Category: Don’s Blog

Tips for Fishing and Living # 26

Tip # 26:

“All the romance of trout fishing exists in the mind of the angler and is in no way shared by the fish.”

                               Harold F. Blaisdell, The Philosophical Fisherman, 1969

When Beth and Roger went to a marriage counselor after Roger’s affair, as their marriage was on the brink of ending, the therapist, first, listened to each tell their respective distresses and upsets.  Beth began by expressing the trust her husband had shattered by this betrayal and of her rage and fury that would surface at numerous times since their crisis erupted. Roger, then followed by trying to explain how he was so foolish and, admittedly, selfish, and now wished for nothing more than to repair what he knew could not be erased. Each felt hopeless and lost.

When each finished with their presentations, the therapist told them that what had occurred could be seen in one of three possible ways; either as:

(1) The worst thing that had ever happened to them,

(2) The best thing that had happened to them,

Or,

(3) Simply, what happened.

The couple sat silently as the therapist continued to explain that they now had an important choice to make. The infidelity was real. It had happened. What remained was what did they want to do with this crisis? What they needed to sort out was where did they wished to go from here? Whatever the couple decided would set the course for the actions needed to bring about their desired result. The WHAT was the most important question they needed to address. The HOWS would flow from the WHAT? The HOWs are simply the details that arise out of the very important WHAT?

In addition, it would be important to see their crisis as both a problem – a problem to address, and also as a symptom – a symptom of something that is most likely indicative of something missing within their relationship, or some difficulty within the relationship they have been avoiding? Also, were they willing and able to do the hard work in store? They could simply see it as all too terrible and be tempted to justify walking away from what seemed as too monumental?  There would be consequences from whatever choice they made. Divorce is often a lousy solution to a bad situation.

At the same time, marriage isn’t a quick fix to gain happiness. One is foolish to get married in order to “get happy.” What is required is to have two happy people who come together, and who then go about creating a happy marriage.

In Roger’s case, and to some extent, Beth’s as well, there had been a lack of personal happiness from the very beginning, as well as, a lack of taking responsibility for missing ingredients within each of the parties, as well as, within the marital relationship itself, for a long while.

Each needed to buy into this truth. Then each needed to own his or her contribution to and responsibly for the breakdown. This is not about blaming the victim. Roger was dead wrong for his infidelity. The couple were not finding what each wanted within their relationship. He choose to be irresponsible in a particular way.  But it was also useful for Beth to see she had a part in the over- arching abyss between them.

Through counseling both eventually came to see how they had settled into a rut – an arrangement – and had not been getting from their relationship what each sought. Also they came to see, that as a result, they had not been giving much, as well. The relationship was depleted, and they lacked the skills necessary to openly address this, and to do so in an effective manner. 

Beth saw how she learned to busy herself with her part-time job and in caring for their two children. It was her form of settling for not getting much from her marital relationship. Roger, for his part, got caught up in launching his career and in trying to provide for his family. He justified his excessive absences from his wife, and his family, as necessary to succeed in providing for them. Working also was much easier for him than it was to sort out the obstacles confronting him in the relationship, where he felt inadequate and in unfamiliar territory.

Each fell into justifying their respective parts for the ensuing demise of their marriage. Over time the marriage took more and more of a back seat. It was no longer a joyful or nurturing place for either one. Since it is pretty hard to stay with anything for very long when it is not enjoyable, each harbored divorce as a possibility looming down the road.

This is true for fishing, or bowling, or marriage; that when the fun and enjoyment isn’t there people start finding reasons to skip out on whatever they were originally committed to. The couple, once found romance and happiness readily within their relationship, but now began to drift apart.

Romance is a decision. Marriage is not just about romance, but it is an important aspect. And it is what couples can cultivate with intention and practice. It is too important to leave to chance. Esther Perl, in her book, Mating in Captivity, speaks of how most couples come to counseling because they’re stuck. They’re repeating the same things over and over again, and they really think that if they do it one more time, it will finally yield some better results. What they must aim for is flexibility and adaptability, so that the two people can engage not just as domestic partners and parents, but also as sexual, emotional, intellectual, and spiritual partners. Many couples put their marital union on the back burner as they attend to careers, parenting and all the things that come with a full family life.

