Like most people, I like finding great restaurants that serve what I want. I am a plant-based eater. Although I can generally get plant-based meals, meals prepared for plants rather than as a substitute are better.
The Happy Cow app has been fantastic. It has helped me find great restaurants anywhere I have been in the US. It is worth the $3.99 on the Apple App Store or Google Play. It is also available on a computer at https://www.happycow.net/. Another nice feature was the thank you letter I received after I wrote a review for Zizi’s Vegan at Berry Brook. This restaurant was one of the gems Happy Cow helped me find.
Recently I was in Charlotte, NC. I went to the Trader Joe’s and then was hungry for lunch. On my Happy Cow app, I found choices less than 1 mile from my location. I went to Zizi’s Vegan at Berry Brook. Although they also have a food truck, I visited their location in a health food store. It was hard to find because it was operated from a small kitchen inside a health food store.
The cook was very friendly and told me he developed the recipe for his burgers by trying it with his kids. The burgers were great, made with good things (Delish wholesome burger from lentils, wild rice, portobello, shiitake, beets, spinach & seasoning. Lettuce, tomato, onion, and veganaise. Served on an organic whole wheat bun). The burger was also quite filling. They were so good I got another for dinner and one for my daughter. She also thought it was great.
Another gem I found was when I was picking up my wife from the RDU airport. We wanted to stop at a close restaurant before driving home. Once again, I used my Happy Cow app, which showed me many good plant-based options. I generally also look at the ratings on the app, and they have proven to be very accurate. Again, the restaurant options were close by. We chose a highly-rated Thai restaurant, Champa. It also was great.
The Happy Cow app has helped me generate comprehensive improvements by being able find a restaurant close to where I am, which means I don’t burn excess fossil fuels. The app enables me to make delicious, plant-based food choices which we all know improves personal and planetary health. I encourage you to use the Happy Cow app to help you engage in regenerative, net-positive, pervasive, reciprocal, selfish, selfless, synergistic interactions that benefit everyone and everything.
I learned from the linked article in the Washington Post that Harold Kushner, a rabbi whose books brought solace to millions, died at 88. He was a hero of mine. I have read most of his over a dozen books and found them all helpful. I was especially touched by his most famous Pulitzer Prize-winning book, “When Bad Things Happen to Good People.” It meant a lot to me as I recovered from a near-fatal car accident in 1984 that killed the driver and the other 2 passengers in the car. I have re-read that book many times, each time learning more. His books helped me contemplate meaning and purpose.
Although the book became a bestseller, the obituary stated that Kushner wrote the book to “redeem my son’s death from meaninglessness” and to try to understand why the world is not fair. His son died as a teenager from progeria, the rapid aging disease. As he contemplated the bad things that happened to him, his conclusions were another example of an undoing of tradition. Kahneman and Tversky’s extensive scientific work demonstrated breakthroughs generally break with traditional practice. Michael Lewis reviewed their work in his book, “The Undoing Project,” and I discussed their work in my “Undoing” Needed to Create Better!” post.
Rabbi broke with traditions by giving up the belief that God was good, but not all-powerful. As he explained,
…“If I, walking through the wards of a hospital, have to face the fact that either God is all-powerful but not kind, or thoroughly kind and loving but not totally powerful, I would rather compromise God’s power and affirm his love,” Rabbi Kushner once told NPR.
…“The theological conclusion I came to is that God could have been all-powerful at the beginning, but he chose to designate two areas of life off-limits to his power,” he continued. “He would not arbitrarily interfere with laws of nature, and secondly, God would not take away our freedom to choose between good and evil.”
Below is a short video summary of “When Bad Things Happen to Good People:”
I hope this helps in your search for meaning and purpose. If you have not read his book, “When Bad Things Happen to Good People,” I strongly recommend you do. It is a short book, just over 100 pages, but very powerful. It helped lay the foundation for how I work to create meaning and purpose in my life. I do this by working to generate comprehensive benefits by creating regenerative, net-positive, pervasive, reciprocal, selfish, selfless, synergistic interactions so everyone and everything benefits. Please share how you generate meaning and purpose in your life.
