“Safety” Shows Power of Community

2020 has been a tough year for everyone. In looking forward to a better 2021, I recommend the movie “Safety“. The movie did a great job of showing us how we are always stronger together. The movie shows how the Clemson family came together so all could do better. The team and the community came together to help a player and his brother have a better life (selfless), so the player could get a good college experience (Selfish) so we help all do better (Synergy). #SelfishSelflessSynergy

We all can help make 2021 better. The paneugenesis process is about how to create more good. I look forward to hearing how you start a cascade by engaging in the paneugenesis process to generate comprehensive improvements by creating, pervasive, reciprocal, selfish, selfless, synergistic interactions so everyone and everything benefits. Please share how you took action to help everyone and everything benefit.

Be Well’r,

Craig Becker

Be selfish, selfless, & synergistic so everyone and everything benefits!

#SelfishSelflessSynergy

Please share your thoughts and questions below.

Past irrelevant for future improvements

The past is the past. It cannot be changed. It also can only hurt to feel bad about what happened. There is nothing that can be done to change anything that was done. We can, however, improve and do better. We want things better for ourself, selfish, that also helps others, selfless, so society is better, synergy. Taking actions to help others makes us feel good, enables others and ourselves to be more capable and builds a better society. #SelfishSelflessSynergy

As noted by Robert Putnam in Upswing: how America came together a century ago and how we can again, Tocqueville’s review of the American experiment in the 1830’s indicated he believed that American’s were pursuing “self-interest rightly understood” because it created a better society.

He also noted, the past may set the agenda, but it is about a choice going forward. The past does, however, prepare us for the future. It prepares us by knowing what could be and how to make better choices.

We all want a better future. To have a better future, we have to think about what could be and then work to make it so. It cannot just happen. The Paneugenesis Process is about how to create a better tomorrow.

Greg Satell, in Cascades: How to create a movement that drives transformation change suggests building support so the change can cascade from multiple areas. The Paneugenesis process is a way to build a cascade of transformational change as it works to generate comprehensive improvements by creating pervasive, reciprocal, selfish, selfless synergistic interactions so everyone and everything benefits. It can happen by taking these steps:

  1. Operationalize an Idealized Outcome -make it clear to you and others what a better future could be. It needs to be clear and understood so it will motivate people to take action to make it happen.
  2. Discover the Precursors – by describing what will have to be in place. Who will be your Spectrum of Allies and Pillars of Support needed to bring your new reality into existence. Make sure you explain to them how their support will bring related benefits to them and society so they become supporters.
  3. Optimize the Process – take action, do what needs to be done to build support, build a team, and make good things happen. Don’t just stop bad from happening, cause good.
  4. Plot Progress – as you make progress, note and celebrate successes that you can build upon to make it even better.

Building a better future isn’t just about fixing or making it less bad, but about creating more good. The paneugenesis process is about how to create more good. I look forward to hearing how you start a cascade by engaging in the paneugenesis process to generate comprehensive improvements. Please share how you took action to help everyone and everything benefit.

Be Well’r,

Please share your thoughts and questions below.

Longcut is the Shortcut

I learned the truth of Beverly Sills quote while I was doing the Ropes Course at the US National White Water Center in Charlotte, NC. While on the course I attempted to follow my daughter through the advanced path on this course. I wasn’t planning on doing the advanced course but I was doing well and she said there is only 3 more stages. I got on the advanced course and although challenging, I was progressing. Then I got to the most challenging last section of the course and I was tired. This part required us to walk over swinging wood boards.

Swinging boards on rope course 

As I got to about the middle, I selfishly thought, I need a break. I then thought it might be easier to take a shortcut by sitting on the boards and scooting over the boards to the finish.

My attempted shortcut caused me to get my cord tangled and required me to do several extra boards to be able to complete the course. The shortcut I thought I was taking was really a long cut.

This was an analogy to life. Evidence from research indicates that shortcuts supposedly designed to create a better life may produce short term gains but most times result in poor long-term outcomes. Many, such as Martin Seligman, PhD, in his book Authentic Happiness, attribute our desire for shortcuts to a better life to be related to the increases in depression.

As Dr. Seligman demonstrates, happiness, progress and success must be earned. Rewards cannot be given to us.  If they are given to us, what is being rewarded? Value generally becomes associated with price. The cost in life is not money but time, effort and diligence. Paying with personal effort enables us to purchase a better life, a valuable commodity. 

Life often teaches us that what appears to are shortcuts are not faster or more efficient. Vital to this approach  is perspective. It is not that life has to be hard, it is the best and most rewarding way. It is not the required path, but choosing to do things better can be rewarding.

