Why and how I have faith in Equality

One of my core beliefs is that the question of human equality between groups is ultimately faith-based: that you cannot perform the necessary experiments to really test the hypothesis. So that what is happening is people FEEL a reality then accept or reject information in alignment with what they wanted to believe in the first place.   It might be unconscious, but it is there.


One evidence: unless they are deeply depressive, almost no one believes their own group is the inferior one.  It is the most natural thing in the world to believe “we rule, you drool.”   By the time people have their intellectual and political positions formed (adulthood) it requires MASSIVE pattern interrupts to shift them.  Usually, what will happen is that some event or conversation will change their minds temporarily, but they’ll snap right back to the prior belief.  It takes something close to an ego-shattering epiphany to really change them.


With that assumption, I choose equality for a variety of reasons:


  1. It matches my personal experience of the world.
  2. It matches my research into the nature of history and humanity
  3. It requires the minimum epicycling to explain current events: there is no aspect of human life as I know it that is not explained within that position.
  4. It isn’t self-congratulatory, or self-denigrating.  It is just “human beings are like this…”
  5. It explains all human behavior more clearly than any other theory.
  6. The people who believe in inequality, without exception, strike me as ignorant of some basic social facts. In terms of racism, they rarely know many people of the Other group, and therefore have little data to extrapolate from.  They are mostly depending upon head-down intellectual models, usually provided by members of their own groups to explain why they are superior.   Often with crocodile tears, of course.
  7. Beliefs in inequality often are buttressed by advantage. If you would lose privilege, resources, self-concept, a sense of an heroic history, self-justification for failure, lose political alliances, be force to acknowledge that your group has inflicted horror on others beyond your current belief patterns…you are looking at something which would bring more pain than pleasure into their lives.   Animals don’t voluntarily increase the net amount of pain in their lives.
  8. It explains the past and present, and offers clear paths to the future.  I have zero fear that “we’ll never work this out.”   People who believe in inequality often strike me as despairing, seeing no answers.
  9. If I DIDN’T believe in equality, my conclusion wouldn’t be blacks are inferior. It would be that whites were evil and weak.  I don’t like that guy. I won’t be him.
  10. If I’m wrong…then the consequences might well be unpleasant.  Resources might be allotted that might otherwise be used better elsewhere. But if the racist is wrong…if he has supported a doctrine of differential worth when it wasn’t true?  He has been a handmaiden to horror.  At the LEAST an ally to monsters responsible directly and indirectly for death and pain and fear on an almost unimaginable level.  If I had to make a mistake…I know which mistake I’d rather make.


So…if you can think of something in anything I say that is inconsistent with a belief in human equality of capacity and worth across racial and ethnic groups, I’d love to hear it.  That would actually be doing me a favor.


If you think you know of facts in society that cannot be explained by that model, I’d be interested in one I hadn’t heard. The chance you have one of any major significance are almost nil. I’ve been chewing at this a LONG time.  On this subject, unless you have more information than I have (and yeah, I’ll look at your FB photos and laugh if you don’t actually know many black folks), or can convince me you’re smarter than me (which you’d have to be to draw better conclusions from less data) I wouldn’t even bother trying.


Remember my first comment: all you’re doing is telling me what your faith is.  I remember reading The Bell Curve, where a reductionist theory was promoted that criminal behavior (untrustworthiness) was deeply influenced by I.Q., which was deeply influenced by genetics with a trivial environmental component.  How was this known?  Because of the I.Q. tests given to members of different groups.

So…let me understand this. I am supposed to believe black people are less trustworthy, because of tests conceptualized, created, largely administered, and then interpreted by white people.  I am also to believe that these white people correctly interpreted the genetic components as opposed to the environmental ones. Correct?

So…I am supposed to believe that at every step in this process their intents and perceptions were clean and without significant bias?   When when simply distributing human imprecision, prejudice, self-justification, lack of wisdom, fear and simple lack of global knowledge spread evenly across both groups would imply errors and deletions of information even if the intent was totally positive?  I am, in other words, to trust white people that I cannot trust black people?  When these same people will, if they hold that belief, ALWAYS tell me I should also doubt my own direct experiences in favor of their theoretical projections and self-serving interpretations?

Really?  Can you say “gaslighting”?  Really.  Please.  If you don’t see why I laugh at that, you don’t understand me at all.  And if you don’t see how you are traveling in the company of snakes and monsters…you are truly Asleep.  That is why if you have those beliefs, I won’t let you comment on threads about what we need to do next to bring social justice to the world.

And if you use that mealy-mouthed bullshit about “It’s not race, it’s culture!” which is the last step, the last desperate attempt to believe you aren’t promoting a racist position…?


Well, unless you follow that with “And 250 years of slavery Jim Crow and Segregation stripped away culture, language, religion, philosophy, mythology, names and social ties while imprinting a bastardized and brainwashed horror-show that people are still recovering from 50 years after the Voting Rights Act”, you are just kicking the conceptual can down the road.  You are, from the side of your mouth and without taking responsibility for what you’re saying, implying that white people would have done better and suffered less.

In other words, you are a racist who isn’t honest enough, perhaps even to yourself, to admit that’s what you are.

You have an odd faith. And kneeling in the pew right next to you?  David Duke.

If that’s your view of the ethical structure of the universe, if that’s how you think God or the powers of nature work…good luck with that.  Let me see that you are healthier, happier, and more successful than I am and I might believe you have a better mind.

Otherwise…I’m gonna laugh in your face.





Just Do It

I’ve seen some great spoofs of the Nike campaign recently.  Some really are funny, but I suspect  that the people posting them fit into one of two categories:


  1. Don’t believe there is a mortal issue at stake.  Don’t believe there is disproportionate unjustified police violence toward black people. Or:
  2. Approve of the oppression and violence.


I don’t see a third major category, other than perhaps people with a sick sense of humor (some of my favorite people, in general) but most of it seems to sort into those first two..   Racists (those who believe in differential capacity or worth between racial groups)  if of good character (no, not a contradiction in terms. A perspective of differential worth is pretty common among human beings. Doesn’t make a direct statement about how you treat people)  tend not to believe there is a real issue.  Most fall into the first category (however, you do NOT have to be a racist to fit into this category. You do seem to need to be Conservative however, believing in a “level playing field.”   I know good and decent people who fit this category, so don’t hallucinate that they don’t exist, please.)


If they believe there is a problem, they will blame the black community itself.   If they are racists they will hem and haw around the subject, and have real problems speaking their real belief directly: blacks are targeted disproportionately because they are just innately less capable and more criminal.  Blame God.


