Thursday March 10, 2016 Here's A Thought with Charles Shaughnessy

TWO WORLDS: TWO SOLUTIONS


All humans live in two worlds: the outside and the inside. All the evils in the world can be ascribed to two simple issues affecting our outside and inside world. In the outside world we perceive INJUSTICE. In the inside world we feel IRRELEVANT or without meaning.


These two observations that we make: injustice in the physical world and irrelevance in our psychological world are responsible for the rise of dictators, suicide bombers, “Trumpeters,” and tribalism in its worst form. Whether it be an attempt to pre-empt this injustice and irrelevance or in reaction to it, the misery is the same. How do we address this as a community, a country, a planet? Is there a political solution? A moral solution? A viable solution? 

I believe this is THE conversation of the 21st. century.

ADDITIONAL CLARIFICATION BY CHARLES SHAUGHNESSY FROM THE COMMENTS BELOW:
"I really appreciate you jumping into this thorny question and I apologize for making it so oblique. Let me try to express myself a bit more clearly.It all started with a snippet of a radio show I heard this week. I have been trying to discover who it was I was listening to but I tuned in late and missed the name of this guest. He was a famous Saudi Arabian cleric that has been traveling around the world spreading a moderate, thoughtful and important message. He was specifically referring to Islam, but it was applicable to all humanity. He was talking about the vulnerability of disaffected Islamic youth to recruitment by all these terror groups. He said how, on the one hand, these kids experience, in the real world, grinding economic, political, social injustice at the hands of dictators, corruption, religious majorities etc. and on the other, internally, a crushing sense of the meaninglessness of their lives: they feel utterly irrelevant to the world around them and unable to even begin to make a difference. He said that having some kind of relevance to one's family, community or friends and effecting some kind of impact on the world one lives in is essential to the spiritual well-being of a human. The prospect of eternal fame and martyrdom in a "just" cause is irresistible. In one blinding moment they can provide economic help to their family, secure a place in the history of their religion, have their voices heard ( albeit in a brutal and horrific way,) and finally, in the moment of death, actually "be" somebody. 

Although I do not subscribe to Jo Ann's Biblical interpretation of "where we are at," I DO feel overwhelmed by the state of the world and the seemingly intractable doom and destruction around us. ALL religions and spiritual disciplines talk of a "war" between the two sides of human nature within us: our base instincts and our "better Angels" ( as Lincoln put it.) Indeed, most scholars interpret Islamic "jihad" as an individual's internal struggle, NOT an external battle between religions. The "hope" for humanity that I see lies in the constant presence of "good" in the midst of "bad." The "good" could not show up unless there was the "bad" to contrast it with. The "light" can only become apparent against the "dark." 

Anyway, that's the framing of the discussion and there is a LOT to speak about: from the responsibility of leaders to how we, as individuals, can be the change-agents we need. I look forward to more of your thoughts here and on the show. :-) "

Please add your opinions, questions, perspectives to this conversation, in the comment section below. 

This is the topic for Here's A Thought with Charles Shaughnessy for Thursday, March 10th at 3 pm/pt on the internet at tradiov.com!

I hope you will tell me what your thoughts are and join me for this important conversation!

~Charlie

Comments

  1. ok lets really chat about its getting really scary in this country and the world its a darn shame and can't blame it on all the white race the dictators looks like we have it here in America on both side now DEM AND REP trump is a good man he just mad and worry about the country he's not right all the time but things but he's a smart man Hillary another dictators she i believe its true for what i hear about her but who knows your better at this then I am so love to hear what u think have a feeling i know .