Are you like me? Do you like to have a snack at night? I now have a better option than my previous cereal or plant-based ice cream choices. Chia Pudding is my new fantastic night-time snack! It tastes great, is plant-strong, is high in fiber, and helps me feel good.
There are many easy ways to prepare Chia Pudding. The easiest is to mix chia seeds with plant milk. See the video below for more specific instructions.
As noted, putting it in the refrigerator overnight is best. Many optional recipes are available on the Internet, TikTok, and Pinterest to help you discover what you like best. We use the recipe below to make a larger portion. This way we have snacks for a few days.
Chia Pudding is my new great-tasting net-positive, pervasive, reciprocal, selfish, selfless, synergistic interaction I use to benefit everyone and everything. In other words, eating Chia Pudding as a snack is one of the new ways I Practice Paneugenesis to improve my life while also generating comprehensive improvements. Please share in the comments your favorite recipe for Chia Pudding.
Normally, accommodations are thought to be well, we’re gonna kind of tweak the office so that this particular person or this particular class of people does better, but we’re giving something up. And I think we need to invert that entire narrative, that designing for variety actually improves the office for everybody.
This means these designs at the margins are a way to Practice Paneugenesis because it generates comprehensive improvements. These designs create net-positive, pervasive, reciprocal, selfish, selfless, synergistic benefits so everyone and everything benefits.
Impossible Science, as designed, developed, and presented by Jason Latimer, is something we all need to see. It is incredible and wonderful. It helped me realize our potential. As he explained,
“The only thing separating the possible from the impossible was the individual wondering about the right question…Wonder changes the world.”
I was amazed, awed, and grateful for the opportunity to Jason Latimer at the Arizona Science Museum in March 2023. I can’t put into words the awe-inspiring feelings generated by watching his amazing presentation. What impressed me was his continual message that he did not want to trick us like a magician; rather, he wanted us to wonder and…ask the right question. As he noted often, “It’s the right question that changes everything.”
DESCRIPTION PROVIDED FOR ARIZONA SCIENCE MUSEUM SHOW:
Jason Latimer, World Champion of Magic and the Curator of Impossible Science, will change your understanding of what is possible!
Impossible Science LIVE’s unique blend of science and magic takes audiences on the journey of making the impossible possible through Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. From the foundation of all science and discovery to the leading edge of technology and innovation, this live performance demonstrates how the right question changes everything. Latimer integrates all fields of science into mind-blowing illusions that will inspire your sense of wonder.
Learn how to see beyond the illusion! Challenge your understanding of engineering and physics as Latimer walks through solid objects. Discover the power of curiosity and chemistry as Jason forms water into objects. From bending light with his hands to drawings that come to life, you will not want to miss this wonderful science experience.
“Our next cure, next technology, or next revolutionary change will come from a question that has never been asked. It’s a wonder that changes the world. It’s the right question that changes everything.” —Jason Latimer
AZ SCIENCE MUSEUM
When I went to visit the Arizona Science Museum to see, Dogs! A Science Tail, I noticed a poster for “Impossible Science.” Their response was that it was a great show and I should attend. Surprisingly, we had not seen it advertised previously. It seems they have improved the advertisements now – which is great!
The show was great because it was LIVE. Jason Latimer himself performed for 45 minutes. I strongly recommend you see him live if possible and if not review his many YouTube videos and subscribe to his channel.
The “tricks,” which were actually science, were amazing. While you can see him push balls through glasses on the YouTube video below, I saw him do it LIVE – WOW!
l also saw the airplane that flies forever, an amazing card trick, bending light, shaping water without a container, and so much more. Many are shown in the TED talk and more below.
GREAT TED TALK by Jason Latimer
If you do nothing else, watch and be amazed by his TED Talk. As you will see, he asked the right questions, and that made all the difference.