Or, they blame “culture”.  It’s black “culture” you see.  Next stage: “Oh. So you’re saying that slavery and Jim Crow and Segregation were so violent and destructive that they damaged the ability of blacks to create a successful society? ”  Blame Slavery and its aftermath.


They will stutter here, because the   Current Southern Apologia is specifically designed to absolve the South for any responsibility for what they did.  If they DON’T blame slavery or its aftermath…precisely what do they blame for the dysfunctional “culture” they blame for black issues?


Next question: “Given the same history, would white people have been damaged as much or suffered as long?”


If they say “yes” then it is environment, not genetics, and you can move on to the next question: what do we do now?


Well, don’t expect a wound to heal until the knife is removed. That would mean the differential treatment, and the lies about history and current conditions.   Change both of those, and the healing is much more rapid.


But anyone who won’t say “yes, white people would have suffered as much and been damaged as long” is IMO hiding a racist agenda.  Disengage.  This is a Faith Based position, and arguing does nothing.


There are of course others.  Racists of venomous intent and low character. They actually approve of the violence: “Got to keep the monkeys in their cages.”  They would also approve of torturing suspected terrorists, of course. They are frightened, angry, petty people, and they hide behind the mask of “oh, it’s just culture” without explaining where the damage came from.  Kicking the can down the road for others to intuit that, yeah, it’s innate capacity.  Or maybe they don’t WANT to live, or be free, or make money, or for their children to survive. Because if they do…maybe they just…ahem…don’t have the capacity, poor devils…


Yeah, it really is that simple.  Logically let’s MODUS PONENS (If/Then proposition) this:


IF black people are equal in capacity to white people, THEN the playing field is unlevel.


IF the playing field is level, THEN black people are not equal to white people.


Take your pick, but I don’t believe there is a serious third choice.


Now there are dishonest people: “the playing field is unequal.  But government attempts to make things better will only make them worse. Therefore, I will deny they are unequal.”  This is cowardly. Much better to say:


“Yes, they are unequal, but I see no way to make them better without greater net damage.”


Or even: “Yes, they are unequal, but I’ve got mine and screw you.   I LIKE having an advantage.”


Hey, I may not think that second one is evolved, but I have to admit that it is common human thinking. And it leads to dishonesty:


“Yes, its unequal, but I’ve got mine and don’t want to give it up. But I don’t want to look like a selfish ass, so I will PRETEND to believe that things are equal, to protect my image.”


Here’s a worse one:  “Yes, its unequal, but I’ve got mine…and I want some of yours, too. So `tragedy of the commons’  be damned, I will pretend to believe in fair play because I want YOU to treat me fairly even if I don’t give a shit about you.  YOUR children can suffer, but I want you to keep a caring, watchful eye on mine.”


That is both dishonest and cowardly IMO.  These are snakes.


Interesting things happen when you simply start with the presumption of equality despite the (IMO) fact that you cannot ultimately “prove” equality or inequality, that everyone is ultimately making a faith-based assertion.  You then have to live with the results.  Equality means that I can’t assume whites are innately evil, either.  However much self-serving evidence I might amass, and however satisfying that might be.


No. I actually have to live in that space, or the whole thing falls apart.


Another time, we’ll discuss what happens when you apply this notion to gender.  THAT’S a doozy.





Winning A Debate With A Racist

I was asked about a group I formed about “winning a debate with a racist”.


“as I recall one of the concepts was that while you may not win over the actual racist, you could win over the people observing the discussion or debate or argument, or am I misremembering?”


Slightly. The trick is that internet arguments are not “debates”. There are no formal rules, no neutral judges, and just engaging is usually wasting your time. You “win” if you remember that there are some battles not worth winning, or Sun Tzu’s admonition that “There is no instance of a nation benefitting from prolonged warfare”

Or, you could look at the Strategic Intervention Technology concept that you don’t engage unless there is a defined and achievable standard for success.  Don’t play a game unless it is possible to win. Remember that trolls win if they can get you to waste your time, because every moment you are wasting it with them, you are NOT moving toward your objectives.

And no, I’m not automatically equating racists with trolls. Racists are people who believe that human worth and capacity is distributed unequally between racial groups. It is just a belief, a perception, a faith. It doesn’t automatically determine character.

However….it is my observation that people who hold those beliefs have to delete far more reality than those who believe in basic equality. They struggle more to make the world fit into their box, and the need to fit reality to their maps can lead to actual emotional illness, anger, fear and retreat into their heads, the only place where the world makes sense any more. It is sad to watch, as they are often quite intelligent. This triggers Troll-behavior.

But back to the point.  I answered:

“Ah, yes! I did have a group that experimented with that. Once I learned what I needed I formulated a simple set of rules for “Social Justice Warriors”, a standard I proudly bear.

1) Love yourself. Self-care is critical.  Respect your time and energy.

2) Love One other person. The primary unit of human life is that mated pair. Deep and multiple reasons why this is so valuable

3) Understand history without guilt, blame or shame. Understanding humanity without blinking gives you the perspective to let today’s news roll off your shoulders.

4) Don’t argue with trolls. Instead, support the people who are already aligned with you. Love them, and let them support you.

5) Win with integrity. Remember that most people, even when wrong, are not snakes or monsters. They are just asleep. Also remember that you might be wrong, and act with integrity and compassion…but also with strength.”


I’ll stand by those five principles, which have served me well.  In fact, the only time they have failed is when my Troll-detection filters have failed me, often because I’m trying to be nice, or dealing with someone with whom I have a long-standing relationship, and I care about them enough to drop my guard a bit.


Its all right. We learn as we go.





Fractal Goal Setting

Had a wonderful conversation last night with a brilliant, funny lady Heather V. Krell, about my next novel, TRAVELER.  Monday I pitched a very few people a KILLER idea for a movie script. Everyone’s reaction was “take my money now!” and so T and I are huddling.  Starting a new story (novella?) with Larry, something unlike anything we’ve ever done, and only we could do.


At the same time I launched the EARN 100K IN 25 HOURS A WEEK freebie ( and am getting ready to launch the best writing course EVER.   It is designed to take you from wherever you are to the next level of your career:


I am creating the best writing package I’ve ever done, something that will take any writer from where they are to the next level of their career. For instance:

1) From never written to first story.

2) From intermittent to steady writer.

3) From steady writer to submitting

4) From submitting to published

5) From published to publishing regularly.

6) From publishing regularly to writing longer work.

7) First novel finished

8) First Novel published.

9) Writing and publishing regularly

10) Steadily increasing the quality of your work



Busy busy busy.  The trick to balancing all of it is to consider myself the “Hero” in my own story, with each project being a mini-cycle “Hero’s Journey” fitting into the overall structure of my life.