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  2. Very interesting topic!! As an Evangelical Christian, I view it as a "spiritual war" going on behind the scenes that we can't "see". There is a battle for power going on in a spiritual realm. So much of the End Times Prophecy is coming true before our eyes, and we can't stop it. It's like watching a movie, and not being able to 'control' the plot, even if we see the dangers. One world government, Russia rising to power and making the Arab world into one coalition(not necessarily by choice) to go after Israel, complete chaos in the world. Now, I realize that makes no sense to most of you, but it does to me, and helps me to not be so "fearful" of what is happening today. I know how it ends.
    That said, what you suggested fits in with that, Charlie. I'm not sure that "irrelevance" is the right term though, I think it's more "powerlessness". People see things going on around them that are just WRONG, yet we can't do anything about it. Even the systems that we have in place to give us some control are corrupt(such as voting for politicians who lie to us and stab us in the back). You're right, that's why we have the Trumpeters. They don't even like him, but he is the Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch(one, two...five!) that they can throw at Washington and hope to blow thine enemies to tiny bits. They really don't CARE if he's a walking putz, he's not a politician. And we can already see the "establishment politicians" circling the wagons to figure out some way to manipulate the RNC and reject him. I don't want him any more than you do, but if the voters have their say and he wins, it's the way it works. Not some Macchavellian plan going on behind the curtain. And I see the same frustration among my Bernie friends, who can't stand Hillary because she is the poster girl for old, white, rich, bought and paid for Washington Insiders! Why can't we harness that anger to band us together? Instead it's driving us further apart. So how can we even begin to coalesce the whole world into one mindset?
    Which, I guess is my point in this....define "injustice". We can't even agree on that, or if we do agree on the problem, we have very different solutions. Look at the SCOTUS this week...2 sets of protesters outside the building, both passionate and sincere. One who believes it is 'injustice' to kill a baby in utero, the other feels it's wrong to force a woman to carry an unwanted baby! Both sides feel that they are right, and the other side is wrong, and are willing to the end for the cause. Now lather, rinse, repeat for a myriad of other issues facing our world today. I think we can see right here in the US that there isn't a political solution, and we can't legislate morality for a moral solution(which is why I became an Independent).
    well, sermon over, and probably just a big old JoAnn brain fart, worth just what you paid for it.

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  3. I am very intrigued by this subject because I often feel conflicted by the two sides warring inside of me. Politically I am a tried & true democrat but not always a far leftist. I could never be a right winger because I feel the Repubs don't care about the struggling middle class (a rapidly diminishing group) or the poor & since those in Congress have all their financial needs met, and want to do away with any government program that benefits legitimately deserving people in need, I cannot condone it. I also am concerned that if Hillary gets in as I would like her to, if Congress remains republican will face the same issues President Obama did simply because she's a woman & faces a different bias that the President. On a personal level, I'm conflicted because on one hand I have a lot of empathy for the oppressed who struggle for equality racially but I cannot extend my empathy to groups who try gaining said equality through means of violent protests, looting & other barbaric methods of being heard. That form of forcing people to take notice of their plight loses it's effectiveness by the method of protest & lack of respect for anyone who isn't them. Not sure if I properly addressed what you were aiming for Charlie, but it is my take.

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  4. I really appreciate you jumping into this thorny question and I apologize for making it so oblique. Let me try to express myself a bit more clearly.It all started with a snippet of a radio show I heard this week. I have been trying to discover who it was I was listening to but I tuned in late and missed the name of this guest. He was a famous Saudi Arabian cleric that has been traveling around the world spreading a moderate, thoughtful and important message. He was specifically referring to Islam, but it was applicable to all humanity. He was talking about the vulnerability of disaffected Islamic youth to recruitment by all these terror groups. He said how, on the one hand, these kids experience, in the real world, grinding economic, political, social injustice at the hands of dictators, corruption, religious majorities etc. and on the other, internally, a crushing sense of the meaninglessness of their lives: they feel utterly irrelevant to the world around them and unable to even begin to make a difference. He said that having some kind of relevance to one's family, community or friends and effecting some kind of impact on the world one lives in is essential to the spiritual well-being of a human. The prospect of eternal fame and martyrdom in a "just" cause is irresistible. In one blinding moment they can provide economic help to their family, secure a place in the history of their religion, have their voices heard ( albeit in a brutal and horrific way,) and finally, in the moment of death, actually "be" somebody.
    Although I do not subscribe to Jo Ann's Biblical interpretation of "where we are at," I DO feel overwhelmed by the state of the world and the seemingly intractable doom and destruction around us. ALL religions and spiritual disciplines talk of a "war" between the two sides of human nature within us: our base instincts and our "better Angels" ( as Lincoln put it.) Indeed, most scholars interpret Islamic "jihad" as an individual's internal struggle, NOT an external battle between religions. The "hope" for humanity that I see lies in the constant presence of "good" in the midst of "bad." The "good" could not show up unless there was the "bad" to contrast it with. The "light" can only become apparent against the "dark."
    Anyway, that's the framing of the discussion and there is a LOT to speak about: from the responsibility of leaders to how we, as individuals, can be the change-agents we need. I look forward to more of your thoughts here and on the show. :-)

