EVEN WHEN IT CAN BE FOUND AND DEFINED IN THE DICTIONARY
doesn’t mean that it can ever be fully
u n d e r s t o o d
may be one of those words
Who Cares - What Matters
EVEN WHEN IT CAN BE FOUND AND DEFINED IN THE DICTIONARY
doesn’t mean that it can ever be fully
u n d e r s t o o d
may be one of those words
W H Y
just see the
WE in US
when it’s way past time for us to start consistently
B E I N G
The WE in US
JILL SUTTIE a freelance journalist for Greater Good Science Center pulls back the curtain to help us take a look at the good WE can do by being more about an US than a YOU or a mere ME. . .
As human beings, we tend to favor people we think are like us or have something in common with us—and we’re often wary of people who are different.
Evolution made us this way so that we could find allies against outside threats. The problem comes when this old instinct to prefer our “in-group” leads us to discriminate, dehumanize, or act violently toward others we perceive as “the other” or members of the “out-group.”
Surprisingly, it doesn’t take much for us to create or expand in-groups. Studies have shown that even minimal similarities—like wearing the same-colored shirt—can prime us to prefer members of our in-group in relation to out-group members.
What allows us to get past that tendency to be so easily biased for and against people? A new study suggests one step: focus on the need to cooperate.
In this study, researchers Antonia Misch of Ludwig Maximilian University and Yarrow Dunham of Yale University formed artificial in-groups and out-groups in American and German children by randomly assigning them to wear an orange- or green-colored scarf. Then, they asked the children to look at sets of photos featuring two children (each with a different scarf color) and to rate their likability and niceness. The difference in likability scores between members of the child’s in-group and out-group provided a measure of favoritism.
The children were then told they’d be playing a cooperative game with their group members via computer. But, while half of the children (in the control group) connected to their own group without problems, the other half experienced a bad connection—and were told they’d instead be playing with the group wearing the other color scarf.
Before any actual play took place, however, the researchers measured in-group favoritism again, using the same method. When they compared the results, they found that children who’d been told they’d be playing with the out-group showed reduced favoritism toward their own group and less bias against the other group than children in the control group.
“Just looking at the anticipation of cooperation triggers more positivity towards an out-group,” says Misch. “This could be a first, important step in helping people engage in more positive interactions.”
In another part of the study, Misch and Dunham repeated their experiment, but with a difference: They had the kids actually play the cooperative game together (or think they were playing together; in reality, they were playing alone). The researchers found that playing the game with others didn’t further reduce in-group favoritism, suggesting that anticipating cooperation may be as effective as actual cooperation in reducing bias.
This is important, says Misch, because while past research has found that cooperation between groups reduces prejudice and bias, her study is the first to show that simply anticipating cooperation can make a difference.
It’s striking to see this bias reduction happening in children rather than in adults, she adds. Perhaps if more teachers and parents kept this in mind, she says, they could help prevent prejudice from developing, by fostering more cooperation between diverse groups of children.
“Human group-mindedness is a characteristic that emerges early in life,” she says. “If we want to change intergroup relations and prejudice, we should start early.”
However, telling children that they should anticipate cooperating with others may not be enough to reduce deep-seated bias in all cases.
In one part of Misch’s study, children were separated into groups based on gender instead of using randomly colored scarves. Those who were told they’d be playing with kids in the opposite gender group didn’t show the same reductions in bias as children in prior experiments: They still preferred members of their own gender group.
To Misch, this is not too surprising, as gender bias is more firmly established than the kind of bias you see in groups like those created by scarf color. Stereotyped messages about boys and girls are passed down from parents, reinforced through culture, and perpetuated in media. Plus, gender is an important part of a child’s self-concept, which may cement it more firmly in their minds, she says.
Still, it’s possible that if differently-gendered children were encouraged to cooperate more from an early age, it could make a difference in reducing gender bias over time.
“Anticipating cooperation between some groups may help a little bit, even if it’s not going to be the only thing that’s needed,” she says.
Currently, Misch and her team are expanding their research to see if they can decrease bias based on race and ethnicity through anticipatory cooperation. She’s hopeful that having children—and adults—think about the necessity of working together across difference may lessen prejudice, not only helping us all get along better, but helping us to solve world problems that require a sense of commonality and shared purpose.
