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Actions have consequences. It's cool when the consequences are positive. I was recently shown how effective reassuring people and working to earn trust can be. It's also a bit of frightening; it is easy to create an implicit commitment to respect people and to be worthy of their trust. Such a commitment can be important to the people who are trusting you.

In completely unrelated news, I recently discussed a tendency to take an interest in people who have (or are trying) an interesting outlook on life. I mentioned that I couldn't find what benefit I got from this even after looking at it for a week. I realized yesterday that I was looking in the wrong place. I was looking for a practical/rational benefit to what's mostly an emotional exploration. I do that too much. The emotional benefit is simple: if I understand someone else enough to have empathy with what is going on for them, I experience the positive benefits of this empathy. That isn't quite enough to explain it. Also I think there are probably some practical issues going on as well—probably issues that happen at a low enough level I won't notice them unless I am looking. At least I'm making progress in understanding myself.