For me, there are multiple takeaways from his talk, and below are a few I found especially important:
At about 2:45 minutes: “…What are these new rules and what is ultimately possible?…”
For me, this is the mindset needed to generate Idealized Outcomes, the first step of the Paneugenesis Process. For this, we must wonder what could be but is not possible now. He did this later in the presentation when he controlled and shaped water. Which we thought could never be done??
At about 4:35: “…The right question changes everything…”
For me, this means we must constantly use and develop critical thinking skills.
About 9 minutes: “…The internet is incredible. The accessibility to information is undermining wonder…we gave the internet its answers…despite all its information, despite all its answers, (it) doesn’t think. It doesn’t wonder where the information came from and it does not challenge what it knows. Search engines do not determine what is right or wrong, just what is relevant…”
at about 10:50 minutes: “…most of the wrong ideas were true at one time…”
at about 12 minutes: “…the world was not shaped but its answers, it was shjaped by its questions…”
For me, he was promoting that we all can do good.
Creating All Good
From my perspective and understanding, he is the ultimate producer of all good. He teaches us how to continually improve the process to generate better results. He helps all of us be better versions of ourselves. He helps us rediscover wonder by asking the right questions. His work can help us redefine what is possible. Right now, a new version of better, beyond the absence of problems, must be created. By using what Jason Latimer teaches us with Impossible Science, these methods can help us imagine how to create a better future and how to generate idealized outcomes.
New Idealized Outcomes will generate comprehensive improvements that will be created through net-positive, pervasive, reciprocal, selfish, selfless, synergistic interactions so everyone and everything benefits. Jason Latimer helps us understand how we can Practice Paneugenesis!
I hope this video inspired you to create meaning in your life. I do this by working to generate comprehensive improvements by creating net-positive, pervasive, reciprocal, selfish, selfless, synergistic interactions so everyone and everything benefits. Please share what this video motivated you to do. Thank you.
I am reading Austin Kleon’s short book, “Show Your Work.” His book recommends a daily dispatch that shows your work and documents progress. For years, I have been developing techniques, strategies, and practices to generate more good, not just less bad. I need to do more, so I am adopting his strategy of posting regular work dispatches. Here is an overview of my progress to date.
More Good Progress…so far
I have been working on this task for over 30 years. My mission is to emphasize more good focus for the long term. Less bad is essential in short-term, acute situations. I have yet to hear that people disagree with this effort, but the idea has not diffused or circulated as needed. The focus on less bad or less pathology dominates our world. Therefore, I will use Austin Kleon’s advice and post my work to hold myself accountable.
During my efforts to date, I have been working as a professor since 2001 and have a Ph.D. from Arizona State University. I have about 100 national and international publications and presentations about how to create or cause good health, which, as research has also demonstrated, effectively prevents or ends bad health…as a by-product. This work is summarized in the linked publication about the paneugenesis model, “Going on Offense to Promote Health Promotion Gains.” Additionally, the linked 2019 article by colleague Dr. Michael Stellefson discusses this idea by categorizing these efforts as a promotion of “Chronic Wellness.” For more, see the article, Planting a Tree Model for Public Health: Shifting the Paradigm Toward Chronic Wellness
If you are interested and have time, below are some links to presentations, papers, and online resources to my work. The best way to learn about my work is the 17-minute linked presentation, Create More Good, Not Just Less Bad. I gave this talk to the sustainability committee at East Carolina University (ECU).
If you are interested in learning more about these scales, I linked an article validating my positive health scale, “Validity Evidence for the Salutogenic Wellness Promotion Scale (SWPS).” I have also linked an article about how focusing on generating more good helped us understand what helps students thrive. The study used the SWPS to measure the process, and what we learned about the student’s lifestyle process and it relates to doing well is described in the”What Helps Students Thrive” article.
Unfortunately, I have not made desired progress in transforming society toward more good, not just less bad. However, I will forge ahead, and I hope you will help. My current efforts focus on disseminating these positive health ideas and practices and assisting people in adopting these practices. I will use the Diffusion of Innovations Theory to guide my future work. I hope to publish a related article soon.