“If we can replicate the effect with this study, it would be great,” she says. “Maybe it will just take a change of attitude around cooperation to reduce prejudice some and help society.”
SO What, huh?
Maybe if these past couple of years has taught us nothing else
isn’t it that
THE WE IN US
brings us the
Best in us
does it. . .
No answer necessary
. . .the way you live
(we just don’t always act like it)
A SIMPLE QUESTION :
JUST HOW DO YOU USUALLY READ A SITUATION. . .
FROM THE TOP
D O W N
FROM THE DOWN
s i m p l e
A N S W E R. . .
IT’S BEEN THAT KIND OF YEAR
. . .the kind of year that makes you a little afraid to look
ARE YOU FOR THE BETTER
ARE YOU FOR THE WORSE
The Rear View Mirror
speculation is already underway
and it may not stop for at least
a real good
LET’S TAKE A LOOK BACK
some fifty years down the road
but here’s what we kind of know
FOR BETTER FOR WORSE
question just over the past
of this still
not-completely-over-pandemic. . .
How do pandemics change our societies? It is tempting to believe that there will not be a single sector of society untouched by the COVID-19 pandemic. However, a quick look at previous pandemics in the 20th century reveals that such negative forecasts may be vastly exaggerated.
Prior pandemics have corresponded to changes in architecture and urban planning, and a greater awareness of public health. Yet the psychological and societal effects of the Spanish flu, the worst pandemic of the 20th century, were later perceived as less dramatic than anticipated, perhaps because it originated in the shadow of WWI. Austrian psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud described Spanish flu as a “Nebenschauplatz”—a sideshow in his life of that time, even though he eventually lost one of his daughters to the disease. Neither do we recall much more recent pandemics: the Asian flu of 1957 and the Hong Kong flu from 1968.
Imagining and planning for the future can be a powerful coping mechanism to gain some sense of control in an increasingly unpredictable pandemic life. Over the past year, some experts proclaimed that the world after COVID would be a completely different place, with changed values and a new map of international relations. The opinions of oracles who were not downplaying the virus were mostly negative. Societal unrest and the rise of totalitarian regimes, stunted child social development, mental health crises, exacerbated inequality, and the worst economic recession since the Great Depression were just a few worries discussed by pundits and on the news.
Other predictions were brighter—the disruptive force of the pandemic would provide an opportunity to reshape the world for the better, some said. To complement the voices of journalists, pundits, and policymakers, one of us (Igor Grossman) embarked on a quest to gather opinions from the world’s leading scholars on behavioral and social science, founding the World after COVID project.
The World after COVID project is a multimedia collection of expert visions for the post-pandemic world, including scientists’ hopes, worries, and recommendations. In a series of 57 interviews, we invited scientists, along with futurists, to reflect on the positive and negative societal or psychological change that might occur after the pandemic, and the type of wisdom we need right now. Our team used a range of methodological techniques to quantify general sentiment, along with common and unique themes in scientists’ responses.
The results of this interview series were surprising, both in terms of the variability and ambivalence in expert predictions. Though the pandemic has and will continue to create adverse effects for many aspects of our society, the experts observed, there are also opportunities for positive change, if we are deliberate about learning from this experience.
Scientists’ opinions about positive consequences were highly diverse. As the graph shows, we identified 20 distinct themes in their predictions. These predictions ranged from better care for elders, to improved critical thinking about misinformation, to greater appreciation of nature. But the three most common categories concerned social and societal issues.
1. Solidarity. Experts predicted that the shared struggles and experiences that we face due to the pandemic could foster solidarity and bring us closer together, both within our communities and globally. As clinical psychologist Katie A. McLaughlin from Harvard University pointed out, the pandemic could be “an opportunity for us to become more committed to supporting and helping one another.”
Similarly, sociologist Monika Ardelt from the University of Florida noted the possibility that “we realize these kinds of global events can only be solved if we work together as a world community.” Social identities—such as group memberships, nationality, or those that form in response to significant events such as pandemics or natural disasters—play an important role in fostering collective action. The shared experience of the pandemic could help foster a more global, inclusive identity that could promote international solidarity.