Today I learned that the interaction which appeared to be the long cut because it required me to work harder to exceed expectations and finish the ropes course, was actually the shortcut. Using this harder path was the only path that could allow me to earn a glowing sense of accomplishment. As it turns out, the harder path was the fastest way and it was worth the effort.

In life I choose to make the effort needed to generate comprehensive improvements by creating pervasive reciprocal, selfish, selfless, synergistic interactions so everyone and everything benefits.Please share the benefits you experience by making an extra effort to exceed expectations.

P.S. If you are interested, John Rosemond’s linked 12/7/2020 column. This column provides a long cut that is really a shortcut for parenting:

Don’t Be Afraid of Your Children

Be Well’r,

Please share your thoughts and questions below.

Help Others Be Better – We all Benefit

Generating comprehensive improvements happens when we develop more abilities to not only do the the current action better, but also develop better critical thinking skills and increased competencies. Better abilities gives us the potential to successful create what we want in an uncertain future and the ability to better handle the unexpected. We cannot know what will happen in the future, however more skilled we are, the better able we are to create pervasive, reciprocal, selfish, selfless, synergistic interactions so everyone and everything benefits.

Simon Sinek explains this better than I have heard before in his “Empathy” presentation below. I learned about this presentation from Greg Satell’s work on innovation and transformation, networks and mapping Innovation. Sinek emphasizes that we are now the leaders and for us to create new leaders we need to help the younger generation develop more skills instead of just getting frustrated because they are not doing as well as we want them to do. If they are not as successful as they should be, then we should help them be more successful. By helping others, being selfless, we will get the better world we want, selfish, and the result helps all of us, synergy so everyone and everything benefits. #SelfishSelflessSynergy

Please share how you use some of these ideas to create beneficial interactions that ripple out so everyone and everything benefits.

Be Well’r,

Please share your thoughts and questions below.

Healthier’s By-Product is Comprehensive Improvements

Selfish-Selfless-Synergy is a Win-WIn-Win strategy because it benefits you, benefits others (friends and enemies alike), and improves the environment. #SelfishSelflessSynergy

Dr. Gregor’s  Nutrition Facts Video explains how eating can be a way to benefit yourself, others and the environment. I encourage you to listen about how and why our food choices help generate all good. In other words, eating provides a way to Be Well’R by practicing paneugenesis.

Enjoy this opportunity to make a contribution to a better life for all. It is exciting to improve our life and well-being in ways that, as a by-product, also generate comprehensive improvements for others and the environment. Make it a Great Day & Week by choosing to be Selfish, Selfless & Synergistic. Remember, there are additional secondary benefits by spreading loving kindness to others. Making these choices benefits you with energy and well-being, the by-product is a spreading of loving kindness to everyone and everything!

Be Well’r,

Please share your thoughts and questions below.

Do Good, Ending Demonization is Not Enough

As NYTimes Columnist Michele Goldberg predicted, “…America (did) jettison its leader…” “But…” as she noted, “…a President Joe Biden won’t be able to simply pick up America’s role…” In a similar way we cannot go back to how we were. We have to do better. President Elect Biden followed this trend indicating that ending demonization was not enough

How do we do better? Where do we go now: CHAOS OR COMMUNITY?

In my bias view of the mandates, the Mandate to build community requires us to Practice Paneugenesis to generate comprehensive improvements by creating pervasive, reciprocal, selfish, selfless, synergistic, interactions so everyone and everything benefits. We can start by doing as President Elect Biden suggested and give each other a chance by listening. This is great and I suggest you take it a step further when talking with others that have different perspectives and search for how they are similar to you rather than how they differ. This is more likely if instead of thinking it must be your way or their way, develop a better way. (For ideas see We Need to Use the 3rd Alternative)

These ideas were driven home to me by a thought provoking “Freakonomics” Podcast where Steven Dubner interviewed Whole Foods CEO John Mackay. The interview with Mr. Mackay was great and a few comments that he says he has learned over the years seemed especially good to me. One comment that stood out was when he explained that one side does not have all the answers, supporting the need for a better way rather than your way or their way. Further he suggested he aims for a win-win-win outcome so he does better, the other party does better and the environment does better. It seems he practices this and the win-win-win philosophy is a driving force behind “Whole Foods”. This win-win-win idea is also what drives my push for Selfish, Selfless, Synergy where I benefit, you benefit and the world benefits. #SelfishSelflessSynergy.

This election season should remind us that -We the people- have the power to build a better future. One way I try to do this is represented on a T-shirt I bought from the Kind coffee house in Colorado. The shirt says, “Make America Kind Again”. I think this is something we can all agree is important and valued. We also can understand how being kind is something we can all contribute toward accomplishing.