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    1. I agree, Charlie, that this crushing sense of meaninglessness is a problem of monumental proportions that affects all countries, whether with their own disenfranchised youth or being on the receiving end of the acts of their disenfranchised youth. I fear that, though many countries will try to deal with it in different ways, many will not!
      I have a question for you and for my fellow bloggers.
      Do you feel the world is at its worst point now, full of doom and destruction, or have people throughout history felt the same thing?

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    2. I think there have been many incidents in history, where people have felt the same thing, but it was "localized". Without instant 24/7 media, we wouldn't know what was going on around the world. Now we hear of 10 catastrophic events happening simultaneously and it's overwhelming. I do wonder the same though, is this "the worst" it's been? I suspect it may be, and it will get worse. We can only do what we are able to help in our spheres of influence.

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    3. I agree Jo. I think the instant world wide media brings every event into our lives immediately, leaving us feeling overwhelmed. We can only do our best to make things better, wherever we can and however we can. It's all we can do!

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    4. I have to agree, I think that people have felt the oppressive nature of the doom and destruction throughout history, but we are in a very interesting part of history wherein we have access to information about all of the bad things that happen throughout the world. That means that a lot of news casts have become almost overloaded with stories of the woes and miseries found in every corner of the world. I actually have a difficult time watching too much news because of that factor. It's not uncommon to watch a news cast that begins with five or six different stories about death, murder and destruction, taking up the first 10 minutes of the entire broadcast, and then moves directly into the weather. That can start to wear on people very quickly and, at least for me, becomes a big energy drain. That can actually be pretty overwhelming. I think that's something that's new to the modern world.

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    5. Yes, and I blame the media for that too. "If it bleeds, it leads", and it's bleeding all over. While it's good that we can be more informed, they're also telling us details that we wouldn't have known in the past, which contributes to the feeling of helplessness. But a lot of what they "tell" us is just pure sensationalism and 'entertainment'. My mother-in-law was 6 yrs old when FDR took office, and was 16 when he left. She DID NOT KNOW he was in a wheelchair until later. Granted, the media did not have the technology we have today, but that has always amazed me, that so many "kept his secret". Now the media controls the information we get, and if we try to "fact-check" them(why do we have to fact-check the media?!), we are overwhelmed with conflicting information. Op-ed pieces are shared as fact on social media, because people don't know the difference.
      I suspect that is a huge part of the problem today. We are fed horrific information(usually biased or filtered for an agenda), and people are terrified. They feel out of control, so they are looking for 'someone with power' to fix it. Of course, we know that the people "with the power" are pretty scary in their own right. We are powerless to fix corrupt governments, and yet they are in charge of the negotiations we need to try and fix the world's problems. We try to provide aid to people in crisis, and then discover that either the organization collecting the money is corrupt or the despots in power where the people live, are stealing the food and supplies. Etc, etc. etc. And the more overwhelming and frustrating it is, the less we want to watch the news, and then we have a low-information populace at the voting booth.
      Good grief, I sound like Noam Chomsky. I think that's one of the signs of the Apocalypse. (wink)