2. Structural and political changes. Early in the pandemic, experts also believed that we might also see proactive efforts and societal will to bring about structural and political changes toward a more just and diversity-inclusive society. Experts observed that the pandemic had exposed inequalities and injustices in our societies and hoped that their visibility might encourage societies to address them.
Philosopher Valerie Tiberius from the University of Minnesota suggested that the pandemic might bring about an “increased awareness of our vulnerability and mutual dependence.”
Fellow of the Royal Institute for International Affairs in the U.K. Anand Menon proposed that the pandemic might lead to growing awareness of economic inequality, which could lead to “greater sustained public and political attention paid to that issue.” Cultural psychologist Ayse Uskul from Kent University in the U.K. shared this sentiment and predicted that this awareness “will motivate us to pick up a stronger fight against the unfair distribution of resources and rights not just where we live, but much more globally.”
3. Renewed social connections. Finally, the most common positive consequence discussed was that we might see an increased awareness of the importance of our social connections. The pandemic has limited our ability to connect face to face with friends and families, and it has highlighted just how vulnerable some of our family members and neighbors might be. Greater Good Science Center founding director and UC Berkeley professor Dacher Keltner suggested that the pandemic might teach us “how absolutely sacred our best relationships are” and that the value of these relationships would be much higher in the post-pandemic world. Past president of the Society of Evolution and Human Behavior Douglas Kenrick echoed this sentiment by predicting that “tighter family relationships would be the most positive outcome of this [pandemic].”
Similarly, Jennifer Lerner—professor of decision-making from Harvard University—discussed how the pandemic had led people to “learn who their neighbors are, even though they didn’t know their neighbors before, because we’ve discovered that we need them.” These kinds of social relationships have been tied to a range of benefits, such as increased well-being and health, and could provide lasting benefits to individuals.
How about predictions for negative consequences of the pandemic? Again, opinions were variable, with more than half of the themes were mentioned by less than 10% of our interviewees. Only two predictions were mentioned by at least ten experts: the potential for political unrest and increased prejudice or racism. These predictions highlight a tension in expert predictions: Whereas some scholars viewed the future bright and “diversity-inclusive,” others fear the rise in racism and prejudice. Before we discuss this tension, let us examine what exactly scholars meant by these two worries.
1. Increased prejudice or racism. Many experts discussed how the conditions brought about by the pandemic could lead us to focus on our in-group and become more dismissive of those outside our circles. Incheol Choi, professor of cultural and positive psychology from Seoul National University, discussed that his main area of concern was that “stereotypes, prejudices against other group members might arise.” Lisa Feldman Barrett, fellow of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences and the Royal Society of Canada, echoed this sentiment, noting that previous epidemics saw “people become more entrenched in their in-group and out-group beliefs.”
2. Political unrest. Similarly, many experts discussed how a greater focus on our in-groups might also exacerbate existing political divisions. Past president of the Society for Philosophy and Psychology Paul Bloom discussed how a greater dismissiveness toward out-groups was visible both within countries and internationally, where “countries are blaming other countries and not working together enough.” Dilip Jeste, past president of the American Psychiatric Association, discussed his concerns that the tendency to view both candidates and supporters as winners and losers in elections could mean that the “political polarization that we are observing today in the U.S. and the world will only increase.”
These predictions were not surprising—pundits and other public figures have been discussing these topics, too. However, as we analyzed and compared predictions for positive and negative consequences, we found something unexpected.
Almost half of the interviewees spontaneously mentioned that the same change could be a force for good and for bad. In other words, they were dialectical, recognizing the multidetermined nature of predictions and acknowledging that context matters—context that determines who may be the winners and losers in the years to come. For example, experts predicted that we may see greater acceptance of digital technologies at home and at work. But besides the benefits of this—flexible work schedules, reduced commutes—they also mentioned likely costs, such as missing social information in virtual communication and disadvantages for people who cannot afford high-speed internet or digital devices.
Amid this complexity, experts weighed in on what type of wisdom we need to help bring about more positive changes ahead. Not only do we need the will to sustain political and structural change, many argued, but also a certain set of psychological strategies promoting sound judgment: perspective taking, critical thinking, recognizing the limits of our knowledge, and sympathy and compassion.
