Sunday, March 04, 2007


It has been a week since my last post. First time I have been so remiss. So of course, my usual excuse - I have been super busy. More travel and more hectic schedule this week.

I was interviewed on a podcast by Stuart Crawford. Did not go particularly well. I had been up most of the night. Flight arrived at 2 AM. Sat on the tarmac for an hour waiting for a gate. Then an hour wait for a taxi. So 4:10 in the morning I arrive at work. Not a fun day. But perhaps an adventure.

I read a book recently that my mother recommended called, "The Sociopath Next Door" by Martha Stout. Why my mother is reading about sociopaths is beyond me!

The definition in the book of sociopath is someone with no conscience and it goes on to site some appalling statistics like one in 25 people are sociopaths.

The chilling part about sociopaths is how do you deal with someone who has no consience because they will not act at all similar to what you would expect.

One short exerpt from the book is, "Good people question themselves constantly, reflexively, and subject their decisions and actions to the exacting scrutiny of an intervening sense of obligation rooted in their attachments to other people. The self-questioning of conscience seldom admits absolute certainty into the mind, and even when it does, certainty feels treacherous to us, as if it may trick us into punishing someone unjustly, or performing some other unconscionable act."

One short story from the book was, "A wise woman who was traveling in the mountains found a precious stone in a stream. The next day she met another traveler who was hungry, and the wise woman opened her bag to share her food. The hungry traveler saw the precious stone and asked the woman to give it to him. She did so without hesitation.

The traveler left, rejoicing in his good fortune. He knew the stone was worth enough to give him security for a lifetime. But a few days later he came back to return the stone to the wise woman.
"I've been thinking," he said, "I know how valuable the stone is, but I give it back in the hope that you can give me something even more precious. Give me what you have within you that enabled you to give me the stone."

Although the book was excellent and challenging and talked a lot about you can deal with the damage that sociopaths have caused, it did not explain how to deal with sociopaths or what sociopaths should do to gain a conscience.


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