Please share how you can be kind to create win-win-win, selfish, selfless, synergistic interactions by creating pervasive, reciprocal beneficial interactions so everyone and everything benefits.

Be Well’r,

Please share your thoughts and questions below.

 

Vote for More Good, Not Just Less Bad

In 2015 I made a similar post about the value and importance of Voting. I encourage you to vote. Your vote should be about the future and think about who plans to build a better future, not just a less bad future. When you vote, think how can I help generate Selfish, Selfless, Synergistic benefits.

As I noted in 2015, I Voted Today & Every Day We vote everyday by what we choose to do and how we choose to act because

“Economics is a value system masquerading as mathematics.”

This saying is a guiding light to me because it reminds me that every time I choose to buy or do something, I am voting. My actions demonstrate to others what I value because those choices are my vote on how I use my limited resources. This choice of what I buy or use sends the message that more of the same should be provided.

All of our choices send a vote about what we think is important. I choose to  spend my resources on what I want more of, not less in the world. I choose things that make me and us stronger, healthier and more capable so if something happens, and it will, we can bounce back. For most of the time, when nothing happens, we just have the ability to have a better life.

Vote Every Day to Help Create a Better World

I try to keep this in mind with all the choices I make by thinking about the impact my choice has on the others and the world. Plant based foods for instance are good for me and the planet while animal agriculture has been shown to do damage to personal and planetary health.

As an example, in this election I voted for candidates that support sustainability and other helpful issues. After voting day I will continue to vote for the same  by making choices that demonstrate that I want a stronger and more sustainable world.

A short article in my local small town paper explains how we can make our communities better.

      Anti-immigrant policies weaken America

[Excerpts – link above]…I moved to the U.S. from Manchester, U.K…It wasn’t only the lack of universal health care and paid family leave…that shocked me…America had long been a place known for welcoming outsiders from around the world and giving them the chance to thrive

…people here in North Carolina…have never treated me with anything but warmth and kindness. Getting to know them, I understand…Please consider…anti-immigrant policies will reduce money for Social Security and Medicare …mean(s) fewer new companies, smaller workforces and a slower recovery

As a group, immigrants…pay…taxes annually…create jobs…add…to our GDP…and get more Americans working.

I encourage you to vote today and everyday on what will generate comprehensive improvements because it creates interactions so everyone and everything benefits. Your vote can be a way to help generate comprehensive benefits by creating pervasive, reciprocal, selfish, selfless, synergistic interactions so everyone and everything benefits.

Be Well’r,

Please share your thoughts and questions below.

Thank a Teacher! They Deserve It

I’m sure I’m biased because many in my family are teachers, however I am watching the teachers at our primary, middle, and high schools work extremely hard. All of the teachers, principals, and at school administrators work very long hours. On top of that what they are asked to do continually changes during this pandemic. Please take a few minutes to give your kids teachers a thank you. If you don’t have kids, but know teachers, please thank them.

All the teachers I know do their best to help kids be a better versions of themselves. I know they helped me become a better person. The requirement to go to online teaching has required extensive work on their part. They spend numerous hours in front of the computer trying to help the kids and many parents and do so much more. Most would rather teach face to face, however they know this is what must be done and they are doing great work for the kids.

Every teacher I know practices paneugenesis. Teachers are the perfect example of what it means to exhibit Selfish, Selfless, Synergy. #SelfishSelflessSynergy  I say this because I know they are generating comprehensive benefits by creating pervasive reciprocal selfish selfless synergistic interactions so everyone and everything benefits. Please give them thanks, they have more than earned it and I know they greatly appreciate a note for their efforts.

Be Well’r,

Please share your thoughts and questions below.

“Smarter Taxes” Can Help Build our Ideal World

I have been reading Kate Raworth’s “Doughnut economics: Seven Ways to Think Like a 21st Century Economist” and it is fantastic. She indicates more “Undoing” of what seemed correct is needed (see Undoing Needed because Mental Illusions Impact Us and To Improve: “Undoing” Needed to Create Better!).

This book has captured my attention and it is keeping it because there are so many wonderful detailed plans about how to do things in a better way. Instead of just saying why things are wrong, she provides an explanation about better ways and then how and why they are better…with examples. It appears her aim is more good, not just less bad. She provides multiple examples of #SelfishSelflessSynergy.

If you follow me, you know I have been suggesting we should “Create More Good, Not Just Less Bad”. I also suggest we can do this if we “Exceed Expectations” or what I call  +3. I detail this in my YouTube Video’s and my articles. I specifically address this in the “Exceed Expectations” video.


