A blog about my dynamic journey to become more Human.
"Above all, the prophets remind us all of the moral state of a people: Few are guilty, but all are responsible." --Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel
...look to it, reflect, gain insights, overcome, and transcend it.
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It’s that time of the year when SciStarter goes back to school! Our Project Finder is full of citizen science projects perfect for the classroom. Why citizen science in the classroom you ask? Well here are 8 great reasons why citizen science works in the classroom!
We highlight 10 projects here that can be used in the classroom, as homework assignments, or as after school family activities across a variety of subjects and age groups. For more classroom projects take a look at ourclassroom picks!
Memo: From Nick Hanauer To: My Fellow Zillionaires
You probably don’t know me, but like you I am one of those .01%ers, a proud and unapologetic capitalist. I have founded, co-founded and funded more than 30 companies across a range of industries—from itsy-bitsy ones like the night club I started in my 20s to giant ones like Amazon.com, for which I was the first nonfamily investor. Then I founded aQuantive, an Internet advertising company that was sold to Microsoft in 2007 for $6.4 billion. In cash. My friends and I own a bank. I tell you all this to demonstrate that in many ways I’m no different from you. Like you, I have a broad perspective on business and capitalism. And also like you, I have been rewarded obscenely for my success, with a life that the other 99.99 percent of Americans can’t even imagine. Multiple homes, my own plane, etc., etc. You know what I’m talking about. In 1992, I was selling pillows made by my family’s business, Pacific Coast Feather Co., to retail stores across the country, and the Internet was a clunky novelty to which one hooked up with a loud squawk at 300 baud. But I saw pretty quickly, even back then, that many of my customers, the big department store chains, were already doomed. I knew that as soon as the Internet became fast and trustworthy enough—and that time wasn’t far off—people were going to shop online like crazy. Goodbye, Caldor. And Filene’s. And Borders. And on and on.
Realizing that, seeing over the horizon a little faster than the next guy, was the strategic part of my success. The lucky part was that I had two friends, both immensely talented, who also saw a lot of potential in the web. One was a guy you’ve probably never heard of named Jeff Tauber, and the other was a fellow named Jeff Bezos. I was so excited by the potential of the web that I told both Jeffs that I wanted to invest in whatever they launched, big time. It just happened that the second Jeff—Bezos—called me back first to take up my investment offer. So I helped underwrite his tiny start-up bookseller. The other Jeff started a web department store called Cybershop, but at a time when trust in Internet sales was still low, it was too early for his high-end online idea; people just weren’t yet ready to buy expensive goods without personally checking them out (unlike a basic commodity like books, which don’t vary in quality—Bezos’ great insight). Cybershop didn’t make it, just another dot-com bust. Amazon did somewhat better. Now I own a very large yacht.
But let’s speak frankly to each other. I’m not the smartest guy you’ve ever met, or the hardest-working. I was a mediocre student. I’m not technical at all—I can’t write a word of code. What sets me apart, I think, is a tolerance for risk and an intuition about what will happen in the future. Seeing where things are headed is the essence of entrepreneurship. And what do I see in our future now?
I see pitchforks.
At the same time that people like you and me are thriving beyond the dreams of any plutocrats in history, the rest of the country—the 99.99 percent—is lagging far behind. The divide between the haves and have-nots is getting worse really, really fast. In 1980, the top 1 percent controlled about 8 percent of U.S. national income. The bottom 50 percent shared about 18 percent. Today the top 1 percent share about 20 percent; the bottom 50 percent, just 12 percent.
But the problem isn’t that we have inequality. Some inequality is intrinsic to any high-functioning capitalist economy. The problem is that inequality is at historically high levels and getting worse every day. Our country is rapidly becoming less a capitalist society and more a feudal society. Unless our policies change dramatically, the middle class will disappear, and we will be back to late 18th-century France. Before the revolution.
And so I have a message for my fellow filthy rich, for all of us who live in our gated bubble worlds: Wake up, people. It won’t last.
If we don’t do something to fix the glaring inequities in this economy, the pitchforks are going to come for us. No society can sustain this kind of rising inequality. In fact, there is no example in human history where wealth accumulated like this and the pitchforks didn’t eventually come out. You show me a highly unequal society, and I will show you a police state. Or an uprising. There are no counterexamples. None. It’s not if, it’s when.