So…every week I know the most important things to be done that week.

Every day I know the most important 3-5 things to be done that day.


And I START my day by revving up my emotions (“Why”) and focusing on the most important outcomes (“What”). After, only after I’ve done that do I look at the “how”, which are the daily to-dos.


But wait!  There’s more!


Do you grasp that each individual “how” breaks down into another outcome, which can be represented and approached the same way? It is like “Powers of Ten” applied to your life and goals, fractal organization, zooming up or down depending on which level of clarity I need.


I can step all the way back to the life I want in ten years (finances, family, career, health and fitness) or zoom all the way in to look at…say the email I’m writing right now.


WHAT: to write a useful, powerful post.

WHY: to educate, inform, entertain, express myself, help people, move my own career forward to support my family and the causes I believe in.

HOW: write a post that is honest, expresses who and what I am at this moment, and explains how I solve a problem in a way that would be useful to my own younger self.


Good set of reasons and plans, yes?   So I’ve been fighting to get to this place, where I can take my entire business to a new level. (What).   So that I have the freedom to no longer give a #$%% what any particular person or organization thinks about my writing, and can write whatever the @#$$ I want (Why), giving the little kid inside me an insane playground, working by myself, with friends, with my sweetheart, and my mentor.


Life is good. Can you see how I zoom in and out, looking for balance and dynamics, being sure that EVERYTHING I do is connected with the most precious goals in life, so that I have full power at every moment?


I knew you could. Today was Jason’s first day back at school!   For various reasons I didn’t sleep well last night, and was wiped out when I woke up.  Wanted to roll back over and go to sleep.  But…


WHAT: Jason’s morning ritual

WHY: to help him have a great first day, send him off with love and hope and focus, so that he can have a great experience in High School, so that he can love learning, so that he can find his excellence and harness his passion to something that creates goods and services to his community, so that he can build a nest and find a mate, so that he can make grandchildren I can bounce on my knee and tell how I used to change their daddy’s diapers, embarrassing him like hell and completing the circle of shame.

HOW: Get out of bed, do my morning ritual, get my energy and focus UP so that I can transmit it to Jason at 8:00 am Morning MAGIC!



Yeah. It all fits together. And when you get it right, there is an elegance to the patterns. It will be clumsy at first, but soon, any flaw in your program will feel “lumpy” like a flat tire on a car.  Ka-Flump! Ka-Flump!  Oh, that’s right, I didn’t check my finances today!  I didn’t’ work out! I didn’t connect with Jason and T and Nicki!  I didn’t’ write at least one sentence.


If I do those things…the ride is smooth.  Macro or Micro.





(P.S.–we’re planning to announce the new program in a FB Live next Wednesday.  Not totally sure we’ll make it: we need it to be EVERYTHING the student needs, just add sweat.  And won’t start if we haven’t reached that level. You guys are my family!)

Humiliation can be your friend

Long, long ago, I was arguing with a brilliant Conservative friend “Ron” about South Africa.   The question was whether blacks under Apartheid there were worse off than their neighbors.   I said they were.  He suggested that I find objective standards for the welfare of a people, and do my own research.


Following his suggestions, I found the World Health Organization’s recommendations for a “fast and dirty” measurement of a people’s health: life span and infant mortality rates.  There are others of course, that relate to overall welfare, including inherited wealth, incarceration rates, divorce rate (or proportion of two-parent homes), and subjective answers to happiness/satisfaction surveys.


But you can’t get around that First Chakra stuff.  Survival. Genetic survival. And to my embarrassment, when I compared black life spans and infant death rates, they were better for South African blacks under apartheid than they were for blacks in surrounding countries.  Lower than they were for whites, of course…but still better.


I’m a philosopher, not a politician.  Politics is about winning.   Philosophy is about truth.  I saw lots of ways to argue with the conclusion, but in my heart, I knew they would be nit-picking.  On this ground, in this way, at this time…I was wrong.  Didn’t mean Apartheid wasn’t evil, and shouldn’t fall.  But if I was honest with myself, by this set of important metrics…I was wrong.  And admitted it to him.




Years passed, and the subject of Universal Health Care became a popular topic.  I had no dog in that fight.   Had Writer’s Guild medical.  “Ron” was convinced UHC would be a disaster, and his favorite Conservative commentators agreed. Disaster.


Well…I didn’t know.   No idea really.  But I DID know that there was this standard for health that he and I agreed was valid.  Simple, I thought.  Look for the results for the same questions, and see whether the countries with UHC were better or worse.


The statistics were easy to find.  Clear.  Countries with UHC, who socialized medical care, out-performed countries with private medical care by those standards…but ALSO for cost-per-citizen.


Longer lives.  More children survive.  Lower cost of delivery.   There it was.  And…when I presented this to him, he rejected it.  Began to pick it apart (as all statistics can be) on wholly unconvincing grounds.   And for the first time I realized that there was an entirely reasonable conclusion:  he didn’t have internal permission to look at the data.  He COULDN’T.   Could I?   My reasoning:   I had been willing to be wrong about something really painful–that Apartheid might not be all bad.   I could therefore trust my ability to see painful truths.


I trusted the standard that had brought me that painful truth. I KNEW I wasn’t arguing backwards from a political position.  I’d had no idea what I might find when I went looking for that information.


But that hit me, and still does.   There is Faith-based politics.  A core conviction that will deny data to the contrary, even when it seems clear.  Just watch: there will be people who argue with this conclusion.   They will say the statistics are rendered differently in different countries. That ethnic or racial diversity is responsible for the differences. That sick people WANT to be sick. The fact that a disproportionate number of those people are brown is coincidental (let’s see: brown people WANT to die, WANT their children to die. That’s it, yes.  Wow. Glad to clear THAT up!)


To be honest…it sounds just like the people who try to deconstruct the statistics on the percentage of scientists who agree that Anthropogenic Global Warming is real and dangerous.    They argue about the definition of “scientist”. About whether it is 97% or something lower (without explicitly stating the precise number they DO believe believe it). They impugn the honor of the scientists, saying that they are bought by “the Government”, or afraid to tell the truth, or don’t know dick.


Attack the messenger, attack the integrity of the message, listen to people WITHOUT expertise in preference to those WITH expertise.


Arguing backwards from a Faith-based premise would produce identical results.


This is why I dislike politics.  It is really spiritual arguments manifesting on the mundane level.  So much of it is about the basic nature of human beings (“who am I?”).


