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Apples in Orchard
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Lychees
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Fruit & Veg
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FruitSuccess for Society

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


How does the society/nation/world handle:-

Women
Mothers
Birth
Breastfeeding
Attachment Parenting
Animals
Diet
Sports
Sexual Abuse
Money
Work
Politics
Intuition
Environment
Energy
Health
Sanitation
Sleep
Death
Racism
Refugees
Prisons
Success
Image
Culture
Education
Initiation
Technology
Water


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.
Pomegranates
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Mothers - Mothers are the foundation of all things. Through mothers all things come into being. Are Mothers at the centre of your society?
In the UK in 2019, the first political party honouring this reality was registered. Motherworld can be the policy of any nation. Their vision:

MotherWorld is the society where Mother Earth, mothers and the value of mothering - love, care and support for each other, and for all Her creatures and nature - are placed in the Centre of our lives and communities, rather than being left out on the periphery.

Iceland, with Scotland and New Zealand, are prioritising family-friendly values over GDP.

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Birth - "The freedom in a country can be measured by the freedom of birth." (Ágnes Geréb) See here.

"Women are not dying [around birth] because of diseases we cannot treat; they are dying because societies have yet to make the decision that their lives are worth saving."
(Quote cited in Midwifery Today 2010 article, accessed online 15 January 2020; read why there...)


In our world, birth is under the stranglehold of fear, medicine, money and patriarchy.
Birth needs to be returned to women and to evolutionary ways.

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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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Attachment Parenting -
Attachment Parenting is not something new to learn, but rather a return to ancient, evolutionary, instinctive ways. See here, here.

'Attachment Parenting is an application of sensitive responsive parenting. Attachment Parenting is based in the practice of nurturing parenting methods that create strong emotional bonds, also known as secure attachment, between children and their parent(s). This style of parenting encourages responsiveness to children’s emotional needs, enabling children to develop trust that their needs will be met. As a result, this strong attachment helps children develop the capacity for secure, empathic, peaceful, and enduring relationships that follow them into adulthood.' (Attachment Parenting International, dated 1994-2019, accessed 3 March 2019)

We do not practise or prioritise this Love. Instead we are all about efficiency, technology, money, productivity and growth.

“Something new can enhance, encourage or evolve the tribe or it can undermine, devalue or destroy what nature and instinct would preserve. Instinct injury is the greatest loss to survival and happiness.”
(Sister MorningStar, accessed online 11 October 2018)


We need to rediscover this powerful Love instinct!

“There is no single effort more radical in its potential for saving the world than a transformation of the way we raise our children.” (Marianne Williamson)

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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?
  • Destroying nature unleashes infectious diseases (The New York Times, posted 14 July 2012, accessed 14 April 2020). Human health is linked to animal health and planetary health (BBC, posted and accessed 8 April 2020). Yet we are heavily exploiting animals, for profit, fun, medical research, and as a by-product of capitalism. Hurting animals hurts humans too! Wake up, humans? Do not kill the goose that lays the golden egg??
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Diet - How pure is the diet of your culture?

Many are getting woke to the idea that a plant-based diet is essential to minimise climate change. But apart from Environmental, there are other reasons: Evolutionary, Financial, Health, Anatomical, Ethical, Spiritual. Read more at:-
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Sports - In the modern world, competitive sports are at the centre, in entertainment, in education systems. Obviously they can be exciting to watch.
But what if most schoolkids dislike participating in them? What if they prefer to play non-competitive sports?
What if indigenous cultures prefer win-win physical activities? 
Or, as in certain indigenous cultures, if you can be first in a race, and you do so more than once, it is seen as disrespectful. Is this way healthier for a society?
Just as with the misunderstanding of evolution - where life is seen as a competitive contest when for the most part it is not this - the same applies to sports, surely? Most of the time life is 
co-operative. Surely we need our sports to reflect the overwhelming amount of co-operation seen in nature?
The evidence of kids' preferences suggests this (see No Contest - The Case Against Competition [Why we lose in our race to win] by Alfie Kohn; also see here).
So surely we need a culture filled predominantly with co-operative exercise/sports? This needs to apply in education and for community events where everyone can participate.
From unifying group dances to actual games, there is so much fun to be had.
Cooperative activities and physical activities individually produce such good feelings. What do you think will happen when they are combined? There is so much to invent...

Cooperation is a vital survival skill. Evolution tells us it more important than competition and thus surely needs to be central to any culture, including its sports?

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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)
  • "The proper aim is to try and reconstruct society on such a basis that poverty will be impossible." (Oscar Wilde)
  • Universal Basic Income is required - see here, here, 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! - Help by signing this.
Read more at Money System...

