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Pay It Back and Pay It Forward~Glen Geher, Ph.D.

Pay It Back and Pay It Forward~Glen Geher, Ph.D. | Radical Compassion | Scoop.it

One of the single greatest advances in the evolutionary behavioral sciences in the past several decades can be described as the intellectual bursting of the “selfishness” dam. In 1976, renowned biologist, thinker, and writer, Richard Dawkins published The Selfish Gene (by Oxford University Press). This book is, essentially, a highly accessible and powerful summary of Darwin’s ideas on evolution — applied largely (but not fully) to several classes of animal behavior (such as the mating habits of the praying mantis, the murderous nature of emperor penguins, and the helpful nature of vampire bats). This book is truly awesome and you should put it near the top of your list if you have any interest in the world around you and haven’t yet read this significant work.

 

One intellectual consequence of Dawkins’ provocative title was a focus on the many connotations of the term selfish. Dawkins meant this term in a very specific sense, literally meaning that a “selfish gene” is a gene that codes for qualities of an organism that increase the likelihood of survival and/or reproductive success. In short, replicating genes out-exist non-replicating (or poorly replicating) genes in the future of a species. This is really all he meant. But folks who followed his work elaborated. It made sense to many to think of an animal such as a human, then, as a primarily selfish being. After all, the reasoning goes, if genes that exist are selfish, then products of genes, such as humans, must be too. And this fallacious reasoning drove much in the way of (a) how evolutionary science has progressed since the publication of The Selfish Gene and (b) how evolution (now seen by many as espousing a “red in tooth and claw” take on our kind), has taken on something of a cold angle on what it means to be any kind of organism, including a human.

 

There is good news and bad news that follow up on The Selfish Gene. The bad news is that this misinterpretation (or overly applied extension) of Darwin’s metaphor has not helped work in the evolutionary sciences with PR issues. People from the outside looking in often think, “Oh, that evolution stuff, isn’t that the stuff that says we are animals and that we all want to kill each other for our own selfish gain?” Not so pleasant a portrait. I can see why someone might not like that!

 

The good news follows: An amazing thing about this field in the past several decades has been the landslide of research that sheds light on the positives of human nature from an evolutionary perspective (SeeGeher, 2014). We can almost think of this as the dawn of a potential field we could call Positive Evolutionary Psychology (yup, PEP!). Here are just a few directions that the science in evolutionary psychology has taken which paints humans as loving, helpful, and self-sacrificing:

 

1. Paying It Back: Or giving back to others who have given to you in some important way, is hugely significant from the perspective of evolutionary psychology. Trivers’ (1971) landmark work on the topic of reciprocal altruism demonstrated in relatively long-lived species such as our own, the tendency for altruism among-non kin may evolve, such as people helping others, even strangers. Sometimes this kind of help is “paying it back,” or reciprocating altruistic acts that have come to new altruists in a small-social community. Not paying back altruism is socially dangerous — in your social ecosystem, my social ecosystem, and in the social ecosystems of pre-agrarian humans all around the globe. We’ve evolved to pay it back.

 

2. Paying It Forward: This is a term that’s been thrown around a lot in recent years, and I love it! It essentially says to give to others — not to reciprocate them for having helped you in the past, but to help them proactively so that they are on good footing moving forward. Maybe they will help you in the future. Maybe they will help others close to you (kin, friends, etc.), in the future. Maybe they will help the broader community in the future. Your helping them proactively sets the stage for any of these outcomes, all of which have potential to positively influence you and your kin and your social network. Paying it forward is seen positively in social communities; it helps people develop reputations as altruists or helpers or, more simply, as folks whom can be relied upon. And, without question, such a reputation is adaptive and leads to be positive outcomes (even if indirectly) for the individual who chooses to pay it forward.

 

Think of joining a Big Brother, Big Sister program when you’re in your mid-20s (as I did when I was a graduate student in NH). In these kinds of programs, you find a young child (usually around 7 years old) who just needs a little boost, a little help, some older figure to lean on and talk to. For instance, when I lived in NH in the 1990s, I met regularly with 7-year-old Jacob. Great kid, dad not so much in the picture, benefited from having some kind of young adult male role model.

