We Can Do This. Together.
Left or right, we all want the same.
Health. Happiness. Safety. Prosperity. Productivity.
A flourishing economy.
A healthy Earth that can sustain mankind for centuries to come.
Here's how we unite the country and solve our challenges. Together.
We All Want the Same Thing
I've been on the left. I've been on the right. And I realized that we all want the same things:
Health. Happiness. Safety. Prosperity. Productivity. A strong economy. And to enjoy Earth as our home for millennia.
So why the divide?
1: We focus on interventions instead of outcomes.
Anyone who's succeeded at anything knows that success happens twice: first in the mind and second in real life. You visualize your goal, then get there through research, experimentation, and action. By focusing on the details of the interventions in slogan form ("universal healthcare", "build the wall"), we can spend all our time disagreeing, instead of talking about what are our goals as a nation and how do we get there.
2: We allow people to attack people, not arguments
When people resort to calling other people racist or bigot or whatever they say, and call for people to be canceled or silenced, we're only hurting ourselves. We cannot solve problems if we cannot talk about them. We need all hands, eyes, ears, brains, and hearts on deck to solve the deep challenges we're facing.
3: We don't speak up
A lot of sane people are afraid of speaking their minds in the current climate. It seems like there's no upside to it. If those of us who are sane don't speak up, then the crazies are going to take over. We think we can just sit this one out, but when we do, it only gets worse. Censorship is already here. Self-censorship doubly so
Don't let them win. People like you and I must have the courage to speak up and add our voice of sanity in large enough numbers to create a counterbalance to those that want to silence us.
4: Politicians and media want to divide us
Our politicians and our media institutions and the big tech companies are not on our side. They're not on the side of the people. They don't have our best interests at heart. It's up to us to take control of our lives and our nation. Politicians fundraise off of division, while getting paid handsomely by big donors. Mainstream media get better ratings when there are big divisions in the country. Social media thrives on division. They each have their own agenda that's very different from ours.
5: We focus on differences instead of commonalities
You're black, I'm white. You're a Christian, I'm an atheist. You're left, I'm right. You're a man, I'm a woman. But we're all humans. We've all experienced suffering. We all have dreams. We all have obstacles we want to overcome. We're all stuck on this clod of dirt zipping through space at 65,000 miles an hour. Let's come together and create a great life for all of us, shall we?
How Do We Move Forward?
1: Have open, honest, respectful conversations
Let's talk! Let's talk dreams and goals. Let's talk feelings. Let's talk data. Let's talk about where we want to go, and how we can each contribute. You share what you see, I share what I see, and together we get a clearer picture of the world. You share your idea, I share mine, and together we come up with better ideas for how to move forward. It's the only way. We cannot solve problems if we cannot talk about them.
2: Question what you know.
We get into fights with each other when we cling too tightly to our opinions. Certainty breeds obstinance. It deafens ears. It resists any implication of change or improvement. Ultimately, certainty is stagnation and death.
If we can move from 100% certainty to 99% certainty, then we can begin a dialogue. Allowing ourselves the thought that we are not all-knowing and that there’s always more to learn, we make room within us and beyond us for conversation, education, and growth. We can start to explore the world and possible solutions together.
The challenge is that people get very defensive about their beliefs and opinions. They associate their convictions with their identity, therefore feeling that their survival is threatened when their ideas are poked.
Which leads us to:
3: Mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual maturity.
The general public needs to learn how to deal with thoughts and emotions before we can make any real progress politically. That, basically, is the first order of business.
Thoughts are just thoughts. They're not who you are. They're not necessarily true. You can question them, and you can choose better, more useful thoughts.
Emotions want to be felt. They're not dangerous. Most of us are afraid of our emotions, or don't know what to do with them. It's not that complicated, we just haven't been taught.
Our body needs to be used and nourished. Sitting on our asses all day kills us a little bit each day. We need to educate our bodies to do more. We're designed to be healthy and flexible and strong. It's like we've completely forgotten what a healthy human body looks and feels like.
And finally, no matter what you believe, humans need to believe in something bigger than themselves, or they go crazy. A life spent in pursuit of moments of pleasure leads to suffering. We know this. It's not mysterious. The only thing that brings lasting joy and happiness is to be of service to others.
Solving the Challenges
Solving climate change, poverty, crime, and the health crisis are all relatively straightforward tasks. The solutions exist; they're just not evenly distributed yet.
A key insight is that we cannot solve abstract problems. We can only solve specific problems. So there isn’t a one-size-fits-all "poverty problem," and you cannot address it with a generalized "war on poverty." There are thousands of different reasons why people are poor, and we need to understand and address those specific reasons. Some we can do top-down, but most have to be done bottom-up, and by the individual person.
Once problems are defined, they can be solved far more easily. Once the will for effective problem solving is there, solutions are easy.
We solve problems using three levels of thinking:
- Entrepreneurial thinking: Making change with limited resources.
- Engineering thinking: Testing out potential solutions and measuring effects by real-world results.
- Spiritual thinking: Basing solutions on how human beings actually function.
These three types of thinking processes fuse to form the alchemy of effective problem solving. If we follow this recipe, we truly can create the nation we all want to live in.
A nation of healthy, happy, safe, prosperous, and productive people.
A nation with a flourishing economy.
A nation that commits to establishing and bettering the health of our planet.
A nation that is notable for the high standard it sets for others to follow.
A Notable Nation.
Brooklyn, New York
June 23, 2020