(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)
Read more at No Money...

Bananas
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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, not a vice. It is not just a vacation. It is essential for productivity. (See BBC, posted 13 June 2017, accessed 15 June 2017) Also read 'The compelling case for working a lot less'.
  • 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: environmental, 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, here, here, here. Petitions: 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.
  • Welfare helps people work. It is far more than a substitute wage. It removes massive slow-motion trauma and other obstacles. It allows people to seek out opportunities and to create healthy, productive lives. [Also see here, here.]
  • Wage theft by employers, from their workers, is a much bigger problem than robbery. See here, here. It is basically modern slavery.
  • My vision is that everyone somehow gets their basic needs met (e.g. see here) - 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, herehere, here, here, here.
  • [What if jobs are not the solution but the problem - Part 1:] 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)
  • [What if jobs are not the solution but the problem - Part 2:] In Bullshit Jobs, David Graeber exposes how so many jobs are meaningless and the associated societal harm. A Universal Basic Income is a solution, releasing many into creative pursuits.
  • [What if jobs are not the solution but the problem - Part 3:Salaried work is “five days of prostitution followed by two days of resuscitation”. (Michel Rosell cited in The Guardianposted and accessed 11 October 2020) Also see here, here, here.
  • "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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Politics - "Access to power must be confined to those who are not in love with it." (Plato)

Our mission - should we accept it - is building a Utopia, Heaven on Earth.
Politics is so full of lies and corruption. It is evilly busy with genocide and ecocide.
Dictators are rife (Trump, Xi Jingping, Boris Johnson, Putin, Bolsonaro, Duterte, el-Sisi, Orbán, Duda, Erdoğan, Lukashenko, MBS, al-Assad, Modi, Min Aung Hlaing, Kim Jong-un, Scott Morrison, etc.). In an unstable world, they are only likely to fester and seek further control.
We have to work very hard to counter this.
So here are some of the next steps and other considerations:-

  • Democracy is meant to be rulership by the people, but it is not. In ancient Greece, only free males could vote (no immigrants, no slaves, no women = only 30% of adults). In modern democracies, women only got the vote about 100 years ago. Black women in the USA only got to vote in 1965. Politicians still make it hard for ethnic minorities to vote. It continues to be hijacked by Big Money and Evil - by "imperialist white supremacist capitalist patriarchy" (bell hooks). This is not democracy! The people need to participate!!
  • Proportional representation is therefore important. Instead of one party bullying a country into their way, many smaller voices can be represented, heard and honoured. There is no need to vote tactically, allowing more wholesome parties to emerge. How to get there, though? - see here.
  • Citizens' assemblies (CA) are thus also crucial. Learn more here, here, here, here, here, here. CA use the evolutionary wisdom of the healthiest size for groups (the tribe) to help the supertribe (the nation). CA tend to easily cut through complex, polarised and intractable issues. CA create a far more equal world. People feel empowered instead of feeling they are in the clutches of heartless, arrogant, distant politicians. Instead of the abuse of Big Tech, Big Pharma and Big Money, we find practical, human solutions. CA tend to include long-term factors (e.g. 7 generations ahead), something which almost all politicians will not do as they are too selfish.
  • We must think 'Green' - placing our sacred and only Earth at the centre of our politics. Tribal and indigenous people practised and practise this policy. It is we that are backward, primitive, savage and barbarian. Stop the brutal rape of Mother Earth by capitalism. But beware ecofascism. Support ecosocialism. Think "private sufficiency and public luxury" (see here, here, here, here, here).
  • We must also think 'Mother'. We not only put Mother Earth at the centre of our politics, but also mothers. See above, here. It is about valuing the qualities of love, support and cooperation over and above patriarchy's unhealthy competition and war. It is about Natural Family Living and Attachment Parenting. "Imagine what economic theory would look like if the basic unit of behavioral modelling wasn't an abstract, bourgeois male individual but a mother." (Jason Hickel, 11 November 2020 tweet
  • And so we remember Love. We need a Culture of Love. Love is like God. We must attune to the luminous currents of the Invisible World. Bring Love to Earth and we establish Heaven on Earth. "This will be a better world when the power of love replaces the love of power." (Old saying)
  • A Solar Culture is a political and spiritual philosophy that synthesises many of these ways...
Physalis or Cape Gooseberry perhaps looking like a solar sphere, on a table, with a dark backround
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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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Environment -
Does your society care, nurture and protect it? Or does your society rape, monetise and exploit it? Probably the latter? So, surely we need: 'System Change, not Climate Change'. Greta Thunberg (Swedish climate activist) explains:- 
  • "We cannot solve a crisis without treating it as a crisis... if solutions within the system are so impossible to find, then... we should change the system itself."
  • "Our civilization is being sacrificed for the opportunity of a very small number of people to continue making enormous amounts of money... It is the sufferings of the many which pay for the luxuries of the few... You say you love your children above all else, and yet you are stealing their future in front of their very eyes..."
  • "You only talk about moving forward with the same bad ideas that got us into this mess, even when the only sensible thing to do is pull the emergency brake. You are not mature enough to tell it like it is. Even that burden you leave to us children..."
  • "We have to understand the emergency of the situation. Our leadership has failed us. Young people must hold older generations accountable for the mess they have created. We need to get angry, and transform that anger into action."
Thank you for the likes of Extinction Rebellion, School strike for climate, etc. They have been accused of hypocrisy by the media, but I agree that "...we are stuck in this fossil-fuel economy and without systemic change, our lifestyles will keep on causing climate and ecological harm." (BBC, posted and accessed 16 October 2019; also see here)
Rather focus on saving the myriad species and on the system change so urgently required!