Many of us think we’re special because “this is America.” We think we’re immune to the same forces that started the Arab Spring—or the French and Russian revolutions, for that matter. I know you fellow .01%ers tend to dismiss this kind of argument; I’ve had many of you tell me to my face I’m completely bonkers. And yes, I know there are many of you who are convinced that because you saw a poor kid with an iPhone that one time, inequality is a fiction.
Here’s what I say to you: You’re living in a dream world. What everyone wants to believe is that when things reach a tipping point and go from being merely crappy for the masses to dangerous and socially destabilizing, that we’re somehow going to know about that shift ahead of time. Any student of history knows that’s not the way it happens. Revolutions, like bankruptcies, come gradually, and then suddenly. One day, somebody sets himself on fire, then thousands of people are in the streets, and before you know it, the country is burning. And then there’s no time for us to get to the airport and jump on our Gulfstream Vs and fly to New Zealand. That’s the way it always happens. If inequality keeps rising as it has been, eventually it will happen. We will not be able to predict when, and it will be terrible—for everybody. But especially for us.
The most ironic thing about rising inequality is how completely unnecessary and self-defeating it is. If we do something about it, if we adjust our policies in the way that, say, Franklin D. Roosevelt did during the Great Depression—so that we help the 99 percent and preempt the revolutionaries and crazies, the ones with the pitchforks—that will be the best thing possible for us rich folks, too. It’s not just that we’ll escape with our lives; it’s that we’ll most certainly get even richer.
The model for us rich guys here should be Henry Ford, who realized that all his autoworkers in Michigan weren’t only cheap labor to be exploited; they were consumers, too. Ford figured that if he raisedtheir wages, to a then-exorbitant $5 a day, they’d be able to afford his Model Ts.
What a great idea. My suggestion to you is: Let’s do it all over again. We’ve got to try something. These idiotic trickle-down policies are destroying my customer base. And yours too.
It’s when I realized this that I decided I had to leave my insulated world of the super-rich and get involved in politics. Not directly, by running for office or becoming one of the big-money billionaires who back candidates in an election. Instead, I wanted to try to change the conversation with ideas—by advancing what my co-author, Eric Liu, and I call “middle-out” economics. It’s the long-overdue rebuttal to the trickle-down economics worldview that has become economic orthodoxy across party lines—and has so screwed the American middle class and our economy generally. Middle-out economics rejects the old misconception that an economy is a perfectly efficient, mechanistic system and embraces the much more accurate idea of an economy as a complex ecosystem made up of real people who are dependent on one another.
Which is why the fundamental law of capitalism must be: If workers have more money, businesses have more customers. Which makes middle-class consumers, not rich businesspeople like us, the true job creators. Which means a thriving middle class is the source of American prosperity, not a consequence of it. The middle class creates us rich people, not the other way around.
On June 19, 2013, Bloomberg published an article I wrote called “The Capitalist’s Case for a $15 Minimum Wage.” Forbeslabeled it “Nick Hanauer’s near insane” proposal. And yet, just weeks after it was published, my friend David Rolf, a Service Employees International Union organizer, roused fast-food workers to go on strike around the country for a $15 living wage. Nearly a year later, the city of Seattlepassed a $15 minimum wage. And just 350 days after my article was published, Seattle Mayor Ed Murray signed that ordinance into law. How could this happen, you ask?
It happened because we reminded the masses that they are the source of growth and prosperity, not us rich guys. We reminded them that when workers have more money, businesses have more customers—and need more employees. We reminded them that if businesses paid workers a living wage rather than poverty wages, taxpayers wouldn’t have to make up the difference. And when we got done, 74 percent of likely Seattle voters in a recent poll agreed that a $15 minimum wage was a swell idea.
The standard response in the minimum-wage debate, made by Republicans and their business backers and plenty of Democrats as well, is that raising the minimum wage costs jobs. Businesses will have to lay off workers. This argument reflects the orthodox economics that most people had in college. If you took Econ 101, then you literally were taught that if wages go up, employment must go down. The law of supply and demand and all that. That’s why you’ve got John Boehner and other Republicans in Congress insisting that if you price employment higher, you get less of it. Really?