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    6. Here I go, replying to my own comment again(and being a blog-hog, sorry!). You've really got me thinking about this powerlessness(and of course I see it from a US perspective, with my eyes on the current election and the corruption and craziness), and your concept of "Tribalism". Tribalism can be a good thing, if it's a way to interact with like-minded people(faith, sports teams, philanthropic organizations), but when it is used to attack those who are different...not so much. The media contributes to this in 2 ways, just by the nature of reporting the tribal behavior, but also by having a bias(both sides) and controlling the narrative. They have the ability to make a tribe look good, bad, or certifiably insane based on what they share. That leads to fear of/anger toward the other tribe(because, let's face it, one man's good tribe is another man's certifiably insane one). Sensationalism sells, so the media will find the most outlandish person from a tribe, and present them as 'the norm', and rational members of the group spend a lot of time defending themselves against the media's poster child. As an Evangelican Christian Conservative, ask me how I know that. I think we, as a culture, spend a lot of time hating other tribes based on false narratives, instead of actually getting to know those who more accurately represent the ideology. In today's US election cycle, we are left with now 5 very flawed tribes(some much more than others, and again that's all relative), and are forced to choose one. That's leading to a lot of generalizations about what it means to "support"(I use that term loosely) a candidate, and to 'monger some fear' about those supporters. Does that make sense?

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    7. Jo I liked what you said at the end of the other post... and I like Chomsky (wink)

      As I really appreciated to read all the comments here + Charlies intervention but still don't find the time to think and share my thoughts on the present blog...

      Looking forward to listen to the show thursday :)

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  5. Thank you for clarifying Charlie & I look forward to the discussion. I appreciate the content of your post particularly the last part.

    The "hope" for humanity that I see lies in the constant presence of "good" in the midst of "bad." The "good" could not show up unless there was the "bad" to contrast it with. The "light" can only become apparent against the "dark."
    Anyway, that's the framing of the discussion and there is a LOT to speak about: from the responsibility of leaders to how we, as individuals, can be the change-agents we need. I look forward to more of your thoughts here and on the show. :-)

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  6. Maybe I did not understand evrything you talked about in this blog but I wanted to say something about it because you did Write about the young People in the world and how some of them feel irrelevant or without meaning in the inside world. I am 15 years old. I do not think it is fair to start by blaming the leaders of the different countries. I think it all start with parents. How they raise their children.How they talk to them. How they teach them. One day not too long from now children my age will be the leaders and if we are raised right and thought right we will be good leaders. I do not know how to say it well in Englis. But if we have the right "baggage" we will know the right from the wrong.If children all over the world are thought to be kind and have respect for everyone we could work together well in the future.
    I am not growing up with religious parents. We do not og to church or pray. so maybe I should not say this but I think that politics and religion does not og well together becase People feel so strong about the religion they belong to and often when those feelings are mixed with politics it cause more arguments than nessesary. Where I come from religion is a subject in School. From the 1 to the 10 grade we have religion 2 hours every week and we learn about ALL religions. I think that it is a good way to start because we get to understand better where everyone is coming from, why they act like they do and the traditions and rules of their religion. But I still do not think religion and politics should be mixed together. I also think that Young People will be less vounerable if the expectations to them are maybe not too high but more realistic. Not evryone can acchieve the same in life but there is still room for and use for everyone.
    From Petter

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    1. Very well stated Petter. Very impressed with how you expressed yourself & the points you made. Would be great to live in a world where we learn about other people's religion so we have more understanding of their religious beliefs. You are a very mature young man. Thank you for your point of view

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    2. hi Sweetie! I'm so proud of you for joining in, especially when it is not your first language. You did a GREAT job, and your parents are raising some great kids. I agree with you, religion should be separate from politics. Religion should not be used to make civil laws. Love you lots, Auntie Gingerbread xoxo

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    3. Well said Petter! You are exactly right! it does all start at home with the way people are brought up. Unfortunately, not everyone is lucky enough to have good parents like you do, and like most of us do!
      I am so glad you joined in on this conversation. We need to hear from the young, who are the future leaders of the world.
      Well done!