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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)
Controlling energy resources is very linked to inequality and war. Follow the example of the Sun and ensure everyone gets energy for free! We need a Solar Culture.


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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 - Sanitation = clean drinking water and adequate sewage disposal.
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. Clean water for all. Build sewage systems, not walls!!     [Also see 'Water'.]

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Sleep 

(1) Spiritual Transcendence - "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 the
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?

(2) Dreams - We spend about six years of our life dreaming (in REM sleep) - but we no longer talk about our dreams.
Throughout our evolution, dreams have brought creative insight, wise soul guidance, even lifesaving prediction and lifechanging visions. They are an Archive of the Unconscious, reflecting our hidden fears and desires. They have also developed myths and spiritual paths, inspired songs, inventions and scientific breakthroughs. But most societies today treat them as merely brain babble or embarrassing weirdness.
Instead of industrially mining the Earth and destroying Nature, perhaps we need to mine the delicious Unconscious? No colonisation called for to explore the Inner World. No environmental destruction nor drugs required for these creative jewels and gold nuggets...

"Don’t rush to interpret your dreams in search of quick answers. Treating them as profound, ongoing psychic conversations may bring you to a place of deeper insight and understanding... You have to engage in the actual experience of the dream and feel it in order to tap in to its transformative potential. Immediate interpretation destroys that healing possibility. So when you next wake...feel your dreams."
(Marc Kahn)


(3) Mental & Physical Health - "If you had sort of a magic pill that you could take that would help increase your mental health, increase your physical health, lower your stress, make you more efficient, most people would be itching for a dose. Well, we do have that magic pill. It’s called sleep." (Adapted from Lisa Demour/Denise Pope, The Guardian, posted and accessed 8 June 2021) [Also see here.]
Does your society organise itself in such a way that everyone gets plenty of sleep?
Or does it accuse you of being lazy and shirking your responsibility to society?

Raspberries

Death
There are various issues on how a society treats death (also see Death & Immortality).
One is assisted dying for terminally ill, mentally competent people. This is explored in more depth at Assisted Dying.
Why do we find it so compassionate and obvious to exercise this with animals, yet we resist it for humans if they choose?
In fact, most people support it, but very few countries allow it.
"A safeguarded assisted dying law is the hallmark of a liberal, compassionate society..." (Sarah Wootton, Chief Executive of Dignity in Dying, posted and accessed 30 October 2020)

Blackberries in the shape of a heart, close-up on an old wooden bench
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Racism
- There are many houses on fire (as listed herein). Racism is another one. Another emergency that requires immediate action. For example, there is a history of over 400 years of horrific abuse of blacks in the USA, from slavery to police brutality, and systemic racism - with its hydra heads of injustice, inferior resources and opportunities, afflicted health, etc. They can't breathe. Black lives matter!
Time to listen to their plea for a fair world? Learn more here!
‘Black Lives Matter’ is often met with the response 'All Lives Matter'. But the latter is often used by white supremacists to keep black people trapped in systemic racism.
If your 'house' is White, it is not on fire. Help out the Black 'house' that is burning bad? Surely it is your duty to understand your privilege and the oppression caused by it?

And it's not just black lives. Indigenous peoples (Aborigines, Native American Indians, Tibetans, San, Inuit, etc.) have been horrifically damaged by colonial racism and continue to be vulnerable.
Any racism is unwanted on Mother Earth now.

