Moderation, part four

Community Centers

Activity and skill building centers with a focus on pollution and long term fertility of individuals and the environment is an idea I described in this document: Pre-conception Education Centers project proposal. The centers might have a local environmental cleanup or mitigation goal or might have gardening or make products for fund raising and skill development.

Integrity Centers could be a preventative care community center for people before they need an addiction rehab center. Dr. David Gruder, clinical and business psychologist, defines integrity as a balance of our three core human natures – me, we, and us all: me – a drive for self authenticity; we – a drive for a sense of connection in relationships; us all – a drive for a sense of greater purpose within the larger community. (1)

Me – Community gardens can provide skill building help and – we – fresh food for a community. Us all – Urban areas could benefit from more pocket gardens and rooftop gardens by also providing more places for excess water to go during severe rainstorms or melting snow. Concrete doesn’t allow water to drain into the ground and sewer systems get over flooded. More planters and ground cover that is porous allows more water to seep directly into the ground or into containers that will slowly allow the water to evaporate or be used by the plantings.

Community centers can vary from community to community while including the basics of cooking and growing some healthy food and sharing it together with love and acceptance of diversity.

At the global level the Integrity perspective, Me, we, us all, can help tackle climate change adaptations:

  • Me – eat more bean/lentil meals in place of meat based meals. Use environmentally safe products.
  • We – Invest in environmentally sustainable companies.
  • Us all – Participate in an environmental clean up day.

Climate change is happening and the sooner humans as a group face that fact and work together to change how we do things the sooner we will slow the rate at which the changes are occurring. It is not something we can stop as many of the chemicals collecting in the environment and in the oceans will be there for centuries. Over 11,000 scientists from 153 countries joined together to make a statement about climate change: “Scientists have a moral obligation to clearly warn humanity of any catastrophic threat and to ‘tell it like it is.’” The group suggests six steps for humans to take to slow down the environmental changes that are correlated with expanding economic consumption and population. Wealthy human habits are not sustainable for the planet. (2)

Changes to make now for a better future, recommendations by over 11,000 scientists:

  • Energy – leave fossil fuels in the ground, switch to sustainable energy production.
  • Short Lived Pollutants – refrigerants, hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), and other chemicals like methane and black carbon (soot) also add to global warming changes in the atmosphere and oceans.
  • Nature – protect biodiversity and natural ecosystems. Planting trees and wetlands, sea grasses and mangroves can help reduce global warming emissions by a third.
  • Food – switch to more plant based diets, reduce use of animal products in the diet from ruminants (methane emitting cattle), and use more minimal tillage agricultural methods.
  • Economy – switch the focus of economic markers of success from profit to sustainable ecosystems and human equality. Is it a good business for employees and the community and the surrounding environment? Or is it a business with a quarterly profit report?
  • Population – slowing population growth reduces the need for water and food. Making family planning methods and education available to girls and women can help support human equality and a sustainable population.
  • World Scientists’ Warning of a Climate Emergency, Ripple WJ, et al., Nov. 5, 2019 (2)

A leader takes people where they want to go. A great leader takes people where they don’t necessarily want to go, but ought to be.

– Rosalynn Carter

Community centers and other organizations that already exist could take on these goals. Integrity Centers or Pre-conception Planning Centers could be virtually based resources for use by any organization that wanted to access the educational materials.

Community centers can be a place to share skills and learn new ones, to make new friends and spend time with old ones, and to participate in social activities for fun, for health, and/or for care of the environment. Community centers can provide more positive role models in a child’s life and provide meals and company for those who are hungry for food or friendship. Preventative health education and life skills could be taught and practiced. Emergency preparedness for individual and community needs could be planned for and taught. Projects for hands-on volunteering and learning could be planned and achieved for community and individual benefit.

Tackling destructive emotions and practicing loving-kindness is how we should live in the here and now. I am convinced we can become happier individuals, happier communities and a happier humanity by cultivating a warm heart, allowing our better selves to prevail. ”

– Dalai Lama, (Nov. 1, 2019)

Our better selves like a happy me, we, and us all, — happy individuals, communities, and a happy humanity and world.

It is only by recognizing our own darkness that we can stop projecting it on the world around us“. – Carl Jung

Carl Jung was a psychiatrist with a valid observation – until we recognize the things we are ashamed of or suppress within ourselves we will have a difficult time to not share that shame or suppressed belief with others around us.

Projection is a term used to describe how someone projects or attributes their own problems on others. We see what we expect to see, we see what we are familiar with, and tend to not be as observant of unique situations. We project what we know or expect onto the world around us – our sight isn’t blind as much as it is pre-programmed. To truly observe without any bias is a rare skill. I grew up with things that were consistent and also many things that were not consistent from grouchy moods to unexpected traveling and piling into the car for a museum outing – ups and downs. Life wasn’t perfect but it was interesting. Community centers could add more interesting experiences to the lives of young and old people – mixtures add interest and zest to life.

Factors that may affect health:

  • Social support and early childhood experiences.
  • Sleep.
  • Exercise.
  • Water. 
  • Nutrition.
  • Toxins from the environment, air, food and water. 
  • Genetics and epigenetics.
  • Access to Healthcare.

Environmental and human health are connected, economic stress and human health are also. The interconnectedness of societal problems and solutions can be visualized as a tip of the iceberg problem – suicide, addictions, mass shootings and other violence are the visible tip of societal problems that are connected by economic inequality and stress and environmental pollution and reduction in biodiversity. Economic and environmental stress can increase behavioral health problems and add to social factors and living conditions that increase physical health risks. (3)

Environmental and individual health are connected too. Learning how can also provide guidance for lifestyle changes that might help improve health.

Resources regarding economics and environmental change:

Climate change is real – according to financial advising company Morgan Stanley and myths about what is involved may be inhibiting investment in climate change solutions: Six Climate Investing Myths Debunked.

What might not be as good an investment in the environment is the financialization of ecosystem protections – pay us to protect some endangered species’ habitat and we will skim off part of the money as profit. Watch the documentary for free: Banking Nature, OffGuardian.

Economic moderation – for the industrious read this first – about Financialization of the modern world: “Yeah, It’s Still Water,”- we can’t eat stock bubbles or money, or concrete. None of those things are part of a healthy ecosystem. Economic and environmental stress can increase health risks and possibly risk of addictions or anger and violence. More equality could be healthier for everyone and the economy.

Reference List

  1. TURS – Dr. David Gruder: The Four Shades of Anger, Interview with Christa Niehls, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CjFN-UNjF4s&feature=youtu.be&a=
  2. Ripple WJ, et al., World Scientists’ Warning of a Climate Emergency, Nov. 5, 2019, Bioscience https://academic.oup.com/bioscience/advance-article/doi/10.1093/biosci/biz088/5610806
  3. iceberg graphic of social problems, mdlogix.com iceberg graphic/mdlogix.com https://twitter.com/allentien/status/1161565804657295361?s=20
  4. Ben Hunt, Yeah, It’s Still Water, Oct 25, 2019 EpsilonTheory.com, https://www.epsilontheory.com/yeah-its-still-water/#.XcQp5nkjldY.twitter
    Six Climate Investing Myths Debunked. Sept. 18, 2019, MorganStanley.com https://www.morganstanley.com/ideas/six-climate-investing-myths-debunked
    Banking Nature, Nov. 4, 2019, Off-Guardian.org. https://off-guardian.org/2019/11/04/watch-banking-nature/