In other words, experts’ recommended wisdom focuses on meta-cognition, which underlies successful emotion regulation, mindfulness, and wiser judgment about complex social issues. The good news is that these psychological strategies are malleable and trainable; one way we can cultivate wisdom and perspective, for example, is by adopting a third-person, observer perspective on our challenges.
On the surface, the “it depends” attitude of many experts about the world after COVID may be dissatisfying. However, as research on forecasting shows, such a dialectical attitude is exactly what distinguishes more accurate forecasters from the rest of the population. Forecasting is hard and predictions are often uncertain and likely wrong. In fact, despite some hopes for the future, it is equally possible that the change after the pandemic will not even be noticeable. Not because changes will not happen, but because people quickly adjust to their immediate circumstances.
The future will tell whether and how the current pandemic has altered our societies. In the meantime, the World after COVID project provides a time-stamped window into experts’ apartments and their minds. As we embrace another pandemic spring, these insights can serve as a reminder that the pandemic may lead not only to worries but also to hopes for the years ahead.
FOR BETTER OR WORSE. . .
that’s not really the biggest question, is it. . . ?
The BIGGER question is
What’s been the greatest take aways
that’s made you list all of the
. . .that’s right,
WHAT SAY YOU?
(That’s what matters most going forward in your World History Book)
Has it been the kind of year that’s had you being more
(fill in the blank)__________________________
It most likely won’t take 50 years of review
T H A T
o u t. . .
the more or the less
always has a way of equaling
E N O U G H
It’s never so much the
or maybe even the
. . .And it’s never where we are not
which makes us all exactly where we need to be
in the seldom explored
Land of Enough
Where GPS is not necessary,
Compasses not needed
And finding a way
Is THE WAY
that leads us all home
Not a destination
Not a street address
Not to a specific place
But an undeniable FEELING
to let you know you’ve never been safer
And more UN-ALONE
N O W
that’s a Ride
that’ll take you down any road you’ve ever been on
and some you’ve yet to imagine
let alone travel. . .
SOUNDS LIKE GREEK TO ME, Right?
The World can humble you
in such a way
that what you know
what you know that you know
what you bet your life that you know
YOU DON’T KNOW AT ALL
. . .kind of sums up
L I F E
and most definitely
2 0 2 0. . .
you could sum up this tumultuous year
or just these past topsy-turvy
2 3 1 days
COVID19, hurricane, civil unrest, wildfires, politically tense
e x p e r i e n c e s
in one word
what would it be:
or the Greek word:
A C E D I A
I first heard about this word when I read an article by Jonathan L Lecher from THE CONVERSATION. Literally, when we’re in the middle of yet another wave of Covid19 and having some communities in rebooted lockdown conditions and movement restricted everywhere else, no one is posting pictures of their sourdough. Zoom cocktail parties have lost their novelty; Netflix can only release so many new series. The news seems worse every day, yet we compulsively scroll through it.
We get distracted by social media, yet have a pile of books unread. We keep meaning to go outside but somehow never find the time. We’re bored, listless, afraid, and uncertain.
What is this feeling?
John Cassian, a monk and theologian, wrote in the early 5th century about an ancient Greek emotion called acedia. A mind “seized” by this emotion is “horrified at where he is, disgusted with his room. . . . It does not allow him to stay still in his cell or to devote any effort to reading.” He feels:
such bodily listlessness and yawning hunger as though he were worn by a long journey or a prolonged fast. . . . Next he glances about and sighs that no one is coming to see him. Constantly in and out of his cell, he looks at the sun as if it were too slow in setting.
This sounds eerily familiar. Yet, the name that so aptly describes our current state was lost to time and translation.
Etymologically, acedia joins the negative prefix a- to the Greek noun kēdos, which means “care, concern, or grief.” It sounds like apathy, but Cassian’s description shows that acedia is much more daunting and complex than that.
Cassian and other early Christians called acedia “the noonday demon,” and sometimes described it as a “train of thought.” But they did not think it affected city dwellers or even monks in communities.
Rather, acedia arose directly out the spatial and social constrictions that a solitary monastic life necessitates. These conditions generate a strange combination of listlessness, undirected anxiety, and inability to concentrate. Together these make up the paradoxical emotion of acedia.