As noted in the title, she also explains how this can be true for taxes. While the idea of “Tax Relief” seems desirable, we need to remember that taxes are great because they enable us to fulfill the desires and needs of our society. Libraries, schools, parks, roads, green areas and all the things that make life better exist because of taxes. These government developed projects are public goods that enhance the well-being of everyone.

We also need to remember that those fantastic innovators at Google and Apple and others were only possible because of the public internet infrastructure built from taxes. From this perspective, taxes are a form of selfish, selfless, synergy or a way to practice paneugenesis and create all good. In other words, taxes can be a way to generate comprehensive benefits by creating pervasive, reciprocal, selfish, selfless, synergistic interactions so everyone an everything benefits. Well at least they could be, let me explain.

Kate Raworth’s book helped me see taxes from an even more beneficial perspective. As she explains, taxes change behaviors. By that she means what is taxed causes people to adjust what they do. For example, in the past when they taxed windows, people built houses without windows. Now, because they tax labor with payroll taxes, insurance, etc., corporations work to find ways to eliminate the expense of labor. These efforts have generated the wonderfully innovative invention of artificial intelligence (AI). AI, sometimes as robots, can now perform the actions of humans at a lower cost. In this way, taxes adjusted behaviors.

Behaviors demonstrate that taxes adjust behaviors so less use of what is taxed is substituted for things that are not taxed. Knowing this suggests we must update the tax code so we tax what we want less of and subsidize things we want to increase. Succinctly, she explains we should switch from taxing labor to taxing capital. Right now the taxing system encourages us to be creative to find ways for machines do the work instead of humans. For example:

main image

Autonomous Forklifts Replace Manned Forklifts, One Unit at a Time

The code will subsidize these forklifts, the capital, because their purchase costs will be used to decrease income and related taxes. However, if more employees were hired, this would increase costs and related taxes. To create more good we need to switch from focusing on increasing labor productivity to increasing resource productivity. Doing this means we will tax what we want to get rid of and subsidize what we want to increase and creativity will be used to create better working conditions for humans. The result of this should increase jobs and decrease resource use.

In a related example she discussed the traditional Corporate Response for requests to go green. The first group would do nothing wondering why they should change when their job is to make profits. The second group would only do what pays back, or do what is green if it can earn them more profits. The third group she identifies would only do their fair share. This concerned her because it seemed to subliminally suggest everyone has a right to pollute. The fourth group, with what seems to be good intentions, attempts to only  do no harm or mission zero. While this is good, she cited Will McDonough, of Cradle to Cradle and Upcycle fame (please see Concept: Create More Good, Not Just Less Bad)  who said that is only about being less bad, it is not being good.

Her recommendation is that organizations should focus on being generous. That is they should design their efforts to be regenerative by design. Studies also demonstrate this is a more profitable focus from many perspectives. This means their efforts give back and is what I describe as +3. These efforts aim to be regenerative so they provide biosphere stewardship and the result will be leaving the planet better than they found it.

I look forward to hearing about your generous efforts that will help benefit everyone and everything. Please share your efforts so we can learn from your selfish, selfless, synergistic actions. Thank you.

Be Well’r,

Please share your thoughts and questions below.

Best Dad Ever: The Power of Language – Use it Wisely

I am wearing a shirt my girls got me that reads, “Best Dad Ever”. By all measures it is correct. I am the best Dad my girls ever had. Of course I am their only Dad. These words however can be misleading and cause misunderstanding. For instance, someone could challenge me that they are a better Dad. Of course they would be correct if they were talking about being a Dad to their children. It can get confusing. No matter how we think about it, language is powerful and we should use it wisely.

This topic is of great importance. For example, the most important conversation is the one you have with yourself. What you tell yourself can only be contradicted by yourself. Nobody can jump in your head and change your mind unless you let them. These means what you say to yourself carries meaning – choose your words wisely. You can let others in your head by reading and watching TV. That happens a lot now during the election campaign. I encourage you to think about how candidates use words to send messages, inaccurate or accurate depending on how it is used. What is important about the language is what it causes people to do and how it impacts their actions.

One way that words trigger actions is when they remind us of values. Schwartz identified 10 Basic Values. I encourage you to review his article about those value at An Overview of Schwartz Theory of Basic Values. As he demonstrates, we all have these values, just at differing levels. He also explains these values can be triggered by words. The power of these values varies by our role in life – parent, teacher, consumer, marketer, owner, worker, etc.

The ten values he identified are grouped by Openness to Change, Self-Transcendence, Conservation, and  Self-Enhancement included:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

These values were used by Edward Bernays to incite a consumer revolution where he showed organizations how they could more easily sell their products if their products were associated with deeply held values such as power or freedom. He outlined how to do this in his 1928 book, “Propaganda”. The book and video also documents how he used false science. He falsely used science by creating an experiment with an expected outcome. He used bad science to falsely support an objectively bad choice, bacon and eggs. I encourage you to watch the video below to learn how he did this. In other words, he was NOT using words to promote #SelfishSelflessSynergy, but you can.