With health care, I won’t apologize: I cannot find a rational reason to think it isn’t effective and efficient, more so than commercialize services.  But I have to admit that there are other reasons, the best of them are:


  1. A person (who perhaps already has good health care)  might not want to pay the taxes to pay for other people’s.
  2. A person with very specific health needs might be afraid that the process of socialization will change the care they are getting for the negative.  You know what?  I can empathize with this one.

By the way: my answer to people who say they don’t want to pay for other people’s health care is that I sympathize, but I didn’t want to pay for the invasion of Iraq.  That that’s the shit-side of living in a democracy: feeling complicit in the deaths of 100k to one MILLION Iraquis, depending on who you listen to and how you crunch the data.

You’re being asked to be “complicit” in saving lives.   One of us is getting the better deal.


With Global Warming, there are also some interesting reasons for denial.  Among them:

  1. Humans really do need energy to maintain our current lifestyle and population level.  Fossil fuels have, historically, been a godsend for this.
  2. The technology to provide renewable energy is more complex and sophisticated, much less tested than simply burning coal or oil.   There is a “prove it” element here I find reasonable, if not optimal.
  3. There are people who simply don’t believe human beings can damage the biosphere. That Earth was “given” to humans by a divine entity, and we are to do with it as we wish. This is survival programming encoded into religious dogma, and will take generations to change fully.



But with either of these, you’ll note that there is a single political umbrella under which both camps find shelter. They have become each other’s natural allies.  “Politics makes strange bedfellows”–you support me, I support you.


The perception that a particular belief or position is a survival value produces survival emotions, which anchor in those core beliefs with emotion, shutting down logic: logic works to prove what you already need to believe, like a mother desperately seeking ways to believe that no, HER son didn’t do that terrible thing…


Of course, there is another level: both of these are money-makers.  Corporations make huge money from medicine and fossil fuels. It would only make sense for these semi-conscious entities to stump for anything that keeps that money running.   Hell, it doesn’t even take lying: just select for the people who agree that medical care is best monetized, or that Global Warming is a myth (or that cigarettes are harmless).  Reward them.  That 3% of scientists who disagree?  Back THEIR research, promote it, and do all you can to besmirch anyone who disagrees.


See how you don’t even need lies?   But wait, there’s more!   Lies and belief in lies is VERY USEFUL.  You convince the people that the government, for nefarious purposes, wants people to believe the earth is warming, and is bribing thousands of scientists to lie.


But wait: if you start with the assumption of dishonesty…wouldn’t it make more sense to assume that the people/entities who stand to gain DIRECTLY by the maintenance of a position would be the ones who start lying first?  Or that the smaller the number of people in the conspiracy, the more secure it is?


Ummm…like the boards of medical companies or oil companies?


How do you combat THAT?  Oh, I know…you spread the notion that somehow, by some arcane magic my tiny brain cannot comprehend, CORPORATIONS ARE MORE HONEST THAN GOVERNMENTS.


Same human beings. Different sorts of organization.  But somehow, innately less honest if they are working for a government than for a corporation.  That is GREAT.  It is a brilliant tactic if you are trying to protect your bank account.  If corporations are seen as semi-conscious simple organisms, they would also function like god-things, conferring reward on those who sing their praises and carry water.


I suggest starting with a different assumption, as I do with race, and gender, despite the fact that I take shit for it.  Start with an assumption of equality.  Start with looking for the minimum amount of perfidy that would explain the problem, rather than falling into the trap of assuming that the opponents are fools and knaves.


There really are multiple ways to interpret almost any piece of data. And if we have a powerful emotional “tilt” that will influence how we see it.   You do it. I do it.  EVERYONE does it at times. To suspect this is what is happening when you have an apparent disagreement over data seems to me a matter of being conscious.


Assume that emotion is overwhelming logic. Ask what the fear is. Can you see where some kind of powerful fear could be in the system?  Loss of control, moving from the individual to the group action/identification seems to me a fairly typical Conservative position, just as a fairly typical Progressive position might be fear of being cast on individual resources rather than group action.


I could see that.  Not an absolute truth, but it would make sense of a number of things said from the different polarities.




UHC seems to me as cut-and-dried as any social issue of my lifetime.  Not a matter of “everyone deserves rights” because that is a matter of philosophy. But the most common argument against UHC is that it is inefficient and ineffective.  IMO in this instance, the stats are very clearly unsupportive of that notion.   UHC IS more efficient and effective by standards I agreed with when I found it humiliating.


That’s why I trust them.





(If you want to stay out of the “stress tunnel” that short circuits logic with fear, please harness the power of Morning M.A.G.I.C.:

The Macro and the Micro

There are, I think, a variety of situations facing humanity as a result of our SUCCESS as a species.


  1. Global Warming. The result of increased population and our search to control more and more of the biosphere’s energetic resources
  2. Overpopulation. The result of improved medical and food production and dominance over predators.
  3. Obesity. The result of severing the connection between calories expended and calories earned, industrialization and so forth.
  4. Gender Parity.  The result of effective birth control, having reached maximum population, industrialization and firearms leveling the playing field.
  5. Racial Parity.  The result of the death of racial mythologies due to actual contact between human groups: enhanced communications
  6. A.I.  The result of the endless human quest to extend our senses and physical capacities with our tools.
  7. Automation eliminating jobs.  The quest to accomplish more and more with less and less human involvement.  For individuals to do what used to require teams and groups.
  8. Pollution.  The result of increased population.


There are others, of course, but it is important to grasp that any or all of these COULD cause real problems, as every one of them upturns individual and social behavior patterns engrained for countless thousands of generation.   Every one of them.


What will happen depends on a couple of questions: what is true? And: Who am I?  They are related but not quite the same.


  1. “What is true” touches on questions of the structure of the universe.  Is it true that human beings are causing a rise in temperature?  That machines could actually behave as if conscious?  That there is a maximum healthy population for the planet?
  2. “Who am I?” is the “what is Man that Thou art mindful of him?” question.  What YOU are relates to what WE are.  Those who believe a “Universal Basic Income” would lead to a vast ocean of idle people either believe THEY, PERSONALLY would be idle, or that “they”, those “beneath” them, would.  Lots of racism and classism there.  Those who believe UBI would lead to a renaissance are the ones who think that THEY, PERSONALLY would take advantage of a “safety net” to learn, grow, explore, create.


Who is right?  Well, human beings have been arguing for a long time about what the basic nature of humanity is, just as we’ve been arguing about “what is true?”  That answer isn’t going to be found here.


But it is important to recognize the actual arguments being made when someone claims to know what is best for humanity. There is a REAL difference between the world views of someone who believes in basic human equality, and those who are tribal and hierarchical.


Note that I don’t say they are wrong. I disagree with them, but am aware you really can’t come to an absolute conclusion…ultimately there is an irreducible measure of faith involved.   You pays your money and you takes your chances.