 

We did what he wanted to do — movies, sledding, mini-golf, swimming, etc. We talked and we’ve stay in touch still. He’s now a graduate of the University of Vermont and is an ace at computers; for him, the sky is the limit. My helping him when he was young was paying it forward; and when I see how well he’s done, I’m pretty darn glad that I put my time in to get to know Jacob.

 

3. Loving Selflessly: An enormous body of work on the evolutionary psychology of love that has recently come out (e.g., Fisher, 1993) has demonstrated how strong our love for another can be. And this kind of love can be selfless. Further, this kind of love is an important part of our evolutionary heritage.

 

Human offspring are altricial (helpless), and acquiring help from multiple adults (think monogamous pair of adults) is hugely beneficial to successful development. And when the adults in that pair are fully aligned in their vision of family, which benefits from them being truly in love with one another, parenting will thrive. Love, an inherently selfless act, is a foundational part of the human evolutionary story.

 

Did Dawkin’s juggernaut of a term, Selfish Gene, imply that all features of all organisms are selfish in the colloquial sense? Absolutely not. He simply meant that qualities of organisms that lead to gene replication are likely, mathematically, to out-exist qualities that do not facilitate such replication. In complex, socially oriented, and long-lived critters like us, it’s very often the case that selfless, other-oriented behaviors (such as paying it back, paying it forward, or loving another in a selfless manner) are exactly the highly evolved things that make us human and these are the qualities we share with humans in all corners of the globe.

 

To some extent, selfish genes have, in the case of humans, created altruistic apes who focus largely on what they can do to help others and to build strong and positive communities. This sounds a little like positive evolutionary psychology* to me!

 

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The Learned Attitude That Makes Children More Anxious and Violent

The Learned Attitude That Makes Children More Anxious and Violent | Radical Compassion | Scoop.it

Children who expect others to be aggressive are more aggressive themselves, new international research concludes.

Professor Kenneth A. Dodge, who led the study, said:


“When a child infers that he or she is being threatened by someone else and makes an attribution that the other person is acting with hostile intent, then that child is likely to react with aggression.

This study shows that this pattern is universal in every one of the 12 cultural groups studied worldwide.”

 

The research compared 1,299 children in the US, Italy, Jordan, Kenya Thailand, China — 12 countries in all.

 

Children were given scenarios to read involving common situations that could be interpreted ambiguously.

 

For example, when someone bumps into you it could be an aggressive move, but it’s more likely to be an accident.

Professor Dodge explained the results:


“Our research also indicates that cultures differ in their tendencies to socialize children to become defensive this way, and those differences account for why some cultures have children who act more aggressively than other cultures. It points toward the need to change how we socialize our children, to become more benign and more forgiving and less defensive. It will make our children less aggressive and our society more peaceful.”

 

Countries where children were the least aggressive included Sweden and China.

 

The most aggressive children were found in Italy and Jordan.

Professor Dodge thinks the way children are socialised is key:


“The findings point toward a new wrinkle to the Golden Rule,

Not only should we teach our children to do unto others as we would have them do unto ourselves, but also to think about others as we would have them think about us. By teaching our children to give others the benefit of the doubt, we will help them grow up to be less aggressive, less anxious and more competent.”

 

The study was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (Dodge et al., 2015).

- See more at: http://www.spring.org.uk/2015/07/the-learned-attitude-that-makes-children-more-anxious-and-violent.php#sthash.oaetGcYj.dpuf

Jim Manske's insight:

Once again, a reminder of the power we adults have to influence the world we want to live in with our warmth and modeling!

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Pathways to Bliss: Joseph Campbell on Why Perfectionism Kills Love and How to Save Your Relationship

Pathways to Bliss: Joseph Campbell on Why Perfectionism Kills Love and How to Save Your Relationship | Radical Compassion | Scoop.it
"Perfection is inhuman... What evokes our love ... is the imperfection of the human being."