Please share any advice and contact me if you want to help at email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, 252-328-5312, or on this blog. I look forward to hearing from you about how we can work together to generate comprehensive improvements by creating net-positive, pervasive, reciprocal, selfish, selfless, synergistic interactions so everyone and everything benefits.
Dr. Post does a fantastic job documenting why and how good things happen to good people for taking beneficial actions. At the end of the book, he suggests this is ultimately selfishness because we get the most for ourselves by giving to other people. “Why Good Things Happen to Good People” is a good read that reinforces how being a good person helps others as it also helps us. I thought he especially did an excellent job helping us learn how to be better listeners and better communicators with each other.
Throughout the book, he suggests 40 ways to give love – 10 areas in 4 domains (Family, Friends, Community, & Humanity). His 10 ways to capture Love include:
Celebration – gratitude through ritual
Generativity – generating love
Forgiveness – freeing the self from guilt, pain, rumination, and bitterness
Courage – confrontation with caring, what he calls Carefrontation
Humor – used to convert pain to joy
Respect – civility, acceptance, reverence, and appreciation
Compassion – empathetic, emotionally caring
Loyalty – loving over time and difficulties
Listening – giving attention and foundation of relationships
Creativity – the spontaneous, joyful expression of life
All of these 10 suggestions provide great ways to share love. For each, supporting research evidence of “Why Good Things Happen to Good People” is provided. Of course, he is also saying good people should do these 10 things.
Better Listening Suggestions
He offered many communication suggestions, which I thought were especially good. A couple I have been working on using include using my mirroring ability to be able to better empathize with what others experience. This, he suggests, may also help me better understand. Another way he suggests improving communication is by repeating back emotional words heard and asking for more information to better connect. Using this, he suggests a way to empathetically probe without judgment. He suggests this method can help us all connect better. I like these suggestions and will work to use these ideas. Have you used these techniques? Please share how they work for you.
Another insight I liked was about belonging. As I have seen many times, one of our most basic human needs is to belong. Interestingly, Post says when we change, such as to a quadriplegic from an accident, or even more simply, when entering a new group, we will feel as if we don’t belong.
Throughout life, we often change into different kinds of people. A person may be newly married, become a college student, or do any other new activity. We don’t feel like we belong when entering a new area because it is different. The feeling we experience, according to Post, makes us feel like an outsider and alone. He says it is at this point we want what we had yesterday — that is, to feel like we belong. In other words, he seems to be saying we are experiencing what Kahneman and Tversky called Loss Aversion and want what we had yesterday. There are many interesting and helpful suggestions throughout the book. It was better than I had expected.
Sometimes art imitates life, and other times, life imitates life. Well, at least I often see things in shows I find meaningful. A meaningful concept I recently saw was the repeated message in the Netflix series Manifest, that it is all connected. As I have noted many times, it is all connected.
Capturing the idea of connection, at the end of his book, Post says this is all about selfishness. As I noted in the review I posted on GoodReads and Google Books, “…While all this is good, we must also ensure these actions do good for the environment, or all will suffer. I hope he pushes for not just selfishness but selfish, selfless, synergy, so these promoted interactions become net-positive, pervasive, and reciprocal so everyone and everything benefits,” as I promote with the Paneugenesis video below. Everything is interconnected, so we must generate more good by generating comprehensive improvements. True selfishness is selfless, “…if you understand how the world works” stated President Clinton in the 1-minute video below.
Vic Strecher, who wrote “Life on Purpose” and “On Purpose” also regularly publishes Purposeful tips. For 2023 he sent a great New Year’s Message. I want to promote his message about taking action to make good things happen.