The thing about us businesspeople is that we love our customers rich and our employees poor.
Because here’s an odd thing. During the past three decades, compensation for CEOs grew 127 times faster than it did for workers. Since 1950, the CEO-to-worker pay ratio has increased 1,000 percent, and that is not a typo. CEOs used to earn 30 times the median wage; now they rake in 500 times. Yet no company I know of has eliminated its senior managers, or outsourced them to China or automated their jobs. Instead, we now have more CEOs and senior executives than ever before. So, too, for financial services workers and technology workers. These folks earn multiples of the median wage, yet we somehow have more and more of them.
Most of you probably think that the $15 minimum wage in Seattle is an insane departure from rational policy that puts our economy at great risk. But in Seattle, our current minimum wage of $9.32 is already nearly 30 percent higher than the federal minimum wage. And has it ruined our economy yet? Well, trickle-downers, look at the data here: The two cities in the nation with the highest rate of job growth by small businesses are San Francisco and Seattle. Guess which cities have the highest minimum wage? San Francisco and Seattle. The fastest-growing big city in America? Seattle. Fifteen dollars isn’t a risky untried policy for us. It’s doubling down on the strategy that’s already allowing our city to kick your city’s ass.
It makes perfect sense if you think about it: If a worker earns $7.25 an hour, which is now the national minimum wage, what proportion of that person’s income do you think ends up in the cash registers of local small businesses? Hardly any. That person is paying rent, ideally going out to get subsistence groceries at Safeway, and, if really lucky, has a bus pass. But she’s not going out to eat at restaurants. Not browsing for new clothes. Not buying flowers on Mother’s Day.
Is this issue more complicated than I’m making out? Of course. Are there many factors at play determining the dynamics of employment? Yup. But please, please stop insisting that if we pay low-wage workers more, unemployment will skyrocket and it will destroy the economy. It’s utter nonsense. The most insidious thing about trickle-down economics isn’t believing that if the rich get richer, it’s good for the economy. It’s believing that if the poor get richer, it’s bad for the economy.
I know that virtually all of you feel that compelling our businesses to pay workers more is somehow unfair, or is too much government interference. Most of you think that we should just let good examples like Costco or Gap lead the way. Or let the market set the price. But here’s the thing. When those who set bad examples, like the owners of Wal-Mart or McDonald’s, pay their workers close to the minimum wage, what they’re really saying is that they’d pay even less if it weren’t illegal. (Thankfully both companies have recently said they would not oppose a hike in the minimum wage.) In any large group, some people absolutely will not do the right thing. That’s why our economy can only be safe and effective if it is governed by the same kinds of rules as, say, the transportation system, with its speed limits and stop signs.
Wal-Mart is our nation’s largest employer with some 1.4 million employees in the United States and more than $25 billion in pre-tax profit. So why are Wal-Mart employees the largest group of Medicaid recipients in many states? Wal-Mart could, say, pay each of its 1 million lowest-paid workers an extra $10,000 per year, raise them all out of poverty and enable them to, of all things, afford to shop at Wal-Mart. Not only would this also save us all the expense of the food stamps, Medicaid and rent assistance that they currently require, but Wal-Mart would still earn more than $15 billion pre-tax per year. Wal-Mart won’t (and shouldn’t) volunteer to pay its workers more than their competitors. In order for us to have an economy that works for everyone, we should compel all retailers to pay living wages—not just ask politely.
We rich people have been falsely persuaded by our schooling and the affirmation of society, and have convinced ourselves, that we are the main job creators. It’s simply not true. There can never be enough super-rich Americans to power a great economy. I earn about 1,000 times the median American annually, but I don’t buy thousands of times more stuff. My family purchased three cars over the past few years, not 3,000. I buy a few pairs of pants and a few shirts a year, just like most American men. I bought two pairs of the fancy wool pants I am wearing as I write, what my partner Mike calls my “manager pants.” I guess I could have bought 1,000 pairs. But why would I? Instead, I sock my extra money away in savings, where it doesn’t do the country much good.