Attitude is everything. Happiness is an inside job. It seems counter-intuitive to tell couples to WORK on their relationship. Why not Play at it? Think in terms of being playful, and with this, create space for fun and laughter to flourish. This is easy to do in the early stages of a relationship – during the dating and courting, or what we refer to as B.C. – before children.

Perel offers a bold, provocative new take on intimacy and sex. Mating in Captivity explores the paradoxical union of domesticity and sexual desire, and explains what it takes to keep romance and physical intimacy in a home also filled with the demands of raising a family. Perel points toward the possibility of constructing excitement, play, and even poetic sex in long-term relationships.

There are four causes of negative emotions that play havic in the pursuit of an alive and vibrant relationship, be it marriage, a career or in friendships:

(1) Justification, (2) Identification, (3) Inward considering, and (4) Blame.

Justification is what we do when we rationalize a reason for anger or unhappiness. We start thinking or telling anyone who will listen how badly we were treated and how much better we are than this other person/culprit. What we unwitting end up doing is give our own power away. We allow ourselves to become victims and give our responsibility for ourselves away to others.

Identification, or attachment, is when we take something personally or become attached to a person or thing. Spiritual teachers all emphasize the importance of separating ourselves emotionally from the situation. It’s not personal! By withdrawing emotionally from the situation we can remain, or regain, our calmness and composure. This is not a matter of passive acceptance of anything that happens to you. Rather it is encouragement to use one’s willpower to keep our mind and emotions under control. It is a kindness to offer yourself by standing back from a problem, which then allows you to be objective about it.

Inward considering is when you become overly concerned with the way people are treating you. If you perceive that someone is not giving you the respect you feel you deserve, you can feel insulted and angry, and want to strike back. When one’s self-esteem is not as high as it could be, we become overly sensitive to the actions of others. One of the Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz is “Don’t take anything personally.” This is sage advice and, unfortunately what 99% of people do not do.

The third cause of negative emotions is when we give too much importance to what other people might think about us regarding things we want to do or not do. The truth is no one cares more about your key life decisions than you do. Set your own high standards. Choose good role models, and let go of the frantic drive that makes what others may think more important than our own beliefs. Eleanor Roosevelt said, “nobody can me you feel inferior without your consent.”   

The fourth negative influence is the worst one of all. It is the trigger of anger, resentment, envy, jealousy, and frustration. It is called Blame. To become angry, a person must be able to blame someone for something that has happened or not happened that they don’t like or approve of. They blame their problems on others so that they lose contact with reality. They see the entire world through a lens of blame and its sister emotion, guilt.

Whenever there is a problem, personal or public, the angry person automatically concludes that someone must be to blame. They then spend time and emotion apportioning blame among various parties. This obsession with blame and anger, leading to resentment and envy, can consume the person who experiences it.

Having a life of joy and happiness is for everyone. The key for such a life has to do with our thinking. The only thing we can control are our thoughts. We think thoughts and then generate meanings to go along with these thoughts. Since our mind can only hold one thought at a time, positive or negative, we can substitute a positive thought for a negative thought whenever we choose. If we do this often enough time, we develop a habit. We end up starving off the negative thoughts, and the negative feelings that accompany them, which otherwise end up zapping our energy and joy. Our negative thoughts have all been learned, beginning in childhood. What has been learned can be unlearned. Life is not a dress rehearsal.

This is all a long way to say: “change your thinking, change your life.”

Tips for Fishing and Living #25

Tip # 25:

“May the holes in your net be no larger than the fish in it.

                                                                                  Irish Blessing

Stephen found his 41-year-old life bottoming out. His wife of ten years was leaving him, and she was also fighting for sole custody of their two children. At the same time his business was in the tank, with his business partners suing him. It wasn’t surprising that Stephen was in a tailspin. He felt overwhelmed and depressed.

Out of desperation he went for counseling, at first to blame and to vent.

“The whole world is out to screw me over,” he stated emphatically.

Eventually, by staying with the therapy he began to shift and take a hard look at several things he did that had percolated much of this present mess. After a while, he even saw that he was chiefly responsible for creating this life. He recognized how the cumulative effect of many decisions he had made, things he ignored, and those things he didn’t resolve adequately, all contributed to his present disarrayed state.

