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Success for Society Fruit

Here are some ways to gauge how successful or healthy is a culture, country or world.

How does the society or nation handle:-

Women
Birth
Breastfeeding
Animals
Sexual Abuse
Money
Work
Intuition
Energy
Health
Sanitation
Sleep
Success
Culture
Education
Technology

Women -
  • "Men tend to be happier in a society where women enjoy greater equality." (World Happiness Database cited by BBC, posted 29 June 2013, accessed 30 June 2013)
  • "What we are learning around the world is that if women are healthy and educated, their families will flourish. If women are free from violence, their families will flourish. If women have a chance to work and earn as full and equal partners in society, their families will flourish. And when families flourish, communities and nations do as well." (Hillary Clinton, speech delivered 5 September 1995,  transcript accessed 9 October 2016)
  • Also see The Importance of Women; Women & Failure.
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Birth - "The freedom in a country can be measured by the freedom of birth." (Ágnes Géreb) See here.

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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.)

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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 - see here, here, here. This 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.

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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!

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Money - (1) Gross National Happiness (GNH) rather than GDP:-
  • "The great breakthrough of the twenty first century will be to begin to assess success and failure in life other than merely through financial indicators." (Alain de Botton)
  • "We must rapidly begin the shift from a thing-oriented society to a person-oriented society. When machines and computers, profit motives and property rights, are considered more important than people, the giant triplets of racism, extreme materialism, and militarism are incapable of being conquered." (Martin Luther King Jr. 1967 speech, cited here, accessed 16 October 2012)
  • Universal Basic Income is required - see here and here. This can reduce or eradicate poverty and slavery. It supports real freedom and the power to say "no".
  • Love, Love, Love - NOT growth, growth, growth!
(2) Do we need money? Consider:-
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."
  • #postcapitalism - a world where creativity is the ideal and where money was deemed too archaic and restrictive for human evolution (Anna Louise Simpson, tweet 2 October 2016, accessed 16 October 2016)
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Work - There are various issues:-
  • The most important work on the planet is highly undervalued and mostly unpaid. This is parenting and caring. This massive inequality needs to change...
  • Working less is the key to getting more done! As few as one to three hours of concentrated work could be as effective as a traditional workday. There needs to be focus and relaxation. Downtime is not laziness, a vice, just a vacation; it is essential for productivity. (See BBC, posted 13 June 2017, accessed 15 June 2017)
  • People are obliged to work too much. In the UK, paid work is an eight-hour day, but 80% of us work a lot more than that (BBC, dated 2016, accessed 7 October 2016). There are many disadvantages: health, psychological, social, creative and spiritual. Burn-out leads to stupid decisions, whether political or personal (See Arianna Huffington, 3m4s, posted 18 November 2016, accessed 20 November 2016). We need to do a lot less work. [Also see here; here.] 
  • People do need to do something - and they naturally want to. A basic instinct is to move about and explore, as otherwise the human animal might never find food, etc. A 'mother' of 2,000 refugees tells us that "Most of us are hardwired to want to provide for ourselves", as handouts brings loss of dignity (Lisa Campbell cited at BBC, posted and accessed 8 December 2017). We are social animals too, so contributing to our society is important. It is part of being fulfilled. So, instead of living a 'rat race' life, from which you retire, your entire life becomes a work of art, in the service of the Greater Good.
  • My vision is that everyone somehow gets their basic needs met - without being enslaved to work. This will free people up to: follow their dreams; be creative; and so bring the spiritual world of Love and Light to Earth.
  • Robots must surely be welcomed, as they will free us from much drudgery. For example, supporters of ‘fully automated luxury communism’ see the robotic revolution as an opportunity to realise a post-work society, where machines do the heavy lifting and employment as we know it is a thing of the past (See The Guardian, posted 18 March 2015, accessed 28 December 2016). Also see here, here, and here.
  • [What if jobs are not the solution but the problem:] Fuck work Economists believe in full employment. Americans think that work builds character. But what if jobs aren’t working anymore?... When work disappears, the genders produced by the labour market are blurred. When socially necessary labour declines, what we once called women’s work – education, healthcare, service – becomes our basic industry, not a ‘tertiary’ dimension of the measurable economy. The labour of love, caring for one another and learning how to be our brother’s keeper – socially beneficial labour – becomes not merely possible but eminently necessary, and not just within families, where affection is routinely available. No, I mean out there, in the wide, wide world. (James Livingston, Aeon, posted 25 November 2016, accessed 28 December 2016)
  • "In the future, we will not be workers. We will be artists. Creativity is Everything." (Anna Louise Simpson, tweet 12 October 2016, accessed 16 October 2016)
  • Throughout the world, men and women are occupied, they bustle about and they struggle, and this is what they call work. Well no. They do not yet know that true work is to strive towards God’s perfection. Every faculty they possess – willpower, heart, intellect, soul and spirit – has been given to them so they may progress along this path of perfection. Until they understand this, the world will continue to present the pitiful spectacle of people using the physical and psychic faculties they received from nature to behave badly and to self-destruct. But tell me, what meaning does such a life hold? 
    Know that we are called upon to participate in a sublime enterprise. And you will know what it really means to work the day you mobilize all the faculties and forces within you in order to draw closer to the divine model. (O.M. Aïvanhov)
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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.

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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.

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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?

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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!!

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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?

Raspberries

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?

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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?

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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?...

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Technology -
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:-
  • [About social media:] "...just because something has become normal behaviour does not mean that the behaviour is in itself normal." (BBC, dated 2017, accessed 1 February 2017)
  • [About AI beating us (e.g. see here):] Can artificial intelligence love? Unlike today's competitive society, our society must first and foremost be a Culture of Love. It is not about beating. It is about loving.
  • "Our scientific power has outrun our spiritual power. We have guided missiles and misguided men." (Martin Luther King Jr.)
  • "Men have become the tool of their tools." (Henry David Thoreau) We have disconnected from our true selves.
  • "Technology is a way of organizing the universe so that man doesn't have to experience it." (Max Frisch)
  • [Technology helps big businesses grow, helps the rich get richer:] "The cult of technology is useful for the world's most powerful people. But if the rest of us are really interested in creating a better world, we need to look beyond the words of Davos Man [e.g. Bill Gates] and challenge his power." (Nick Dearden, The Independent, posted 21 January 2016, accessed 22 January 2016)
Tomatoes

"It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society."
(Krishnamurti)

"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.)
 
Also see:-

The Importance of Women

Freedom for Birth

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