“His Recommendation – frame messages as something positive to do, not something to avoid or something you will not do. Not taking action does not make good things happen; it may only possibly stop bad things from happening. Our life is about what we do because doing good things can””crowd out” bad things; as noted in previous posts, “His Recommendation – frame messages as something positive to do, not something to avoid or something you will not do. Not taking action does not make good things happen; it may only possibly stop bad things from happening. Our life is about what we do because doing good things can “crowd out” bad things, as noted in previous posts,
For the New Year 2023, focus on what you will do, not what you will avoid. I focus on creating net-positive, pervasive, reciprocal, selfish, selfless, synergistic interactions so everyone benefits. Doing this is the best way I know to generate comprehensive improvements. Please share how you make 2023 and beyond even better.
On Halloween, October 31, 2021 60 minutes shared an amazing story about MASS, Model of Architecture Serving Society, a non-profit architecture firm. Using the best designs, they developed hospitals that were amazing. Please watch the 60 minutes story below to learn more. However the most amazing part of this story is how they built on their initial success.
Building on Fantastic
After creating hospitals for Rwanda that better serve their communities by using locals sources for labor and material, they have now created a regenerative university in Rwanda. The story is linked to the headline below
Below is also a TED talk by Michael Murphy, “Architecture that’s Built to Heal”, shares more about how this amazing story started. He says we are designing hospitals to make people healthier as it reduces its environmental footprint.
Most important to me is how MASS demonstrated how their architecture techniques can generate comprehensive improvements by creating net-positive, pervasive, reciprocal, selfish, selfless synergistic interactions so everyone and everything benefits. I am sure many more are doing this, please learn from these fantastic people at MASS and share how we can build on their successes!
As noted in the Prevention Can’t Work and Problems are Irrelevant! post, a prevention and problem focus is not a path to improvement. I only noted that prevention and problem elimination does not improve. However, some research has now demonstrated that prevention efforts can be harmful. In other words, prevention efforts can actually make things worse than if nothing was done at all. TheScared Straight! program provides an example.
Studies of results from several Scared Straight programs showed that those in the program had increased crime rates and higher re-offense rates than those in control groups. Though they are unsure why this peer reviewed research suggests that a focus on prevention caused more harm than doing nothing. This example suggests focusing on causing more good, not just less bad.
“Field of Dreams Illusion”
It is as if we have fallen under a spell and believe the 1989 movie “Field of Dreams” when they said, “If you build it, they will come”. That is a dream. It takes more to create a new reality, specifically, it takes action to create a desired reality.
Thinking too Small
Focusing on problems or prevention is “thinking too small,” and it is easier. Deciding what you don’t want is simple. Putting in place what you do want is harder and takes more effort. As an example, it is easier to not like where we live. However, as Melody Warnick and others demonstrate, creating an attachment to a place and having a higher quality of life takes action.
The podcast webpages describe the episode this way:
Don’t you hate it when you’re coasting along — not a care in the world — and then it feels like life comes out of nowhere and hits you like a car, almost paralyzing you? Well, for Pat Berges, that wasn’t just a feeling…that actually happened.
Like many of us, Pat is not a natural optimist. He had to learn how to find optimism during this dark period. Not only did it help him recover, but what he learned continues to help him be, well, optimistic.
The answer seems to be Doing Good Better, which is the title of an excellent book by William MacAskill. In this book, he promotes methods for effective altruism. In the book, he cites multiple data sets and empirical evidence to document that taking better actions to do good is necessary to cause or enable more good.
As another example, developing an attachment to place has been shown to improve well-being as it improves the place, reciprocal determinism. Specifically, Melody Warnick, in her 2 books, If You Could Live Anywhere and This is Where You Belong: Finding Home Wherever You Are, discusses 10 actions to use to develop an attachment to a place. More information about her work can be seen here (posted July 2022). You can also listen to this podcast with Melody here (also posted below). The methods proposed by Ms. Warnick, which I strongly endorse, will simultaneously improve a person’s quality of life as it improves one’s attachment to their place.
