For at least 250,000 years, counting all the lives lived, it is clear that billions upon billions of people, generation after generation, old and young, women, men and children have lived well and have largely behaved with kindness and grace, with respect and honesty in trillions upon trillions of small daily interactions, pottering around in life, looking after one another.
All those actions created webs of many larger actions, in wider contexts. Every second of every minute of every day. A lot more people are being kind than are being cruel.
I would like to see a news channel reflect that kindness that happens everywhere, in each country, a 24 hour rolling kindnesses being presented as they are. That would be encouraging. .
Listening and hearing,
Comfort and acceptance.
Help offered, without cost.
Bullying is unkind, and quite obviously dysfunctional. We are not evolved to be bullied or to be bullies. Bullying is a sign of dysfunction, a distortion of what it means to be human and humanised.
There is a void between the Conquest Culture and the Partnership Culture.
Egalitarian peoples do not bully. No one is biologically evolved to be bullied. No one is bio-logically evolved to be a bully. We are evolved to be kind, co-operative, intelligent, well balanced psychologically, grounded and practical, curious and creative by learning by experience from adults who demonstrate those skills and qualities.
Robert Sapolsky :
“The brain is heavily influenced by genes. But from birth through young adulthood, the part of the human brain that most defines us (frontal cortex) is less a product of the genes with which you started life than of what life has thrown at you. Because it is the least constrained by genes and most sculpted by experience. This must be so, to be the supremely complex social species that we are. Ironically, it seems that the genetic program of human brain development has evolved to, as much as possible, free the frontal cortext from genes.”
Basically the brain's observed 'design' is that it is not so much a blank slate as a structured notebook with lots of free space available to write neural pathways into through experience.
We must learn almost everything we do - from sucking to walking, from focusing our eyes to crafting a tool - and this is why the brain is sensitive. Because the organism is sensitive to the dynamic of ourselves within a changing environment, our neurology can pick up the signals and we can then make adjustments where needed. Learning.
We are evolved to learn most of our behaviour, all of our skill sets. We are evolved to learn how to self regulate our emotions and focus, how to feel and share the world and how to work and organise efficiently without authoritarian direction or formal hierarchy.
The healthy baby in the womb is not expecting to meet a world of bullies, yet we all do, in the end, meet this bully culture and that meeting always distorts our humanity. Not what we were expecting. Not what we are built for.
Bullying inhibits learning as a personal way of being a fully social human. Bullying weaponises learning as a utilitarian hierarchical power play.
Being bullied causes disease. Bullying is a behavioural dis-ease. A bully culture festers more bullying, and it trickles down through power structures, it leaks into ordinary people's lives and is a psychological pollutant. Bullying remains a serious issue afflicting school children in the UK. 1 in 5 children are being bullied, to one degree or another, in various self reporting surveys from 2018.
These - kindness, co-operation, intelligence, emotionally well balanced, psychologically grounded, practical, curious and creative - are all bio-logical mandates for optimal human health, individually and collectively for human beings as animals. Just the basic raw data.
The ancient and evolved genetics, the neurobiology of attachment and emotional self regulation describes the biological space where human kindness is an ordinary learned behaviour, nothing remarkable, and is grounded in direct experience. Direct experience as Allan Schore puts it is the brain to brain dynamic, functioning through the body and the whole sensory experience, between mother and infant, carer and child, between siblings and throughout the family and community.
I think the evidence is quite clear that we humans, as a species, are social, co-operative family structure egalitarian by evolution, and it is because we learn by being vulnerable and sensitive and exploratory that we are also vulnerable to harms caused by being bullied, and that is why healthy trustful parenting is central to adults behaviour within egalitarian cultures.
Work enables healthy parenting in that it is kept brief as possible, so that there is plenty time to be relaxed, to be creative, and so the children grow up, feeling trusted, around healthy relaxed happy adults, whom they can then model without losing their individual sense of self and place.
"The Daily Kindness"
The decision to be kind is perhaps one of the least energy demanding changes anyone of us can make.
It is just a decision, after all.
Stop the spread, Spread the Love. Kindness. Care Homes ought to be the very essence of kindness.
Unclear COVID19 regulations, misinformation and evasion of responsibility combine to usher in 'accidental cruelties' that are not addressed.
Listening this afternoon to Sheelagh Fogarty on LBC in the UK, the stories of people's experiences around Care Homes amidst this slow spread policy. People told stories about their elder parents and relatives and these were gut wrenching, one after the other. Detail after detail missed. Pain, trauma, confusion, terror and anger are being caused by Government policy because it is inadequate and impervious to all calls for help, for paying attention to the detail.
The detail matters.
How to enable visitation in safe ways, so that the isolated do not become alienated and lonely, so that they continue to feel loved an d cared for as persons?