Will you help eradicate racism from your society?
  • ‘One race. The human race.’ (Seen on internet)
  • “The challenge of the 21st century is not to demand equal opportunity in the machinery of oppression, but rather to identify and dismantle those structures in which racism continues to be embedded.” (Angela Davis)
  • “Institutional racism breeds poverty! Poverty breeds crime! Crime breeds violence!” (Protest chant cited at BBC, posted 11, accessed 12 June 2020)
  • "We just want society to [be] fair and balanced, with equal opportunity for all." (Maro Itoje, black English rugby union player, cited at BBC, posted and accessed 9 June 2020)
  • Also see Links - Racism.
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Refugees - How dare you put up walls and hi-tech fortresses, create hostile environments and have your police brutalise these vulnerable people?

These refugees are fleeing war, mass rape, torture and the most evil authoritarian regimes. You may have no idea of their desperation, of how lucky you are.
They are often suffering from severe physical injuries or health issues, deep emotional and mental traumas, and they need compassion.
The Rich World has created the war, poverty and inequality from which refugees arise.
But the colonial Rich World takes no responsibility for its centuries-long carnage.
It offers no debt cancellation, no reparations, no opportunity at equality.
Instead, governments exploit the Poor World, supply weapons to the dictators and gangs, whilst stirring up fear in their peoples. Meanwhile they claim that the refugees are criminal and dangerous.
The Climate & Ecological Emergency in the 21st century is part of this atrocity. It is created by the Rich World. We will likely see billions of refugees, as many parts of the world become uninhabitable (see here).
Will your society continue to make it so difficult, so inhumane, so unwelcoming for these refugees? Or will it take responsibility for the shit it has shat?
Here are some guidelines:-
  • "A civilised country is one that treats refugees with compassion." See here.
  • "Ask if I'm safe, not where I'm from." See here.
  • Bridges not borders. See here.
  • "Everyone should have the right to reside in habitable parts of the planet. The countries that have caused this [climate] crisis have a responsibility to resettle climate refugees, and fossil finance should be expropriated to pay for it." See here.
  • "There is no migrant crisis. It is true that thousands of people die every year attempting to cross the Mediterranean and Aegean seas. Over 25,000 migrants have died in their attempt to reach or stay in Europe since 2000. But this is not a crisis caused by migrants. It is a crisis caused by war, poverty and inequality." See here.
  • A plan for a country to welcomes refugees? See here!
Is your society one that treats refugees with compassion?

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Prisons - How does your society define 'criminal'? What does your society do to rehabilitate and reintegrate 'criminals'? Does your society invest in and prioritise the prevention of crime? Or is it pretending to solve crime?
Or are your society's prisons the place where the opponents of the dominant political system end up? So, in a society of capitalism/inequality/white supremacy/colonialism and patriarchy, prisons consist of: the poor, the abused, the addicted, women, the indigenous and people of colour, the whistleblowers and eco-activists. In autocracies like China, we find: the dissenters, the religious, etc.
In the words of criminal Charles Manson, "My father is your system... I am only what you made me. I am only a reflection of you." But, surely we can improve the system?
In other words, a successful society needs to invest heavily in prevention and rehabilitation. There will be a few psychopaths unamenable to help, but surely:-
  • Babies Not Jails. Attachment parenting needs to be central to the new culture of Support, Touch and Love. Make the Mother central - not peripheral - to life on Earth.
  • Relationship skills and emotional management needs to be central to mainstream education. At the moment, it is non-existent or very peripheral.
  • Use the role models of countries which have vastly decreased their incarceration rates, like Norway (see here, here) and the Netherlands. Massive funding needed.
  • Offenders need therapy. See here, here.
  • Offenders need animal therapy. See here, here, here.
  • Offenders need life skills. See here.
  • Offenders need self-help skills. See here.
  • Offenders need opportunity for creative expression. See here.
  • Offenders need ongoing support. See here.
  • Offenders need community integration. See here.
  • Stop imprisoning people for low-level crime. For example, criminalising children just causes more crime. See here, here, here, here, here. Watch here.
  • Stop the Drugs War. So many 'criminals' are part of this politically created war. We all use drugs, so why do we only criminalise certain ones? We need to tackle the pain of humans and that incudes the need for equality, a universal basic income, and a Solar Culture. Also, watch here.
  • Almost all women should NOT be in jail. Most women in jail have been brought up in chaos, have been abused (by family or partner) - and have NOT committed a violent crime. So, why do we imprison them? See here, here, here, here, here.
  • No prisons needs to be the soon-to-be-achieved goal. Contrary to public perception, most of the prison population are both victim and perpetrator; they have a much higher experience of trauma, abuse and violence than the general population. Redirect funds to community-based initiatives. See here, here, here, here.
  • System change! As otherwise, there is one rule for the rulers and another for the rest of us. See here.
"I am convinced that imprisonment is a way of pretending to solve the problem of crime. It does nothing for the victims of crime, but perpetuates the idea of retribution, thus maintaining the endless cycle of violence in our culture. It is a cruel and useless substitute for the elimination of those conditions — poverty, unemployment, homelessness, desperation, racism, greed — which are at the root of most punished crime. The crimes of the rich and powerful go mostly unpunished.
It must surely be a tribute to the resilience of the human spirit that even a small number of those men and women in the hell of the prison system survive it and hold on to their humanity." (Howard Zinn)

Basket of yellow chanterelle mushrooms on a green forest floor
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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?