Evagrius of Pontus included acedia among the eight trains of thought that needed to be overcome by devout Christians. Among these, acedia was considered the most insidious. It attacked only after monks had conquered the sins of gluttony, fornication, avarice, sadness, anger, vainglory, and pride.
Cassian, a student of Evagrius, translated the list of sins into Latin. A later 6th century Latin edit gave us the seven deadly sins. In this list, acedia was subsumed into “sloth,” a word we now associate with laziness.
Acedia appears throughout monastic and other literature of the Middle Ages. It was a key part of the emotional vocabulary of the Byzantine Empire, and can be found in all sorts of lists of “passions” (or emotions) in medical literature and lexicons, as well as theological treatises and sermons.
It first appeared in English in print in 1607 to describe a state of spiritual listlessness. But it’s barely used today.
As clinical psychology has reclassified emotions and mental states, terms like “melancholy” can sound archaic and moralizing.
Emotional expressions, norms, and scripts change over time and vary between cultures. They mark out constellations of bodily sensations, patterns of thought, and perceived social causes or effects.
Since these constellations are culturally or socially specific, as societies change, so do the emotions in their repertoire. With the decline of theological moralizing, not to mention monastic influence, acedia has largely disappeared from secular vocabularies.
Social distancing limits physical contact. Lockdown constricts physical space and movement. Working from home or having lost work entirely both upend routines and habits. In these conditions, perhaps it’s time to bring back the term.
Reviving the language of acedia is important to our experience in two ways.
First, it distinguishes the complex of emotions brought on by enforced isolation, constant uncertainty, and the barrage of bad news from clinical terms like “depression” or “anxiety.”
Saying, “I’m feeling acedia” could legitimize feelings of listlessness and anxiety as valid emotions in our current context without inducing guilt that others have things worse.
Second, and more importantly, the feelings associated with physical isolation are exacerbated by emotional isolation—that terrible sense that this thing I feel is mine alone. When an experience can be named, it can be communicated and even shared.
Learning to express new or previously unrecognized constellations of feelings, sensations, and thoughts builds an emotional repertoire, which assists in emotional regulation. Naming and expressing experiences allows us to claim some agency in dealing with them.
As we, like Cassian’s desert monks, struggle through our own “long, dark teatime of the soul,” we can name this experience, which is now part of our emotional repertoire.
N O W
the biggest question of all. . .
DOES NAMING WHAT HAS BEEN NAMELESS, MAKE A DIFFERENCE?
WHO WOULD EVER IMAGINE
that the cure
for a Word
you most likely never heard of
3 minutes ago
Y O U
y e s:
People with and without masks in New York City’s Central Park on April 25, 2020. Getty Images—2020 Alexi RosenfeldBY JAMIE DUCHARME a journalist from TIME Magazine brought us an interesting question that we might all have to do a double-take on before answering it. . .
DO YOU HAVE CAUTION FATIGUE?
Even as the
is now beginning to take place;
it’s still painstakingly
S L O W
As these ever-so-slow
lockdowns drag on and on in many U.S. states,
there are worrying signs
that people’s resolve to continue social distancing
is flagging. . .
An illicit house party in Chicago made headlines this week, as did photos of crowded beaches in Southern California and packed parks in New York City. Anonymized cell-phone data tracked by the University of Maryland also shows more and more people are making non-work-related trips outside as quarantines drag on, and a TIME data analysis found that some states are experiencing new surges in coronavirus cases after initial declines.
Jacqueline Gollan, an associate professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, has coined a name for this phenomenon based on her 15 years of research into depression, anxiety and decision-making: “caution fatigue.”
Gollan likens social-distancing motivation to a battery. When lockdowns were first announced, many people were charged with energy and desire to flatten the curve. Now, many weeks in, the prolonged cocktail of stress, anxiety, isolation and disrupted routines has left many people feeling drained. As motivation dips, people are growing more lax about social-distancing guidelines—and potentially putting themselves and others in harm’s way, Gollan says.
Even as some states begin the process of reopening, it’s crucial that people continue to follow local social-distancing guidelines to avoid back-sliding. To help, use Gollan’s tips for fighting caution fatigue.
You’ve heard all these tips before, but they bear repeating: get enough sleep, follow a balanced diet, exercise regularly, don’t drink too much, stay socially connected and find ways to relieve stress. “If people can address the reasons for the caution fatigue, the caution fatigue itself will improve,” Gollan says.
