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Morya Short

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Can you see signs that humans are valuing equality, fairness and fulfilment more?

Seems that one of the root causes of our problems with diminishing world resources is our views on what it means to be successful and the things we value. For so long “marketing” has told people, in the west at least, that to be successful you have to drive the right kind of car, own a big house, have the latest gadgets. And we have believed them. Retail therapy has been a reliable quick fix for flagging self-esteem for as long as I can remember. Now that we are more and more connected globally and are seeing effects of inequality written large in the media, are we starting to re-think our values? Are we willing to give some thing up for a little more equality in the world? Are we more willing to take lower pay for a more meaningful job?

Have you seen signs that this is happening? If yes what are the signs and where?

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    Nov 26 2013: definitely. the internet's potential for creating the flow of information and opinions in more than one direction has started this already.

    i'm seeing a bunch of people, who have always been out there, now finding a voice on social networks that is in direct contrast to the political and commercial propaganda we have been subjected to for so many years.

    the change is coming :)
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      Nov 27 2013: Yes, I agree change is coming! What is your estimate on how long it will take to get here :) How we can speed it up?
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        Nov 27 2013: I believe change is HERE.....NOW.....and there are many levels of change for us to explore as a global community.
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          Nov 27 2013: HI Colleen, I agree it's here and more is on its way!
  • Nov 28 2013: The aspect that you pointed out is really interesting. Before the so condemned globalization many people used to live in the bubble of comforting present caring about nothing but their achievement. We all together now have been appreciating much more significant things, such as dignity, respect for oneself and other human beings looking for the intimate meaning of life. This happens, I believe, because the global crisis reminded us that we could probably lose everything (if not already lost it). Therefore, we have realised that communicate our feelings and debate on our belief or way of thinking leads us to a wonderful form of passion : compassion. By that I am not referring to the traditional idea of it but to the original meaning of the word, well explained by many philosophers; the idea of suffering together. It would appear such a sad thought, but it is not. If we begin to look deeply into ourselves and to expose ourselves to the risk of really knowing your neighbour and being known by him, we start to live and not to stay alive. One could objects that having a well-paid job, a beautiful house and an engaging car is conderably more than staying alive, but what I am contesting is not what you have but you are. Are you really sure that spending your life on gaining these things didn't divert you from the essence of life? Unfortunately yes! And by the essence of life I mean just "BE" not "have". You could find that it's a mundane concept, and you may be right, but if you got through this during your existance, you must admit that it's extremly hard to be immune to that condition. However, being aware of oneself and who you are is not a condition. It's a conquest!
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    Nov 27 2013: Agreed. Also the science of happiness meshes together perfectly with our need to see ourselves as a global community. Firstly because it shows us the personal benefits of helping others and secondly because mindfulness which correlates with happiness/well-being stimulates/grows the part of our brains concerned with empathy and connection with others. It's all very exciting!
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      Nov 27 2013: I agree that it is very exciting Morya, and the more we recognize our interconnectedness, the more exciting it becomes! It is the illusion that we are separate from each other that causes much of the distress in our world. When we recognize that we are connected in many ways, it just FEELS GREAT.....which in my humble perception, contributes to happiness:>)
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        Nov 27 2013: It sure does my week was much less fun til I started talking to you. :)
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    Nov 27 2013: Hi Morya,
    Yes, I see signs that humans are valuing equality, fairness and fulfillment, and one of the signs is right here on TED. We see many conversations about how to find happiness, contentment, authenticity, passion, love, respect, compassion and acceptance of all human beings.

    Thankfully, we don't see conversations about how to get more money, a better car, bigger house, more gadgets, etc. We are also seeing more conversations about how to live sustainably, with respect for our environment:>)
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      Nov 27 2013: True, I love the fact we now have a science of happiness, no more guru's telling us how and what to do we can use practices backed up by good data and then explore what works for us.
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        Nov 27 2013: Yes Morya, perhaps we have a "science of happiness", and now the task is to apply it to our everyday lives. I observe many practical, insightful, useful messages coming from teachers, gurus, sages, psychologists, etc. throughout history. Unfortunately, the message has often been "do what I say because I said it"! We have the ability as humans to sift through information and determine what works best for us as individuals, AND the global community.

