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| Success for Society
Here are some ways to gauge how successful or healthy is a culture, country or world.
How does the society or nation handle:-
Birth - "The freedom in a country can be measured by the freedom of birth." (Ágnes Géreb) See here.
Breastfeeding - "I make milk. What's your superpower?"
Do all the mothers in your society say this?
(See Midwifery Today E-News 6 January 2016. Also see: Breastfeeding; Culture of Touch.)
Animals - "The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated." (Gandhi)
There is a link between animal cruelty and human cruelty, which is one reason to become vegetarian (or even vegan)!
Penalties for animal cruelty are so weak. In 2017 England, no matter how brutal or extreme the act, the maximum prison sentence is six months. Between 2013-2015, only 7% received jail terms (BBC, posted and accessed 24 February 2017). Is this what we want?
As the UK withdraws from the EU in 2019, it has made a shocking choice to NOT recognise that animals feel pain or emotion - see here, here, here. This is unscientific and a huge threat to animal rights and welfare. Sign here, here, here, here to protest this barbaric (or at least dubious) legislation.
Sexual Abuse - ‘Around the world, rape and sexual abuse are everyday violent occurrences -- affecting close to a billion women and girls over their lifetimes. However, despite the pervasiveness of these crimes, laws are insufficient, inconsistent, not systematically enforced and, sometimes, promote violence.’ (Equality Now, undated, accessed 6 March 2017)
"Unless governments fix their laws on rape and sexual assault and implement them effectively and sensitively, we are unlikely to see an end to the worldwide abuse of women and girls anytime soon". (Yasmeen Hassan, Global Executive Director of Equality Now)
Help your society to be successful by helping Equality Now!
Captain Picard: "The economics of the future is somewhat different. You see, money doesn't exist in the 24th century."
Lily Sloane: "No money! You mean you don't get paid?"
Captain Picard: "The acquisition of wealth is no longer the driving force in our lives. We work to better ourselves and the rest of humanity."
Work - There are various issues:-
Intuition - "The intuitive mind is a sacred gift and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honours the servant and has forgotten the gift." (Albert Einstein) - We undervalue and besmirch the intuitive. Although science has been helpful in reducing charlatanism and dismantling unquestioning belief, it has become too dry, too clinical, too reductionist, too dominant, too damning of anything it cannot measure. We need intuitive compassionate societies served by the rational mind.
Energy - "One five thousandth’s part [of the energy that the sun sprays on the earth every day] would provide all the energy requirements of humanity. And the fact that we haven’t tapped it directly before is really extraordinary. We... understand the principles. What we need now is to refine them so that we can do it really economically. And then the fossil fuels, or oil and coal, would simply remain in the earth and cause no more problems for the climate." (Sir David Attenborough, BBC, 49s, posted and accessed 30 November 2015) Also see here.
Health - "Health is made at home, hospital is for repairs." (African saying) - Society needs to be demedicalised, from birth to death. Modern medicine, with its technology and drugs, is suitable for severe problems. But most health issues presented to doctors are chronic; around 80% of health issues are far more suited to complementary and alternative medicine (CAM).
We need an Integrative Health System, promoting self-care, generally offering CAM, utilising orthodox medicine only where necessary. Compassionate support and self-care are both central; drugs, technology and highly-trained doctors are not! Health needs to be taught as a key life skill (e.g. exercise, nutrition, sleep, relaxation, flower essences for mental health). People need to do things (CAM) rather than get things (drugs); it is far more empowering. But, for example, only 5 of 200+ CAM modalities are available on the NHS.
Also of massive value, more than drugs, are things like disease prevention (clean water, good sanitation, vector control) and healthy architecture. Health is not merely the absence of physical disease, but includes physical, mental and social well-being (WHO).
Does your society nurture health?
Top of Page
Sanitation- This must be a priority for the world. In a huge way, it creates health, and reduces sexual assault and violence for women. If you live in a society where you have it, great! But urge your society and the world to ensure the same for half the world who lack proper sanitation. Build sewage systems, not walls!!Top of Page
Sleep - “The Industrial Revolution radically transformed our perception of sleep from a gracious, transcendent experience to a mechanistic, biomedical process.” (Rubin Naiman, posted 2016, accessed 20 July 2016) Has modern life perverted the experience of sleep? Surely the cure for insomnia is to fall in love with sleep again? See article by Rubin Naiman to check how well your culture is doing.
“Every human being streams at night into the loving nowhere”, wrote Rumi.
Do you and your society feel this?
Success - "I just think society is currently telling us that success means financial success: having money, a big house, cars, whatever, like a high position in your job. And what society needs to be teaching us is that success means having a loving community, and... touching people's hearts... making the world better." (Raya Encheva, 1 minute 58 seconds, posted 6 August 2016, accessed 8 August 2016)
Is your society a Culture of Love or a Culture of Greed?
Culture - Cultures need to be purified of certain practices. Cultures can claim certain acts to be cultural and therefore untouchable. For example: bullfighting in Spanish culture; circumcision; female genital mutilation (see here and here). But surely we need to reframe these acts as abuse or violence and not culture??
"Cultural acceptance does not mean accepting the unacceptable. Abuse is abuse." (Jasvinder Sanghera cited at BBC, posted and accessed 24 February 2017)
How pure is your culture?
Education - (1) Education systems forcibly create cultures. Modern education prepares us to slot into a global economic system, which only serves the financial elite and corporate interests. Read more in Schooling the Poor World.
"Real freedom will come only when we free ourselves of the domination of Western education, Western culture and Western way of living which have been ingrained in us." (Mahatma Gandhi)
"Education is a compulsory, forcible action of one person upon another... Culture is the free relation of people... Education is culture under restraint. Culture is free." (Leo Tolstoy)
(2) Education needs to teach Love. Consider this quote by Mary Gordon of Roots of Empathy: "Our long term goal is building a more caring, peaceful and civil society, where everybody feels a sense of belonging... If we are educating children who can read well and compute well but can’t relate well... we will have a failed society. Learning how to relate to one another requires empathy. You have to understand how the other fella feels." (BBC, posted and accessed 23 January 2018)
Anyone for Natural Education which for me = Natural Family Living, a Culture of Touch, a Culture of Love, a Solar Culture?...
We need to prioritise morality over technology. "We're at the level of infants in moral responsibility, but with the technological capability of adults." (Dr Nick Bostrom cited at BBC, posted and accessed 24 April 2013) "Rubbish in, rubbish out" is an old computing maxim, so until things change, we can expect mostly a dystopian Earth.
And prioritise spirituality over technology. What is really exciting is that the future of humanity is surely in realising that the most amazing spiritual 'technology' is within us at all times? This is the human body, soul and Spirit. For most of us, it does take a lot of work to be able to perceive energies around people, or be able to see into very small or very large structures from atoms and cells to galaxies, or to be able to travel throughout the physical and spiritual universe in our subtle bodies, etc. We have so many untapped spiritual powers that can be used for the good...
However, currently we are glamorised by digital technology, by social media, etc:-
"It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society."
"We must come to see that the end we seek is a society at peace with itself, a society that can live with its conscience."
(Martin Luther King Jr.)
The Importance of Women
Freedom for Birth
Big Life Issues
How Global Warming and Capitalism are Deeply Intertwined
Why Capitalism is the #1 Cause of Poverty
The Root Cause of War is Oligarchic Capitalism