In simple terms, these are the actions she suggests:
Buy and shop local
Walk & Bike
Get to know your neighbors
Enjoy assets – spend time in the area
Eat local food
Be civically engaged
Developing Attachment = Paneugenesis or All Good
Melody Warnick provides a fantastic example of practicing paneugenesis to generate comprehensive improvements by creating net positive, pervasive, reciprocal, selfish, selfless, synergistic interactions so everyone and everything benefits. The 10 actions espoused by Ms. Warnick, which I strongly support, will create an attachment to place as it yields selfish, selfless synergistic benefits from which everyone and everything benefits. Please get Melody Warnick’s books to learn how to improve your life and share the benefits you experience as you take action to gain “attachment to place” by practicing pangeugenesis.
Determine an Idealized outcome that is better or improved from what is possible or able to happen now
Must incorporate Systems Thinking so the outcome benefits are on multiple levels without any seen harm to other levels
Discover and Develop Necessary Precursors to make Desired Outcome Possible
Research to discover what must come before the idealized outcome, what must be true for the desired outcome to occur
Assess current process to discover and learn current processes used or must be created to manifest ideal outcomes
These Precursors are goals that must be achieved before an Idealized Outcome can be realized.
Optimize the Process to Develop Skills and abilities that make Precursors possible (this is Green Grass philosophy, it’s designing a process to help the grass grow)
Develop good practices (append existing or start new processes)
Update unneeded, outdated, or inappropriate actions to ones that created an idealized vision,
Focus on what causes more and more blades of grass to grow, and…
Plot Progress to document, demonstrate, and celebrate Improvement
Measure and document progress forward toward the idealized outcome
Plan and develop the next steps to enable continual improvement
Experience has documented that the hardest part is also the most important. This is step 1 which requires Creating and Operationalizing an Idealized Outcome. To operationalize means all parties understand the goals and aims.
People often avoid generating an idealized outcome and fall back on the default of noting problems that explain why things are not ideal. That is easier, and most importantly, if improvement beyond the status quo is desired, doesn’t actually make things better. It can’t be better than the status quo because Prevention Can’t Work and Problems are Irrelevant!
I noted all this because Damon Gameau and his team appear to have created 2 films that Operationalize Idealized outcomes. These 2 movies are 2040 (I ordered and watched them)
And Regenerating Australia. Right now information suggests this movie is not available in the US yet, but I am trying to get a copy. Please advise if you know how I can get a copy.
I encourage you to learn more about his work so you also can be inspired to use the Paneugenesis Process to generate and create idealized outcomes. I look forward to learning about how you generate comprehensive improvements by creating net-positive, pervasive, reciprocal, selfish, selfless, synergistic interactions so everyone and everything benefits.
Over and over it seems I have heard that the smartest person in the room is the best listener, and they say you can’t learn anything from others while talking, etc. In a recent post, Trust but Verify, I noted that sometimes the universe seems to be sending messages. The message last week that the universe kept sending, but it took time for me to hear, was that I should Trust but Verify. This week I am finally hearing another message the universe continues to share over and over, but for some reason, I was hearing it without fully internalizing it.
This idea that “nature knows best” was also captured by Amory Lovins in the 1976 article, An Energy Strategy: The Road Not Taken. The article described the options as a soft versus hard path. See post: Policy for Comprehensive Improvements. The soft path worked with and facilitated what would happen and did not force outcomes as in the “Heat, Beat, Treat” traditional method. As he demonstrated, the soft path was a better path economically, environmentally, and concerning the quality of life.
The Soft Path by Amory Lovins, The Gaia Hypothesis, and Deming’s System Appreciation and System of Profound Knowledge all replicate nature’s methods and call for engaging in net positive, pervasive, reciprocal, selfish, selfless, synergistic actions so everyone and everything benefits. It is what I call the Paneugenesis Process.
As we build a better system, this new system must build a green economy that works with our environment, not against it, by using the soft, not the hard path. Our traditional, thought to be a clever method of “Heat Beat Treat’, or forcing nature to comply, was not as good as we thought. A better way works with nature as Janine Benyus, of Biomimicry fame, made these methods much more popular.
A better system has been shown over and over to us by the universe as one that works with nature to generate comprehensive benefits. Better listening skills would have helped me hear this message more clearly. Listening has helped me understand that pervasive, reciprocal, selfish, selfless, synergistic interactions, a soft path, will also benefit the environment and enable us to thrive from our actions.
