What are you thinking? An Open Thread with a hard question

So summer is about here, and for many of us, that means a change of direction.  We’d love to hear about what you’ll be doing and thinking about.

Your reflections on the past year would be interesting, whether they are about the state of the world or the state you are in.

The hard question:  What can one say to help someone in grief after a very sudden and unexpected loss of  a beloved partner? Perhaps I should stress:  and that  one believes is true.  (The requirement that one think it true  makes it particularly hard for philosophers, I  think.)  I think some of  the psychological literature, like Dan Gilbert’s work on happiness, is helpful.  Humans are much more resilient than we tend to think., he maintains.

This question relates to  a severe loss a family member of mine has experienced. I was so struck by the priest’s assertion that we were all asking  “why?”  I certainly wasn’t.

Images from Iran

Protesters being beaten, and women charging in to the fray. This image struck me because it goes so strongly against the Western stereotypes of meek Muslim women. They’re brave as hell, and fighting– physically– for their democracy.


This one struck me because it goes so strongly against the cynical views of humanity that come naturally. It’s protesters rescuing a riot policeman. And there are more like that. This really is human beings at their surprising best.


Thanks, Mr Jender. For the big versions of these, go to The Big Picture.