Were you minding your own business at the water cooler when someone just up and called you privileged? Have you ever confused yourself arguing about rights on Facebook? Did you accidentally insult a friend by calling them a libertarian? Sometimes we don’t know what we don’t know. Join us every week for a new discussion about common concepts in public discourse.
Eulogies are more about comforting the living than honouring the dead. For all we know, the dead might be honoured by honesty but seldom are the living comforted by it. Overwhelmingly eulogies declare the deceased a good person, or a loving person, a kind person or a committed person. They are exercises in reducing a lifetime of varied human behaviour into a handful of palatable absolutes. When we self-identify we also think in absolutes. We think I am a kind person rather than my kindness is dependent on external factors like time and company. We think I am a fair person rather than I am fair when I consciously force myself to be fair.
All the data – historical, anthropological, psychological and economic -suggest that we are creatures of context rather than creatures of absolutes. Even…
Source : Daily Maverick