Gollan also says it’s important to improve your “emotional fitness.” She recommends expressing gratitude, either to others or yourself; setting goals for how you want to feel or act; and taking time just to decompress and laugh.
As important as they are, goals like flattening the curve and improving public health can be hard to stay fired up about since they’re somewhat abstract, Gollan acknowledges. So it can be useful to think about how your behavior directly affects your chances of getting sick, and thus your chances of spreading the virus to people around you.
People tend to overvalue what’s already happened, assuming if they haven’t gotten sick yet they won’t in the future. “But if your behavior changes and you have a gradual decline in your safety behaviors, then the risk may increase over time,” Gollan says. Remembering that reality can prevent you from falling into “thinking traps” like convincing yourself another trip to the grocery store is absolutely necessary, when it’s really just out of boredom, Gollan says.
Coronavirus has probably shattered your regular daily routine—but you can still make time for things you valued before the pandemic, like exercise and socializing. Creating a new normal, to the extent possible, can be stabilizing, Gollan says.
Focusing on small pieces of your new routine can also be a helpful way to grapple with uncertainty. If it’s hard for you to think about how long quarantine may stretch on, instead focus on the immediate future. “What are you going to do this morning?” Gollan says. “Are there things you’re not doing that you should?”
It may help to remember that social-distancing is really about the common good. In keeping yourself safe, you’re also improving public health, ensuring that hospitals can meet demand and quite possibly saving lives. “There’s something powerful about hope, compassion, caring for others, altruism,” Gollan says. “Those values can help people battle caution fatigue.”
Just like anything, selfless behavior gets easier the more you do it, Gollan says. “Try small chunks of it,” she suggests. “What can you do in the next hour, or today, that’s going to be a selfless act to others?” Donating to charity or checking in on a loved one are easy places to start.
Just as you may learn to tune out the sounds outside your window, “we get desensitized to the warnings [about coronavirus],” Gollan says. “That’s the brain adjusting normally to stimulation.” Even something as simple as checking a credible news source you don’t usually follow, or catching up on headlines from another part of the country, could help your brain reset, she says. . .
What I have found utterly amazing about
is no matter how many times it feels that everything is
D O N E
there’s still this awesome growth
that’s sprouting up all around us
that couldn’t come from any other
except this soil of
It’s more than a rally cry
It’s more than a hope
It’s more than a wish
It’s more than a prayer
It’s more than a promise
It’s been a fateful fact. . .
The WE of it
The ARE of it
The ALL of it
The IN of it
The THIS of it
The TOGETHER OF IT
has never interwoven
THE US OF IT
into a never known
T A P E S T R Y
like this before. . .
So here’s the biggest question
that hopefully has an even bigger answer:
WILL THIS CAUTION FATIGUE CAUSE US TO BE MORE COMPASSIONATE OR MORE COLD-HEARTED. . . ?
Careful. . .
How you live
(from here on)
will scream for generations
who will never forget
what you will never have to say
but will always be heard. . .
R E M E M B E R
(now more than ever)
R E A L C O M M U N I O N
. . .What is real communion. . .
When I met her, she asked me to bring her real communion and I ask her what is real communion, and she said, “you know the one with wine not with grape juice.”
It started off an explosion of ideas and memories in me:
a little girl who asked me during a Junior Sermon one Sunday, “When can I have some of that ‘Jesus Juice’
a Deacon offering me the Cup during a recent Mass at an inpatient Hospice unit
a Eucharistic Minister who knew I wasn’t Catholic offering me Communion on a Maundy Thursday during Holy Week
catching a kid taking a hand full of Communion wafers and eating them like tic-tacs
what is r e a l c o m m u n i o n ?
is it actually symbolic of a piece of bread or broken bread or a way for symbolizes the broken body of Christ. . .
is a great juice is it real wind it symbolizes the shed blood of Christ. . .
Is it something less religious maybe even more spiritual. . .
is it the first time my father looked into the eyes of his newborn child. . .
is it the first time a new mom successfully Breast feeds her baby
Is it a couple on their wedding day sharing a Ritz cracker and a sip of Ginger ale because that’s what they shared on their first date in the park
is it a grandmother, literally tearing a loaf of bread in half and passing a piece each of their grandchildren on a picnic and explaining it doesn’t matter how big the piece is as long as it’s a shared piece. . .
is it the unspoken language between a husband and a wife of 50+ years sharing that one last look before one of them dies. . .