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    4. Hi Petter! I'm so glad that you joined in the conversation. You did a wonderful job in expressing your self in the English language, and I am also very proud of you. I agree with what you said. I love the fact that you are taught in school about other religions and I believe that the same thing should should be taught to are children here. Maybe then we would learn tolerance and respect for one another. ��

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    5. Fantastic, Petter! You are very right, helping young people find a purpose and a relevance starts at home and really can't be the sole responsibility of the government. Teachers can also help kids find a purpose and relevance to the world, though they cannot make up for what parents do. I definitely don't believe that society can fully provide the youth with a sense of relevance, but we can also work to help give meaning, to use the good that it within ourselves and others to lift and help everyone around us feel that they have a purpose and that what they do is relevant.
      I also agree, no religion should control the government at the same time that the government should not control religion beyond ensuring that no religion should infringe on the rights and safety of other individuals.
      I also think that it's awesome that you are participating. I teach kids about your age and I often find that youth have a lot of great things to say. You have a lot of great opinions and need to be able to feel like you can participate and share those opinions. I really enjoy it when a young person is able to develop and express and defend their thoughts. Often, younger voices can influence the thoughts of older generations. This is just one way that I think we can help younger people experience a purpose and relevance in the world today.

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  7. Fascinating topic and so complex! Injustice and irrelevance! I do think both of these have led us to the situation we find ourselves in today.

    There is so much injustice in the world, real and perceived. What one person sees as justice, another sees as injustice. Each side fervently believing they are right, which often leads to violence. The fact that there is real corruption, brutality and racialism prevalent in our society, just reinforces each sides belief in the injustice. They then often decide to take things into their own hands, which leads to violence or the rise of people, who promise to change everything and get rid of all the injustice!! Hence- Trumpeter!

    Irrelevance is even more dangerous! We see this in all countries. People, often young people, who feel powerless, disenfranchised and irrelevant in society. This leads to numerous problems, from drugs, depression, suicide to escape the feeling, to joining gangs that give them a sense of belonging and power, joining groups like ISIS, where they are told they are important, can make a difference to society and bring pride to their family, or, as is happening more and more, shooting up a school, church or place of employment and becoming famous.

    How to address these issues is, I believe, the question of our time. There will always be perceived injustices in the world. How people deal with them becomes the question. We have to keep working to find the genuinely good people to lead us, and I do believe there are more good people than bad, despite everything, and get these people into positions to use their good. I don't think it will happen anytime soon, but we need to make a start, and eventually, it must happen!
    As for irrelevance, we all need to step up here. It starts at home and at school with parents and teachers. It's difficult, especially with so many immigrants and refugees arriving in different countries in big numbers. These people are at risk and we, as a society, have to try and get them feeling involved in life and try to stop the feeling of irrelevance early on. A hard task, but a vital one!

    I hope I addressed the questions posed! As I said, the solutions are difficult, but it is going to take everyone to solve them. Can that happen? Being an optimist, I would like to believe it can one day!

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    1. Thank you Sharon. I feel very enlightened by yours & Chatlie's posts. You echoed many of my sentiments very efficiently. Both posts have me food for thought on the subjects of injustice & irrelevance. I too am optimistic things can change & if people could stop fighting each other & step up with workable solutions I too think we can get back to a good place