  

I was reminded of the power of words while reading Kate Raworth’s excellent 2017 book, Doughnut Economics: Seven Ways to Think Like a 21st Century Economist”. In the book she uses the example of calling people consumers or citizens and how those words dramatically impact how people think and act. As a consumer it means people can only express your potential by buying things, but as a citizen it would inspire people to take actions to be a good member of society. Words are powerful, we must use them carefully and also carefully think about how they are being used.

Here is another example of powerful words that may impact thoughts and actions as written by Umair Haque:

Don’t you think there’s something wrong with a world where Amazon, Inc is a “person,” but the Amazon isn’t? Without personhood, the worst amongst our species — the profiteers and predators — is free to treat nature and the animals just like they once treated slaves: maim, abuse, and annihilate them, until they’ve been used up. – Umair Haque

As you know, my focus has been attempts to use words that will generate comprehensive improvements by creating pervasive, reciprocal, selfish selfless, synergistic interactions so everyone and everything benefits. I look forward to hearing how you use your words to generate #SelfishSelflessSynergy or comprehensive improvements. Please share your thoughts below. Thank you.

Be Well’r,

Please share your thoughts and questions below.

Ginsburg Widened the Circle of Inclusion & Equality

We all mourn the passing of Ruth Ginsburg. She made a powerful POSITIVE impact on all of us. Although she is known for her work to help women’s rights, her work was about creating a more just and perfect union by expanding inclusion and equality. She was passionate about her causes but human enough to be good to all. I noted this when Justice Scalia passed, someone who had drastically different views than her, yet they still had a friendship (see Honoring Justice Scalia – Dare to Disagree).

Justice Ginsburg’s life is something we can all strive toward, that is to aim to help lift everyone up. The Washington posted this interesting article about her, Ginsburg’s vision led us to a better America. We can do the same. I am impressed that she was able to make such a large difference in her life without trying to legislate from the bench. She believed and demonstrated how she could help build a better system by working with the other parts of government. She read her dissent in the case of Lilly Ledbetter and then said now the ball is in your court congress. After, congress did take the ball and passed legislation to promote equal pay.

If you don’t know much about her, I recommend you watch both of the excellent movies recently released about her life, “On the Basis of Sex” and “RBG”. The NYTimes described those movies here, Ruth Bader Ginsburg: The Films About Her Life. Together these movies provide a good overview of her life, yet she did so much more. It appears you can Stream “RBG” on Hulu or Amazon Video and you can see “On the Basis of Sex”  on Amazon or Showtime (trailers for both below). I hope both will be made more widely available.

Although she was a small woman, she had a GIANT impact on all our lives. Each of us and our the world is better because of her work. She was a prime example of how to Practice Paneugenesis because she generated comprehensive improvements by creating pervasive, reciprocal, selfish, selfless, synergistic interactions so everyone and everything benefits.  #SelfishSelflessSynergy.

Please share how her good work benefitted you and how you will pay it forward.

Be Well’r,

Craig Becker

Be selfish, selfless, & synergistic so everyone and everything benefits!

#SelfishSelflessSynergy

Please share your thoughts and questions below.

Imagine a Better Future then Create It = A Simple Example

I thought this would be a simple post, then I saw how all these connections run through my life. The post was just going to share: 

My wife is amazing. She cooks delicious, wonderful, mostly vegan food. In that respect we eat a lot of fruits and vegetables. This of course means we have a lot of skins and inedible parts left over that traditionally are thrown in the trash or go down the disposal. I compost, which is an amazing and powerful natural “soft” or natural process.

I take the scraps, that would be garbage, and put them in a container in my yard, which for me is an old garbage can with the bottom cut out, with my grass clippings and other yard waste. Over time this waste turns into rich soil. In other words, I grow soil, as I learned from the incredible Will Allen (see Growing Healthier Food, People, & Communities). After leaving the waste in the composter for 6-12 months, it turns into healthy soil that I then put in the garden to grow my fruits and vegetables. A circular economy. I thought that was an amazing efficient and effective process that was circular. Then my wife made it even better. Before I put the scraps in to be compost, my wife put them on high in the Insta-pot and made vegetable broth (here is the recipe she used).Wow!

This documents Selfish/Selfless/Synergistic benefits. In other words, it is a great way to Practice Paneugenesis. This is a way to develop a personal circular economy that is regenerative. It makes tomorrow and TODAY Better. It is a way to give to all and get for yourself – Selfish and Selfless because more clean air and water, so it is Synergistic as we Give & Get by making a Positive Impact.

