Search This Blog

Saturday, May 23, 2020

Friday night, I bought a pizza and with it came a side of guilty dipping sauce.

See, it's not that I have no money. I have a little put aside but in order to stretch it -- I expect the job search to take months -- I asked friends for help with housing and a offers came from across the country.

But as a journalist, who's has answered the phones for 30 year listening to reader complaints, I've heard every complaint there is when a story shows the lives of those on the lower rungs of the socioeconomic ladder.

They shouldn't have TV.

They shouldn't have cable.

They shouldn't have a pet if they can't pay for their own food.

The shouldn't eat fast food.

They shouldn't have cell phones.

They shouldn't have children if they can't afford them.

It's always "they."

So I felt guilty about buying a pizza to go when friends asked me to visit The Office Lounge and Liquor Store late Friday.

I was living for free and buying a pizza.

I've never understood the judgment of those who have against those who haven't. And yet I hear their stupid voices in my head.

A 2016 article in Psychology Today talks about the brain as a dual processor, one with a reflexive reaction, the other with a  more, thoughtful logical reaction. And we need both. When driving, a red light needs a reflexive reaction. No need to analyze because you've already done it. And society teaches us some bad reflexive actions. The article addresses a test given to people with black and white faces. When black faces were shown, the part of the brain that deal with fear -- the amygdala -- was more reactive when a black fact is shown. That's due in large part to how we're acculturated by media: black people are to be feared.

That's where judgment comes in and logic ought to kick in. OK, my immediate judgment is X but let's think rationally about X.

For some people, that's goo much work.

On the upside, the guilty dipping sauce tastes pretty good.


  1. Hello there! You've been giving a lot, thanks for sharing. I'm a reader from Brazil. I'm sending you good vibes from the tropics, wishing you well. Stay safe! Gregorio

  2. Point well stated Rich. I am embarrassed to say that some of those very thoughts [the "shouldn't haves"] have ran trough my mind...[ multiple times I suspect] To my credit(???), I feel fairly confident that I've most always been able to squelch those thoughts before they left my mouth.

  3. I wonder in the article by psychology today, was the reaction to black faces a white reaction? Surely not equal in the black population. Yes, everyone does have (usually a strong) opinion on what “they” should have. So much bias in our lives. I. Am conscious of my own.