Act Now – Act to Think
Although these actions seem obvious in retrospect, my slow understanding means we must Act to think and not wait to believe it before we act. Huberman’s research supports this approach.
Beliefs do not change our actions, Actions change our beliefs.
Andrew Huberman, PhD – Stanford
Other benefits follow, as noted by Dr. James Lovelock and his Gaia Hypothesis:
…if the Earth improves because of our presence, then we will flourish.
What is the Moral?
Messages are out there. We must listen by seeing what works without forcing it to happen. The soft path, not the hard path, as described by Amory Lovins, will help. It is not about forcing an outcome. It is about not getting in the way and helping it happen. If we listen to and work with nature, thus making life more livable, amazing things are possible for everyone and everything because of it.
What is the universe telling us that you have not internalized? Please share what you have learned and how you worked with nature to generate comprehensive improvements.
In 2014 I wrote this post, Dad Our House is on Fire!…People are Amazing! I wrote this because I was in awe of the amazing generosity we experienced after our house burned down and we lost most of our belongings. As I noted in that post, despite the awful news we hear 24/7, I believe most people are good. I also believe people want to help others. Scientifically this makes sense because it makes us feel good.
To my delight, I once again was in awe of amazing generosity of others. As I noted in 2014,
“… my belief that people are amazing has been confirmed.” Again!
My belief that people are good has been confirmed again – people are amazing! This time it was confirmed when my wife and I went Lowes to pick up some lattice for our yard.
I have a Prius which has a hatchback and almost everything fits. This time however we were about 2 inches shy of being able to get the lattice into the hatch. As we picked up the lattice to return it to the store. a gentleman, with broken English gets our attention and says, “do you need help?” We explained we did and he then offered to carry the lattice pieces in his truck to our house. People are amazing!
We loaded the lattice in the back of his truck and asked him to follow us. Of course, if you believe the news, he would have driven away with the material. He did not. He kindly brought the material to our house, helped us unload it and said he was glad to help. We offered to pay him, but he refused. People are amazing!
Overall, it was a nice, net-positive pervasive, reciprocal, selfish, selfless, synergistic interaction. This is a way to practice paneugenesis because it helped generate more good, not just less bad. That act encouraged me and my wife to pay it forward, thus causing a positive pervasive ripple, as it also reinforced our belief that most people are good and kind. People are amazing!
Make it a great week by being the amazing person you know you can be. Also please share your stories of yourself or others paying it forward!
The book fascinated me because it highlighted and clarified why We are Just Talking Apes and how There is Only US, There is no Them, as I attempted to suggest previously. I loved Zoobiquity because it documented how similar all living things are on earth and that “we should be looking at the overlap rather than the differences” between species due to our shared ancestry.
I was fascinated as they demonstrated how other animals also have foresight, regret, shame, guilt, love, and revenge. I thought I saw these things in our dogs, but I thought I was anthropomorphizing their behaviors. I guess I was not.
Examples of similarities in the book included how all animals, like humans, can Faint when scared. This led to a better explanation of our instincts that are generally only described as Fight or Flight. An accurate description of our reactions is “Fight, Flight, or Faint” when startled. As they documented, faking death, like when we Faint, had survival benefits and may be why it lasted through our evolution.
I thought most interesting was how they showed behaviors that many attributes to bad character, which also exist in the animal kingdom. For instance, a section describes eating disorders in the animal kingdom that mirror human eating disorders. (see Intriguing links between animal behavior and anorexia nervosa by Treasure, Janet & Owen, John) Other behaviors such as homosexuality, trans sex, and even sex between species exist in other animals, meaning they evolved for survival and are still in our DNA.
