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Dr. Hallowell's Blog

Rediscover the Goodness in People and Reconnect

Holiday Note from Ned

We need a Sudden Attack of Humanity!

I want to start a movement throughout this country (and, sure, the world as well!) around connection. Unleash Connection!

In a recent Distraction podcast (to download the podcast, called “Distraction”, go to itunes or distractionpodcast.com) I said I wanted to start a movement throughout this country (and, sure, the world as well!) around connection. Listen to this Human Movement podcast here.

We’re all tired–at least 90% of us are tired–of disconnection, of living in a soup of rancor, anger, and fear.

We’re tired of having our attention hijacked by provocative sound-bytes made irresistible by how outrageous they are,  We can’t stop but listen and watch, and then we can’t not react, get angry, get afraid, get upset, and spiral emotionally into a bad, bad place.  Day after day.  Week after week.  Month after month?


It is time to stop all that.  It is time to for us all to have a sudden attack of sanity.  It is time for us to rediscover the goodness in people and reconnect with each other.

It is time to get to know each other again, especially people who disagree with us.

  It is time to recognize that most people are good people, that most people will do you a favor, that most people want the same things in life for themselves and their families that you do, and that most people will make sacrifices for the common good.

        We need to recreate the forums that used to bring us together.  Neighborhoods, clubs, parks, ethnic and religious traditions, pretty much all the stuff we blew up in the ’60’s.

People say air conditioning is to blame.  When the air conditioner got invented, people left the front stoop, moved inside, and communities started to die.  Now, our pale and paltry imitation is the Internet, which is great for the transmission of information but terrible for bringing people together in a deep and personal way.

If you believe that we as a nation, and we as individuals really crave connection, in a deep and meaningful sense, then please join this movement.  Download the podcast Distraction, listen, and write a comment.  Or start your own movement.

I will start reading people’s comments, suggestions, reactions, and ideas during the podcasts.  My belief is that if we brainstorm together in this way we will come up with solutions.  It is not just my belief, I know it for a fact.

Way back in the ’60’s, when I was in college, we sang songs and marched in various protests, and offered up the hope, canonized by John Lennon and the Beatles, that “love is the answer.”  There’s never been a better answer than love.

But, as I have learned since my days as a college student in the 60’s and early ’70’s, love is a very, very tough sell.  We may speak and sing of love, but when push comes to the proverbial shove, we prefer to put up our dukes, to fight, to protect our turf, to imagine others to be enemies, and to look out for ourselves, and to get ours, no matter what.

But, really, that’s no way to live.  I believe we are all finding that out now.  Who wants to live in a soup of anger and fear?  It’s stimulating and exciting for a while, but over time it leaves you worn out, looking for sustenance and meaning, not just another conflict to bash back and forth.

There are some few people who want us to live in a perpetual state of anger and fear.  They profit from our suffering.  But let’s call their bluff.  Let’s do what they least want us to do.  Let’s get to know each other.  Let’s spend time with people we don’t know.  Let’s not jump to conclusions but let’s get to know the people we imagine are our enemies. I guarantee you, 9 our of 10 of them will end up your allies.   As our greatest president, Abraham Lincoln, said, “I have destroyed my enemies by turning them into my friends.”

Let’s start turning us all into friends.  It’s time, don’t you agree?  Wouldn’t you rather make a new friend today, especially someone you would have thought to be an enemy, than spend more time living in anger and fear?

Join the movement.  Or start your own movement.  But move.  Make friends. Spread love.  But don’t use the word love, because it makes people nervous.  Spread love, but don’t let on that you’re doing it.  It works best that way.  Just give to others what you’d like them to give to you.  The rest will take care of itself.  Guaranteed.

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