        I believe, as you stated in your opening statement...."Now that we are more and more connected globally and are seeing effects of inequality written large in the media, are we starting to re-think our values?" Yes, I believe this to be true. Change starts with awareness, and if we are not aware of what is happening globally, we cannot change it. Our communication systems are facilitating awareness and change. I absolutely, wholeheartedly support, encourage and participate in the process of taking in information and exploring what works for us as individuals AND as a global community:>)
  • Dec 9 2013: No. Do i really need to point to the current war(S) happening?
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      Dec 9 2013: No you don't I am aware of those. Anything positive in terms of equality, fairness and fulfilment near you?
      • Dec 9 2013: How can there be anything positive in terms of equality, fairness and fulfilment near me, when everyone is on the same planet. I refuse to think locally when my, and your, brothers and sisters all over the world are starving and are be used as slaves.

        I refuse to not be aware just because it's not in my country, because there for the grace of god go i. I would hope that if i was one of those salves or dying of starvation, people too would care.

        search for 24 million slaves here on ted.

        I hope those people are near you, near your heart. If everyone thought that, rather than the imaginary lines drawn by governments, on imaginary papers, we ALL might be better off, a little more humble, and a little bit more concerned for humanity as a whole.
  • Dec 3 2013: Nope.
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    Dec 1 2013: What I see is education. Education is becoming more available through the internet to people who did not have the oppurtunity or resources to get that education otherwise. The same goes for educators that for whatever reason cannot stop what they are doing and go back to school to update there own education, now they can do it in their leisure time at their own pace. The internet makes education fun and easy again.
    Habits are really hard to change so as mentioned by others the earlier the education begins and the healthier the education process, the better the results will be.
    I see the most change in the younger people and the first major change I see is they evaluate most of the garbage they are being taught and disregard it. They see it for what it is "slavery propaganda" and they simply chose not to become slaves of the corporations. For them educators will have to do better or they will choose not to listen at all. What that means is educators will have to teach from the heart instead from the book, because the book was written by a corporation and has no heart, it just has a bottom line.
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    Dec 1 2013: I think we came a long way, from waging wars to win a piece of land to working with integrity to keep a family happy. Yes, we are valuing equality and fairness more than ever. Marketing and media highlights only bad things happening everywhere; Also, most of the people who are going unconventional ways to help people are least concerned about expressing their actions loudly (they hardly care about limelight or anything in return); I see people distribute blankets and food to street beggars on some occasions; and as much as some kind of helpful action might be rarest of a beauty ever seen, there's least expectation of it to be covered by media. So marketing and media wont tell you much about the signs you are searching for. There are people helping each other, valuing equality but on the other hand there are bad people too, but the good news is the ratio is 10:1 respectively :)
  • Nov 30 2013: No matter what changes in the world in terms of knowledge, technology and social order, one thing is constant: the Human.

    Systems and ideas are abstract and are only made to work by human beings. Knowledge, science and technology is at the mercy of human use.

    It is not possible to legislate against greed, racism, selfishness and other manifestations of hatred. Matters of the heart remains matters of the heart.

    We are neither better nor worse. We are human.
  • Nov 30 2013: Yes, I am seeing a move to equality, I think it is due to the global news system and the internet. The problem is that the internet/social network has given rise to the extreme right and left to express their views without any compromise. If you do not agree with them, you are the enemy.
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      Dec 1 2013: I see what you mean we probably have to take the good with the ugly. beauty is in the eye of the beholder after all and one man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter. Although that said non-violence is the only way forward just incase anyone reading this thinks terrorism is, useful, needed or longer term effective.
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    Nov 29 2013: It depends where you look. Where I live in a very rural and poor part of north-central Portugal, northern Europeans have come here, largely explicitly, to downshift and live a simpler lifestyle with less "stuff". This brings with it a certain amount of commonality in terms of equality and fulfilment - struggling with the same things and helping each other out, and learning from local farmers who have been near-enough self-sufficient on their land for generations.
    However, I also see the gap between rich and poor ever-widening (so fairness and equality dropping).
    I'm not sure I could afford to move back to the U.K now, and when I visit family I understand why I moved away. You see how materialistic it is from a distance of a few years. However, most of the poorer and up-and-coming parts of the world (eg: the new middle-class n China) still want to experience the what it's like to have the consumer-dream. Perhaps it's necessary for a couple of generations before they see it doesn't deliver.
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    Nov 28 2013: I agree with you the global economic/resource and environmental crisis I think gives us an amazing opportunity to work together to create solutions. But to do that successfully we must develop/rediscover our compassion, humility, appreciation, forgiveness, nurture, and creativity.