In other examples, they document the proliferation of STDs in the animal kingdom. After all, they don’t have antibiotics or any type of protection. In another similarity, they demonstrate how teenage animals act similarly to human teenagers. The similarity relates to their behaviors. As explained, adolescent brains don’t register danger as adults do, and this may be why they take what seems to be “stupid” or unwise actions. They, however, explain, “These risky behaviors can encourage encounters with threats and competitions that may hurt them but actually end up being helpful for success later in life.” They even suggest it may be more dangerous when adolescents don’t take risks than if they do. If risks are avoided, they are not prepared for life.
Overall, these many comparisons and similarities indicate that what happens are not necessarily flaws or problems of humans; it is hard-wired into us. These actions are just part of our shared DNA. Those actions, however, can also be influenced by our environment.
Sex, Drugs, &…
They also showed how animals in the wild sometimes get hooked on drugs. Who knew? They also explained that animals have varied sex drives, high or low, and some animals even use some of the same techniques to attract mates, as seen in humans. It was amazing to learn. They even suggest that an “Orgasm is not the byproduct of sex, it is the bait from erotic ancestry” that enables or supports reproduction.
There were some unpleasant things in the book. A disturbing section explained humans believed animals did not feel. This existed until fairly recently — though some still believe this, especially about fish. Humans had a false belief that animals could not feel because we could not understand how they thought. Animals react differently to pain. Some withdraw rather than vocalize it, at least that we can hear. They relate this to how many thought babies did not feel pain until the 1980s.
The author’s discussion of pleasure and then drugs was also enlightening. They explained how pleasure and rewards initiated behaviors that helped us survive, and negative emotions altered behaviors when survival was threatened. They then relate this to drugs by explaining people become addicted because drugs can falsely signal we are doing something beneficial to our fitness that helps our survival. They also provide an enlightening discussion about how this relates to and feeds addictions.
Nature or Nurture??
An insightful point they demonstrated was that it is not a Nature or Nurture answer but a dance between each. As was explained, Nature & Nurture are not a divide but an endless feedback loop of information enabling adaptation. For example, they document that animals, like humans, can get fat when there is abundant food and no predators. They also note that animals, like humans, will consume processed foods to their detriment because of the false signals created by these ultra-processed foods.
Overall, again and again, from drugs to sex, to relationships, they document how these are issues for all in the animal kingdom, not just for humans. It had a copyright of 2012. However, it is very current. The most current part was how it seems to have led to the developing of the new World Health Organizations initiative, “One Health.”
‘One Health’ is an approach to designing and implementing programmes, policies, legislation and research in which multiple sectors communicate and work together to achieve better public health outcomes.
The areas of work in which a One Health approach is particularly relevant include food safety, the control of zoonoses (diseases that can spread between animals and humans, such as flu, rabies and Rift Valley Fever), and combatting antibiotic resistance (when bacteria change after being exposed to antibiotics and become more difficult to treat)..
Many of the same microbes infect animals and humans, as they share the eco-systems they live in. Efforts by just one sector cannot prevent or eliminate the problem. For instance, rabies in humans is effectively prevented only by targeting the animal source of the virus (for example, by vaccinating dogs).
Information on influenza viruses circulating in animals is crucial to the selection of viruses for human vaccines for potential influenza pandemics. Drug-resistant microbes can be transmitted between animals and humans through direct contact between animals and humans or through contaminated food, so to effectively contain it, a well-coordinated approach in humans and in animals is required.
We can Do More
One Health is a great start. However, it seems to only focus on how to avoid, treat, or prevent problems. I believe it does not emphasize how health is created and improved.
From my reading, it became even more vital to work towards generating comprehensive improvements by creating net-positive, pervasive, reciprocal, selfish, selfless, synergistic interactions so everyone and EVERYTHING benefits. All living things are connected, and the aim of all living things must be to live in a way that makes life more livable.
Natterson-Horowitz & Bowers seem to agree. In the end, they explain:
The fate of our world health doesn’t depend solely on how we humans fare, rather it will be determined by how ALL patients on the planet live, grow, get sick and heal.
Natterson-Horowitz & Bowers in “Zoobiquity”
Let’s create all good. We can’t wait for people or animals to become patients. We must proactively work to make life more livable and better for all.