“Where the myth fails, human love begins,"
Jim Manske's insight:

I am so grateful for the insights I have received in the last few years that have helped me to heal from thoughts of perfectionism...and thus I continue to deepen in to self-acceptance, self-compassion, and Love.

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Why Your Brain Loves Negativity and How to Fix It

Pretend you’re a caveman.

 

You’re in your cave preparing for a hunt, but something outside seems dangerous, violent sounds you don’t understand.

 

You have two choices: Skip the hunt, spend the night hungry but live another day. Or risk death and go outside.

 

Hold onto that thought. We’ll be getting back to that.

 

Now imagine you’re driving to work. While getting off the highway, someone cuts you off. You slam on your brakes.

 

You know the feeling that’s coming. That tense anger rises up. Your fingers clench the steering wheel.

 

It’s enough to set you on a path to feel horrible all day. You might be less productive at work, distracted during meetings. You might try to counterbalance the feeling with a quick shot of endorphins from junk food, mindless web surfing or time-wasting YouTube videos. This only compounds the problem. This is like taking short-term unhappiness and investing it in a long-term, high-yield unhappiness investment plan, ensuring belly flab and career stagnation for years to come.

 

So why does this one minor thing, getting cut off, have such a powerful effect on us? Why does one negative experience ruin an otherwise great day?

 

The answer has to do with our friend, Mr. Caveman. Research shows that our brains evolved to react much more strongly to negative experiences than positive ones. It kept us safe from danger. But in modern days, where physical danger is minimal, it often just gets in the way.

 

It’s called the negativity bias.

 

What is the negativity bias

It isn’t entirely Mr. Caveman’s fault. The neurological roots of the negativity bias started long before that.

 

In Dr. Rick Hansen’s excellent book on this topic, “Hardwiring Happiness: The New Brain Science of Contentment, Calm, and Confidence,” he writes that humans share ancestors with “bats, begonias and bacteria that go back at least 3.5 billion years.”

 

Hanson describes these ancestors as living in a world of carrots and sticks, carrots being rewards (food, sex, shelter) and sticks being punishment (predators, disease, injury).

 

“Over hundreds of millions of years, it was a matter of life and death to pay extra attention to sticks, react to them intensely, remember them well, and over time become even more sensitive to them.”

How the negativity bias hurts our productivity

The negativity bias can be seriously detrimental to our work productivity.

 

Not only does negative stimuli trigger more neural activity, but research shows negativity is detected more quickly and easily. The amygdala — the brain region that regulates emotion and motivation — uses about two-thirds of its neurons to detect bad news, Hanson wrote.

 

Think about this, two thirds of your motivation regulator is designed to focus on negativity. That seems problematic. Also, economic studies have shown people are more likely to make financial and career decisions based not on achieving something good, but on avoiding something bad.

 

Older workplace models may have supported this behavior — 20th Century assembly line workers were not expected to “fail fast” or innovate. Being a good employee was following a series of don’ts. Don’t show up late, don’t talk back to the boss, don’t touch that button.

 

Most of us aren’t working that way anymore. We need to focus on growth and progress, behaviors that inherently need action, not avoidance.

 

Furthermore, values like openness and transparency are celebrated in workplaces more than ever. But we’re often not taught how to deal with a simple reality: sometimes transparency hurts our feelings.

 

Picture a team meeting.

 

“I think our UI could be better, feels a little clunky,” says one employee.

It’s a great example of transparency and openly sharing insights.

 

However, employee Josh designed the UI. And even though Josh welcomes criticism and is on board with the company’s culture of transparency, his feelings are hurt.

 

Outwardly, he plays it cool. But deep down, some ancient part of Josh’s brain is stirring, latching onto this comment like an octopus.

 

His negativity bias is kicking in. He will be distracted and upset. We might as well send him home for the day.