Then I started thinking…

We all recognize, during this terrible pandemic the world is not what we want it to be. We saw this coming, Bill Gates warned us in his 2014 TED presentation. Despite knowing what was possible, action was not taken. From my perspective, I don’t think we did anything because the best we could’ve gotten, at least the  way it was presented, was not bad, or things would end up the same as they were.

Taking actions would mean we could keep what we have. If we took action we would have had less bad – No Pandemic. Of course this is great, but it did not inspire action. In my compost example, simply using scrap food gave us the benefit for better, more convenient and less expensive vegetable broth, besides no need to go to the store, extra waste. We got more than not bad, less garbage, for that action. For me and it seems most of us, the getting and giving something seems to motivate action. Selfish, Selfish, Synergy is how to get and give at the same time. #SelfishSelflessSynergy

It is likely the warnings of a “possible” future pandemic did not inspire action for many reasons. One reason is because nothing like this has happened in our lifetime. How could we imagine it as a possibility and why would it happen now?? We all most have assumed what we are doing must be working well enough. As noted, things always work, until they don’t. To me the main reason action was not taken was because if action was taken, the result would be nothing – NO PANDEMIC. We would be left with what we already

Most of us want to make a positive impact, we want to feel good and we want to give. While it may seem contradictory, being Selfish and Selfless is Synergistic and by Giving We all Get…better. Our minds do not know how to handle nothing, a not bad outcome. It is also logical, why do we need to take action to keep what we already have? If we want a better future, not just a less bad future, however, we need to have an emotionally rewarding outcome we can get to move toward.

If we put these actions into a mathematical formula, it could look like this:

Selfish +Selfless = Synergy with a Remainder of Get & Give  with a leftover of Positive Impact

In other words, we need an “Operationalized Idealized Outcome” to move toward. #SelfishSelflessSynergy to Give & Get for all so everyone and everything benefits.

Using scraps for broth and soil is a simple example of how I and my family attempt to generate comprehensive improvements by creating pervasive reciprocal, selfish, selfless, synergistic interactions so everyone and everything benefits. It is how I give and get. I am anxious to hear how you cause your positive impact – please share! Thank you.

Be Well’r,
Craig Becker

Be selfish, selfless, & synergistic so everyone and everything benefits!

#SelfishSelflessSynergy

Thank you for reading, please comment below and contact me:
Email: BeWellr@gmail.com

Good Begets Good and Bad Begets Bad: Green Grass Theory

Beget means brings about or gives rise to something. In that regard, one thing Dr. Dean Ornish reported, in his study of cardiovascular disease, was that anger begets anger. He explained that letting out your emotions or getting angry by yelling or in other forms did not end anger, it actually encouraged it. Similarly, positive health behavior studies cited how better food choices, like involvement in sports and time with parents brings about more desirable behaviors. These studies show that it is not just bad that begets bad, GOOD BEGETS GOOD.

A prediction is a theory. The Green Grass Theory predicts that good actions bring about or beget more good actions and the cumulative effect of these actions will create desirable results. Good, meaning productive, effective, correct etc.  actions are the only way to create a desirable result. Only improved actions can improve the process and better results are only possible from an improved process.

The Green Grass Theory prediction suggests that engaging in good or health promoting behaviors will crowd out bad behavior. Interestingly, recently there have been multiple mentions of a crowding out effect. Currently  and unfortunately, because of promotion and availability, the opposite is happening that is bad behaviors are crowding out good behaviors. To have the world we want, we need to alter this trend.

We can alter this trend with what I have termed, and written about, “The Green Grass Theory”. As previously noted in the post, Terrorism Cannot be Prevented Or Eliminated, our current approach, or prevailing style, because it simply tries to mainly lessen terrorism, without making it truly better. If we want a better tomorrow, it can only happen by taking deliberate actions that can generate a new reality.

This theory suggests that creating something new and better will “crowd out” what we do not want. Good will beget or bring about more good. If it does not, the new, better reality cannot not exist (see Green Grass Theory). In my More Undoing: A Beneficial Drug Policy post, I shared how Johann Hari demonstrated, with real-life examples in his book and presentations, that when people generate a meaningful reason to live, they have a better life. Their better life then “crowds out” a destructive drug habit. The destructive drug habit is inconsistent with their better life so it is removed like an weed in an otherwise lush green lawn. If the bad habit or weed were not removed, the better life or lush lawn could not be realized. Good begets Good.

