Great points, Kurt. I wish I had accepted long ago what I saw with my own eyes about the un-empathetic people I knew, instead of wasting a lot of time and energy agonizing over what I wished they COULD be. People show you who they are all the time, but so often we just don't want to see it. That kind of denial can cause a lot of suffering. Also... not falling for the words, "the stated values", as you call them, is a big part of this discrimination process. I remember many years ago, watching a PBS special about the drug wars in Columbia. They were interviewing a drug enforcement agent from the US who was working to capture some of the big drug lords. They asked him, "How do you trust ANYONE in this business that you're in." And he said, "I NEVER BELIEVE WHAT PEOPLE TELL ME. I WATCH TO SEE WHAT THEY DO." Wow! That really grabbed my attention. It was a lightbulb moment. I had spent far too many years believing what I heard, and wishing for it to be true. I made much better judgement calls, when I began to observe more carefully what people actually did, and how they did it. A big and valuable lesson.