5 ways to beat the negativity bias

Thankfully, there are things we can all do to minimize the negativity bias. We won’t erase it. It took 3.5 billion years to develop, it’s going to stick around for a while. But there are specific steps we can take to fight back, and research even shows we can physically change our brain to minimize the negativity bias. Here are a few exercises that can help.

1. Re-frame the language behind your goals

Even Pixar Animation Studios has felt the effects of negativity bias. Company leaders began to notice that employees were hesitant to share honest opinions in meetings, wrote Pixar Founder Ed Catmull in his book, “Creativity, Inc..”

People were afraid. Afraid of hurting someone else’s feelings, afraid of having their own feelings hurt.

 

So leadership introduced a new word: candor.

 

Pixar drives its teams to embrace candor through the Pixar Braintrust, a small group of well-respected creative leaders in the company who oversee a film’s development process.

 

The Braintrust strives to demonstrate candor by stressing that the film, not the filmmaker, is under the microscope.

By establishing this distinction early and often, creative workers are less likely to take feedback personally.

 

And the word candor, in Pixar’s hallways, became associated with analyzing projects, not people.

It worked. “Candor,” as Catmull put it, freed Pixar’s teams from “honesty’s baggage.”

 

This also helps workers buy in to the process early on, ensure creative momentum instead of negativity bias quicksand.

“Filmmakers must be ready to hear the truth; candor is only valuable if the person on the receiving end is open to it and willing, if necessary, to let go of things that don’t work,” Catmull wrote.

2. Be aware of the negativity bias

Hanson suggests being mindful of the negativity bias and recognizing that your brain wants to cling to these events like your life depends on it. It’s up to you to decide how dangerous, if at all, these experiences really are.

 

“Then you won’t be so vulnerable to intimidation by apparent ‘tigers’ that are in fact manageable, blown out of proportion, or made of paper-mache,” Hanson wrote in The Huffington Post.

 

So be aware when you feel yourself drawn to negativity. Tell yourself you’re smarter than your brain thinks you are. Develop a mantra. Try this: “I am not a caveman and this is not a tiger.” Repeat it in your head a few times.

 

And now that you know the immense power of negativity, you’ll be less likely to invite it into your environment.

 

The Milwaukee-based Robert W. Baird financial services firm landed on Fortune magazine’s list of the “100 Best Places to Work” in large part thanks to CEO Paul Purcell’s ruthless aversion to hiring jerks.

 

As the CEO put it to author Robert I. Sutton: “During the interview, I look them in the eye, and tell them, ‘If I discover that you are an asshole, I am going to fire you.’ Most candidates aren’t fazed by this, but every now and then, one turns pale, and we never see them again — they find some reason to back out of the search.”

3. Keep a gratitude journal

For years, one of the richest and most powerful women in the world found herself struggling to feel happiness.

 

“I was stretched in so many directions, I wasn’t feeling much of anything,” Oprah Winfrey wrote in 2012.

 

That’s when she realized what had changed, her years-long habit of recording what she was grateful for each day had fallen by the wayside.

 

After picking up the habit again, the positive feelings returned.

 

Don’t take Oprah’s word for it. There’s plenty of research showing that gratitude journaling pays great benefits.

 

“As we’ve reported many times over the years, studies have traced a range of impressive benefits to the simple act of writing down the things for which we’re grateful—benefits including better sleep, fewer symptoms of illness, and more happiness among adults and kids alike,” wrote Jason Marsh for the University of California, Berkeley’s Greater Good Science Center.

 

Robert Emmons, a psychologist at the University of California, Davis, and a leading expert in positive psychology, has offered several tips on keeping a gratitude journal. They include:

 Focus on people rather than thingsSavor surprise eventsWrite only once or twice per week, but write with depth4. Work on a challenging puzzle

Do you ever notice how working on a challenging problem can make you forget about minor aches and pains? It turns out, we may be able to shake off negative emotions by diverting our mental energy elsewhere, like on a puzzle or memory game.

 

In 2010, a group of Israeli researchers found that “the intensity of both negative and positive feelings diminished under a cognitive load.”

