Almost a year ago, David said:

I’m thinking that your aid campaign is what turned my life around. You’ve got a powerful tool there. Use it wisely.

I started what I called a “shareware” program where I sometimes send $5 to someone who is blogging and evincing some distress. David, Waxingstrange, and more recently a person on worldmagblog, the evangelical Christian web site, have all been recipients of my tiny postal mail donations.

In each case the recipient reported some benefit.

Here is my thinking.

1. All human beings are crazy. We are crazy because of our self-awareness of our mortality. (Becker) There is no cure for our condition. Religious belief is the most common method of alleviating it.

2. There are many sub categories to our craziness, such as the “I’m no good” syndrome (original sin).

3. Two common symptoms of the I’m no good syndrome are the “I am ugly,” and “Nobody loves me” feelings. David, for example, suffered severely from these symptoms, though he is not ugly and people do love him.

Here’s my theory. It is based on “cognitive dissonance” theory. This theory suggests that humans resist holding contradictory ideas in their minds. So if a person thinks, “I am ugly,” and a beautiful woman sleeps with him, he then thinks, “She is only doing this for my money.” This issue is complicated by the fact that in some cases the conjecture may be true. I don’t think like a woman, but the a woman may think, “He only loves me for my body.”

It may take a fairly strong and unexpected shock to break through this resistance. In Zen Buddhism, the master sometimes “slaps” the student to force him into a new awareness. Apparently, sometimes getting five dollars in the mail can sometimes have the same result. It’s only good for a few days, though.

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