In my Science Suggests: Focus On More Good over Less Bad post, I highlighted Dr. Michael Greger’s April 26th, 2017  Nutrition Facts video, “Is It Better to Advise More Plants or Less Junk?“. In this video he documented the “crowding out” phenomenon from good food choices when students were given a free piece of fruit. Giving out fruit free was financially beneficial, over the longer term. It was cost effective because these students continued to eat more fruit more than 3 years later than those who were not given the fruit. In other words, these good choices crowded out bad choices because we can only eat so much. To help you understand,  I encourage you to watch his 5 minute video.

Recently, on The Crowding Out Strategy to Eating Healthier. The post again emphasized the Norwegian study. The post explained that not only does “crowding out” bad choices work, it is a more expedient strategy to promote an increase in consumption of healthy items than a strategy designed to decrease consumption of unhealthy items. This is also common sense, good results can only result from good actions. Good begets good. Benefits can only ensue from better choices. Not making a bad choice does not necessarily lead to a better choice instead. A “Nudge” is needed to help them make the better choice so Good Begets Good.

The program Dr. Gregor sites was a free school fruit scheme that was introduced in Norway for grades 1 through 10. This program not only increased fruit consumption, it also had a positive ripple or spillover effect on their parents who also started eating more fruit also. Importantly, “…although the “intention of these programs was not to reduce unhealthy snack intakes,” that’s exactly what appeared to happen, the fruit replaced, or crowded out, some of the junk. As noted, “Increasing healthy choices to crowd out the unhealthy ones may be more effective than just telling kids not to eat junk, which could actually backfire.”

Promoting good is more efficient because you only need to encourage good choices. The good choices should be choices that can crowd out bad choices. This is more efficient because then you don’t also need to discourage bad choices. As noted, “…the intention of these programs was not to reduce …but…that’s exactly what appeared to happen…”

Goodresults from a “crowding out” strategy were also shared in a story outlined in Dan Heath’s new book, Upstream: The Quest to Solve Problems Before They Happen. This example relates to excessive alcohol consumption by Icelandic teenagers. I know drinking less is less bad, however it was the promotion of more good, sports engagement, that also crowded out the bad.

This intervention gave kids more opportunities to be involved in sports. They chose sports because it was a different way to experience a “high”, as a way crowd out the bad choices. Not only were kids more likely to be more physically active, they were also spending more time with their parents, a beneficial ripple effect. These good options, sports and time with parents, “crowded out” the bad options, excessive drinking prevention being the main action of the effort.

Of course this all lines up with why Prevention Can’t Work and Problems are Irrelevant!(see linked post). The result of these strategies is a net-positive improvement beyond the status quo reference point. Create the life you want by engaging in good actions physically, socially, emotionally, spiritually, intellectually, vocationally and environmentally and it will bring about more good actions. Good actions improve the process and an improved process will yield a better life, as a by-product.

To bring about good, do good by creating pervasive, reciprocal, selfish, selfless, synergistic actions so everyone and everything benefits so you can generate comprehensive benefits. Creating good, by doing good begets more good and this can give your life the meaning it was meant to have. I look forward to hearing how you do good from selfish, selfless, synergistic interactions  #SelfishSelflessSynergy.

Please share how you do good…

Be Well’r,

Craig Becker

Be selfish, selfless, & synergistic so everyone and everything benefits!

#SelfishSelflessSynergy

Please share your thoughts and questions below.

Proposed NYTimes Letter to the Editor about a Better Way

I read Paul Krugman’s July 27, 2020 New York Times (NYT) Column: The Cult of Selfishness is Killing America: The right has made irresponsible behavior a key principle. I found it interesting, and disturbing. Can’t we do more than complain? What was his recommended course of action? Seeing an opportunity, I put together a response to his column that I pasted below. I also encourage you read is column. #SelfishSelflessSynergy

Dear NYT Editor,

I think we can all agree, there must be a better way. Most of the NYTs articles published complain about the outcomes from current societal responses. With interest I read Paul Krugman’s July 27th article, “The Cult of Selfishness is Killing America”. I agree with Krugman’s suggestion that America’s response has been a lose-lose for individuals and society.

Mr. Krugman suggested impatience and the rush to reopen was part of the reason we are getting a lose-lose instead of a win-win outcome. He suggested the economy and the well-being are worse and that we are losing the battle because we are using a selfish plan, rather than a selfless plan that would help those hampered by the virus. He says this approach has hurt the economy and the well-being of Americans.

He then suggests the cult of selfishness and the fight for rights was hypocritical because while it proclaimed wearing a mask was a right infringement, a blind eye was given to the rights of protesters being tear gassed. As W. Edwards Deming prophetically proclaimed, “Defend your rights, you lose”. This proclamation decried attempts for individual rights over efforts focused on improving the system. To confirm Deming’s hypothesis, Krugman ends by explaining how these selfish acts to open the economy to get more, cause them and everyone to get less.

