The only lesson violence ever teaches is a fundamentally authoritarian lesson. It teaches that human relationships are hierarchical and that those above have a right to dominate those below

If there is one thing we know best about violence, it’s that it feeds on itself. To someone locked in a cycle of violence, more violence always looks like the logical and inevitable next step. (That’s why they call it a cycle.) Breaking out is difficult, especially when it can feel like unilateral disarmament.  The most important task before us, collectively …

“I’ve started viewing both optimism and pessimism as spectator sports, as forms of disengagement masquerading as involvement”

Look for positive possibilities and ways to partner them into greater probability — excerpt from a letter from a climate activist and organizer Meg Wheatley and David Spangler taught me about living in a world of possibilities. We could say, inspired by the poet Muriel Rukeyser, that the universe is made of possibilities, not atoms. They are everywhere. They are …

Roots of Liberation

Reflection from Richard Rohr, Roots of Liberation, Sunday, June 24, 2018  One of the great themes of the Bible, beginning with the Hebrew Scriptures and continued by Jesus and Paul, is “the preferential option for the poor.” I call it “the bias toward the bottom.” The Hebrew people’s exodus out of slavery, and YHWH’s complete identification with them, is the pattern of …

I can’t create positive change without recognizing and naming my own participation in the oppressive systems that I’m trying to undo.

  1. The Revolution Is a Relationship Something that worries me about social justice communities is that we tend to conceptualize “revolution” as a product, as a place and time that we expend all of our energy and anger to create – often without regard to the toll this takes on individuals and our relationships. In this way, “The Revolution” …

Our shared vulnerability and imperfection nurtures and sustains our capacity for compassion. There is no wholeness outside of our reciprocal humanity

Bryan Stevenson (b. 1959) is a lawyer, social justice activist, and founder of the Equal Justice Initiative and the National Memorial for Peace and Justice in Montgomery, Alabama. [1] In his book Just Mercy, Stevenson describes how being in touch with our own humanity and need for mercy helps give us the compassion needed for restorative justice. He is a …

On Contact: Age of Anger with Pankaj Mishra

November 2017 interview We are looking at the expression of this re-sentiment/resentment that can assume many different forms, but we have to look at the underlying sources of that, which are enormous processes of disposition, dislocation, and psychological and spiritual disorientation.  People now desperate for meaning, bonding together in these forms of negative solidarity, invoking a sense of community by excluding …

An overview of some of Stuart Ewen’s concepts

(Nov 2017) 26 minute youtube, Chris Hedges interview with Stuart Ewen: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F_0vrFwaT2Y.  Trump is a product that speaks to what is missing in people’s lives…he embodies the cult of the self at the core of consumerism.  It’s all about me.  Acquisitive Individualism.  People project onto a leader what they feel missing themselves.  The everyman who has become successful.  Saying what has …

The most popular course at Yale teaches how to be happy – also William James, Maslow, Seligman and more…

The most popular course at Yale teaches how to be happy. https://news.yale.edu/2018/02/20/yales-most-popular-class-ever-be-available-coursera We took it for you. By Adam Sternbergh, Illustrations by Zohar Lazar, 28 May 2018 at The Cut. Professor Laurie Santos didn’t set out to create the most popular course in the history of Yale University and the most talked-about college course in America. She just wanted her students to be happy. …

High-quality social interactions building intimacy and trust with others can promote egalitarianism and is essential to happiness and well-being

Quarz.com March 2018 The new World Happiness Report again ranks Denmark among the top three happiest of 155 countries surveyed—a distinction that the country has earned for seven consecutive years.  The US, on the other hand, ranked 18th in this year’s World Happiness Report, a four-spot drop from last year’s report. Denmark’s place among the world’s happiest countries is consistent with many other national …