But these issues are part of our future, and those who have a clear sense of those core answers AND are flexible enough to hear the perspective of the other side will be the most useful in deciding our actions.


Those who learn to recognize the beliefs underlying the political positions, and how people who believe in differential worth will almost NEVER say it out loud, will be useful.  Those who understand that it is possible to push “equality” into a cocked hat, creating a different sort of horror, will also be useful.


The answers will not be in the extremes.  Where are they? Well, again, this stuff has been argued for thousands of years. Your host has no absolute resolution.


I can say that I start…EVERYTHING that I believe starts with the assumption of basic equality of worth and capacity between most groups defined by birth. Not because I know it absolutely, but because I believe the potential for error is smaller, and has impacted my family and myself more than the opposite position.


But I don’t know. It is an ongoing investigation, and I have no reason to believe it can be resolved within my lifetime.


But I can live with myself much more by wasting resources if it turns out equality is NOT the reality than I could by withholding resources if it turns out people DID have equal potential. The level of evil seems to me much lower.


You will have to make your own decision. The only question is: will you make it consciously, and will you be honest once you’ve made it.


The choice is yours




A Major new 5MM “Life Hack”?

I’m a mad scientist when it comes to personal development, and that’s kept me engaged with the process for decades.  On one level I ALWAYS feel that “the Perfect Program” is just out of reach…it’s a game I love to play.  Tananarive or Toni or Nicki could tell ya.  Notebooks full of plans.


Been percolating a notion for about a month.  It has to do with the cross-referencing of several things.


  1. 5MM.  The fact that if you take 60-second “breathing breaks” every three hours, you transform your relationship with stress.
  2. According to Pavel, the perfect number of reps for an exercise is 5: after 5, you cannot focus total concentration.
  3. Synaptic Facilitation suggests that a skill is best learned by practicing it in short sessions throughout the day, rather than all at once.
  4. There are Five Tibetans
  5. Islamic prayers are practiced five times a day
  6. The more often you remember your primary outcomes and motivations, and check where you are, the easier it is to maintain focus, and the more you accomplish.



What if I combined these?  Not “more time” spent meditating, exercising, renewing, but distributing and coordinating that time differently?  Can you see where this is heading?


I have longer blocks of time for some things, but that “Five Minute Miracle” every day…what can I do with that, as sort of a separate “track” of action?  Well…


WHAT IF YOU COMBINED THESE?  Here’s a sample protocol:


  1. Every three hours perform 5 reps of one Tibetan.
  2. With each, focus on the breathing, with a “cat vomiting” “be breathed” style exhalation/compression built into the rep.
  3. As you do, think of the Most Important Outcome for the day.
  4. Feel gratitude for the health to do this activity. Remember: one day you will NOT be able to.   Enjoy your body while you have it…remember it is just on loan.



How long would this take?  Five minutes a day.  What would the next level be?

  1. Increase the number of reps.  What would happen if the 21 reps of five exercises were distributed through the day instead of “clumped”?’d lose the mild “cardio” effect but raise the amount of focus on structural integration.  If you focus on the breathing, you are accelerating the rate of re-programming the body-mind for extraordinary function.   SERIOUS intervention.    Imagine a night’s sleep where you have to get up five times to pee. How restful is that?  YOU CAN INTERRUPT THE “WAKING DREAM” state exactly the same way.
  2. Add another action (like practice three minutes of martial arts or a yoga asana)
  3. Extend meditation/focus time.


Minimum investment?  Five minutes a day.   But I could add a yoga asana AND a minute of Kali/Escrima, for a total of Fifteen minutes a day.  That is an AMAZING amount of re-programming.


I don’t know for a fact that this is an effective protocol. It is a theory, and the experiment it suggests is obvious, and exciting to me.  I’ll letcha know!



(p.s. This is NOT to replace the block of morning exercise time. There are aspects of fitness/wellness that require extended engagement (triggering the neuro-immuno-endocrine response requires 12-15 minutes of steady-state activity to enter “second wind” which is great for a whole host of reasons, especially managing fear) But in an emergency…its an amazing five daily minutes, providing basic integration and mobility, focus, energy, motivation, positive emotions, discipline, centeredness, and much more.

A great little “Hack” for you to try!)



Steven Barnes

Twenty years of joy

Twenty years ago today, the amazing Tananarive said “I Due” to me in her parents’ home in Cutler Ridge section of Miami Florida.   I couldn’t believe my luck then, and I don’t believe it now.



My first marriage was going belly-up due to mis-steps along the way.  You can take such small actions, but over time, they magnify until you are lost, and Toni and I couldn’t find our way back to each other.  I was pretty miserable, but even more, I felt spun, unable to catch my balance.  Some time later I had a chance for a relationship with a fabulous lady who in many ways was an exemplar, the most attractive human female I think I’d ever seen.  I blew it, partially because we were on different paths, and partially because I was too open and eager.


A period of adjustment followed, during which I realized that to attract women I needed to be both focused and casual.  Otherwise I’d come across as either needy, or a predator.


Once I found that “relaxed focus” mode, things got scary easy.  I mean SCARY. I’d never been that attractive before, and I realized I could be one of the great dogs of all time…and didn’t want it.  Traveling to Clark Atlanta Universary for  the “African American Fantastic Imagination” conference, I encountered several ladies who…let’s say the connection was instant and almost overwhelming.   But…I was playing a game, and I didn’t want games. I wanted something real.


And that night, after arriving, I prayed.   I just asked God for a soul mate.  Someone I could really be myself with.  No games. And I was willing to wait the rest of my life for her, if that was what was necessary.


And…the next morning, coming out of my room, a cute little girl named Tananarive Due came out of the room next to me (!), asked if I was THE Steven Barnes, and asked if I was going to breakfast.


Well, sure, I said, a little confused. We had breakfast, and she was charming, and full of enthusiasm. She had published one book, THE BETWEEN, with another close on the way, MY SOUL TO KEEP.   I was polite, and just a little distant. But when I read a couple of pages of BETWEEN I realized that despite a fifteen-year head start, when it came to “memetic” or realistic fiction, depiction of the everyday world, that critical element that effective fantasy MUST possess…she was already better then me.  I decided that I would adopt her as a little sister, would support her and give her whatever I could to protect and propell her toward what I knew would be a hell of a career.


But…I wasn’t “attracted” to her, not consciously. I knew she was cute and smart of course, but I wasn’t in touch with anything else inside me.  We did some line dancing on the first night there, and I got to see how well she moved her body–a healthy, fit animal.  Very nice. But STILL nothing else kicked in.