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  8. While, like Jo, I also see a lot of the signs of the end of days in everything that is going on around us, I don't share the view that there is nothing we can do to make things better. I don't mean that it will change the course and plan of the Almighty, but simply that we can do our part to make things better for ourselves and for the people around us. Yet, that's a very overwhelming task when we look at all of the injustices around us and then we realize our limitations in what we can do to change things on a global scale. It's easy to look at the big picture and get overwhelmed by the destruction and injustice going on around us because we just don't even know where to begin. That can leave us feeling more of an irrelevance in the big picture. But like you, Charlie, I do believe that we can find good within the big picture, most in particular within ourselves. The trick is to realize that we are also a part of the big picture, and that we can use the good that's within ourselves to make even a smaller portion of that big picture better. It's something that needs to start with the individual, and then it can grow from there. Once we find the good within ourselves, we can use that good to look for the good in the things around us. We then have to take the responsibility to tell and show our leaders what we want to build and maintain the good in the world. While we can't regulate the light, we can choose to focus on it and try to expand it. There will always be bad things, the darkness that makes the light stand out. But we don't have to be overwhelmed and lost in the darkness, by taking the good that is within ourselves as well as the good that is within others around us. It's in the combining of all of the good within ourselves and those around us that we can try to be the change we desire. As you mentioned, Charlie, every religion teaches that we have both good and bad within us, and we are fighting a constant battle between the two. We may be at the end of days, but we shouldn't focus on all of the bad things surrounding us in the world. Focusing on the good will actually take away the sense of irrelevance and allow us to fight against the injustices as we try to unite that good within all who are willing to be a vessel for change. It doesn't take a large, global movement to do so. It can start individually, within each one of us, in our own little corners of the big picture that can be so overwhelming. The way we treat others and connect with the goodness within them can allow us to give both themselves and ourselves a sense of relevance to the world.
    This topic reminds me of something Martin Luther King, Jr. said: "Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that." Like you said, we have to have the bad in order to appreciate the good. We just have to make sure that we don't let the view of all the bad overtake and overwhelm us.

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    1. Another excellent viewpoint Becky & well stated

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    2. I need to clarify....when I said that we can't "do anything", I meant the same as you. We can't thwart God's plans or His timeline. But yes, we are still called to do as much good as we can and help others. I totally agree with everything you said(there's a shocker!)

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    3. You're right, I'm very shocked there, Jo. :)
      I definitely believe that we need to use the good within ourselves to build up any good we can in the world. In the end, it comes down to how we help others, what we do to lift the world around us. We may not be able to change everything for everyone, but that's why there is good in everyone, so that we try to unite that good and use it as a stark contrast with all of the bad things that we see in the world.

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  9. I'm afraid I don't see a lot of hope for the planet as a whole. I think that whatever steps might be taken to improve the situation of individuals in some parts of the world - and the curve is almost unimaginably steep in places - based on the good that's in most of us (I agree with that!), we still as a global population face the challenge of climate change and all that will mean. Displacement of even relatively small parts of the global population due to rising sea levels on the one hand and rising temperatures in the hottest places on the other will, it seems inevitably, add to the pressure of migrations due to wars and the usual fallout. Meanwhile, it seems quite clear that authoritarianism is on the rise - including in those places that we in the developed world call home; authoritarianism in politics, fundamentalism in religion, and much of it based now not only on greed but also on fear. Is there enough good in individuals, enough willingness to care about others even when they don't seem to "deserve" it, even when they don't seem to have "paid their dues" - can we who are fortunate ever be honest enough about our complicity in this mess to make amends, forget about otherness, and work together? History doesn't offer much hope. What scares me the most as a woman - or would if I hadn't already reached almost 60, so I may not see the worst of what lies ahead - is that in any kind of even mildly apocalyptic scenario, all the progress that women - and also many minority groups - have made in a brief flicker of time, will count for nothing once the bad in people begins to go unchecked. It's happening already, at every Trump rally. Those feelings, unleashed, won't just go away even if he doesn't get elected, even if other progress seems to be made. It will be scarily easy to return to a man's world in the worst definition. One possible solution would, of course, be to put more women in charge. I'm not kidding - there's research to show that women in charge - especially if they don't feel compelled to be "one of the guys" - do things differently, and do better. So, I'd suggest focusing on women, educating women, and a paradigm shift toward a world organized in ways that let everyone - men and women - show their "feminine" side. Of course, that would also mean changing, or dispensing with, all those patriarchal organizations, faiths, etc. that function to sustain their own power in the status quo. But given our current situation, it might be worth a shot - not literally, of course. Where I come from (originally), putting a gun to someone's head is a metaphor.

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    1. I agree Jude, with what you say about all the anger, nationalism (in it's worst form), meanness, fear, and dislike being unleashed at Trump rallies. These feelings that he has brought to the front won't just go away! It will be a problem to whomever wins the election. If there is one thing that Trump has done, and that is bring out into the open the feelings of a large number of the people.

