23.november.2004 :: tuesday :: they are preparing for the opening of The Nutcracker at my ballet studio...all of the principals were chowing on their dinners in the room where we usually have class when i arrived. our Intro To Ballet II class was bumped to the upstairs room in deference to the company. i must say i miss all of that. the music, the smells, the costumes...stage lights...the amazing dancers...maybe we'll get a chance to see the performance.

when evan gets home from work, i'm challenging him to a game of chess. he creamed me last saturday at darwin's. maybe this time i won't give up my queen after five moves...

15.november.2004 :: monday :: "moral" (adj.) has six definitions in the dictionary we currently consult in our home, but the fourth definition is the closest to my own sense of the word: "arising from conscience or the sense of right and wrong ('a moral obligation')". Tormont Webster's Illustrated Encyclopedic Dictionary, Tormont Publishers, 1990. morality is approached when decision-making occurs through due consideration of the consequences of one's choices. the consequences considered should include those occuring in the short and long term, affecting not only the individual to whom the choice is presented and her circles of association, but also the local, national, and international communities and the future generations comprising all of those groups. morality is not innate. it is, however, discoverable. humans have thought about morality for centuries, and there are certainly traditional sources from which one can draw to contemplate what is moral. learning from such external references is not the only way to develop or practice moral thinking. giving careful thought as to the consequences of particular choices in the course of decision making, and making decisions favoring choices that avoid bad consequences and promote good consequences is moral behavior. almost all decision-making presents the individual with the opportunity to practice good morality based on her own evaluation of good and bad, right and wrong. hence, morality of thought and action is quite realisable even absent instruction from institutional moral guidelines.

choices on how to manage the environment are an example decisions we make as individuals and as a society every day that are also opportunities to choose and act morally or immorally. if we continue to choose to conduct our lives to the detriment of the natural environment, we simultaneously choose to leave an abused environment and its implications for health, quality of life, and even survival to future generations. because we do have choices that have positive consequences, the question of how to treat the environment involves good and bad (right and wrong). it is inherently an opportunity for moral decision making.

the same analysis applies to countless other matteres of local, national, and international concern that never made it to the list of talking points of political discourse during the recent election. i do not think the time has passed, even though we missed a great opportunity. we should all think about these things, and bring them up next time someone says they were driven to vote based on "morality."

08.november.2004 :: monday :: bush's re-election still confounds me. its occurrence demonstrates, i think, the precise problem of allowing religion and religious discourse into the mechanics of politics and government. religious followers naturally have no choice if confronted with two candidates, one of whom purports to support their religious beliefs and goals, and the other who may or may not do the same. So we have people voting in direct conflict of their own economic, health, and education interests...

i might not feel the effect of another bush administration on my life, but i see many people each day who will...

03.november.2004 :: wednesday :: the day after...

last night we stayed up as long as possible to follow the presidential election. this morning i woke up with a headache and, having confronted the re-election of president bush and his administration, was in a black mood most of the day. as with most experiences, there must be something to learn from this...some way to grow into a more open-minded, stronger individual. as silly as partisanism is, and as much as i feel resentful of the corporate machine qualities that the democratic party seems to exhibit and endorse these days, i have to admit that i currently feel quite partisan.

this afternoon, in an attempt to find the positive thoughts that keep one healthy and happy, i decided this: my shock at the way the election came out (first, that it was so close, and second, that bush won), must arise from a fundamental disconnect with the attitudes, concerns, and though processes of people who cast their ballots for bush. i feel even less understanding of (and actually unwilling to even try to accept) the motivations of people who voted in favor of amendments to their state consitutions that would ban gay marriage and, in many if not most instances, also preclude any of the benefits of other legal arrangements such as civil unions for gay couples. all that said, i do know many intelligent, caring people (including close relative who are dear to me) who chose to vote for president bush. i trust that although i cannot seem to find any common ground with the president and his policies, that these people i know and love put their confidence in him as a leader means there are good things about president bush's actions, goals, and strategies. in the next four years, i will try to keep learning, maintain an open mind, and be a more productive citizen.

thank you to all who voted. let us learn more from each other and work together towards creating a more peaceful, sustainable, and just society.