So forget all that rhetoric about how America is great because of people like you and me and Steve Jobs. You know the truth even if you won’t admit it: If any of us had been born in Somalia or the Congo, all we’d be is some guy standing barefoot next to a dirt road selling fruit. It’s not that Somalia and Congo don’t have good entrepreneurs. It’s just that the best ones are selling their wares off crates by the side of the road because that’s all their customers can afford.
So why not talk about a different kind of New Deal for the American people, one that could appeal to the right as well as left—to libertarians as well as liberals? First, I’d ask my Republican friends to get real about reducing the size of government. Yes, yes and yes, you guys are all correct: The federal government is too big in some ways. But no way can you cut government substantially, not the way things are now. Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush each had eight years to do it, and they failed miserably.
Republicans and Democrats in Congress can’t shrink government with wishful thinking. The only way to slash government for real is to go back to basic economic principles: You have to reduce the demand for government. If people are getting $15 an hour or more, they don’t need food stamps. They don’t need rent assistance. They don’t need you and me to pay for their medical care. If the consumer middle class is back, buying and shopping, then it stands to reason you won’t need as large a welfare state. And at the same time, revenues from payroll and sales taxes would rise, reducing the deficit.
This is, in other words, an economic approach that can unite left and right. Perhaps that’s one reason the right is beginning, inexorably, to wake up to this reality as well. Even Republicans as diverse as Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum recently came out in favor of raising the minimum wage, in defiance of the Republicans in Congress.
One thing we can agree on—I’m sure of this—is that the change isn’t going to start in Washington. Thinking is stale, arguments even more so. On both sides.
But the way I see it, that’s all right. Most major social movements have seen their earliest victories at the state and municipal levels. The fight over the eight-hour workday, which ended in Washington, D.C., in 1938, began in places like Illinois and Massachusetts in the late 1800s. The movement for social security began in California in the 1930s. Even the Affordable Health Care Act—Obamacare—would have been hard to imagine without Mitt Romney’s model in Massachusetts to lead the way.
Sadly, no Republicans and few Democrats get this. President Obama doesn’t seem to either, though his heart is in the right place. In his State of the Union speech this year, he mentioned the need for a higher minimum wage but failed to make the case that less inequality and a renewed middle class would promote faster economic growth. Instead, the arguments we hear from most Democrats are the same old social-justice claims. The only reason to help workers is because we feel sorry for them. These fairness arguments feed right into every stereotype of Obama and the Democrats as bleeding hearts. Republicans say growth. Democrats say fairness—and lose every time.
But just because the two parties in Washington haven’t figured it out yet doesn’t mean we rich folks can just keep going. The conversation is already changing, even if the billionaires aren’t onto it. I know what you think: You think that Occupy Wall Street and all the other capitalism-is-the-problem protesters disappeared without a trace. But that’s not true. Of course, it’s hard to get people to sleep in a park in the cause of social justice. But the protests we had in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis really did help to change the debate in this country from death panels and debt ceilings to inequality.
It’s just that so many of you plutocrats didn’t get the message.
Dear 1%ers, many of our fellow citizens are starting to believe that capitalism itself is the problem. I disagree, and I’m sure you do too. Capitalism, when well managed, is the greatest social technology ever invented to create prosperity in human societies. But capitalism left unchecked tends toward concentration and collapse. It can be managed either to benefit the few in the near term or the many in the long term. The work of democracies is to bend it to the latter. That is why investments in the middle class work. And tax breaks for rich people like us don’t. Balancing the power of workers and billionaires by raising the minimum wage isn’t bad for capitalism. It’s an indispensable tool smart capitalists use to make capitalism stable and sustainable. And no one has a bigger stake in that than zillionaires like us.
The oldest and most important conflict in human societies is the battle over the concentration of wealth and power. The folks like us at the top have always told those at the bottom that our respective positions are righteous and good for all. Historically, we called that divine right. Today we have trickle-down economics.
What nonsense this is. Am I really such a superior person? Do I belong at the center of the moral as well as economic universe? Do you?
My family, the Hanauers, started in Germany selling feathers and pillows. They got chased out of Germany by Hitler and ended up in Seattle owning another pillow company. Three generations later, I benefited from that. Then I got as lucky as a person could possibly get in the Internet age by having a buddy in Seattle named Bezos. I look at the average Joe on the street, and I say, “There but for the grace of Jeff go I.” Even the best of us, in the worst of circumstances, are barefoot, standing by a dirt road, selling fruit. We should never forget that, or forget that the United States of America and its middle class made us, rather than the other way around.