It is unkind that Government practice is to not challenge the spreaders of misinformation, to not lay out the clear evidence-led needs that the epidemic demands., It is unkinder still then fail to provide for the needs whilst shovelling billions to inexperienced friends, acquaintances and business associates.
Every effort must be taken to care kindly.
DNR notices are a bureaucratic unkindness.
Let this one die. That is more cruel than unkind.
Generic DNRs are cruel. Economic Efficiency dressed up as kindness. Fordism.
Who holds power?
How do they deploy it?
For whose benefit?
Where does responsibility rest?
Looking at the chronic disease profile of the UK population, where 19% present with two or more chronic diseases, 19% of the population at risk is not just 'some people are at risk' is it?
Using language to mask the truth.
Detail in Kindness.
The detail is so important because life is truly intimate for each of us, the lived experience is equally intense for each and everyone of us and for that lived detail to be blotted out by a caricature that is publicly disseminated is, to my mind and heart, fundamentally abusive.
Well, yes people do, and it is seriously unkind. It is pathologically cruel. The imposition of a falsehood blots out the human personhood.
It's also living in a dark fantasy dystopian delusion, and completely out of touch with the social material reality of ordinary people, the 7 billion or more of my brothers and sisters born into this.
We are not caricatures, generalisations, stereotypes.
We are people. We mostly do kindness.
We are nowhere near mythical 'herd immunity'.
Vaccines are a distant horizon, not an assured future with a clear timetable. Work is ongoing, and will continue for some time.
5 million lovely people who are at severe risk, with potential adverse health repercussions for another 8 million people. And the unlucky healthy who might contract the full disease, and the long-covid sequalae.
So much detail.
Government/State and everyone else ought to be supporting zero community transmission, and quarantine borders, for the duration. We know it can work, and save lives, help communities, businesses and economies work through the epidemic, safely.
I was quite ill with COVDI19, and was fortunate enough to recover. It did frighten me to be that ill, that uncertain. I stayed home, took Vitamin C and D, lots of ginger and lemon, fluids, steam baths, soups etc and I rested and I let the fever run it's course, I lost two stone in 5 weeks, and stayed mostly in bed. I tried to be as kind as I could to myself.
Bugger the bills! They can wait!
If I am not here, they won't be paid!
Wearing a mask seemed like a small effort to help reduce the spread, and as I studied the East Asian countries response, the Chinese errors and how they responded and corrected them, how different governments engaged with the people to stop uncontrolled community transmission i was reassured somewhat.
The kindness never goes away.
What to do, to chill?
How do I ease the pressure I feel when I am triggered?
Micro-targeting aka Hearts and Minds, psychology as a weapons system.
Everyone online leaves a trace of their activity - we are broadcasting and receiving and everything is logged, measured, banked.
Online is an advertising media world, drawing attention to content around which advertisements are embedded.
A bit like rodents and their urine, we make trails we re-use, we leave traces. These trails are also data points. Data points are what marketeers aim at.
I like images of kittens, I like guns and own three, I drive a Ford, I live at a certain address, my income is median range, I like America, UK and Australia and I am suspicious of Russia, China, India, I eat meat, I wear chino's, I react to images, I get angry in on line chats, I leave the computer on for 24 hours every day, I commute, I shop at Walmart, I use credit card and a debit card, I have a mortgage on a property worth £500,000, I have blue eye, blonde hair, I wear contact lenses, I like reggae but not folk, I did an online course, and so on.... thousands of data points that can be used to sell at me. Everyone leaves a trail to be examined and exploited. Because PR marketing is exploitative to it's core.
Micro-targeting is marketeers aiming at your data point or a whole series of data points. A cat on the scent of a particular rat. Or a 'tribe' of rats.
What the Cambridge Analytica story revealed was the precision of the techniques, the scope and the adverse effect of the billionaire funded 'industrial political whispering-bullshit-in-someones-ear-at-the-party-to-start-some-shit-we-can-exploit' where 'ear-at-the-party' is our online experience and what we unwittingly expose ourselves to by revealing all this information.
This psychological industrial warfare has expanded over the last 6 years and is some respects has become automated, and it is is widespread. That behaviour, in any setting, is abuse.
Any family with someone behaving like that has to take action.
Yes, whispering in the ears of millions of people, knowing they are triggering peoples fears, frightening and angering these people deliberately so that they can exploit the reaction-addiction is abuse. That's what marketing and news marketing and media marketing and religious marketing do, and it is all cruelty for profit and power. Unkindness.
This repeat activity then is used to alter behaviour over time through inviting the target to 'debate', to engage, and then feeding contest that suggests 'argument', tweaking the content, refining it, followed by material that draws in other supporters to generate Social Hatred Opposition Conflict Kink, us/them polarisation, all fueled with verbal and visual fight or flight triggering, with most of the targeted, and those who 'oppose' them, all entirely unaware this is happening all around them.
Kindness is indeed political.