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My quest to search out and identify my false beliefs has some serious downsides to my daily life and comfort. The one bothering me the most at the moment is my propensity to seek out and try to understand why troubled situations exist when the people involved in them, myself included, could just walk away. My false belief is that I can help these situations in any way.

One obviously painful thing is the media intrusion into our lives. The news is always ugly based on the newsman’s premise, “If it bleeds it leads.” The terrible events are always placed in front of us as if we are supposed to come to the rescue and solve the problem. If we don’t, as is usually the case, give money or time, or tears, we are made to feel like uncaring monsters.

I often watch the Weather Channel late at night because it frequently portrays real people confronted with extreme problems. How do they cope? Usually the answer is they have not done something they should have done. Typical for the TV show is not moving out of the way of a hurricane where people had a couple of days’ warning. Or getting caught in a flash flood where often stepping a few steps away from the flow channel would have saved them grief. Or, even dumber, driving a car across a flooding stream and being swept away. Another late night TV treat is watching Tosh.0, which features video clips of people voluntarily doing life-threatening antics.

There are lessons to be learned by watching these crazy things, like—Don’t do this! You are likely to get hurt! Unfortunately, it appears to me that people watch these things and then follow the maxim, “Monkey see, monkey do.”

For this year’s Halloween festivities, I wore my Darwin Award emblem to prove to myself and to others … something?

Charles Scamahorn of EarthArk getting a Darwin Award from Wendy Northcutt.

That Darwin Award photo was made back in 2008, but I still haven’t discovered how to live.