It seems this was a sophisticated attempt to tell others that one way was right, and the other way was wrong without offering a better way? The reader is left believing the only option is to agree not wearing a mask was wrong and wearing a mask was right. Unfortunately, this approach generally does not inspire people to change, rather it causes people to dig in their heels. The 3rd Alternative, as suggested by Stephen Covey, in a book by the same name, seems needed.

A 3rd alternative does not mean your way, or my way, but instead it is about finding a better way. It also is not a compromise where each side gets less of what they want, but it is a mashing of both ideas, so both get more of what they want. If they don’t, it is not a better way. If we step back, most will realize we all want the same things: a more active economy, jobs, open schools, lower risks and less virus cases and deaths.

In other words, we all want selfish benefits that can only result from selfless acts (i.e. wearing masks and social distancing) to generate synergistic results, a healthier, functioning society. Synergistic results are better results than could be achieved by either method alone. This means the way to generate comprehensive benefits, more jobs, a better economy, safe schools, and lower virus incidences can only happen from people engaging in Selfish, Selfless, Synergistic interactions from which everyone and everything benefits.

To move society forward, Paul Collier’s recommendation of reciprocal obligations, which are duties owed to one another such that it binds them, offered in “The Future of Capitalism”, seems useful. Reciprocal obligations are doing things such as developing and implementing or following traffic rules, paying for and or providing quality products or services, or just saying thank you when others provide help, feedback, assistance and or constructive criticism. Complying with current virus tracing efforts provides an opportunity. Collier clearly explains, obligations are akin to societal revenue just as rights are societal costs. Using the idea of reciprocal obligations can create a “richer” and more fulfilling society that yields more rights to all…as a by-product.

There is no downside to this approach. Everyone gets selfish benefits, a fulfilling interactive life, jobs and less sickness, selfless benefits, people can feel good for contributing and for doing good which will mean all can benefit from this synergy or a society that is more than the sum of its parts. Reciprocal obligations will enable all to be selfish, selfless and synergistic. This is Paneugenesis which literally means creating all good. (Pan = all, eu = good, genesis = creation) #SelfishSelflessSynergistic

Unfortunately, I had not read the instructions related to writing letters to the editor at the NYTimes. The instructions explain that letters are to have only 150-175 words, not the 600+ I offered. I therefore cut it down to less than 200 words and submitted it. I tried to keep the message , however I think something was lost in its brevity. I am therefore sharing this with you. What do you think?

I will keep you posted if my shortened letter gets published.

It was not published. Oh well, I will try again.

Either way, I think we can all agree that it would be good if we all start generating comprehensive benefits by creating pervasive, reciprocal, selfish, selfless, synergistic interactions so everyone and everything benefits. What is our option?

Be Well’r,

Craig Becker

Be selfish, selfless, & synergistic so everyone and everything benefits!

#SelfishSelflessSynergy

Please share your thoughts and questions below.

Contact me: BeWellr@gmail.com

Improve Your Life and Contribute to All as a Side-Effect

You can always count on Americans to do the right thing – after they’ve tried everything else.

Winston Churchill

Doing the right things is Selfish, Selfless, Synergy.  Although the movie is called, “EndGame2050”, it is not how to end the game but how to start living better so everyone and everything benefits. Remember, as explained in The Inner Game of Tennis Provides a Focus for Life“, playing competitive games are really just advanced collaboration because it helps participants perform their best, or better than they would otherwise. “EndGame2050” gives us clues on how to have the best life that also contributes to everyone and everything.

For those that follow, you know I continually promote comprehensive improvements. One thing that may not be as clear is that the most effective way to generate comprehensive improvements improves our lives. It makes sense that what is best for us is also best for the planet. In other words, what is best for each of us, selfish, is best for others, Selfless, as it benefits everyone and everything else, Synergy.  #SelfishSelflessSynergy

In another education, sober movie, EndGame 2050 ends by explaining the specific actions we can take to make our lives better that also benefit the planet. Remember, not only do you get to feel good, you also get to feel good for doing good! This means we feel even better due to secondary beneficence.I encourage you to watch this movie. Remember the beginning is difficult to watch.

This means the movie promotes ways to Practice Paneugenesis because it will help us generate comprehensive improvements by helping us see how to generate pervasive, reciprocal, selfish, selfless, synergistic interactions so everyone and everything benefits. Please promote how you generate comprehensive improvements that make your life better! We all look forward to hearing from you. Please share…

Be Well’r,

Craig Becker

Be selfish, selfless, & synergistic so everyone and everything benefits!

#SelfishSelflessSynergy

Please share your thoughts and questions below.

Contact me: BeWellr@gmail.com