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From government to individuality, as a whole or as a group, how do we change for the better?

It seems that from religion to politics to star trek there's been a movement in humans to change for the better. what are the factors that promote change for the better? what are the base principles. what happens to one who doesn't change. why do some have a more difficult time then others?

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  • May 4 2013: Interesting, Michael.
    I think our ability to change as individuals has to do with our own awareness of ourselves. I think we all have behavioral patterns that can sometimes hinder us, or even be destructive. I myself have been confronted by my own destructive patterns at one point, and that awareness forced me to change for the better, meaning, I am aware of my limitations, aware of the destructive patterns that can harm me and those I love, and can participate in my community in a way that I feel good about.

    Changing as a community starts with changing as individuals. And therein lies the problem - what is 'change for the better'? Not all of us feel the need to change, and even if we did, who is to say which direction is best for us all to go? Hitler thought he had a good idea and managed to force masses of people to change...

    What is your definition of 'change for the better'?
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      May 4 2013: I love a lot of those points you made. Destructive patterns hold people back from responsibility and greater truth. Hitler is a great example. In all honesty what individual out there can come up with a direction for the better of everyone? My def for change for the better is being more obedient to eternal truths because you love your self more and you love your friends more and if you believe in a higher power, you love him more. The change ready you to receive more truth.
      • May 5 2013: Hi Michael,
        I get what you mean, "being more obedient to eternal truths" and "the change ready you to receive more truth". Truth is what scares us, what makes us fight wars, what keeps us in a state of arrested development. To conquer it, to allow us all to face truth, would change our world.
        Only problem there, is that our definitions of truth are also different. A higher power is a good example - I am an agnostic. The existence of a higher power is not truth to me, but I respect the fact that to many, it is.

        I agree, no individual can determine the direction in which we all should go. But we, as individuals, can. Maybe all facing the same direction isn't the answer, as long as we can respect each other's chosen direction?
  • May 4 2013: We are kept apart from one another:
    by false beliefs, lies, deception.
    Parsing out value to people as though that makes sense, that we are not all valuable, deserving of equal rights and not really recognizing Human Needs as Human Rights.

    We then not only do not see the connections between us, we don't feel them, recognize them and let them guide us into answering the question we all face, "what shall I do?"

    Instead, we not only allow evil, we intentionally close our hearts to one another and then we can easily accept or tolerate collateral starvation, collateral poverty, collateral slavery, collateral crime, collateral greed and allow ourselves to be fooled into war and killing others.

    We walk past it every day. We read about it and watch it but never really acknowledge it because we are cut off from it. We even watch American soldiers kill from afar, just like a video game, while we allow the grooming of our minor children by those who will send them to kill and die.

    We have allowed others to separate us just as the Church has done for centuries where we burned others at the stake, publicly hung or tortured them, all by the use of separation. If you are not with us, then you are against us.

    This stratification is getting worse. Muslims, Christians and Jews, Americans and everyone else, and it all happens because we have allowed ourselves to lose our connections with humanity, no matter who they are, where they live, how they live or what they believe.

    Leaders symbolically tore down a wall that only served to fool everyone, while the more impenetrable wall was being built in all of us. Separated from ourselves and the truth within us, so that when we see, hear or learn the truth, it only finds a lie has usurped its seat in our innermost self, masquerading as the truth.

    We have to find our connections. Damn race, color, religion, politics, money, military, occupation.
    "In all the places we were hiding love, what was it we were thinking of?"
    Peter Gabriel
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    Apr 30 2013: Give priority to the welfare and happiness of others.

    I'd like to agree with you that we have, indeed, changed for the better. And still have a long way to go.
    I often post this quote
    "We are not born for the sake of ourselves, we are born for the sake of others." ~ E. Swedenborg.

