How to Transform and Survive the Worst Conflict

I’ve been immersed in conflict. It’s part of life, but for some people more than others. I even got trained as a conflict mediator, which was one of the biggest investments I’ve ever made, to try and deal with powerless situations, and so many of them seem to be created out of nothing. I’ve lost so much, and I can’t believe what kind of person I am coming out of this. Battle scarred, given a 2nd chance.

And with new people giving me real opportunities to lead community events on play and healing trauma. And one damn good friend working on a secret project with me that could make a radical impact on the world. An employment counseling program that saved my life, with new friends who are completely authentic and appreciate my authenticity. I’ve been shrouded and nearly suffocating in the worst horror while dragging myself up to the light of miracles I never would have imagined or believed.

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Free Speech is a Cultural Value

Free Speech
From XKCD

This comic is absurd but unintentionally reveals the core flaw in people who reject free speech (who may not even realize they’re doing it). I’m amazed that there are so many people who reduce it to government and laws and don’t at all consider it primarily a cultural value.

The aim for free speech is to create an environment with a trustful reputation, so over time it becomes clear that any one of us will be able to speak with each other, especially about important issues, without fear of being punished, hurt or ostracized.

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Self-Determination: the Primary Colors of Needs

The three needs of Self-Determination aren’t just important alone, or even in a group together. It’s when the three are combined, that they make something entirely new.

Primary Needs:
RED 1. Autonomy
BLUE 2. Competence
YELLOW 3. Interconnection

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Mapping Allison’s Wonderland

AllisonsWonderland
a picture drawn by Allison

Allison Bailey was one of my best friends. She died very suddenly on December 29, 2018 only 6 months ago. Recently I realized just how important our shared idea was, that she called Resource Community. Today I’m bringing the pieces together, in the name of her legacy and creating something that would have met a profound need for both of us.
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Resource Network Map [Protoype]

Here is the original design of the interactive community map tool that would later evolve into Resource Community, a collaborative map website co-founded by myself and my close friend Allison Bailey. Find the full Color & Icon Key below.

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Wise Existing is Enough

The reason I never give up is because I want to make the path so it will be that much easier for people like me who come after me, to live the meaningful life within their own values. The culture got sick because surviving and getting beyond survival is brutal and traumatizing. The culture only stays sick because people who have actually discovered healing, transformative wisdom give up.
 
Without wisdom, life is purposeless and complicated and creates suffering.

With wisdom, life is hard but simple, and what suffering is here becomes the source of transformation.
 
I’ve realized that when you can’t actually DO anything to make a change, not doing the action that is evil is the most heroic action possible. To do nothing at all. And though you have no influence over others’ resistant beliefs, exposure to your divergent beliefs and values is enough. There will always be one or two people who hear who are struck just enough there’s a crack in the shell. And others who fully resonate with you who were hiding in plain sight. It’s sometimes very few people, but it is those few who must be completely unrelenting just in their willingness to keep existing and being the example that creates the opportunity for those in the future.

Everything starts with the first of many.

Choosing Character Over Success

Below is my comment response to the video – Interview on Meaning, Masculinity and Responsibility with Neil Smedley & Iman Amrani of The Guardian.

The greatest flaw in focus on “success” is that it distracts us from a proper focus on character. A person of great character who lives through tragedy and failure, especially outside of his own control, is an important story. Too many people get attached to the success story and don’t bother to consider the character of the person they follow. And if some of those people get far enough down that path to discover it has no rooted meaning, that can be a real existential crisis.

One of the best people I met aimed to get as much of his resources as possible from within his own being. And after all the ways my life has been dragged through the mud due to others being unstable and unreliable, I really have no interest in the success story, especially from people who don’t understand sorrow, anger, grief- the reactions to tragedy and evil. With yin and yang, if you blind yourself to the dark parts of the world and life, you’re missing an integral half of the recipe for meaning and purpose.

After losing everything, all I have left is the proof of my character, the fact that I survived, and the chance to start over again.