 

Or as it was put in Psychology Today:

“New research suggests that this phenomenon occurs because emotions are mentally taxing; they take up brain resources.

 

When you focus your brain on something challenging, mental resources that were being previously devoted to producing and experiencing the negative emotion are now being pulled away to solve the puzzle or remember the poem.”

 

The author suggests a few different techniques:

Try to remember the lines of a poem memorized many years ago.Count backward from 100 in increments of 7.Multiply two numbers like 14 and 23 in your head.5. Take in the good

Hanson also suggests “taking in the good,” by spending more time soaking in positive experiences, even small ones.

 

“Most of the time, a good experience is pretty mild, and that’s fine. But try to stay with it for 20 or 30 seconds in a row – instead of getting distracted by something else,” Hanson wrote.

 

By doing this, you’re reinforcing positive patterns in your brain. And your brain learns from experiences, building new neural pathways, researchers call this neuroplasticity.

 

The key here is give yourself time to let those thoughts settle in. Don’t just push them aside.

 

“People tend to be really good at having that beneficial state of mind in the first place, but they don’t take the extra 10 seconds required for the transfer to occur from short-term memory buffers to long-term storage,” Hanson told Fast Company. “Really get those neurons firing together so that they wire this growing inner strength in your brain.”

 

The negativity bias is powerful and fighting it will take time. But it’s well worth the effort. Practice these things consistently, and you’ll notice your negativity bias shrinking.

 

You just have to work for it.

 

 

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Hawaii Enacts Nation's First 100% Renewable Energy Standard

Hawaii Enacts Nation's First 100% Renewable Energy Standard | Radical Compassion | Scoop.it
Hawaii enacted a law making Hawaii the first U.S. state to mandate that all of its state's electricity come from renewable sources no later than 2045 in what is
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prachi dang's comment, June 16, 4:08 AM
you should see this, check it out , an eye opener!..:O - http://goo.gl/mrgbh2
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Sauerkraut Might Be The Secret To Curing Social Anxiety

Sauerkraut Might Be The Secret To Curing Social Anxiety | Radical Compassion | Scoop.it
Can you eat your way to an anxiety-free existence? It might sound outlandish, but the idea that your diet can have a huge effect on your emotions has become the focus of an exciting new area of psychology...
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hahah you got to check this out - http://goo.gl/QJIdMf
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Scientists Find Vessels That Connect Immune System And Brain

Scientists Find Vessels That Connect Immune System And Brain | Radical Compassion | Scoop.it
In contradiction to decades of medical education, a direct connection has been reported between the brain and the immune system.
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Hacking the nervous system

Hacking the nervous system | Radical Compassion | Scoop.it
One nerve connects your vital organs, sensing and shaping your health. If we learn to control it, the future of medicine will be electric. By Gaia Vince.
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Compassion is a wise and effective managerial strategy, Stanford expert says

Compassion is a wise and effective managerial strategy, Stanford expert says | Radical Compassion | Scoop.it
Psychologist Emma Seppala says promoting a culture of trust encourages collaboration.
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Mindfulness, empathy and forgiveness: resources for compassion and purpose!
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Petal Power: why is gardening so good for our mental health?

Petal Power: why is gardening so good for our mental health? | Radical Compassion | Scoop.it
10 ways horticulture helps us heal, overcome anxiety and lift low mood
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When You’re Busy Looking for Happiness in the Future

When You’re Busy Looking for Happiness in the Future | Radical Compassion | Scoop.it
For a long time, I was busy assembling an idea of happiness, but every time I got something I thought I wanted, I felt unsatisfied. Sound familiar? Read on.
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Gut Feelings--the "Second Brain" in Our Gastrointestinal Systems [Excerpt]

Gut Feelings--the "Second Brain" in Our Gastrointestinal Systems [Excerpt] | Radical Compassion | Scoop.it
There is a superhighway between the brain and GI system that holds great sway over humans
Jim Manske's insight:
I had a gut feeling to share this with you....interdependence is multidirectional?
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John Oulton's comment, May 2, 5:13 PM
Police officers and other law enforcement careers have a good grasp of this, as in a "second brain" such as the CNS. Their discretion will be handy.
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15 Simple Ways to Spread Kindness in Your World Starting Today