Pumpkin on a wooden stump
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Image - Does your society promote a perfect image? Especially an image where you must spend money to achieve it? Particularly an image where it takes a lot of effort to suppress imperfect images? This is terribly seen in airbrushed models. Also it is obvious in filtered and false social media photos and stories. All this puts immense pressure on (young) people, to get that image. The stress is mental, emotional, dietary, physical, financial. Let us understand that veg and fruit can be wonky, yet still precious. Don't cherry pick - enjoy them all!
"
In a society that profits from your self-doubt, liking yourself is a rebellious act." (Seen on internet)
Does your culture promote self-love and self-worth?

Cherries
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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?

Pineapple
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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?...

Mandarins
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Initiation - Does your society have initiations for young people?
Initiation here means an event which allows a person to move more effectively into a new role. Changing from child to adult is a massive transformation.
The alchemical challenge and understanding of this psychological process is not central to our societies. This compromises the mental health of your society.
Although life's events may give you an initiation, these tend to be traumatic, toxic and unsupported. This is not what evolution suggests is best.
In indigenous cultures all over the world, young adolescent males have undergone arduous sometimes death-threatening initiations. This prepares them for adult life.
As I was told in South Africa, young women don't have these initiations as they have always had the life-changing experience of birth.
In modern societies, we now have birth control and this means that most adolescent women do not get pregnant so young anymore. Their 'matrescence' [becoming a mother] initiation can now be delayed for decades.
Meanwhile, the young men in modern societies often lack deep and transformative rites of passage from boy to man, or they can be highly toxic events such as hazing or heavy drug use or gang initiations.
A consequence of this is that we live in an adolescent world, characterised by immaturity, delinquency and disrespect for nature. This applies to nations and leaaders and policies.
So, society today needs healthy initiations for both young men and women. There are various options such as:-
  • Shamanic trance dance (this only takes a few hours).
  • vision quest (ends with a three day, three night fast alone in a place of sacred power).
  • An organisation like Journeyman UK, which supports boys to become men.
  • Target Focus Training course. This deals with asocial violence in a safe place at a slow pace. Looking at the threat of bodily destruction or invasion is confronted. A tool is given to handle it, to give you a chance to survive. 
Bunches of Grapes on the vine
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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, by our intellect, 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)
  • We are ‘a society more willing to pump money into advanced medical technologies than the daily care of sick children and their families.’ (See Karen Zilberstein, posted 15 January 2019, accessed 17 January 2019)
  • [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) Also see here.
  • Also see The Glamour of New Technology.
Tomatoes

Water - Water is joy, dignity, life - and essential for health.
Spiritually, water is the greatest servant, a superb role model, a symbol for spiritual light.
But in your community/society:-
  • Is water even available?
  • Is that water source sustainable?
  • Is the water clean? For 1 in 10 people, it is not.
  • Is the water free?
If you answered yes to all these, you still need to get your society to ensure that all societies have these human rights! You can start at WaterAid.
  • 'Every minute, every day, people suffer and lives are lost needlessly because of a lack of safe water and sanitation. Help us end this global crisis and transform lives.' (Water Aid, accessed 5 February 2015)
  • 'Dirty water kills more children than war. It’s the most common cause of disease in the world today.' (British Red Cross, posted 2015, accessed 5 February 2015)
Surely, stop worshipping science and medicine? Rather simply ensure we all have clean, free water? Rich World must help Poor World...     [Also see 'Sanitation'.]

Water everywhere? Joyful woman & child in pond in rain in Cambodia

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

(Krishnamurti)

"Many psychiatrists and psychologists refuse to entertain the idea that society as a whole may be lacking in sanity. They hold that the problem of mental health in a society is only that of the number of ‘unadjusted’ individuals, and not of a possible unadjustment of the culture itself."
(Erich Fromm, The Sane 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.)

Fruit & Veg

Also see:-

The Importance of Women

Freedom for Birth

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Page last updated: 14 July 2021.