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Showing posts from June, 2017

Thoughts on Etiquette - gleaned from Facebook

When Should You Inquire Whether Your Friend is Pregnant?:

The only time we need to ask personal questions, such as: when is the baby due? is this a boy or a girl? are you married? when do you plan to start a family? how much do you earn in a year? ... is when your profession depends upon the answer. If you're a nurse, a doctor, a minister, or a lawyer you might be required to ask those questions - otherwise it's none of your business. This is good to remember then you can avoid embarrassment. And if you are not embarrassed by anything, ask away, so that people know what you are - an innocent who just wants to be friendly but who will likely become lonely. But not to worry - it's not your fault. The blame lies entirely on a culture so obsessed with jobs and the economy, it threw out all conversations about sustainable civil societies.

The Sacred Feminine

The emphasis on the feminine as I experienced it growing up, was in appearance.  Looking gentle not hard. Being dressed well. Ornamenting my appearance with make-up and jewellery. Being soft and yielding.  I internalized these values, admired the beauty of women and strove to be that myself.

My sense of the sacred feminine was uncomfortable with this self-absorption and vanity. My obsession with appearance meant I was creating tension for my growing children. 

Because of the sacrifices my mother and father made,  I grew up believing I had a responsibility to be successful, whatever that meant.

I looked for examples of women who I thought were successful, and questioned what made them successes? Were they honest about their own feelings? Did they listen to others?  Did they emphasize the  value of the group above their own ego?

How is the sacred feminine different from the sacred masculine?  Women and men have different expectations imposed on them, and therefore different challenges. But …

The Sacred Masculine

Back in November I posted this quote from Christopher von Rueden. This View of Life: If Trump Wins the Presidency the Evolution of Men's Political Psychology Will be to Blame.

"We are more likely to hear “Be a man!” than “Be a woman!” in our daily conversations, in literature and in film, or in the news media. This is because manhood tends to be treated as more precarious than womanhood. It is typical of human societies that men are not granted the status of manhood simply by being male. Rather, manhood is achieved or lost, depending on display of competitive ability, skill, generosity, or other traits that signal value to others."

Since then I keep thinking about the sacred masculine as a contrast to misogynist thugs promoting hate on social media and right wing rallies. If gang rape, beating your wife, spewing epithets, humiliating others, comes to represent masculinity then we, as a species, are truly lost.

So I look for examples of masculinity which values rather th…

The S Word

By Kelly Horner[Bee in My Bonnet]
It has become increasingly apparent to me that one of the biggest hurdles for people who want to help loved ones suffering from mental ill-health is empathy. The ability to walk a mile in their shoes. To put themselves in their loved one’s position. Only then can they understand their condition, and only then can they even begin to know how to help that person.

I have never broken a bone. You could describe the pain to me, and I can see the affect a broken bone has on a person. But I’ve never felt that pain myself so if I want to help someone who has a broken leg I have to ask them what they need, listen to what they tell me, and believe what they are saying. Only then can I start to figure out how I can help them.

I have, however, lived with mental health problems for the best part of 30 years, since childhood. I have fought severe pre and postnatal anxiety, major depressive disorder, generalised anxiety disorder, suicidal ideation and PTSD. I have be…

Tomorrow at Gabriola Branch of VIRL

Flightpaths The Lost Journals of Amelia Earhart Heidi Greco
June 17, 1:30 - 2:30 PM
Vancouver Island Regional Library, 
Gabriola Branch 575 N Rd #5, Gabriola, BC V0R 1X3
(250) 247-7878
On the 120th anniversary of Amelia Earhart’s birth and the 80th anniversary of her disappearance, award-winning poet, Heidi Greco revitalizes what we know about the iconic aviator through uplifting and historically mesmerizing verse.

If most people were asked what they know about Amelia Earhart, they’d probably respond with something like “Wasn’t she that pilot who went missing when she tried to fly around the world?” Although that much is true, Earhart was so much more. She was a feminist at a time when women were just beginning to make inroads towards equality. She was a best-selling author who made appearances and speeches that inspired many. In addition, she was a pacifist, a poet, a punster – the list could go on. She was ahead of her time in so many ways, right down to the no-nonsense clothes she wore (m…

The Crown of Centralized Power

The crown of centralized power is the castle. Protected by the walls and weapons, the servants and sycophants just like medieval monarchy.  The walls are built by ideology and propaganda:  those who are in positions of power have earned  or inherited them.  The weapon is money.