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    2. I can see where you are coming from with the need to overcome the authoritarianism and the fact that history doesn't offer a strong base on which to do so. Of course, if it did, I'd have to ask where we had erred in order to end up back-tracking to where we are now. To me, this is where we have to really do some introspection to find where the good in us lies. The good to overcome the authoritarianism isn't going to be in just one person, but will have to come from a uniting of the good within everyone possible. It does seem, however, that one of the biggest challenges comes in how people will overcome their own fears and complacency to move beyond the authoritarian nature of some who seek to gain nothing more than power and control. While history does not offer an example of a solution to the authoritarian cycle, we can still use it as a learning tool to try to avoid some of the mistakes that have been made before. We can also focus on our own little corners of the world and the good things that we can find around us. And you are right, the problems we face and the feelings being brought up won't just go away. The trick is to find a way to recognize the feelings that people have without condoning the hatred, and keep everyone from feeling the onset of the irrelevance to society that Charlie talked about. The more people are made to feel irrelevant, the more they are likely to revert to extremism because they want to feel like they are contributing something useful to something bigger than themselves. The globalized world in which we live can make people feel small, like however they try to use the good within themselves doesn't matter. That leads to openings for feelings of frustration and anger along with the sense of irrelevance. As you said, those feelings aren't just going to go away, regardless of the election's outcome. That means that the people expressing those emotions and frustrations need to be recognized and the origins of those feelings addressed. Of course, that's A LOT easier said than done. It's not impossible, but it will require a lot of work and effort from a lot of people.

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  10. So many good points made by everyone. We can all agree that we, as individuals, can and should do our part to attempt to bring some peace to this crazy and scary world we live in. We need to reach deep within ourselves, believing that we CAN make a difference by being kinder, understanding, reaching out to someone who may not have anyone to reach out to, have compassion. If we can make a positive impact on even one person, they in turn will make a difference in someone else's life.

    I went to an anniversary party today and by coincidence, as one conversation led to another, we had a very similar discussion relevant to this week's topic. It was coming from different perspectives (black and white) and different religions - Catholic, Methodist, Baptist, Evangelical, and African Methodist (very interesting) - about the evils of the different worlds and the beliefs they have and are taught, starting from a very young age. Some have no choice but to believe what they are taught, as distorted as it may be to us. They are taught that if you sacrifice yourself, you will rise up to God and you, or your family, will be rewarded with eternal salvation. Is this the irrelevance you are talking about, Charlie?

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  11. I've been thinking about Jude's comment that the anger and frustration expressed by so many people at every Trump rally isn't going to just go away if the man doesn't get elected. It's still going to be there and we can't pretend that it's not. His tactics are merely a symptom, not really the problem itself. One of the things that got me to thinking about this is the fact that, simply scrolling through my social media feed, I found ten posts, in less than a minute, in which people were a) expressing bewilderment at the fact that people still support him regardless of what he says or b) mocking, belittling and ridiculing the people who do support him. Then I came across a post from a Trump supporter, simply saying that she wanted people to understand that he has said things that resonate with her because, even though she doesn't agree with everything he says, he offers a place for people who feel irrelevant in today's world. She also said that the all of the posts she sees insulting him and his supporters just reinforces that sense of alienation from politicians in general.
    I share this experience because it demonstrates how easily people can feel irrelevant or the victims of injustice. When it comes down to it, people can start to feel irrelevant because they are constantly being told and treated like what they do and who they are is completely irrelevant. In other words, as a society, one of the things that we do that makes people feel irrelevant is we treat them like they are by not respecting their opinions and thoughts. It happens in more forums than just politics, as well. It seems like, in today's society, anything with which we disagree is fair game to be insulted, mocked, degraded or dismissed simply because we don't agree. That treatment can easily cause a sense of irrelevance.
    I'm not saying that we should just ensure that everyone agrees on everything, that's not realistic nor is is possible. But what is possible is an examination of the way that we treat others when we don't agree with them. It's possible to disagree with someone without being disrespectful and dismissive. I also won't pretend that this is something that would make all of the problems mentioned go away. I would suggest, however, that it could open up the lines of communication so that, even though people will still disagree, the conversation doesn't end and we try to avoid some of the irrelevance.

