Tuesday, May 31, 2016

May Held More than Meets the Eye

May held a choir performance at the University of Portland. She sang her heart out.

 There was a lovely trip to the sea to soak up some Sunday sun.
There was a Mother's Day Safe Families hosting for two young brothers,
and we continue to ponder what we are growing in our garden, and upon the hilltop we call home.
May is birthday month around here for many people we love!
He even got Baked Alaska this year!
And there was a little Salt and Straw after visiting the Land Rover Research and Development Facility in Portland recently.

There's not much to say about the R & D: they hid all the fun stuff. However, they were gracious to host a group of us for dinner, a chat, a tour, and driving the simulator- which is all the kids wanted to do anyway! The kids are counting this as the STEM event of the month.
We were blessed to spend this past weekend over at Smith Rocks - with what I think may well have been the rest of Oregon  romping around!

That's been our May. Mostly.

I've been working through an American Literature course which I'm finding fascinating.

Now, if we could just finish up one student's hybrid home schooling and another's classroom studies. Grammar be gone! Summer arrive!

I'm writing as I have time, and was a finalist here: NW Perspectives Essay. Must get my act in gear and get back to Thomas Nuttall's story.

The articles below have asked a lot of questions of me as we try and engage in our community.  Safe Families and school situations in town are ever reminding me we need to offer and receive constructive dialogue. We must find a way to and through conversations that speak love and leave room for many to experience solutions for their needs.

Nicholas Kristof: The Liberal Blind Spot  We could all use to hear what he has to say.

Marijuana and the increase in fatal road crashes: not a coincidence. There's de-criminalization, and then there's what we have done in Oregon and WA and now must live with. Let's be clear: we are not dealing with the pot of the 60's. We are dealing with something that is more akin to heroin.

The THC content is very high in today's pot. Oregon grows some of the highest THC content in the nation, and the new extraction process is dangerous and scary. We must educate parents and kids today about what they are facing.

This recent New York Times article on Dabbing is an important read. After taking a recent drug and alcohol class, my eyes have been opened. I'm seeing the merchandise, branding, and advertising for this stuff everywhere in Oregon. 

Let us live wisely in our times, and let us live with love.

New summer adventures await!


Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Self-Actualization vs. the Self

Daily we are surrounded by what is sobering, and too many statistics mixed with too much world suffering leaves me overly analytical and very discouraged.

Whether it's attending a drug training seminar, being present to at-risk families, dealing with difficult local issues, or watching the news, so easily my day can turn dismal and discouraged.

Why is our nation so challenged at every level? Why is it so hard to create, find, and offer civil discourse?  Why would people rather fight than find and create solutions? Increasingly I believe we have exchanged God, family, and community for the little god of self.

In a culture that worships the self, each person may have their our own beliefs, but your beliefs had better not impinge upon mine and vice versa.  This self culture says, "You do as you wish, and I will do as I wish, and don't challenge what I wish to do, and I won't challenge what you wish to do." And we convince ourselves that what we wish for is good vs. gluttonous, and excellent vs. extremely selfish.

We speak, all the time, to ideologies we wish to see in the world, but rarely do we act to create realities, unless it's in our own self interest.

It's time to start doing for our communities. It is time to find faith once more, and offer faith once more. Let us look again at Abraham Maslow's qualities of self-actualizing people. I believe he offers our misguided selves some guidance.  What does a healthy person look like?

Self-Actualizing People

1) Self-actualized people embrace the unknown and the ambiguous.

“The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious.”

2) They accept themselves, together with all their flaws.

 “They can accept their own human nature in the stoic style, with all its shortcomings, with all its discrepancies from the ideal image without feeling real concern [...] One does not complain about water because it is wet, or about rocks because they are hard [...] simply noting and observing what is the case, without either arguing the matter or demanding that it be otherwise.”

3) They prioritize and enjoy the journey, not just the destination.

4) While they are inherently unconventional, they do not seek to shock or disturb others.

"... the world of people in which he lives could not understand or accept [his unconventionality], and since he has no wish to hurt them or to fight with them over every triviality, he will go through the ceremonies and rituals of convention with a good-humored shrug and with the best possible grace [... Self-actualized people would] usually behave in a conventional fashion simply because no great issues are involved or because they know people will be hurt or embarrassed by any other kind of behavior.”

5) They are motivated by growth, not by the satisfaction of needs.

“Our subjects no longer strive in the ordinary sense, but rather develop. They attempt to grow to perfection and to develop more and more fully in their own style. The motivation of ordinary men is a striving for the basic need gratifications that they lack.”

6) Self-actualized people have purpose.

“[They have] some mission in life, some task to fulfill, some problem outside themselves which enlists much of their energies."

7) They are not troubled by the small things.

“They seem never to get so close to the trees that they fail to see the forest. They work within a framework of values that are broad and not petty, universal and not local, and in terms of a century rather than the moment.[...]

8) Self-actualized people are grateful.

9) They share deep relationships with a few, but also feel identification and affection towards the entire human race.

“Self-actualizing people have deeper and more profound interpersonal relations than any other adults [...] They are capable of more fusion, greater love, more perfect identification, more obliteration of the ego boundaries than other people would consider possible. [...This devotion] exists side by side with a widespreading [...] benevolence, affection, and friendliness. These people tend to be kind [and friendly] to almost everyone [...] of suitable character regardless of class, education, political belief, race, or color.”

10) Self-actualized people are humble.

“They are all quite well aware of how little they know in comparison with what could be known and what is known by others. Because of this it is possible for them without pose to be honestly respectful and even humble before people who can teach them something.”

11) Self-actualized people resist enculturation.

“They are the most ethical of people even though their ethics are not necessarily the same as those of the people around them [...because] the ordinary ethical behavior of the average person is largely conventional behavior rather than truly ethical behavior.”

12) Despite all this, self-actualized people are not perfect.

“There are no perfect human beings! Persons can be found who are good, very good indeed, in fact, great. [...] And yet these very same people can at times be boring, irritating, petulant, selfish, angry, or depressed. To avoid disillusionment with human nature, we must first give up our illusions about it.”

The quotes are from Maslow, Motivation and Personality

The 12 points are from this article by David Sze: Maslow, The 12 Characteristics of a Self-Actualized Person