harp on harperism or herald humanism

While I could fill gigabytes of space on government inefficiency, lack of transparency, childhood poverty, literacy inequity, income disparity and general negativity, I choose to herald humanism today, the 100th anniversary of International Women’s Day.

Two very delightful digital deliveries received this fine day. More meaningful than a bouquet of flowers and more satisfying than lunch out with the boss. One from my Dad – an article from New York Times columnist David Brooks, The New Humanism – a deeply insightful essay on why people we think we should trust do things we never would believe a trustworthy person would do. According to Brooks “When you synthesize this research, you get different perspectives on everything from business to family to politics. You pay less attention to how people analyze the world but more to how they perceive and organize it in their minds. You pay a bit less attention to individual traits and more to the quality of relationships between people.” He presents concepts that I’ve never even heard of – and I consider myself a bit of a word nerd – that are so powerful to our understanding of each other, it should be required reading for all of us grown ups. It really should.

“…this research illuminates a range of deeper talents, which span reason and emotion and make a hash of both categories:

Attunement: the ability to enter other minds and learn what they have to offer.

Equipoise: the ability to serenely monitor the movements of one’s own mind and correct for biases and shortcomings.

Metis: the ability to see patterns in the world and derive a gist from complex situations.

Sympathy: the ability to fall into a rhythm with those around you and thrive in groups.

Limerence: This isn’t a talent as much as a motivation. The conscious mind hungers for money and success, but the unconscious mind hungers for those moments of transcendence when the skull line falls away and we are lost in love for another, the challenge of a task or the love of God. Some people seem to experience this drive more powerfully than others.”

Then, from facebook, a link to this powerfully beautiful video titled The Girl Effect: The clock is ticking. How a 12-year-old girl could be the solution the world needs right now. Should be required viewing for anyone who ever was or ever will be twelve.

So I’ll enjoy the Mardi Gras meets International Women’s Day and remind the twelve year old girl in me to be grateful for the opportunities I’ve had. Embrace the opportunities that are yet to come. Be thankful to the family and community that kept and still keeps me safe along my journey. And always, always focus on what good good can do.

Be happy. Be healthy. Be human.

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