15 Simple Ways to Spread Kindness in Your World Starting Today | Radical Compassion | Scoop.it
“Constant kindness can accomplish much. As the sun makes ice melt, kindness causes misunderstanding, mistrust, and hostility to evaporate.” Albert Schweitz
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New MIT Study: Nanoparticles Can Clean up Chemicals, BPA, Pesticides, from Soil, Water

New MIT Study: Nanoparticles Can Clean up Chemicals, BPA, Pesticides, from Soil, Water | Radical Compassion | Scoop.it
(EnviroNews World News) — An accidental discovery made by medical researches has yielded a “quick” and “easy” way to remove toxic chemicals from the environment MIT News has reported. In a paper published in Nature Communications, scientists from MIT and the Federal University of Goiás…
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I love it when our "mistakes" lead to unexpected breakthroughs!

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Plan Less and Enjoy More: Give Yourself Space to Simply Be

Plan Less and Enjoy More: Give Yourself Space to Simply Be | Radical Compassion | Scoop.it
When we plan everything, it's harder to be present. We all need to find pockets of time not to fill, but instead, to take some deep breaths and just be.
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May you enjoy Being with family and friends as you celebrate our Interdependence this weekend!

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5 Simple Ways to Live an Abundant Life through Self Simplicity

5 Simple Ways to Live an Abundant Life through Self Simplicity | Radical Compassion | Scoop.it
Living an abundant life derives from traveling a journey of intentional self growth. Here are 5 simple ways to live an abundant life through self simplicity.
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All in the Name of Shame…

All in the Name of Shame… | Radical Compassion | Scoop.it

Funny how you can learn something about the mind many times with no change in behavior. Then, one day, you hear the same notion again, and the psyche transforms. Decades ago I watched videos of John Bradshaw talking about shame.

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The Miracle of Suspending Mis-Belief : zen habits

By Leo Babauta Would it seem miraculous if you could dissolve anxiety, fears, stress, frustration, anger … by making a small mental shift? The answer might lie in thinking about how we watch films.

 

Last night, I was watching the Lord of the Rings trilogy with my kids, and my 9-year-old daughter said some of the things in the movie scared her. I started talking about how they’re all just actors, and isn’t it funny how they dress up in these costumes to tell us this story? By helping her to see through the make-believe of films, I was trying to help her dissolve some of the fears she had.

 

Amazingly, I’ve found that this works for all our other fears and difficult feelings. We just need to stop believing in the make-believe in our heads.

 

Think about this: when you watch a film, you suspend your disbelief. You know it’s all pretend, but for the 90 minutes or so you’re watching the film, you agree to forget that it’s make-believe. You believe. And this allows the film to move you, to cause you to cry, be angry, be scared, be overjoyed by the climax. Not everyone does this — some of us think, “God, the story-telling is awful, the actors aren’t very good, the special effects are cheesy, I can’t believe they’re making me watch this.”

 

Those of us who don’t suspend our disbelief aren’t very moved. In the rest of our lives, we constantly believe in the stories in our heads. When we think about how someone has been inconsiderate, we believe in a story where we are the hero and the other person is the villain, and think of how they wronged us. When we are disappointed when someone else doesn’t love us the way we want them to, we believe we’re in a romantic comedy and the other person should fall in love with us and be the perfect partner.

 

This happens over and over: all of our anger, stress, sadness, depression … it all comes from the stories we tell ourselves about what’s happening in the world around us. The things happening in the world around us don’t revolve around us, and aren’t part of a story. They’re just happening. Often it’s all random, but to deal with this chaos, we try to make sense of it as part of a story. We create meaning where none exists. We think the other person has bad intentions towards us when actually they are just thinking about their own stories. So what’s the answer? The answer is in how we watch films: if we stop believing in the story of a film, and start to see the film as a series of moving pictures that someone has created from props, sets, costumes, digital effects, scripts, sound studios and more … we see the reality and don’t feel the hurt, the anger, the fear. When we feel difficult emotions in real life, we can stop believing in the story, and start to see the reality of what’s happening: there’s just physical objects around us, moving.