With hard work, persistence and some openness to coaching, Stephen came to own the part he had played. Some things were not in his control; but there was much that was. This was both sobering. It was also hope filled. He could now see some things he could do something about. With this new found hope he began to move his present life forward with new possibilities.

With the continued support Stephen utilized his “terrible” life as a spring board for a better one. It took time; there wasn’t some “quick-fix.” But he started making small shifts that resulted in an overall better feeling. This began to build steam and further his positive efforts.

First he cleaned up some of the messes he had either initiated or fueled, beginning with his wife. She would not stop the divorce, but he got her to see they could co-parent their children rather than keep fighting over them. Each desired their children have both a mother and a father so they agreed to take co-parenting classes in order to learn how to communicate better, and compromise for the sake of their children.

He also re-started his career, using lessons he had gained from his so-called failed business. He made some new agreements with his now former business partners, by owning his past failures with them. This humility and wisdom drew newer business relationships toward his latest enterprise.

When we do things well we learn very little. We’ll celebrate. We party. But usually we don’t learn anything substantial. When we “fail” and make mistakes we are provided with great opportunities and access for wisdom. It is up to us to exploit these opportunities in the very best sense. If we don’t, we’re doomed to keep repeating them.

Ted Williams, someone who knew a lot about hitting home runs, once said:

“If you’re in a slump, don’t swing harder, change your stance.”

Most of us are inclined to keep swinging harder.

What would changing my stance look like?

How would I do this?

First, we need to get to a place where we STOP. And then, PONDER.

Then we can ask new questions; better questions:

“What can I take from this life lesson?”

“What is available and useful for me in this seemingly disastrous situation?   

We can also ask ourselves:

“What’s good about this situation?”

 It’s not that we wanted this crisis or upset to have occurred; but now that it has, what can we glean from it?

‘What is the possible lesson here for me?’

 I have met with many engaged couples where one, or both, was previously married, divorced, and about to marry a new person.

Invariably I would ask the divorced person,

“What did you learn from your break up?”

No one goes into a marriage hoping for it to fall apart. But when it does, there are useful lessons to learn, or “takeaways,” that are invaluable.

 If they say to me something like:

“I learned don’t ever marry a jerk,” I know they haven’t grown much, and are likely about to repeat the same mistakes again.

 However, if they say something like:

“I learned that at that time in my life I was attracted to “jerks,” or they speak of being so needy, or desperate to get out of their parent’s house, and either missed or overlooked various red flags regarding this other person,” then I know they are in a radically better place regarding their new pending marriage.

 We are all wounded healers, or as I often say, a work in progress. If we are earnest about growing we can keep a look out for our various blind spots. These are things we don’t readily see, or even want to see. They might be our “holes in the net.” Humility and gratitude bring us farther along our pathway toward growth. If we take on that everything is a blessing we can be predisposed to utilizing life as providing us with exactly what we need. Whatever shows up in our lives are possible opportunities.

 Sometimes we fantasize about having a life free from burdens, and even imagining such a life as possible. Then we go about trying to figure out how to construct such a life. There is only one way to do so: It’s called being “flat-lined.” In other words, we are dead.

 Until then, the ups and downs of our life serve a great purpose. They are a means for us to grow. Life without challenges is unrealistic. It precludes the possibility for true maturity. From this perspective, mistakes are important, even essential.

 We’d be better to not think in terms of “mistakes.” Instead, think of these as “learning opportunities.” A breakthrough can only occur when we are in a break down. We call this a paradigm shift.

 So here’s a crazy idea: If you really are interested in growing and in gaining wisdom, the next time you find yourself in a particular jam, instead of getting bummed out about it, tell yourself:

“Wow! I’ve never seen an opportunity like this before.”

You never want to let a serious crisis go to waste.

Tips for Fishing and Living #24

Tip # 24:

“Fishing is the sport of drowning worms.”

                                                            Author Unknown

We can easily forget how we got to whatever level of success we may have achieved in our lives. We deceive ourselves into thinking we did it entirely on our own. This is a failure to recognize all the various help and assistance we actually have been given along the way. Its faulty thinking; it’s deceptive – do I dare say, and egotistical, as well?

For starters, each of us received LIFE from our parents. This one thing is awesome. They passed life on to us having received life from their parents, and so on. This gift of life that gets passed on to us is precious. Even if you had parents that did nothing more than this one thing – gave you your LIFE. This is huge! As the TV commercial says, “It’s Priceless.”