    In addition to that, regarding religions, he suggests that every religion first loves their 'higher power' and their neighbour as themselves. All differences would then just become differences of opinion.
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      May 1 2013: i agree with that. i am confused about the whole loving others before yourself kind of thing.; it seems like a really fine line between the 2. it seems paradoxical. you cant love someone more then you love yourself from what i have been told. but your expected to put others first in your life. at the same time loving your self helps others. it eventually seems to be all wrapped up into one. if you love your self or another you seem to be benefit the group as a whole. were suppose to do what we want. my mom is a great example of putting others first in her life. she at a lot of time has out gave herself. it seems.
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        May 1 2013: I agree Michael, that we really cannot honestly love (respect, have compassion, empathy, and kindness) more for others than we do for ourselves. How can we give something away, that we do not have in ourselves? Makes no sense.

        If, as Adriaan says, we should "give priority to the welfare and happiness of others", how can we, as he also says...first love "their 'higher power' and their neighbour as themselves."? If we prioritize others, we are not loving them as we love ourselves. It looks like, in that situation, we are giving something to others that we do not have for ourselves.

        I believe that we are all connected..."all wrapped up into one" as you say. That being said, it also makes sense that if we love our self and others it is beneficial to the whole:>)

        You ask..."why do some have a more difficult time then others?"
        I suggest that some folks get "stuck" in their comfort zone, and stepping out of the "box" they have created for themselves sometimes feels frightening and challenging, so they stay where they are. People also sometimes get so attached to their beliefs that they perceive the belief as part of their identity. What would they do if they changed their identity? Who would they be? How would they live the life adventure? It is sometimes frightening for some folks.
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          May 1 2013: Thanks for that insight. I was reading a talk about that. He was talking how identity effects thoughts, thoughts effect behavior, behavior effects habits and habits effect character. So on and so forth. That def can be scary stepping out of your box. Especially if your not securely rooted in a foundation that won't just crumble. Having your foundation crumble on you is no fun
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        May 1 2013: You're welcome Michael....thanks for your insight as well. I agree...identity, thoughts, behavior, habits, contribute to forming our character. True....it is beneficial to have a strong foundation.

        This goes back to what you wrote about your mom...
        "my mom is a great example of putting others first in her life. she at a lot of time has out gave herself. it seems."

        Women are often taught to give to others more than they/we give to ourselves. As a young woman, I did the same thing....gave to others to the point where I depleted my own energy. We cannot give to others if we do not keep ourselves recharged....refueled.

        Many times, the act of giving to others also serves to recharge/refuel ourselves.....sometimes not. It is important to know what and how we are giving, and it's important to be aware of our "self". If we simply make giving to others a priority, we may not be aware of depleting ourselves. We need a good foundation of awareness to find the balance.
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          May 2 2013: "Are you now saying, NOT to "give priority to the welfare and happiness of others", as you wrote in your first comment?"
          No Colleen, I'm saying that we as individuals first need to look after ourselves (in time) in order to be able to help others. Any organization or company needs to set up business first, look after itself first, in order to be able to sell a product or service. In order to become a doctor we need to do a lot of studying first.. etc. Then it would be best to be a doctor for the patienf, not for the money. So yes by that time prioritize others.
          This scenario is several times portrayed in the Bible with a first-born becoming less important than the second born one.

          I usually ask those that choose not to believe in a God, 'who do you give the merit to that people give to you for any good you do?
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          May 3 2013: Colleen you say I have changed my miind.. I have not.

          it is just, as in previous discussions, that you don't seem to want to follow what I'm saying.

          Best wishes
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        May 1 2013: Hi Mike, I think we usually love ourselves first for the practical reason to be healthy and also not hungry, so we are capable and willing to help others. To help others first, in this life, seems almost impossible and not many people do it. Although volunteering would seem a good way to go.
        Great to hear what a loving person your mom is!

        It is more the Golden rule that needs applying, which in itself wold make this a better world indeed.

        What I said was to love God first, (and everything else would just about fall into place) and our neighbour as ourselves.
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          May 1 2013: Adriaan,
          To help others in our world is not in any way "impossible", and people do it all the time.

          Are you now saying, NOT to "give priority to the welfare and happiness of others", as you wrote in your first comment?

          If it is the "golden rule that needs applying", that means do unto others as you would like them to do to you? Does that mean there is no priority, as you first suggested?

          You said to "love god first", and "everything else would just about fall into place".