Or we could sit back, do nothing, enjoy our yachts. And wait for the pitchforks.
When we call the other "bad," "evil," or "mischievous," we end up giving the other an irrefutable excuse/reason to stay stuck in one specific life stage, or at the very least to stay there longer than needed to learn the lesson(s) at that specific
We, all, have fallen prey to systems, and live under systems' control. So when the individual lives under systems, he lives outside of himself, and therefore has been socialized by systems to believe that he needs to manipulate and compete with his outside, external environment to feel loved, secure, and happy, for love, security, and happiness are all three relative or in direct scarcity to what/who has more/less materially/externally than the other.
This merely surviving under systems, as systems' preys, will always lead unnaturally to a need for wars over the fear of scarcity, or external powers.
We, all, are educated, miseducated, and diseducated under systems. The system of "education," as we now have it, forces us, all, to live outside of ourselves, for that system gives us an apriori, robotic, and external way of surviving life, instead of living it fully.
The wonderful anecdote told by John Lennon illustrates my point, here, most cogently: Sir Lennon was asked by his Kindergarten teacher, "What do you want to be when you grow up?" "Happy." the young Lennon said, in response to the question, simply! The teacher, educated, miseducated, and diseducated by systems, retorted strongly, "You did NOT understand the question!" For one's true happiness, or more to the point, Joy, is within oneself, and systems cannot control that which is internal/within; therefore, systems must draw one out, outside of oneself, literally, and figuratively through an insidious, external systems of "education."
People, who have re-educated themselves to live within themselves, and find their real, inner peace, Joy there, have been made into "saints," or "pariahs" of some sorts to one group or another; the Dalai Lama comes to mind, here, as he is both, a "pariah" to the Chinese Government, and a living "saint" to the rest of us. "Saints" and "pariahs" both must suffer greatly, under our and systems' eyes, for choosing to live within themselves, and we honor, revere, and ecclesiastically canonize "saints" in life or/and in death, for we've been taught, by systems, to believe that "saints," living or ascended, are most "unlike" the rest of us. But we continually say, "We ,all, want peace, and want to live in peace with our human family."
But living under any system makes peace unnaturally impossible!
Nelson Mandela, lived as a "pariah," then as a living "saint" before he ascended. As a "pariah" for he dared to live within himself, and a living "saint" for he continued to live the rest of his life within himself. The insight, here, from Nelson Mandela's way of life: circumstances external may change and they do change always like the fickle moon, but living within oneself will provide one with the courage, love, patience, and empathy to be, live fully human, for to live within oneself is to be unshakeably, fully human.
May God, Allah, or whatever one may call the Magnetic Force Field, who/which--I believe that God is ineffable, so pronouns don't apply--attracts our Humanity as One-Whole, bestow upon, our Jewish and Palestinian sisters and brothers, the courage, wisdom, love, and empathy to live within themselves as one human family, thereby transcending the immaterial differences between them, borne out of living under systems, which have kept them apart, so far!
God, our Universe, Mother Nature, or whatever one may call the Greater Power or Magnetic Force which guides us, humanity as a whole, loves irony, for it is most ironic that I would be, want to be, in a position to help others, and myself in the process, to de-isolate themselves, thus becoming an active part of the collective human experience we refer fondly to as life.
As I have discussed with my therapist, on many occasions/sessions, I am merely the alcoholic advising others of the dangers of alcohol, or in my case of the dangers of living--just barely surviving, instead of living, away from his/her social group, society, neighbors, or humanity as a whole. In my specific case, “Social Anxiety” had lead me further, and father away from humanity at large, and so as I have embarked on my personal journey to become more human, with the help of my therapists, and countless of others' who had/have helped me with sticks or/and carrots as consequences for my behaviors of the past, I urge you to join me in creating a vibrant community in our building, our lives--both personal and professional.
