Mutual Empowerment April 2024

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promoting holistic reform

April 2024

Egalitarian Seeds

“You can be whatever you want to be.”

“What’s in it for me (WIIFM)?”

“Money is a way to keep score.”

“Greed is good.”

“Anyone can move from rags to riches with enough hard work.”

“The poor are responsible for their poverty.”

“The rich deserve their wealth.”

“Somebody’s gotta win and somebody’s gotta lose.”

“Winning is everything.”

“Go along to get along.”

“Keep up with the Joneses.”

“Mom, I have to have a smartphone because everyone has one.”

“Someone must always be in charge.”

“My workplace is a dictatorship.”

“At least I can be boss in my home.”

Society implants these hyper-individualistic, materialistic beliefs deep within people’s minds, which inflames instincts to dominate and submit for personal gain.

Our social system claims to be based on merit, equality, and a level playing field, but in fact, it exalts wealth, power, and status, however gained. The elite rule, supposedly deservedly, in every arena.

Humans are torn between fear and anger on the one hand and trust and love on the other. Fully facing this tension is necessary to resolve it. Chronic denial and distraction are deadly. We must acknowledge our best and our worst instincts. Only then can we most effectively relieve suffering and promote justice.

We can pause for rest and recreation, take care of ourselves so we can better care for others, and then reengage to pursue Truth, Justice, and Beauty and organize (structure) activities that cultivate holistic reform.

Numerous advocates presented in the Systemic knowledge base on the Compassionate Humanity Community website promote the compassionate holistic democratic reform of our top-down, selfish society. They address the whole person and the whole society, deal with complete systems, propose mutual support for self-improvement, and promote structural reforms rooted in moral transformation. These efforts don’t echo each other precisely, but they share many core principles and move in the same direction. [read more]

“Supercommuicators,” Interview with Charles Duhigg

Whether it is expletive-filled letter writing or the kind of political campaigning we discussed earlier in the program, there’s one skill they both require, and that is effective communication. Of course, throughout history and still today, it’s a tool of the powerful for both good and bad, but it’s also crucial in all of our daily lives, in the workplace, in our personal relationships, and more than ever online. [read more] (posted in Communication)

Desire, Dopamine, and the Internet,” L. M. Sacasas

In “Desire, Dopamine, and the Internet,” L. M. Sacasas, editor of The Convivial Society, argues

Part of what is going on is that, having grown up with devices at the ready, many people are now simply unable to imagine how to live apart from the steady stream of stimuli that they supply.

Human beings will naturally seek distractions rather than confront their own thoughts in moments of solitude and quiet because those thoughts will eventually lead them to consider unpleasant matters such as their own mortality, the vanity of their endeavors, and the general frailty of the human condition.

We are all of us kings now surrounded by devices whose only purpose is to prevent us from thinking about ourselves. [read more] (posted in Big Tech)

“Sisyphus on the Street,” A review by Jason DeParle

In “Sisyphus on the Street,” Jason DeParle reviews Rough Sleepers: Dr. Jim O’Connell’s Urgent Mission to Bring Healing to Homeless People by Tracy Kidder….

DeParle reports that in Kidder’s book “there’s not much about the broader inequality from which homelessness springs and almost nothing about politics or the paucity of housing aid…. To connect the policy dots,” DeParle writes, “readers might consult Marybeth Shinn and Jill Khadduri’s In the Midst of Plenty: Homelessness and What to Do About It (2020), a clear-eyed journey through a rich academic literature.” [read more] (Posted in Housing/Homelessness)

“The Anxious Generation.” Interview with Jonathan Haidt by Walter Isaacson, Transcript, April 1, 2024, Amanpour and Co.

Smartphones and social media have altered children’s development. Jonathan Haidt joins Hari to talk about how parents can manage the negative impacts. [read more] (added in Big Tech)

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