The Compassion Gene

Captain’s Log     5,236

I now believe that Trump is actually trying to start a civil war in this country.  With his statements becoming more and more absurd, I can’t imagine he is actually serious.  Today, he stated that Russian espionage is good for our country.  Isn’t that a statement embroidered with treason?

I think he’s getting white people so riled up over being “discriminated against” that he will step aside and let the warring factions destroy each other.  I fully expect to see military presence in our cities very soon.  This is not going to be easy.

On a happier note, the high schools in Washington D.C. are, in effect, boycotting the inauguration festivities.  Not one has agreed to march in the historic parade down Pennsylvania Avenue.


This was Obama’s parade – full of marching bands.  Imagine it empty.  I can.  And I hope he gets the message loud and clear.

My guess is he will start some sort of Twitter tirade against the schools – and probably the kids too.  Nobody is safe from his idiocy.

I keep thinking this is all a bad dream.  But it’s been too many days for that.  It is now a living nightmare.  So many people tell me to be patient and wait out the storm.  That’s like saying it’s okay to just let your ship crash against the rocks and hope you all survive.  Doing nothing and saying nothing is the worst we can do.


I have a full weekend of activities that ends Monday night with our staff dinner.  There are a few exceptions, but for the most part, I don’t have a staff that demonstrates or comprehends gratitude very well.  Even when I wasn’t the boss, I would go all out and make everybody soap, decorate bottles of sparking cider, hand out chocolates, etc.  I know these holidays are about GIVING rather than receiving, but I got absolutely nothing in return.  For years.  And then, one day, I got a small gift from the most economically challenged person on the staff.  I got a giant pink clip to keep my potato chips fresh.  She announced that they came as a 2-pack and she only needed one, so I got the other one.  At the time, it was the nicest thing anyone on staff had ever done for me.

If you don’t have expectations, you aren’t disappointed.  I am working on that.  I am not expecting a gift.  What I would really like is some team sincerity about how we all care for each other.  But that’s not going to happen.  I can lead people to the well but I cannot make them drink that waters of caring and understanding for one another.  It makes me sad.  I need to just get over it.  I need to stop feeling like a failure.  I am beginning to think that compassion is like rhythm.  You either have it or you don’t.


Filed under Captain Poolie's observations

16 responses to “The Compassion Gene

  1. Susanna

    Your ability to give to others is huge. All the plays you wrote gave opportunities for all the cast and crew to exercise their own gifts and be in a loving community that was ALL about fun and creativity. I’ll never forget when a song for my character had not yet been written and you said to me, give it a go. Write the song yourself. Oh what fun. I came up with something that was even a surprise to me. I thought it was adorable. Thank you Paula for giving me that opportunity to shine and sit long enough to find a wonderful funny song emerge. You are a very generous soul. What you give to yourself (enough quiet time and enough discipline to create some very beautiful plays, and lyrics, and stories and music) THIS you give to others. The same opportunity to develop a bit of grit and self-confidence to see that they too have talents within them if they stop long enough and put in a bit of thoughtful contemplation and allow it to surface. I hope this note of gratitude is not too late for all your readers to enjoy because I know you are taking a break from writing to rest and use your energy to heal from chemotherapy. A wise choice. I love you so much and my gratitude for having you in my life is huge.

  2. It’s the 23rd now.
    So what are you doing on the 24th or 25th?

  3. It seems that the new generation is all about ‘me’. I have to wonder when they’ll wake up and become aware that they are not the center of the universe. Hopefully soon…

  4. Joanie

    So many people seem to be “unskilled emotionally” as you put it.

  5. I understand both sides of that equation. I have bought or chipped in for gifts or bosses when I couldn’t afford gifts for my children. For years, the team chipped in $5 apiece and I used it (plus $20-50 from my own pocket to cover for the people who didn’t bother) to make a nice gift basket. After a while people stopped contributing, and new bosses came in with an entitlement attitude, so I stopped.

    However, none of those bosses did anything for the teams, and none went to bat for us like you’ve done for your staff. If I were on your staff, you’d get something awesome every year, like clockwork, and I’d have a blast building it, too.

  6. You are not a failure. Your museum is a huge success on several levels. We are VERY grateful to have you in our lives and will see ya later alligator.

  7. Patty O'

    Ah yes: Teamwork, inclusiveness, generosity, company loyalty. All hard to find these days. We’ve seen it before and elsewhere and it always saddens me, too. Get well cards used to circulate, birthday cards. Fond farewells. Hard to find those now, too. I, too, would treasure that chip clip…

  8. Carrie Duff

    Oh my, you are one of the most loving, compassionate, loving, caring, understanding, oh wait did I say LOVING people I have EVER met! You listened and listened when I was so so very sad and helped me get through such a sad time. I do agree this is a sad time in our history but YOU my dear friend are not a part of that. YOU are a shinning STAR in my world.
    LOVE AND HUGE HUGS TO YOU now and every single day of the year!!
    P.S. If the people at your waork don’t get that well then Poo and shame on them!

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