“Now this is really Carolyn—how she would look when contemplating. I didn’t do anything more with this, for this time the drawing had it all. I knew it would be impossible to carry the portrait out in any other medium, and it struck me at the moment that no medium has limitations. The limit is within the artist himself. Pencil had grabbed her character and her pose so that not a piece of color was needed to make it better.”
ANDREW WYETH Autobiography Comment to a pencil drawing of his sister.
恭喜发财 Gōng xǐ fā cái
Some people like to take photographs
A gentleman from India was visiting his son and family and walking along Alameda Creek taking photographs.
Occasionally I meet this gentleman along the trail as he is coming home from work, and we talk a awhile.. He immigrated from Afghanistan, has had different jobs,—once a cabdriver in Fremont so we traded cab driving stories.
Sitting on this bench between Isherwood Street and Decoto Road, he was on his way somewhere, walking. He talked about Oregon, and Washington, and a wife and children left behind somewhere in his past, and having no home and no place to go.
In San Francisco one morning, he had a one room, shared bath down the hall He was “retired,” if that is what you call being too old to be hired. So many people on Earth and so many alone in the last days of their lives. Still for the medical industry and thanks to medicare these lives are profitable.
Its not that we do not know what other people are doing, but still we seem to know an infinite number of reasons why they are doing it. Why people like to think they know why things happen before they know what it is that happened is an interesting condition of being human, like being able to say a word without knowing what it means/ Maybe a course in Hiume shold be taught in highs chools.
Understanding human behavior?? Why even ask the question? Because everyday we are confronted with decisions which are influenced by our belief in what is human nature.
Human nature is what are those things which are natural to all people.?
Many people seem to have a reason for why things happen, why people do the things they do but these causes oft3en deny human nature or they argue it is because of human nature, such as Han Feizi and later, Hobbes.
If its “human nature” to behave a certain way, to do a certain thing, then all humans will have this behavior, because its human nature., by definition.—Its not the universe that gave us a dictionary , with the term “human nature” its human beings who created the concept of human nature..
We could say its human nature to have empathy. but is it a a quality or a quantity. . . .
We can observe in daily life that some people have more, empathy, some less.and some in between— on a a continuum.
So is empathy a human nature? Its not that everyone has “it,” more like “it” is made up of different things which can be put together to make multiple combinations of other things all which can modify “human nature.”
One idea is that individuals each have their own personalities, and while some behavior is more in common, it follows some “acceptable rules,” there are people who want to do things outside of the rules, or laws, or norms, These may be destructive of behaviors which endanger social solidarity—i.e. societies need some normal patterns of behavior to have a functioning economic system which enables survival, well survival of the society , not necessarily the individual.
How can you compare one person’s empathy to another? More or Less? conditional or situational? People do it often, even when they do no understand what is empathy.
Children grow up to become adults, most children through the experience s of growing up learn how to behave.In early societies, probably hundreds of thousands of years, most of the things children did were necessary and helpful for the survival of the society. Adults like to think they are structuring this behavior and that there is a right and wrong to teach this . . .or even a right and wrong thing to teach.
As humans became more successful at surviving children were less involved in the day to day behaviors of survival—ie. chores— and more involved in “adult structured abstract learning as preparation for being an adult in the society. Some do not and individuals conflict with the forces of culture, sometimes artistically,,sometimes criminally and sometimes foolishly.
the process of growing up goes on, we are born, live and die. When children learn through chores they have “hands-on” experience which is great when society has no or little change. As our society changes increasingly faster the things children learn may become less and less practicable for their future as adults.
Having a sense of “the concept of Human Nature” is a grasp of things which are universal, ,common and shared among human beings and serves as a structure for understanding human behavior.
Mom had a stroke, suffered severe memory loss and developed expressive aphasia. She lived in two different memory care facilities, in between had a hip operation with some days in hospital and eight weeks in a rehab nursing facility. This was on the wall in hospital . . .
One reason for choosing a professional memory care residential facility was that mom would be among others, and who knows how much interaction might or can occur, but there is a possibility of some “equal” human interaction where she can make some of her own decisions about her life, without becoming in harms way.
Child-like ,or it seems so, it feels like she is sitting cross-legged with a child-like playful submissiveness to taking her medicine.
In her last days she often did not seem to care what was going on, I thought she did not recognize me usually when I came in she smiled, but even though ,often it seemed like I was the recognizable face that regularly appeared to enter her life, , spent some time and the go away,, only to appear again the next day..
Mom enjoyed walking and we went for walks often,. The second residence was designed with a entry, dining, common, offices etc and the separate sleeping rooms were distributed around a hallway which encircled (enrectangled?) a storage space so residents could walk around, and around, and around, and not have to confront an end.
Just being there is something , sometimes she would take my hand and I would remember a previous girl friend doing so . . . and feel a closeness to mom and I wondered if my father felt the same thing when he held hands with her.
During the year before her stroke, she had made a collection of important photographs and put them in albums,. They were available to her in her room, and I noticed that sometimes they were moved and on visits I used to show her photos of her life,
A few days before she passed I had shown her a photograph of her with my father, a last professional photograph they made as a keepsake for their children. They were high school sweethearts, married and gave birth to me while my father was in the US Army Airforce. He returned from war to graduate from Case and took a job with a company which he worked for his whole life.
Although I have often thought about it, I have no idea what this photograph, or any photographs meant to her during this time, but I believe photographs have a magical power an dI made them available for her.—My mother’s name was Lynn.
Union Square , Somerville MA, about 1971.
Gate Gate Paragate Parasamgate Bodhi Svaha