen? via Zorabike. Such an interesting article.

From Hospice Is a Busy Place:

On a warm spring day, Maggie checked into hospice in a nearby town. At the age of 65, she had Stage Four ovarian cancer, and having refused chemotherapy and radiation treatments, her doctors recommended that she enter hospice as soon as possible.

From The Empathy Exams:

Empathy means realizing no trauma has discrete edges. Trauma bleeds. Out of wounds and across boundaries. Sadness becomes a seizure. Empathy demands another kind of porousness in response. My Stephanie script is twelve pages long. I think mainly about what it doesn’t say.

Generation Atheist is the most honest book I’ve read so far this year.

Deconversion can be a touchy topic. While some people are genuinely interested in my story, others approach the idea of a devout Christian gradually shedding her faith with horror. Rather than listening to what actually happened they take one’s words out of context and apply their own interpretation to what actually happened.

What I really appreciate about this collection is its diversity. There are contributors who are still reeling from the often unexpected social consequences of their reconversion to individuals who have long since made peace with their new realities. Preacher’s kids sit alongside ex-mormons, ex-muslims, and members of the LGBT community in an extremely interesting and provocative collections of essay.

If the contributors share one thing in common with one another it seems to be this: in most cases people who retained the love and support of their families – whether biological or chosen – have done significantly better emotionally than their peers who were shunned or disowned.

I know some of my readers are religious, and by no means do I want to dissuade them from their beliefs. But I do hope that by recommending this book I’ll give them a taste of what it’s like to stand in someone else’s shoes.

What have you been reading?

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