2 Responses to “Making News”

  1. Nomi August 12, 2010 at 8:13 pm #

    Thank you Kayhan….I am also finding Greg Mortensen’s Stones into Schools very inspiring….(if she reads, she leads)….

    As historial Will Durnat notes in his Story of Civilization that it takes centuries to create a civilization, and only a generation to destroy it. It took France a thousand years to grow from Clovis to Montaigne; it took England 800 years from Alfred to Shakespeare. But it took the Mongols only a decade to destroy the high civilization of medieval Baghdad…

    We all have to do our own unique bit for peace and progress as we are all in it together….Universal education is the key. Keeping faith in human goodness alive….Daniel Goleman, in his book Social Intelligence (pp. 61-62), has this to say about human nature: “The argument has long been made that we humans are by nature compassionate and empathic despite the occasional streak of meanness, but torrents of bad news throughout history have contradicted that claim, and little sound science has backed it. But try this thought experiment. Imagine the number of opportunities people around the world today might have to commit an antisocial act, from rape or murder to simple rudeness and dishonesty. Make that number the bottom of a fraction. Now for the top value you put the number of such antisocial acts that will actually occur today. That ratio of potential to enacted meanness holds at close to zero any day of the year. And if for the top value you put the number of benevolent acts performed in a given day, the ratio of kindness to cruelty will always be positive. (The news, however, comes to us as though that ratio was reversed.)

    Harvard’s Jerome Kagan proposes this mental exercise to make a simple point about human nature: the sum total of goodness vastly outweighs that of meanness. “Although humans inherit a biological bias that permits them to feel anger, jealousy, selfishness and envy, and to be rude, aggressive or violent,” Kagan notes, “they inherit an even stronger biological bias for kindness, compassion, cooperation, love and nurture – especially toward those in need.” This inbuilt ethical sense, he adds, “is a biological feature of our species.”

    And two of my favorite quotes:
    Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired, signifies in the final sense a theft from those who hunger, and are not fed, those who are cold, and are not clothed.
    –Dwight David Eisenhower

    Identity is a concept of our age that should be used very carefully. All types of identities–ethnic, national, religious, sexual or whatever else–can become your prison after a while. The identity that you stand up for can enslave you and close you to the rest of the world.
    –Murathan Mungan, contemporary Turkish poet

  2. Cal Ward Jr. August 23, 2010 at 8:38 pm #

    The absolutes are misleading: “Good” News vs. “Bad,” “Safe” Places vs. “Dangerous.”
    Living Now means maintaining a sense of clarity and self worth on an almost spiritual level in a world that is slowly going nuts. The Death-Threat of Chaos, the darker elements of your own nature – these are things not be avoided, but stared-down, fully understood and anticipated so that you don’t freak out when everything goes up in flames.
    Even at the moment when these forces of violence and chaos may consume you, you are not overwhelmed by panic and regret, but your mind and heart are clear.
    This is why I admire you so much with your Afghan project. You didn’t seem to be going over as some tourist or voyeuristic reporter, but to try to jump into the Belly of the Beast and find creativity and friendship on the other side.
    The Civil Rights movement was only begun by people who didn’t just waste away in political chatrooms, but who made the decision that the world was an insult to their intelligence and they might be killed in the process of trying to change it –
    and they were spiritually cool with that.
    Dr. Little, surely, in devoting his life to his work, sacrificed his life in his own mind thirty years before he did it in fact.
    Our problem in this country is that we are conditioned to think we can design our realities to make us feel better, that we can go through radical change without sacrifice.
    This is the problem I have in getting people to appreciate my comedy – a darker, more engaging humor than the Judd Apatow-Tina Fey brand of American Humor popular today.
    Bad News prevails on television because it is simply easier to convey. The very technology of TV and computers limits their abilities to communicate complex conditions and emotions; the more linear concepts of war and black-and-white conflict are easier to portray in the media than the subtler, less tangible concepts of compromise and brotherhood (“Four Arguments For The Elimination of Television” by Jerry Mander).

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