Books on a moral life

Published 5:00 pm Saturday, April 23, 2011

“In some general ironic way we know that white-collar crime done by Americans of the most privileged backgrounds causes much more suffering, person by person, dollar by dollar than all street crime put together.” Carol Bly

This quote is one of many that come from “Changing the Bully Who Rules the World: reading and thinking about ethics.” Chapter 6 is titled Genuine Jerks and Genuine Jerk Organizations.

The “Woman Lit by Fireflies” by Jim Harrison is drawn from The Psychological and Moral Habitats of American Children and Adults section of Carol’s book that takes up 529 pages. The woman in Lit by Fireflies stops at a rest area along the highway that she and her husband are traveling on.

She begins: “She had not yet accepted as real the quiver in her stomach and the slight green dot of pain in the middle of her head that signaled an incipient migraine. Her husband on the car seat beside her punched in a tape called “Tracking the Blues,” which contained no black music, but rather the witless drone of a weekly financial lecture sent from New York City.”

While her husband is making a call, she finds a young boy who helps her in climbing over a fence and to makes her way away.

One of the last chapters is Finding a Good Therapist and Creating Moral Communities among Therapists by William J. Doherty.

He begins, “I have argued that many well-trained therapists hold a worldview that blinds them to issues of moral responsibility in their clients’ lives and deemphasizes the character of the therapist and the needs of the larger community,” then tells you what to look for in a good therapist and what to be wary of.

There are 12 chapters in the book with one that includes Robert Bly. Each chapter has various writers and closings with Carol’s commentary in each.

Betty Benner, one of Austin’s fine writers was one of the first resident to attend one of Carol’s workshops. Carol also did a presentation at our library back a ways and we followed her.