Monday, November 7, 2016

Election Eve Thoughts

The Mystery within...
We Americans are at an evolutionary crossroads in our country.  The idea that we have a say in how we evolve should give us all pause to reflect on what constitutes a healthy society.  It is the same attributes of a healthy ecosystem—namely a symbiotic interaction with diversity.  I reviewed my past blogs from November 4, 2013 to December 16, 2013 where I blogged my way through David Sloan Wilson’s book “The Neighborhood Project—Using Evolution to Improve My City One Block at a Time.”  Following are excerpts from those blogs: 

Wilson:  “Every movement made by an organism is based on a physical environmental input, which initiates a physical chain of events inside the organism, which results in the physical movement of the organism—its behavioral output.”

Wilson’s reflections led him to survey thousands of public school students who rated themselves anonymously on a scale of 1 (this doesn’t describe me at all) to 5 (this describes me exactly) to the following questions:

I think it is important to help other people.
I resolve conflicts without anyone getting hurt.
I tell the truth even when it is not easy.
I am helping make my community a better place. 
I am trying to help solve social problems.
I am developing respect for other people.
I am sensitive to the needs and feelings of others.
I am serving others in the community.

Me:  Life is a pinball machine and how I react to what I bump into determines my progress or decline.  The ability to reflect on my experiences is the vital spark that transforms, and being flexible in how I respond, determines my success or failure.

Wilson:  “The idea that self-interest promotes the common good is profoundly wrong…”  “If we are not making decisions on behalf of the common good, then we will be generating conflict, neglect, and decay…

Wilson:  “We are designed as a species to cooperate in small groups that are coordinated and policed by norms established by consensus.”

From the conference on the “Nature of Regulation:”

-      Rethink the theory of human regulatory systems from the ground up.
-       Learn from other biological systems about the nature of regulation.
-       Reach a consensus on what constitutes human nature.
-       Appreciate the importance of environmental mismatch.
-       Take cultural evolution seriously.

What if we all took cultural evolution seriously, reflecting on how to respond to what we bump into, knowing our actions can determine the success or failure of our country.

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