    If you think about it if you were designing a training course to build teamwork for a group of workers that had very different views,skills and outlooks what you would do? You would give them a common task to do or problem to solve. What if some of the team didn't want to take part? Maybe you would make the reward for success really attractive. Or maybe you would make the consequences of failing really dire.

    Seems to me we are in the middle of a global team building event. Our next goal as a species is to workout how to all work together. We have some really good tools like the internet but it's still uphill. Sadly, the stakes are really high and getting higher the longer we take to tackle the problems. To succeed I think all of us need to shift our values to those that will support people and the planet. Oh and also develop a sense of urgency. Alternatively we can just admit that as a species we just don't have what it takes to survive. But I have faith I think we can do it.
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    Nov 27 2013: yes couldn't agree more. So many of the things I do now I could never dream of doing without the internet. My first novel was almost entirely researched on the internet, starting POSE would not have been possible, talking to you...the list goes on. Thank goodness that song was quite wrong the internet is not just for porn!
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    Nov 27 2013: I think, apart from marketing, I enjoy having stuff. One thing I have observed that is important to quality of life is physical quiet. When I am being subjected to outside noise, such as a neighbor in an adjoining apartment playing music and forcing me to listen to it through the wall, my quality of life goes down.
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      Nov 27 2013: Yep having stuff is nice. Sometimes though I look at the stuff I have and wonder why the hell I thought buying this was a good idea. But then I am a marketeers dream. That said I never look at my iphone and think what a pointless purchase it was.

      I agree with you on noise 100% it's a big downside of apartment living.
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        Nov 27 2013: well, one thing is that I'm a careful consumer, Morya, I look around a lot before I buy, go into different stores to look at the same class of item and see what different stores are offering, read about items I want to buy, ask people what they think, not buy immediately, take a little while to think about it before I buy. This way of doing things might help you?

        Well, noise can be a problem even in a house. For example, my mom lives in a house next to a park, and they would have concerts there that were annoying. I myself have had to have many conversations with the market across the street from me because their loading dock is noisy at five in the morning, and there are houses on my street that have been subjected to that loading dock noise just as I have been subjected to it in my apartment.
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          Nov 27 2013: I am attempting cold turkey on the buying of stuff I am trying to only buy essentials like food, heating, electicity, internet services, phone service. Yeah true this list doesn't sound too essential does it?

          Your right about noise it's everywhere. Always seemed to me that people around me are at their noisest when I am practicing mindfulness. I decided to build it into the practice so everytime I heard a noise I would tell myself the next sound would make me feel even more relaxed than before. It works to a point!
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        Nov 28 2013: Well, that is a fairly basic list. But what were you buying before that you have cut out? More clothes? Someone might want to buy more clothes to change up their look. Another way to change it up might be to use the jewelry you already have, most people have acquired badges, buttons, etc. that they could wear, I probably have about fifty different badges and can put on a different one most days without buying anything new.

        Another way might be to buy clothes at thrift stores, and perhaps donate unwanted ones. Buying clothes that are already made anyway does not tax the environment?

        Yes, I've been fighting noise for about fifteen years now. Growing up I was not that sensitive to it, but I had a surgery and a headache from the anesthesia afterward and the noise from my neighbors was bothering me, so I started going to them asking them to turn it down. This started a whole odyssey of learning about noise laws, noise research, government, how the police work (since I would have to ask the police to assist if the neighbor did not turn down at my request.) It has been quite interesting and rewarding. And I do get many hours of peace and quiet.
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    Nov 26 2013: People have long sought fulfillment but are, perhaps, seeking it in different ways than they did a half century ago. When more people can meet their basic needs easily, one might expect such a transition.
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      Nov 27 2013: Interesting in what way do you think seeking fulfilment is different now?
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        Nov 27 2013: One example is that sixty or seventy years ago, a much larger proportion of women sought their fulfillment very centrally, if not exclusively, in the family. Now women are very likely to have ambitions to change the world directly.

        Again, when women first entered the workplace in large numbers in the United States, at least, there was great pride in an image like Rosy the Riveter. Many entered the labor force during wartime doing factory work and took pride in being able to earn an income and contribute to the public well-being in that way.

        By the sixties there was more focus on self-actualization through meaningful work, interpreted more or less as it still is now, and use of time. That focus has continued to the present.

        I think too that the ability of "normal" people to do extraordinary things and to have unexpectedly broad impact through their work is very real in people's imaginations because of the internet and other media. These images shift people's dreams for themselves in those directions.