What. . .
What is Real Communion?
And who. . .
Who can have it. . .
Who can share or distribute it?
Probably safe to say, huh,
there are many different meanings
there are many different definitions
of what exactly is REAL COMMUNION
is the definition that you give to it
and maybe even greater still
the Priest you are WHO Share it. . .
Whatever Real Communion is to you
because whatever real communion is,
it’s not a solitary confinement
or singular act
it ultimately is a shared experience
between you and another person
or a group of likeminded OTHERS
and if it’s not SHARED
then it’s not REAL COMMUNION
~~ it’s THEN whatever it is you define as it’s exact snd complete opposite
Maybe the universal definition of real communion is merely:
The hand who serves
r e a c h i n g
for the hand who receives
t o u c h
c o n n e c t
h o l d
The hand who serves is most like the hand who receives
only when it’s
e x t e n d e d
R E A L C O M M U N I O N
it’s not so much
something you choose as much as
Y O U L I V E
(As you are)
I almost always get a standing ovation during one of my presentations when I let the audience know:
“IF I WERE YOUR CEO, I WOULD MAKE IT MANDATORY, NON-NEGOTIABLE FOR EVERY EMPLOYEE TO NOT ONLY HAVE THEIR BIRTHDAY OFF, BUT THE DAY BEFORE AND AFTER; IN FACT, IF YOU WERE CAUGHT WORKING ON YOUR BIRTHDAY OR THE DAY’S BEFORE AND FOLLOWING, YOU WOULD BE FIRED ON THE SPOT; AND BEFORE YOU EVER BECAME AN EMPLOYEE OF MINE, YOU HAVE TO SIGN A DOCUMENT STATING YOU UNDERSTOOD THESE TERMS AND WOULD BE TERMINATED FOR VIOLATING THEM!”
W H Y ?
Because it’s more than a billion dollar loss each year that unscheduled PTO days are costing companies, agencies, and employers. What a better way to compensate each employee, NOT WITH A RAISE, BONUS, or even additional sick or additional time off, but by actually SHOWING THEM just how important you are to their respective organizations/agencies and to management in particular. What a lightning strike of PROACTIVITY in sensing, understanding and ACTING on how everyone should celebrate THEMSELVES. . .
A HAPPY, A VALIDATED, A AFFIMRED EMPLOYEE is a productive employee, right?
Well, it gets raved reviews and loud cheers and even a few job offers for me to become, at least, an interim CEO. . .
In that vein,
I did exactly that this past week as I celebrated
I took a vacation from myself and
visited myself on in one fell swoop;
and it’s been great;
not only do I even more highly recommend it,
there’ll never be another time that I won’t REPEAT IT. . .
And. . .
What a FANTASTICAL DAY. Thanks for all of the warm Birthday wishes, thoughts and expressions. I am severely humbled and severely gratified by this magically enchanted life I live because of all of the wonderful people who surround me. Each and everyone of you prove unequivocally how greatly healed I am by RELATIONSHIPS and CONNECTION; these are most powerful mediums and medicines in their own rights. You inspire me to want to be better and to help me spend my days helping serve others, SERVE OTHERS. . .
You see, this makes it all
not just another BIRTHDAY. . .
everything we do
especially special days
are always more than j u s t
ANOTHER’S. . .
H o w. . .
How can we assure that anything goes beyond
J U S T A N O T H E R :
By intentionally making I T so;
As I travel towards 64 years on this little blue ball
each day I’ll attempt to be a
P E R S O N O F N O A G E
to protect myself from
I’ll notice what I recognize:
(and now invite you to do the same)
TEN THOUSAND FLOWERS IN SPRING, THE MOON IN THE AUTUMN,
A COOL BREEZE IN SUMMER, SNOW IN WINTER,
IF YOUR MIND ISN’T CLOUDED BY UNNECESSARY THINGS,
THIS IS BEST SEASON OF YOUR LIFE
By Wu Men (Hui-k’ai)
Kind of makes wearing the Birthday Sombrero Hat
s p e c i a l