--Anonymous (Thanks to the writer(s) of "How To Build A Community")
If you are NOT a transgender yourself, or have empathized before with someone who is a transgender friend or family member, and/or if you are homophobic, lesbophobic, I would advise or urge you to watch this video later, much later in your life's journey! This video is for those who are willing/ready to exercise their empathetic muscles.
What immediately comes to my mind while watching this video for the first time: (1) They truly love each other and are having fun together, like children at play!
(2) Why would any other sentient being want to deny two men or women, who love each other, the right, privilege to care, be there for each other in a real compassionate and empathetic way, and love each other. Remember the best credo of all the credos: Do unto others...!
Question: "When did doing something "like a girl" become an insult?" --Always #likeagirl Question: How insidious is patriarchy?
(a) "A girl's confidence plummets during puberty [also known as the formative years in a girl's life, and we all know the crucial importance of confidence in attaining your life's goals, thus in becoming more human]!"
(b) Women, with the same professional skills as men, earn way less money in their jobs, careers, on the average.
(c) With the gender binary system, women are socialized to
be the "weaker sex," the "inferior" sex, the "less-human" sex.
(d) With the gender binary system, men are socialized to be the "strong" sex, the "superior" sex, the "more-human" sex.
(e) Sexual assaults on women around the world continue to be a major problem facing our women.
(f) Homophobia keeps patriarchal men trapped inside the "man box," for fear of being treated like we treat our women. (g) Patriarchal men are socialized to disconnect from their emotions, feelings, or humanity, for vulnerability is believed to be weakness or "girly." (h) If I cannot feel my own emotions as a man, a patriarchal man, then it follows unnaturally, that I cannot identify or empathize with your, the other's emotions, feelings, or humanity. (i) 1 out 5 women, in the USA, say they have been sexually assaulted sometime in their lives." --Colin Stokes from "How Movies Teach Manhood" ...more to be added, later on! Thanks for sharing and resharing, Googlers.
"In the end what will hurt most is NOT the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends."
--Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
...so stand against--with your words, actions, body, heart, and soul--homophobia, patriarchy, misogyny, lesbophobia, transphobia, racism, xenophobia, and all other forms of hatred, which make us, all, less-human, for to hate the other is to hate oneself, truly.
I believe the reason why we need to have more empathy for human beings in position of external power is: they are working within/with a human system which is imperfect--the individual human being, though, is always above systems, thus always noble.
By the time a politician, for example, comes into external power, he inherits a system which has been in place long before--centuries before in some cases--he gets elected, and systems, by their man-made nature, are in place to keep the status quo, to keep order, to keep tradition or culture, to keep a linear or circular continuity, which our human brain loves, and interprets as orderly, and as byproduct a false equilibrium and a state of the known is reached--the sun-always-rises-in-the-East syndrome, I call it.
We fear the unknown so much that we are willing to give our human freedom, thus freewill, away to systems to control, and manipulate our lives into a false known series of man-made events, experiences that duplicate and replicate themselves over and over again to give us the illusion of order, continuity, and false safety from any unknowns in this scary universe we inhabit, forlorn, without gods or/and goddesses; therefore, our man-made systems have usurped the throne of an omnipotent, omnipresent goddess, to leave us in the all-too-powerful hands of blind, and unforgiving, man-made systems.
Systems be NOT proud! Our noble Human Nature shall dethrone you, by-and-by.
Both crime and our world's justice system are propelled by and rooted in the same, fear.
People commit crimes out of fear of not living up to some standard(s), call it honor, tradition, sometimes; at other times, fear of scarcity, psychosis (the basis for the fear, at times, is rooted in psychosis of some type), and at other times, a fear of fear itself, borne out of a patriarchal inheritance that forces most men to not be in touch with their emotions, thus not ever being able to feel fear without becoming the very thing they've learned, been taught to disassociate their masculinity from, and thus their humanity or empathetic muscles.
On the other hand, our world's justice system is totally reactionary, at the very least, and not at all redemptive. Out of a fear that people will commit crimes far too easily, like the Wild West, we have fashioned the hand of our laws strong and heavy, and most often indifferent and blinded by fears.
And the fear of the strong, heavy hand of our laws has not proven a good deterrent at all for those of us, who are fearful enough to commit crimes.