          I respect that Adriaan, as your belief and perception.

          What about all those who choose not to believe in a god? Do you think/feel things "fall into place" for them? I believe that with awareness, and living mindfully, things may fall into place whether or not we believe in a god.
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          May 2 2013: Adriaan,
          This is a response to your comment which begins...
          "Are you now saying, NOT to "give priority to the welfare and happiness of others", as you wrote in your first comment?"
          No Colleen, I'm saying that we as individuals first need to look after ourselves (in time) in order to be able to help others".

          OK Adriaan, that is different from what you wrote in a previous comment, which states...
          "Give priority to the welfare and happiness of others."

          Apparently you changed your mind about that.....GREAT! Because it is a dis-service to teach and promote giving to others without taking care of ourselves.

          I am familiar with the bible Adriaan, and I do not think this discussion addresses bible study or god.

          The topic is..."
          "From government to individuality, as a whole or as a group, how do we change for the better?"

          My perception and experience, is that as soon as those who promote god and a religion stop bringing those concepts into every single conversation, we (humans) might start changing for the better:>)
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      May 3 2013: Adriaan,
      This is a response to your comment....

      "Adriaan Braam
      6 hours ago: Colleen you say I have changed my miind.. I have not.
      it is just, as in previous discussions, that you don't seem to want to follow what I'm saying.
      Best wishes"

      I think I am following what you write Adriaan, as I have in other discussions.

      Your first comment in this thread says:
      "Give priority to the welfare and happiness of others.
      "We are not born for the sake of ourselves, we are born for the sake of others." ~ E. Swedenborg."

      You then write:
      "I think we usually love ourselves first for the practical reason to be healthy..., so we are capable and willing to help others. It is more the Golden rule that needs applying, which in itself wold make this a better world indeed."

      In my perception Adriaan, there is a difference between giving "priority to the welfare and happiness of others.".... " we are born for the sake of others"

      OR
      " love ourselves first..., so we are capable and willing to help others. It is more the Golden rule that needs applying, which in itself wold make this a better world indeed."

      I agree with your second statements, and do not agree with your first statements, which I acknowledged:>)
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    Apr 29 2013: Do no harm.
  • May 9 2013: First off in order for anyone to answer that question one must look at him or herself; know how they react in different social situations and based off their actions whether or not they would deem themselves as acting out of pure goodness, or out of selfishness. Once they figure themselves out its easier for them to know how they could use their abilities to creat change for the better, and if they do in fact are brave enough to share their ideas and abilities it is then that they can start making that first step in creating a change.

    You asked how we could change for the better? I'm not sure if there are specific principles, however in my opinion I think the first step would be to realize that there needs to be something to change, after that getting in the right frame of mind opens up the doors to many possibilities on how someone could go about making that change if necessary. The next step that I would impose is to get yourself informed as well as others. Once you have others on board then a domino effect can sprout into something great.

    As far as any difficulties I would definitlely have to include the impending lack of motivation, confidence, and the social scrutinization of others.
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    May 5 2013: This is difficult to answer. People are difficult to understand. However, at this point I think I have a good grasp on the human condition.

    We have many different forces working against each other in our lives.

    1. Mental Disability

    I don't think we diagnose, treat, and study mental illness correctly. We have this really loose understanding of cognitive and non-cognitive functions. Mental disability is only recognized when the behaviors become severe. However, signs of mental illness show up way before any major impacts or behaviors surface.

    2. Programming & Identity

    We are all trying to be somebody. Our choices related to fashion, music, and the careers we choose are all the result of non-cognitive and cognitive functions working together.

    It's important that we DO NOT give value to our current state of mind. You must remain objective at all times. Feelings and emotions are good tools to push you past any obstacles you may encounter. Passion and motivation are derived from emotions. However, decision making is not something you should incorporate emotions into.

    Emotions replace logic. Our brains will rationalize an action without reason when an over abundance of emotions are involved.

    Change is difficult for a few reasons.

    1. It requires us to move from denial to acceptance of a deficiency in our character.
    2. It requires us to be in uncomfortable positions. Humans do not normally like rapid change.

