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Alex Baer: Helping Amygdalas Jump to the Left

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amygdalaIntellectual knowledge is one thing, and emotional experience is another.  This is one reason why it's "a darned shame" when you hear a friend's story of having compared ticket prices on the plane with fellow passengers, finding out he or she paid a couple hundred bucks more than any of the others for the same deal -- and why it's "a murderously cutthroat breakdown in society" when you are the one stuck with that extra-jumbo-jet of a bill.

Those differences are the birth pangs of empathy, so mutter away, and to your heart's content. Welcome to humanity.  We are not ants or otherwise able to experience the hive mind, so we have to grow our awareness and empathy fresh, every day.  And yes, tending that particular garden can be a real drag at times.

You can unexpectedly explode an expelled spew of coffee over a sudden comeuppance or shock of news, or choke without warning on a bite of food, or have your tongue trip over a sip of soup and collapse.  The causes of the so-called spit-take can be many.  Roll around some of these possibilities in your mind's eye, while swirling around some pleasant liquid or other in your figurative -- or literal -- mouth:

Say, when your spouse or significant other, who has worked tirelessly with you on progressive political causes, suddenly announces, "You know, that whole Libertarian-Teabagger thing really makes perfect sense to me now!"

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