American leaders have long infected the world with inhumanity under many euphemisms and guises. We human beings need to stop tolerating it, condoning it, and start doing something about it. We can’t beat them at their violence-based games of intimidation and repression. We need to focus on their incredible weakness: their inhumanity.
Inhumanity is not a strength, it’s a condition of deficiency. It’s the result of damaged or repressed cognitive functions, such as empathy, compassion, and the ability to connect to others on emotional levels. In other words, they are psychopaths, lizards who aren’t playing with full decks, which is why they exaggerate the importance of the few brutal, intimidating cards they have left. We need to stop Continue reading →
Scilla Elworthy: Fighting with non-violence (TEDxExeter, Apr 2012)
I just watched a TED Talk on non-violence by a very remarkable woman, Scilla Elworthy. I was a bit disappointed, though.
Scilla’s central question was, “How do we deal with a bully without becoming a thug?” Great question. Her answers were good, too.
So why am I disappointed? Because I hoped for more. Our responses to violence, exploitation, abuse, bullying, thuggery, and other evils seem so weak. I’m tired to death of excuses that amount to, “This is the best we can do, cuz we can’t do no better,” and, “Evil is part of human nature, and that will never change.” You’d think that people had never heard of human development, let alone evolution. Nor do they catch the irony of back-patting for progress with one hand, (these aren’t the Dark Ages, you know,) while clinging with death-grips to the inevitability of violence and other evils with the other. You can’t know that you can’t do better if you haven’t tried, tried, and tried again. Even if you fail after all that, there’s still a chance.
And you don’t have a hope of doing better if you feel defeated before you try even once.
We can do much better. We already know how: Continue reading →
Here’s a letter that I just sent to the staff at Westlake Elementary School in Indianapolis, Indiana. I wrote it after reading an article at Care2.com here and one at the Indianapolis Star here about 8-year-old Shaylyn Searcy, who returned home from school with her shoes and ankles wrapped with duct tape. Apparently, this was the mature, adult response to a young, special needs girl who doesn’t like wearing shoes.
A few things about the letter:
- I’m unreasonable
- I swear
- I call people names
- I (hopefully) make them feel badly
Why did I write a letter like this? In order of appearance: Continue reading →
This has been slow going, so maybe I need to change gears.
Originally, I wanted to write up experimental results and post them here. Experiments are costly and time-consuming, so in addition to conducting them, I’m going to jot notes about them, their progress, and the insights I get in the process.
My goal is to learn what “overcoming evil with good” really means. The pathetic explanations of that idea offered by Christianity are ridiculous, and I don’t find many alternatives. Islam supports stringent punishments and stringent codes of conduct to preclude evil. Buddhists regard evil as a symptom of deeper problems (which I like) but try to follow paths around it rather than deal with it. Other faiths (Hinduism, Taoism) assume that what we call “evil” are perturbations and misinterpretations of the light and darkness that are the two sides of the same reality. I like that, too, to a point.
All these approaches to the problem of evil have the same, glaring problem. They don’t work. Proof? Continue reading →
I’m on a mission, no doubt about it. I just haven’t been able to describe it well yet, because I’m still discovering what it is.
I can finally say that it revolves around restoring trust into our personal and societal narratives by showing that nothing else makes any sense. That’s my big “AHA!” It’s one thing to see trust as a possibility or an option. It’s a very different thing to realize that it’s the only viable option, the only smart option, and that the fact that we look for alternatives is actually a sign of our illness/brokenness/trauma. Why avoid the fix by opting for broke?
The form it’s going to take is TBD. Right now, writing and discussing. As others get the “bug” (and if no one does, that’s OK too, I can’t change the fact that I’ve got it!) we’ll figure out what to do about it together. I envision it as a fungal kind of thing–a living network that spreads via channels and dynamics of love rather than any of the “traditional” forms, like organizations or movements, which operate on the principle of obligation. I work both sides: theory and practice. My son likes to call it Continue reading →
Just admit it. If you could have fun with evil, shitty people, you’d do it!
If you could make that dick at work look like a fool, you would! If you could scare the shit out of the kid bullying your child, so that he’d never dare it again, you’d be there Johnny-on-the-spot! If you could arrange abject humiliation for the abusive asshole who used you, or the bitch who betrayed you, or the scumbag who exploited those you love, you’d sign up.
You just don’t want repercussions. You don’t want trouble. You’re worried what it might cost you. So you do nothing.
And so, the fools, bullies, abusers, betrayers, and exploiters go on having field days with little to no resistance, as long as they stay on the right side of the law and the powerful.
I’m going to change all that. 😉