Then…on our last day at the conference, she gave a talk about how she got Stephen King to blurb her second novel, and it was a complex strategy using her position at the Miami Herald, her skills on the keyboard, and the nerve to ask if she could play in King’s band, the “Rock Bottom Remainders” when it appeared at the Miami Book Fair.  She did, she made friends with him, and he agreed to look at her book…and the rest was history.


I sat in the front row watching her…and was thunderstruck. She wasn’t “smart”. She was SMART.  And…damn, she was really really REALLY cute, too…


And at that moment, a chill ran up my spine.  It was something I’d never felt before, like a door opening, revealing a path to my future.   “Oh, Steve,” I said to myself. “You are in TROUBLE”.


She lived in Miami. I lived in Vancouver, Washington. Opposite corners of the country. We were leaving Atlanta the next day. I had to get her attention FAST.


In situations like that, fully engaged, the WHAT clear (connect with Tananarive Due. See if this feeling is real, and if she could share it), the WHY (this was a potential Soul Mate.   Someone with whom I could create a life. Someone with similar values, energy, interests, skills.  She spoke my language and lived my life intellectually, emotionally, physically.  If I was right…this was the answer to my prayers)


All that remained was the “HOW.”  Have I said before that if the WHAT and the WHY are clear enough, the HOW presents itself?


She came down off the stage and was immediately surrounded by autograph seekers.  I looked around the room.  How could I catch her attention..?


And there, in the front row a few seats down, was a woman with a baby on her lap. Inspiration struck. I went to her.  “Excuse me, ma’am,” I asked.  “May I borrow your baby..?”


She looked at me blankly, wondering what this was about. She knew WHO I was (which was more than I knew, at the moment!) and I told a tangentially relevant truth: I love kids, and love playing with kids, and miss babies.    She said “o.k.” and handed me the child.  I got down on the floor in front of Tananarive, and started playing with that adorable little baby.


Now…if I hadn’t been serious, hadn’t been dead bang 100% blown away by her, that would have been an amazingly nasty and manipulative thing to do. I KNEW that there was no way an unmarried heterosexual professional black woman in her early 30’s could see an available professional attractive black man who loved babies without her hind brain going DING DING DING!!!  She would HAVE to investigate, find out if this was a possibility.


Was it foul play? Hell no. And I knew that if she was what I was looking for, she would understand even if I told her EXPLICITLY what I was doing.  I was communicating directly from hind-brain to hind-brain: I desire you.  I believe we are potential mates. And if you will give me a chance, and we both decide to go forward, I will love you all your life.  Give you children.  And die to protect them, if necessary.   All I am is yours, if this connection is real.


She got it.  I got my chance. We went dancing that night, and I kissed her good-night for the first time. And the next day, we were sitting in the Atlanta Hartsfield airport, our heads leaning against each other, holding hands and talking about how we could build an empire together.  That was the beginning, and we’ve never looked back.


I remember that prayer: give me someone to love.  Someone I could just be myself with.  I was tired of wearing a mask, or being anyone other than who and what I am.   If I could just find that person…I was prepared to strive every day to be the best man I can be, so that they never, EVER regretted the trust it would take to build a life together.


I’m not perfect.  But God, I love her.  From that first moment I saw her spirit and drive and creativity…let alone how well she danced and how good she looked doing it.


Sigh.  That’s the story.    I’m going to take her to breakfast now.  But if you want to know why every day, EVERY DAY in my Morning M.A.G.I.C. program I give thanks for “my beautiful, brilliant wife”…this is why.   The universe heard my prayer and answered.   I take my gratitude for that, for her, and pour it into everything I do, every day, and it has indeed made me a better man.


Thank you, baby. For the best twenty years of an already wonderful life.  The best is yet to come.





The Power of Love…and Tribe

Everything, every single thing I say about race and gender comes from a simple basic premise: equality.  Sometimes modified by complementarity, but basically…equal. Trust me, I take crap from both sides  about the implications of my positions. As the song goes, “Everybody Wants to Rule The World.”   If you think I feel anything but bemusement by the attacks, you don’t know me well at all.

Hang around. You will.



I posted a link to news stories about the recent event where a white guy named “Whitman” (come on, God.  If I was writing this story, people would throw it across the room) followed a black man named “Lovett” (and considering how he reacted, that name is just as cliche’d. Sheesh)   calling him the Verboten Word.  And…the  idiot let himself be videoed doing it.  The community reacted by withdrawing support from his business.  And of course he immediately went into “poor me” mode, and released a very lawyer-drafted sounding apology.


And as one can predict, from a certain corner of the political spectrum, complaints arose that, well, BLACK people use el Verboten Word.  Why not them?   The logical answer is: because words and actions are both low and high-context, and that social context determines the meaning of the communication. 

ME kissing my wife on the lips unexpectedly has one whole set of implications and meanings.

YOU kissing her unexpectedly on the lips means something else altogether. We instinctively understand this.  If you are mature, and intelligent, you have experienced countless examples.

So the question is: IF you are intelligent, and have lived long enough to stroll around the block a few times (“wisdom” in this sense being recognition of patterns to create better choices.  “Clever” would be solving problems.  “Wisdom” would be avoiding the problem in the first place by recognizing the root.  I’m not impressed by someone who survived countless barroom brawls. I’m impressed by the person who quickly realized that places where strangers gather to drink can be fight clubs…and avoid them) then…why can’t you generalize from a general principle (“language and communication is high context and culturally specific”) to a specific instance?  (“There are words and actions that mean different things WITHIN cultures than BETWEEN them”)


I suggest that there are “sleepers” here, but also snakes and monsters.  Let me explain.




I got a PM last night from a gentleman who thought to educate me on the hitherto unsuspected factoid that black people use El Verboto.  That, therefore, one might assume he concludes, it is no big thing.  “Sorry to say, but black people use this word the most…”

Wow. Thanks for that news flash.

Wearing my “Caucasian Whisperer” hat, I actually explained things a little to him.  It amuses me, and who know: he might actually be sincerely ignorant.

But he could also be a snake.   Snakes would react the same as sleepers here.   It is clear that people make a world map, fit into it, and when it is proven flawed, begin to go a little crazy. The “map” white people made of black people allowed them to treat us as sub-human and broadly manage the entire sweep of interactions, as well as program us and create the laws that governed us.  As that starts breaking down, the fear of what the true nature might be is starting to disrupt thought patterns.


Sad, and dangerous.


“Sleepers”  literally cannot or will not engage the logic necessary to engage deductive logic (from a general principle to a specific instance).