If people become too socially enlightened they challenge power and when that happens the canons are rolled out.  Blaming the most powerless, finding scapegoats, ritual abuse, war, public shaming, pornography, poverty, misogyny, misanthropy, misandry, racism, homophobia and inequality. These are the weapons that divide and conquer. The fleeting feelings of superiority may bring support for the crown, but is soon diminished because there is no good feeling when you realize you are being manipulated.

The psyche of the ordinary man, woman and child is to be ritually punctured with doubt, self-loathing and fear. Violence towards others in entertainment and the commons atomizes the people who believe no-one can be t…

Naomi Klein and The Future of The World

Activist and author "Naomi Klein argues in her new book No Is Not Enough: Resisting the New Shock Politics and Winning the World We Needthat we should have been expecting someone like [Trump]." Anna Maria Tremonti's interview with Naomi Klein is something we, who care about life on this planet, need to listen to. We need to think about strategies of resistance rather than reacting to every crisis being broadcast.

Worship of Power As Shared Mental Illness

A study reported in the Telegraph, written by Martin Evans, claims "The children of rich parents are put under so much pressure to succeed they are at an increased risk of suffering" ...   from anxiety and depression at twice the normal rate of children from less well off families. Eating disorders, drug abuse, neuroses and self harming were found to be much more common among wealthy teenagers.

I suspect that wealth signifies skill, intelligence or talent, and wealth "proves"  success. This manifests within the psyche of offspring a duty to prove their academic or athletic superiority, otherwise they are letting their family down. Relentless pressure can be applied while parents are unaware of how it impacts their child's health.

"The American psychologist who carried out the study said many children were finding it impossible to live up to the expectations being placed on them by their rich and successful parents."

Sheri Johnson, a Berkeley psychologis…

Getting Tough, Simplifying the Disorder

In the latest UUWorld online newsletter, the Rev. Lynn Ungar responded to news that the U.S. would be pulling out of the Paris climate accord.
"The fact of the matter is that the current administration works out of an ideology of “getting tough.” The primary value is expressing dominance, not achieving goals that would be of real advantage to the citizens of the US. We “get tough” with our allies rather than looking at how we could cooperate to mutual advantage. . . . We “get tough” by eliminating regulations, without bothering to pay attention to whether those regulations serve the common good, or whether there might be different regulations that might serve everyone better. . . .


The goal is to demonstrate power and control. . . . There is no weighing of costs and benefits. There is no search for creative solutions. There is only the goal of winning, and you know that you are winning because someone else is losing.


It is, in short, the epitome of both white supremacy and toxic ma…

Facts Refute Myths About Homeless People

By understanding more about homelessness we empower ourselves as a community to solve the problem together. Below are a few common misconceptions about people who experience homelessness, along with some facts that refute those myths.

People need to earn their way back into housing.

When we talk about holding people accountable, we may assume that they've had the same chances that we have all had, but done less with them. We assume their parents packed them lunch for school and helped them do their homework. We may assume a lot of things, but we can be way off base. Most people who become homeless come from backgrounds of systemic abuse and neglect. Statistics in America reveal that the odds of someone in the general population becoming homeless is 1 in 194, whereas those same odds for kids coming out of foster care are 1 in 11.

Homeless people are dangerous.

Homeless people are more likely to be victims of violent crimes than to commit those crimes themselves. People without ho…

Social democracy versus “populism”

From the Broadbent Institute:

"Contemporary right populism succeeds by weaving together two forces. On the one hand, a sense of identity threat among majorities directed against ethnic, cultural or religious minorities, or immigrants in general; a threat which plays to attitudes that often lie dormant beneath appeals for tolerance and openness. On the other, a sense of grievance at growing inequality, or a loss of status, income, or security in relation to the recent past." Charles Taylor.

After WWII workers and other non-elite citizens believed they could act effectively within the political arena to meet their needs and to invest in a system of social justice. Left, Labour parties in the UK, and social democratic parties in Europe relied on the engagement of people for support and the people believed they had the power and responsibility to be involved by learning about the issues and voting. 

The emphasis on the economy created a fear that social responsibility would make  j…