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  12. "But what is possible is an examination of the way that we treat others when we don't agree with them. It's possible to disagree with someone without being disrespectful and dismissive."

    Thank you, Becky.

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  13. Nowhere in the Quran is the word 'love'. I searched from cover to cover. In Christianity, of which I am Christian, love is integral to one's faith and spiritual well being. I'm not saying that the average Muslim parent doesn't love their children. Most parents do. In Islam though, Muslims are not scripturally taught to love one another, nor to express love for one another, nor to love non-Muslims. Herein lies a huge social, emotional, and psychological problem amongst young Muslims

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  14. that was a great show charlie i wish i had call but u did well getting getting your friends to call in maybe one day i will i agree in alot what your saying now very interesting thank again for a fun night love it your fan and friend to janet .

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  15. Lurdes Pereira11 March, 2016 14:05

    That was a great show Mr.charlie!Your words are all to true.
    An excellent analysis of the current phenomenon.
    I fear the rise of those who would destroy democracy.
    The planet as a whole is going to be facing greater and greater challenges, we must to find a way to see each other as people first!
    I am Christian, love is integral to one's faith!
    We can make a difference!!
    Always believe in God that is the power in me
    God bless you

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  16. Charlie: Since my grandson's school was performing The Lion King with him performing in it at the same time as HAT, I just now was able to watch the whole show. It was an excellent show and by just listening to you express your thoughts and then Janne(great to hear her opinion) JoAnn and Sharon I really grasped what you were getting at. I have to say that I do agree with you to a large extent especially after listening carefully and letting your words sink in, I was able to get the full gist of what you were explaining so thank you for that. The one thought I do want to add though and I hope I express this the right way, is that understanding and accepting people's right to their beliefs is a two way street. I do love that in Petter's school they learn about other cultures and practices. I have a problem when people who have very strong feelings about their beliefs and their God that they worship to, want to come to this country and insist we change everything to their way of thinking/believing. I feel that falls in with what you were saying to Jo about "forceful sharing". I feel that people that come here have the right to practice as they wish and worship as they believe as long as they don't expect people here to bend to their beliefs and change what they believe in. On the whole it was a very insightful, thought provoking show and I look forward to next week's show as well. I am so glad for this forum to express how I feel and read how others see things as well. Have a great week.

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    1. I wish I could have explained myself better than I did. Of course, the Catholic Church in the 1600's and Sharia Law are 'forceful sharing', which is the exact opposite of how it SHOULD be done. In a civilized world, you share(or people ask questions and you answer), and they can say no thank you or please get off my porch LOL.
      BUT, what I wasn't able to articulate was that EVEN IF there is a "forceful sharing" or if religion is "abolished" or is a crime....that doesn't mean there has actually been a conversion. We have it easy in the Western World, but in communist nations or the Middle East they do not. Does it mean the people are now "forced to be Muslim/atheist"? Not at all, because their faith is INSIDE THEM. If God forbid, we had an attack and Sharia Law was implemented, that doesn't make me a Muslim, it makes me a persecuted Christian. You can shut down houses of worship, and it doesn't shut down the peoples' faith. If anything, it makes it stronger! Christians in China meet in secret, and have special ways to communicate with other believers(secret codes, etc). Jews celebrated the Sabbath and Yom Kippur in concentration camps. THAT'S what I meant by "you can't force someone" to convert. I've never understood how Radical Islam "believes" that they are winning people to Allah, by intimidating them to parrot the correct reply out of self-preservation, but I know that's how the Catholic Church did it centuries ago. It's like they "missed the point". I hope that makes my phone call make a little more sense.

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  17. what coming on the 17th on st patrick's day let us all know !

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