Frankly, I place most racists in this category. They literally haven’t the knowledge or capacity to step out of the immediate history and see the flow of humanity, such that the concept of “race” is revealed as, primarily, a social construct.  Often they don’t even realize that their attitudes are racist: they think they’re just being “realistic”.   Not necessarily bad people. But asleep.

“Snakes” know damned well what the issue is, but pretend not to understand, protesting, trying to guilt-trip or obfuscate and say it should be just fine.

The “kiss my wife” example doesn’t help?

How about boxing. If I agree to box with you, and you hit me in the face, it is very very different than if you walk up to me on the street and try to hit me in the face. Different meaning.  Different reaction.

Damned sure different result.

Are we understanding each other yet?

“Monsters” aren’t going to be stupid enough to get into this fight directly.  They are going to sit above the fray, clucking sadly.   Transactional Analysis calls this game “Let’s You And Him Fight.”

They don’t care about race much more than you or I care about red ants versus black ants.  They operate on gradients of power and money.  THAT is their tribe, and they often seem astonished when people who have gained money and power still care about tribal issues.  (This attitude isn’t confined to the powerful, but they’ve raised it to an art form).  They will use “snakes” and “sleepers” as cannon fodder and shock troops to keep the red and black ants fighting so that they can swoop in and steal the sugar.


Oh, what a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive.




What is the way out of this?  Extracting meaning from the traffic event, let’s look at how this works.  I’m unavoidably resorting to a little mind-reading here, and I ask your indulgence.


  1. Love yourself.  When Lovett was confronted with Whitman’s use of El Verboto, he kept his cool. Why? Because Lovett had an internally determined sense of self. What Whitman (starting to LOVE that name)  thought about him didn’t matter BECAUSE LOVETT KNEW WHO HE WAS.  If someone calls me a Martian, unless I’m afraid I’m a Martian, I’m not confused or frightened…UNLESS there is a history of people lynching Martians, of course.  Then I will interpret it as a threat, reacting with fear and anger unless I am very very centered.  More on this later, but just as “You Lie” was probably thrown at Obama in an attempt to educe a public “Angry Black Man” response to damage public support, what would have happened if Lovett had felt fear, and responded with anger and violence? Very different story.
  2. Love one other person.     When you love someone, you want to be there for them.    You also see yourself through their eyes.   You no longer have the right to react purely from individual ego: “stay calm.  Your wife/kids need you” becomes a factor. But also “Tonya loves me. She sees the beauty in me” allows you to counter the negative opinions of others.
  3. Understand history without guilt, blame, or shame.  If you grasp the enormity of the damage inflicted by 250 years of slavery followed by another 125 years of Jim Crow and segregation, you will have no fear of inferiority.  In fact, you are likely to struggle not to feel like a superior form of being, capable of absorbing massive damage and still standing tall.  Best believe that some of our Honorable Adversaries are afraid of just this.   Anger is fear, remember?  If you really grasp what human beings have done to each other out of fear for the last 250 thousand years, but that violence has actually been decreasing…personally I think you gain a sense of wonder about our species. We’re doing the best we can. We screw up, big time.  Multi-generational problems require multi-generational solutions, and that set of delusions about the meaning of dark skin will take more generations to break down. Remember: IF you grasp the history without first loving yourself, the chances of feeling some mixture of guilt, fear, rage, and other pale emotions is a living danger.  It requires real balance to avoid falling into that chasm.
  4. Avoid sleepers, snakes, and monsters if possible. But hew to, and protect, the tribe of human beings who can see through the illusion to the unity beneath, who are willing and able to move beyond fear and anger.  Lovett remained calm and polite, and video’d the encounter.  Love my Iphone.    Released it to social media because HE TRUSTED HIS TRIBE to deal with this.  Wasn’t going to get snared in a streetfight, in which he could be killed, or jailed, or descend to Whitman’s level of fear and confusion.  PERFECT response.  Kudos.  Note that social response: POC and non-POC alike, the tribe of those sick of the centuries of lies and ready to face the future responded swiftly: “I’m not a part of that shit.”
  5. Win, with integrity.  No one threw a Molotov cocktail through Whitman’s window, or burned a cross on his lawn.   Support was withdrawn from Whitman’s  business, based on individuals deciding that their custom was better invested elsewhere.  This is how it happens: those of good will standing together.  Sleepers awakening (“this shit still happens?  Damn!”) and snakes are forced back into their holes (moving away from pain).  The monsters will try to sound reasonable and wise and try to convince the ignorant that words are just words, and that there should be no difference in what things mean no matter who says them, something that simply is not true in human communication…and never has been.    We won. He lost.  IF Whitman’s regret is genuine, he will learn.  I certainly hope he manages to put his life back together. But it is good for society to draw a line: these actions (and make no mistake: talk is an action) will not be tolerated.



So the gentleman who PM’d me asked me what El Verboto means, and why it is so powerful. I gave him a short answer.  He asked for more, and I suggested he do his research. He said that clearly this was sensitive to me, so he would stop.


Nah.  It isn’t sensitive.  I have no fear about it, because I know myself.  If he is a sleeper, trying to awaken, it is best to sit up and do his own research. I’m not going to whisper bedtime stories to him, but I will point the direction of truth.  Shown him where “X” marks the spot.  If he buys a shovel and digs, he’ll be fine.


But if he is a snake, trying to suck up my time…I have no interest in indulging him.  If he doesn’t research it himself, he’s either too sleepy to learn…or doesn’t really care. And if he doesn’t care, why is he asking…?


Well, trying to tag-team me of course.  Lots of snakes out there, and they do focus on draining the energy of those they consider “SJWs”, a badge I proudly wear.


Unfortunately for them, if you give me shit, I’ll fertilize my lawn with it.    I LOVE this.  I was born and bred for it, and this is the time of my life when I can be just the hell who I am, and no one can do a damned thing about it.


It all starts with loving yourself.  And your family. And humanity.  And finding your tribe. And choosing to win–with integrity.


How do you win?   By knowing WHAT victory is, WHY you want it, and then devising a strategy to follow.


What is that strategy?   Programming myself EVERY DAMNED DAY with the basic principles I live by, reminding myself who I am and how far I’ve come, and what I need to do this day, this week, this month to bring Heaven to Earth.


My Morning MAGIC program, people.  Keeps me sane and balanced and focused.  Please…if all the current bullshit is buffeting you like a hurricane, remember that there is an eye of the storm, and if you learn to connect with yourself properly and regularly, you can spend your life there in that calm, shelter your family there, even though the winds howl.


And when you’re there, you can beckon to others of your tribe and show them the way. Protect your family. And nurture the child in your heart and keep her safe enough to remain centered when snakes scream insults.


