David King, MSc, PhD
Writer, Teacher, and Health Psychologist


       davidking2311@gmail.com

"We need not to be let alone. We need to be
really bothered once in a while. How long
is it since you were really bothered? About something important, about something
real?" (Ray Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451)
Home Services Blog Curriculum Vitae Teaching Dossier Contact

Humanity

Due Conservation: The Humanity of Non-Human Rights

by David King on September 17, 2014

baby elephant

This past summer I taught a course on personality psychology. At the end of the final lecture, I shared a thought that went something like this:

It doesn’t matter to me if you like animals. There are many people out there who do not like children, but that doesn’t make it acceptable to abuse children, or to torture them, or to use them for some purpose. What I hope I have occasionally demonstrated in this course is that like people, animals are also individuals. They too have personalities, and by extension, they have some sort of inalienable rights that at least approximate the human concept of personhood.

You see, I have gained a bit of a reputation in my courses to present animal models of human concepts where possible. Not only are they useful teaching tools, but the feedback from … Keep Reading Here

nebula

As an adolescent, I had a very strong disdain for all things religious. My bet was always on science, and as far as I was concerned, that meant that life had no place for religion. Evolution was my creation story; the primordial sea was my Garden of Eden. And God? Well, let’s just say I was a critic.

It wasn’t until my early twenties that I would have my first spiritual experience. It changed me, as did others that followed. Years later, when I studied spirituality as part of my Master’s degree in psychology, I would finally gain an intellectual appreciation for the important distinction between the religious and the spiritual. Although often related, each can exist altogether independently of the other. Religion is based on preconceived ideas and a prescribed set of practices. It also tends to be … Keep Reading Here

principles of an ecological morality

In this essay, I outline six principles of human morality within an ecological context. From nature, a code of values and ethics may be extracted and applied to human systems so as to benefit both human and non-human constituents. The first principle, diversity, may be seen as a foundation for the remaining five. In diversity we find renewed strength and productivity across domains, acknowledging variety and discrepancy as opportunities for growth and insight. The second principle, interdependence, speaks to our mutual reliance on one another and on all life. By nature of such connectedness, we inherit an innate agency, such that all actions or lack thereof lead to meaningful consequences within the system, impacting other constituents. No matter the level of analysis, all systems exist in a state of perpetual flux. Such constancy of change is … Keep Reading Here

In This and Every Fall From Grace

by David King on November 4, 2013

nature

You can try to hold on if you want to, but your grip is sure to loosen over time.

Grace is a virtue often defined in religious terms, but it need not be so. I have made the suggestion that many expressions of religion and spirituality are the mere products of our desire to reconnect with nature. In its purest form, nature is grace; grace is nature – effortless beauty, simplicity in elegant design, rounded, smoothed, and charming, even when it’s not at all.

It’s right there. It’s all around us, in every drop of water, in every moment of the hydrologic cycle. It’s in the bonds between atoms, in the synapses between nerves, and in the air between each breath. It’s both photosynthesis and decomposition; both mitosis and meiosis; stalagmite, leaf, and root. It’s the ice and the snow; … Keep Reading Here

Restoring Humanity: An Appeal to Kindness

by TamilSelvan Ramis on July 21, 2013

humanity

Preface from David: In an effort to support the voices of others who are similarly bothered, I am publishing a letter from a previous student with whom I had the pleasure to associate briefly at the University of British Columbia. Selvan was an outstanding student, and recognized as such by the university via multiple undergraduate awards of the highest caliber. Yet more importantly, he is a respectable global citizen, demonstrating a relentless passion for human rights and freedoms which I had the opportunity to witness firsthand. This letter is a plea – a plea to stand up for humanity, and to take a participatory role in its rescue. In this way, it is also a plea to get bothered, and to start thinking critically and seriously about the future of humanity. I implore everyone to get more active. Please Keep Reading Here

end_of_doma_1

Yesterday, the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) was ruled unconstitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court, putting an end to a ridiculous law that prevented the federal government from recognizing state-legalized same-sex marriages. Let me preface the rest of this article by saying that this is definitely a good thing, and it is a step in the right direction. Without a doubt, supporters of equality and human rights should be pleased.

Let’s take a closer look at the reality of the situation. The Defense of Marriage Act was approved by Congress in 1996, spearheaded by Georgia Republican Bob Barr in an effort to express the collective moral disapproval of homosexuality (literally). Although it was met with some resistance, it was nonetheless pushed through Congress quickly and easily, with votes of 85-14 in the Senate and 342-67 in the House of Representatives. … Keep Reading Here

Get in the Grey…

by David King on June 13, 2013

blackandwhite

I’m not fond of the night. The darkness is withholding, suffocating, and I get lost in it – lost in the emptiness, lost in the agony and apprehension over morning’s coup. I’m not fond of the day either. It’s too revealing and sensational. Over-illuminated, exposing what the night did well to conceal. I prefer the musings of dawn and dusk; the greyness and uncertainty of twilights and daybreaks. My mind thrives in the transitions. My heart beats in the potentials. It is a life lived in ideals and in-betweens, a life lived in conception.

All metaphors aside, a black-and-white thinker I am definitely not. I remain dedicated to the grey, and happily so. Yet I live in a world of black-and-white thinkers; dichromatic dreamers and the sort.

That’s not entirely true of course. By no means am I alone out … Keep Reading Here

Hope Elusive: Getting Bothered over Bees & Bags

by David King on May 29, 2013

honeybee

Since this blog’s conception, I have tried to focus on topics and issues of the less obvious sort. My goal was (and remains) to get people thinking about things like time and space and what it means to be human – what it means to live in this world. I wanted to tackle big issues, engage people on an existential level, and really challenge everyday thinking. To this end, I have decidedly ignored many issues that have seeped into mainstream media, no matter how bothersome. But my motivation for this has really been two-fold. In addition to avoiding redundancy and offering something new, I also made the assumption that my readers were already bothered by all of those things. I presumed the thoughts and feelings of an unseen audience, and implicit in this was the belief that intelligence was relatively … Keep Reading Here

Confronting Concrete: The Catch-7 of City Living

by David King on May 26, 2013

concrete

I’m tired of the city. Really, really tired of it.

I suppose it’s not the city itself that I’m tired of. It’s what the city has removed that I find myself longing for. I’m tired of the absence of nature; of perfectly aligned trees and genetically enhanced flowerbeds. I’m tired of manufactured landscapes and concrete views. I miss the connection. I miss life – the kind that isn’t constantly motivated by coffee breaks and cocktails on patios.

Such feelings may come as a surprise, given my current location. And sure, Vancouver is a city with more natural beauty than most. But it is nonetheless still a city. Trees have been replaced by towers of glass and cement. Pristine bays once frequented by orcas now function as parking spaces for freighters and shipping vessels. The nature that remains has been quarantined, … Keep Reading Here

Something Less than Decent

by David King on April 27, 2013

humanity

We have become complacent. And in error, we desire to be content, above all else.

In my early twenties, I had come to the conclusion that judgment was indeed something to be avoided, at least consciously, in so much that I had no right to compare my losses to those of others; no right to judge my experiences as better or as worse. By extension, I had no right to offer advice either directly or narrowly, for to do so required a judgment of what was best for someone else. Such judgments once seemed reckless, for who was I? Whether it was complacency per se, I am not quite sure. But despite its original intentions of respect and political correctness (as well as a recognition of the natural variability in human experience and perception), my commitment to all suggestions absent … Keep Reading Here