    If I give you three different people.

    (Bob - X) Y
    (Sally - N) C
    (Richard - P) Q

    The internal letters would be a sum of all programming. Cognitive and non-cognitive functions create a product or personality. The outside letters are external stimuli. We cannot understand the product until we understand the functions that produced it.

    (Bob - X) Y put in the same environment as Sally may not act the same because the internal variables are not the same.
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    May 3 2013: The Prime Directive of life
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    May 3 2013: ...be aware towards that we are not mortal...the biggest and strongest fail to carry with the successors even...Now think of living in today; procuring and sourcing for the needs of today...there is abundance for all in nature...there was and there will be...

    ...be the part of that nature...

    ...be fearless and secured...stop doing head counts and binding in me and my...as everybody can be mine as anytime and anyone can leave that aura...

    Rest cheers !!! life has treasures of miracles and surprises within and it unfolds at right time...be open for all...come together with and for all...

    Regards

    The Mindfood Chef
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    May 2 2013: - we concentrate on the truth although some elements of it seem unfamiliar. Some things are just too hard to believe...
    - we are selfless, unafraid, unfettered. Some chains please us, but we want to get rid of the chaoins that hurt others
    - we identify the chains that hurt others by new means available, seeking lessons and wisdom in everything from religion, politics, star trek and Stanislaw Lem's Solaris (Quote, imperfect translation due to imperfect memory - "What is your IQ, officer? "120" "That's enough to understand certain things")
    - we seek creative solutions to make the process of change more effective
    - those who do not change and change now do not evolve and cannot be elevated...and are a parody of both their fixed beliefs, themselves and their egos

    Much madness is divinest sense,
    To a discerning eye
    Much sense
    The starkest madness
    'Tis the majority in this
    Prevail
    Assent and you are sane
    Demur, you're straightway dangerous
    And handled with a chain
    E.D

    And if anybody thinks this is babble, completely irrelevant and/or can be used against me... it's just their egos.
  • Apr 29 2013: I don't think you'll find an answer on this from science. Maybe psychology, but I doubt it beyond "We probably have an instinct to improve." I can give you a religious-based answer, but that's about it. Don't know if that's what you want, but I can give it if you want me to.
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      Apr 30 2013: Yes anything you feel would benefit.
      • May 1 2013: Ok. The purpose of this life is to grow, develop your talents, and hone your character through hard work and struggle. We are children of God and this is our school. Every person has in them a sense of that purpose, however muddled and quiet. So people try to act on that need to change for the better, because that's the whole point of being here in the first place. This life prepares us for greater things after, and if we don't put in the effort to prepare now, we won't be able to do much. That's the general idea, at least. There's a lot more specifics on what kind of changes and improvements we need to make, etc.
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          May 1 2013: That seems to sum it up right there. Thanks for sharing
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        May 2 2013: Michael, Scot and Kate,
        I agree with some of Scot's comment....to grow and develop while in this earth school.

        The question as presented is...."From government to individuality, as a whole or as a group, how do we change for the better?"

        When one brings god, a religion, or afterlife into the discussion, it eliminates some people who do not believe in those concepts, so it is not addressing the question..."as a whole or as a group".

        Personally, I do not believe that the human life experience is supposed to be a "struggle"....hard work and challenges sometimes.....struggle....no.

        Struggle:
        "a violent effort or exertion; violent strenuous efforts against opposition; proceed with difficulty; contest, strife..."

        I see no point in perceiving the life adventure as a struggle, and that seems like a religious teaching.

        I also believe that I am HERE...NOW...., and the life experience is for living HERE and NOW. I do not believe that the life experience "prepares us for greater things after". I do not believe that the life experience is a dress rehearsal for anything. It is about living life to the best of our ability HERE and NOW.

        Michael askes..."what are the factors that promote change for the better?"..." what as a whole or as a group", "how do we change for the better?"

        I believe that one factor might be to recognize that we are more the same than different, and it is our beliefs that may cause the differences. We are ALL HERE NOW. To bring a god, afterlife or religious belief into this conversation continues to seperate us.