Following comment was submitted by Jon Hubner at onbeing.org (Sat, 2011-02-26 15:09)
"Listening to Vincent Harding speaking of the beloved community touched me deeply.
I was reminded of when I worked at a very large state-run psychiatric facility. Each day there was a struggle. To daily witness another human being writhing on the floor in inexpressible agony, or waiting endlessly by the door for a phantom lover that would never come, was to daily have my heart broken. Slowly a choice was forming: close myself to their suffering, or feel their pain.
One day the answer was shown to me.
While at the geriatric unit, I was trying to comfort a patient who had become uncharacteristically terrified.
"Is this real?" She said fearfully.
I spoke consoling words to her, but they had no effect.
"Is this place haunted? Am I ghost? Help me! I am afraid!" She said with such pleading, that I can only picture a child lost in the dark uttering them.
"Here, this is for you. I've been saving it for a time like now." A patient said placing a partially knit piece of green yarn upon the crown of her head. "It will bring you good luck."
"You're doing great! You can make it!" Another elderly woman said resoundingly.
"Mummble-berrys, and the like, who dee-haw. The good ones, you know." Were the disjointed, but ever so tenderly spoken words of an older man.
And on, and on, the patients came one by one, forming a line to greet the confused woman. Yarn, hugs, and flowers were all imparted until the once fearful patient was crying. "I feel better now, it's going to be O.K. now," she said, looking up at all her friends.
As a group, those patients had endured homelessness, rape, emotional and physical abuses, all the while suffering under the crushing weight of mental illness. Yet, they gave what little they had. They gave their hearts away.
The beloved community."
It's the choice-, consequence-making ownership that changes behavior for the long-term; thus, one transcends the unwanted behavior, and routinized the wanted behavior.
Within your perceived "good" are seeds of "bad," and within your perceived "bad" are seeds of "good;" thus, in the end your life will reflect what you have chosen to cultivate.
Human life only exists in the interaction between human beings; therefore, if our interaction is unequal, imbalanced, and negative, then life itself is unbearable in some totally less-human ways.
Nothing is "wrong" in/with yourself or the other, but the perception of the beholder.
The perception of the beholder is always subject to change, and that change itself is subject to change.
Patriarchy is inherited homophobia, and must be transcended for us to enter the "beloved community."
Homophobia is the insidious fuel that propels patriarchy.
Patriarchy is homophobia dressed in women's clothes.
Patriarchy is homophobia, and homophobia is inherited patriarchy.
The insightful reason for the wherefore things go "awry" in one's life is always within one, if you look, again, with a child's eyes.
Since we are social animals, the seeds of one's "bad" or "good" intentions or actions will bear fruits exponentially.
Misogyny is misplaced, inherited homophobia.
Homophobia is misogyny by another name.
In the long run, it benefits none of us, human beings, or humanity, Herself as a whole, to act in bad faith consciously or unconsciously.
Patriarchy regresses humanity toward the "beloved community" (now that's an oxymoron for you!).
To satisfy an insatiable miseducation, one must read more misinformation to diseducate oneself.
Offer your life of good deeds to humanity, and in return no one will be able to appropriate any of your valuables.
Homophobia is subtle, insidious misogyny. Stories shape, define, and redefine the human experience, thus humanity, Herself. One, who finds himself, too often, trying to change the other, has never tried in truth to change himself from the inside-out.
Misandry is an insidious fear of misogyny.
Joy is non-measurable and immeasurable. Therapy is a wonderful journey toward your most dynamic, authentic self. Your struggles are precious gifts to humanity, so struggle and give back. Money is a most jealous lover; if you cuckold her with a gigolo's irresponsibility, she will not kiss your hands with her opulent presence, ever. Expectation is a beast as real as a rainbow, thus elusive. If you are not at the stage where you've learned to have absolutely no expectation of the other, then try to practice lowering your expectation(s) to align with the other's stage of being. Hollywood always makes sure of 2 things: one, they do not surprise their audience; and two, their audience does not surprise it. Partners, in an intimate relationship, break up for their individual self-interests no longer intersect at some comfortable point of mutual interests. Be vulnerable enough to let the other see and know the "real" you, with all your fears and aspirations. ...and he, who, self-diagnoses, has a hubristic fool for a therapist.