 

There are atoms and molecules, living organisms, people who can talk and create. Those are not part of a story, but just happening. By letting go of this false belief, this mis-belief in the made-up story, we can let go of the fears and anger and frustrations that come with it. So when you feel stressed, sad, mad … that’s totally fine. But just realize that you can stop believing in the story, if you choose.

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prachi dang's comment, June 16, 4:08 AM
you should see this, check it out , an eye opener!..:O - http://goo.gl/mrgbh2
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The Mood Most People Are In Most of The Time, Everywhere - PsyBlog

The Mood Most People Are In Most of The Time, Everywhere - PsyBlog | Radical Compassion | Scoop.it
How people feel, on average, most of the time, wherever they live in the world.
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Happy to share this!☺️
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This 20-year-old is singlehandedly cleaning the world’s oceans

This 20-year-old is singlehandedly cleaning the world’s oceans | Radical Compassion | Scoop.it
Boyan Slat has built a sustainable, low-cost ocean cleanup device. He's also only 20 years old.
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Social change begins with intention!
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8 Things We've Learned About Happiness In The Past Decade

8 Things We've Learned About Happiness In The Past Decade | Radical Compassion | Scoop.it
We're living in a golden age of happiness -- the scientific study of happiness, at least.

The field of positive psychology has exploded in growth since its inception in 1998, dramatically increasi
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Amnesty International USA Responds to Death Penalty in Boston Bombing Case

In response to the announcement that Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was sentenced to death after being convicted in the Boston Marathon bombings, Steven W. Hawkins, executive director of Amnesty International USA issued the following statement: "We condemn the bombings that took place in Boston two years ago, and we mourn the loss of life and grave injuries they caused. The death penalty, however, is not justice. It will only compound the violence, and it will not deter others from committing similar crimes in the future. It is outrageous that the federal government imposes this cruel and inhuman punishment, particularly when the people of Massachusetts have abolished it in their state. As death sentences decline worldwide, no government can claim to be a leader in human rights when it sentences its prisoners to death."

Jim Manske's insight:

I understand the deep human need for justice. The death penalty is a tragic expression of that need, teaching that the state has ultimate power over people. When will we learn that a restorative and a protective justice model does not include legal killing? Do you choose to not kill because you are afraid the state will kill you? Or are you motivated to protect and serve life because you are alive, your nature is to live compassionately?

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Open Your Mind to Close-Mindedness

Open Your Mind to Close-Mindedness | Radical Compassion | Scoop.it
I don’t think we should be down on people whose minds are closed. Learning is painful, I suspect. At least, uncomfortable. Which is a level of distress. Learning – neurologically speaking – is an event of neural plasticity.
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Greg Brooks-English's curator insight, May 11, 1:31 AM

Often times when others don't respond in the way we hoped, we can can get discouraged and frustrated.  Instead, when this happens, we can focus our attention on where life is responding in ways we appreciate.  There is great personal power in making this choice.

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How This Inner-City Baltimore Principal Is 'Tearing Down Barriers' Between Students And Police

How This Inner-City Baltimore Principal Is 'Tearing Down Barriers' Between Students And Police | Radical Compassion | Scoop.it
While some Baltimore students were met with consequences for their participation in the city’s fiery riots, punishing kids wasn’t on Nikkia Rowe’s agenda when classes resumed on Wednesday. Rowe, the principal of Renaissance Acad...
Jim Manske's insight:
This meets my needs for inspiration and hope!
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Beyond Capitalism and Socialism: Could a New Economic Approach Save the Planet?

Beyond Capitalism and Socialism: Could a New Economic Approach Save the Planet? | Radical Compassion | Scoop.it
A holistic approach to the economy is necessary to avoid social, environmental and economic collapse, according to a new report by the Capital Institute
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