What are you willing to do? The Personal and Global Impacts of Sustaing Comfort

In class the other day my professor spoke of a recent documentary he watched on HBO about what is going on in the Congo. My knowledge is limited, but what I know is that villages are being decimated, men being killed, and women and children being sexually assaulted-- the survivors now living with the emotional impacts of having experienced such horrific events (the specific topic of our discussion was how the human mind reacts to such events on a spectrum from "coping" to "fragmentation"--which I would be happy to debate in another post). My professor noted that this violence is tied to some product from that area that is used to make cell phones...I looked at mine sitting on the table in front of me and instantly felt my personal connection to those directly impacted by this violence.


So what are you willing to do?

Ideologically, I strive to be Progressive rather than Liberal-- the distinction being that a Liberal only allows change to arrive at the gate of her/his white picket fence. A Progressive seeks change and allows it to effect her/ his life regardless of the fact that he/ she may have to sacrifice certain comforts or privileges in doing so. 

One of the first steps in becoming Progressive is opening our awareness to the personal and  global impacts of our daily choices: who picks the fruit we eat? who made the shirt you are wearing? how much were these people paid? were they at all? etc. 

When we dare ourselves to cross the threshold of dissociation that allows us to deny the fact that our daily choices impact the world, we open up to the true connection that exists between us all-- both the pain and the healing.

The next challenge lies in allowing this awareness to effect what we do, what we buy, what we support.

And as I say all of this, my cell phone rings. I've got a long way to go. But I won't give up the fight. 

Ideology drives us apart. Neuroscience can bring us back together.

A guide to making difficult conversations possible—and peaceful—in an increasingly polarized nation.

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  • How can we reach out to people on the other side of the divide? Get to know the other person as a human being before you get to know them as a set of tribal political beliefs, says Sarah Ruger. Don't launch straight into the difficult topics—connect on a more basic level first.
  • To bond, use icebreakers backed by neuroscience and psychology: Share a meal, watch some comedy, see awe-inspiring art, go on a tough hike together—sharing tribulation helps break down some of the mental barriers we have between us. Then, get down to talking, putting your humanity before your ideology.
  • The Charles Koch Foundation is committed to understanding what drives intolerance and the best ways to cure it. The foundation supports interdisciplinary research to overcome intolerance, new models for peaceful interactions, and experiments that can heal fractured communities. For more information, visit charleskochfoundation.org/courageous-collaborations.

How to split the USA into two countries: Red and Blue

Progressive America would be half as big, but twice as populated as its conservative twin.

Image: Dicken Schrader
Strange Maps
  • America's two political tribes have consolidated into 'red' and 'blue' nations, with seemingly irreconcilable differences.
  • Perhaps the best way to stop the infighting is to go for a divorce and give the two nations a country each
  • Based on the UN's partition plan for Israel/Palestine, this proposal provides territorial contiguity and sea access to both 'red' and 'blue' America
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Why a federal judge ordered White House to restore Jim Acosta's press badge

A federal judge ruled that the Trump administration likely violated the reporter's Fifth Amendment rights when it stripped his press credentials earlier this month.

WASHINGTON, DC - NOVEMBER 16: CNN chief White House correspondent Jim Acosta (R) returns to the White House with CNN Washington bureau chief Sam Feist after Federal judge Timothy J. Kelly ordered the White House to reinstate his press pass November 16, 2018 in Washington, DC. CNN has filed a lawsuit against the White House after Acosta's press pass was revoked after a dispute involving a news conference last week. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
Politics & Current Affairs
  • Acosta will be allowed to return to the White House on Friday.
  • The judge described the ruling as narrow, and didn't rule one way or the other on violations of the First Amendment.
  • The case is still open, and the administration may choose to appeal the ruling.
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