They HATE that, don’t you know?





Millennial Woes

“While everyone else was telling these young white men to check their privilege, the alt-right was speaking powerfully to their Millennial woes.”



I honestly believe that our culture, perhaps our species,  is on an evolutionary cusp. A few of the core questions are:


  1. UHC and “Universal Income”.   As automation keeps the net wealth constant while reducing the number of jobs, our concept of what is “right” and “wrong” in terms of individual action, industry  and occupation HAS to shift, or the society dies. You simply cannot tell millions of unemployed people they are “bad” to be unemployed…unless there are jobs that will actually allow them to pay the bills.
  2. Global Warming.    Most of human history, we could be defined as the animals who use more and more of the biosphere’s energy per capita every few generations.    If you don’t think that a combination of this tendency combined with increased population wouldn’t affect the planet, you won’t be able to hear what I’m saying here.  This is not for you.
  3. Male-female relations.  Shifting drastically, due to birth control, industrialization, firearms, and post-optimal population levels.    It only makes sense that the sexual dimorphism the human race adapted to maximize the number of grandchildren would start to be less important, that the “walls” between the genders would grow more porous.   Those rigidly committed to those roles will be terrified, but the truth is that there is real freedom and power on the other side of this: both sides have suffered, and only those who can see that can lead the way to the future.  Men who blame women, or women who blame men, are each others’ natural partners, and the family gatherings won’t be fun at all.
  4. Racial demographics.  Tougher than male-female relations in some ways, because men and women are two sides of the exact same creature, whereas different races can easily be seen as competing tribes in a zero-sum game.   One tribe really CAN wipe out another…and thrive.   I believe this is one reason why the Civil Rights movement had such a spiritual component.  Why should I give up power, when direct material benefits are so difficult to see?  It requires a spiritual perspective, a deep dive into the question “who are we?” to produce a clear answer.
  5. There are others: alcohol vrs Pot, Obesity vrs. Lean bodies, etc.   Evolution, change, awakening, awareness.    We are in a challenging time.



The Alt Right boys strike me as males caught up in #3 and #4.   If you don’t think white males have good reason to wonder if their grandfathers were luckier than they are, you aren’t looking carefully.   Both men AND women fail to factor that the most basic human desire is NOT to have power or make money or be famous. It is to live. Life itself.  And men have been conned, tweaked, bred and programmed to accept their own lives as less important.  No, it isn’t women who controlled this, although they are certainly complicit: we co-evolved biologically and socially.   Our genetics and memetics are in control.  This arrangement got the maximum number of grandchildren onto the game board. All else was secondary.


Hapless “Incels” don’t understand the new dynamics of relationships, which aren’t really different from animal mating patterns, but ARE different from the prior social rules arising from them.  I will leave it as an exercise for the reader what the female equivalent of this might be.  Its a different discussion.


These young white males fear that shifting demographics will place them in a weakened position, or even lead to extinction.  If they don’t think they have advantage, then they MUST consider that the relative statistics of POC and white performance in America is due to innate differences.  (A great irony isn’t it? The belief that racism is not a powerful and damaging factor in American life is itself racist.  Wow. That’s kinda bizarre.)

They are, in other words, racist without being willing to speak that racism clearly.  Sometimes without realizing it.     The problem is that their fear is a real thing whether racism (the belief that one group is superior or more worthy than another, based on race or ethnicity) is a valid theory or not!


  1. The groups are NOT equal.  Oops!  Then “them durn SJWs” will destroy the system by lifting up inferior peoples. The monkeys will take over the zoo.
  2. The groups ARE equal.  In which case you have stupendous, mind-boggling guilt and fear.  Guilt over what was done in the past, and fear for possible revenge in the future. After all, THEY would want to kill anyone who oppressed them as those groups have been repressed. Projecting that naked fear onto others assumes that they are angry, and will take violent action the first chance they get.


For people like this, the future looks horrifying. There is literally no way out.   Worse, they can’t even see themselves forming healthy relationships with women, leaving them out of the reproductive stakes.


Death, on the personal and genetic level. Loss of power. Increase of pain.  Stress crippling perception, leaving them unable to grasp some basic realities:


Men and women are the same creature, and what is healthy for one will inevitably be healthy for the other.  The world as we see it was created by both.


The different “races” of human beings are more social constructs than anything else, and the gathering of the tribes is actually as natural and beautiful as the unfolding of the universe as a whole, a simple increase in connection and complexity.


Sigh.   The danger is fear, of course.   The answer is love.


  1. Love yourself.  Respect and care for yourself. Learn to nurture yourself with proper rest, proper physical and emotional nutrition, and calculated stress.
  2. Love one other person.   The process of unshielding your heart and soul to love another, ESPECIALLY if the union creates children, is one of the most powerful forces of awakening on the planet.
  3. Understand history without guilt, blame, or shame.  Human beings are just animals reaching for the stars.   Understand both the root and the flowering. Note what we’ve done to each other from fear and greed…but also the fact that violence has DECREASED over the centuries.   We really are learning and growing.  Have faith…but be cautious.
  4. Don’t argue with trolls.  Fear-driven people: black or white, male or female, will try to polarize this game.   Under the words is a belief that they are the superior ones.  Don’t fall for the comforting delusions.   We’re just people.  Instead, find the tribe of people who believe we are equal and complementary, and hew to that belief even when it is terribly hard.  You will be attacked by BOTH radical Right and Left.   Everybody wants to rule the world.  Until they realize they ARE the world…and the game changes.
  5. Win…with integrity.   Be kind, but take no shit.    Don’t drop your guard if you aren’t totally certain you can protect yourself (remember rule #1).   Be CLEAR on what your ultimate outcomes are, and why you want them, and never step away from your values and morality.   Moral strength, clarity of emotional and spiritual purpose is one of the most powerful forces in the world.  It is damned hard to stop someone willing to die for what they believe in.   But remember that most of your opponents are not snakes or monsters…they are afraid. Terrified. Don’t understand that their map is warped, that the cheese is no longer in the maze.



You will probably not be able to hear what I’m saying if you haven’t taken care of step #1–you will be in fear, and anger, and pain, and wish to strike out.  There is a time to strike out, there is no doubt, no slightest question.  I am not a pacifist.  I AM a lover of humanity. There is a difference.


But first…love yourself. That’s where it all begins.  If you are stressed out, set the countdown timer on your watch for three hours, and every time it goes off BREATHE deeply and slowly for sixty seconds, and then set your watch for another three hours.  That will get you started.


You deserve to have the best week of your life. Hard to get that, when you are filled with pain and fear.


Breathe. Love.


But protect yourself.