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)
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Natural World

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

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

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

2012: A Year (Lost) in Review

by David King on December 28, 2012

Now that a full week has passed since the world didn’t end (to everyone’s surprise, I’m quite certain), I thought it appropriate to reflect on the year – and in particular, on something that has me quite bothered.

I’ve never been a fan of watching the evening news, or reading the morning newspaper. While I like to stay informed, I can’t stand the way the news is edited, filtered, and truncated into mere seconds of information, as if hearing that “a new study has found a link between coffee and prostate cancer” is valuable information in and of itself. Add to this the trend of running useless gossipy celebrity stories before hardly relevant local ones, and I simply don’t have the patience.

Our short attention spans have only become shorter, and they have resulted in the near silencing of real, … Keep Reading Here

Living is Easy with Eyes Closed

by David King on November 5, 2012

They say that a picture is worth a thousand words. So today, I’m keeping the words to a minimum.

Images can move us, but we mustn’t avoid images that make us feel uncomfortable.  We live in a complex world, full of both good and bad; positive and negative; gain and loss. And while nature necessitates balance, such a concept has been misconstrued by our species. We are forever doomed to tilt. In our relentless quest for progress, we continuously find ourselves falling backward, ever the error-prone stewards – hardly stewards at all, hardly human by our own standards.

Living is easy with eyes closed (so the Beatles song says), but I don’t want easy. I won’t have anything to do with it. Eyes wide open, all the way…

Look at these images. Let them anger you. Let them sadden … Keep Reading Here

Nature, Naturally

by David King on October 24, 2010

In the midst our daily hassles and misfortunes, we often find ourselves in need of more. Sometimes wanting more means wanting another person, a particular someone who will lift us up, or love us. Other times, wanting more means wanting peace, or quiet, or time to ourselves to reflect – and perhaps even dream.

This ‘longing for more’ is an inherent quality of being human. Striving, goal-setting, progress – these are fundamental aspects of being alive. But they are also fundamental sources of hopelessness, worthlessness, and despair, for the pressure is enormous. As individual human beings, we MUST progress. We MUST endure. We MUST work, and build, and accomplish. This constant force is often life-defining, but with its enormous weight comes abundant opportunities for failure. And it is in these moments that we often lose ourselves.

Some cope with such … Keep Reading Here

Spirituality or “Reconnectuality”?

by David King on June 9, 2009

So in thinking about modern spirituality, I have come to the conclusion that perhaps it has forgotten what it’s all really about. It is quite clear to me that, shrouded in new age fantasies and home-grown theories about the origins of life, there exist three fundamental goals of spirituality (admittedly, among others): (1) to reconnect with one’s natural environment, (2) to reconnect with deeper, core aspects of one’s self, and (3) to live in the moment and/or experience sensations of “flow” in one’s daily reality. What has me bothered? The fact that all of these things are regularly experienced by practically all other species on Earth. The first of these is a given: Other species have no need to REconnect with the natural environment because they are already connected and innately intertwined, thriving on their ecological interdependence. The second goal … Keep Reading Here