Some people do not know one or both of their parents, or had separate biological parents and nurturing parents. There are the ones who gave you life, and the one(s) that nurtured you, possibly raising you from infancy through childhood. These may be different people. Some had significant grandparents, adoptive parents, single- parents, or foster parents. For some it was older siblings, or guardians. They all count.

We also learned and grew from significant people that were important teachers along the way: classroom teachers, coaches, scout leaders, sitters, older siblings, good neighbors, favorite aunt or uncle, etc. There were good ones and bad ones who helped us. Even those who did certain things poorly were instructing and teaching us. They may have taught us what not to do. The point is that the self-made man or woman is a myth. It is an illusion. To claim we made it all on our own is, at best, foolish. At worst, it’s arrogant. No matter what the circumstances are that got you here, I contend, you ought to be elated and joyous. You are HERE. The key is GRATITUDE.

We are living in a time where people are stepping forward to claim they’ve been victims. Some of this is long overdue, as well as, quite legitimate and healthy. It is the beginning of possible healing and of stopping these systemic patterns that have existed far too long.

While this is all true, we would also do well to see that each of us are, at times both a victim and a perpetrator. Fishing requires us to kill the worm. When we eat a cheeseburger, or an apple, we are taking life. Maybe this seems extreme. But by not recognizing this reality we lack a certain respect for all life.

People pray before meals to acknowledge the gift of life and for the nurturance about to be received, as well as, to give gratitude for those who prepared it. They are also acknowledging their Creator who ultimately provides us with life and with the on-going sustenance that supports our lives.

I am not trying to down play the terrible abuse too often ignored or tolerated. I’m simply trying to also help us see our own systemic entanglement that promotes abuse and perpetrating. Basically anytime we start to treat others as less than us we are becoming a perpetrator.

As an example, let’s say we attempt to go “help” someone. Perhaps offer some advice or provide a warning regarding this person’s behavior. And they decline our offer.  Often, we get annoyed, or maybe become “testy.” After all we were offering help and here they are blowing us off. Now we judge them as ungrateful, or wrong, or stupid, or any number of judgments because they declined our help.  

At this point I am now seeing myself as a person, while I am seeing this other person as an object. This is a self-deception. It is also a self-betrayal. What I’ve managed to do is make myself superior while making this other inferior.

We deceive ourselves whenever we see other people’s needs as less important than our own, so we treat them like mere objects. Self-deception is seeing other people’s faults and our virtues as inflated.

This self-betrayal has the effect of putting ourselves In-A-Box. The definition of being in a box includes that when we are in a box we are unable to see that we are in one. The only Red Flag is that we are feeling upset. It’s the only clue we have available to us. Initially doing something different than what we are presently doing will appear as counter-intuitive. We need to surrender our current “justified thoughts and behaviors.” We are trapped in a box and we are fueled with justifications to go about continual judging and criticizing – in other words we are acting as a perpetrator does.

We start telling ourselves that we are correct to write this other person off, and to not do anything more with them.

We’ll reason:

‘I’m important, hardworking, a victim, a good person.’

‘Why should I be nice to him? What has she ever done for me?’ 

‘She’s Wrong; I’m Right.’

‘He is lazy; inconsiderate; insensitive; or unappreciative.’

How do we get Out of the Box?

First of all, stop thinking only about yourself.

Instead focus on the other person for a bit.

See this other as also a person.

Search for their humanity, even if it appears buried.

Seeing all people as human beings. No one is better, or worse. Underneath any of the different ways we think and act, we are, nevertheless the same.

And gratitude is the pathway. This is the vital ingredient for living both humbly and richly. It allows us to get past our judging, comparing, and whatever superiority we are holding that will only disconnect us from each other. Gratitude gets us out of our egos.

St. Ignatius of Loyola said that “Gratitude is the antidote for despair and depression.” Not only that, it is also the access toward a fulfilling life. It addresses the deeply seated hunger and yearning we each have for connection. We humans are social animals. Gratitude helps us know we are not alone. This is, indeed, quite wonderful.

In the Gospel Story of Jesus meeting the discipline for the first time on the beach, he said to them that if they followed him he would make them “fishers of people.” What the apostles did not realize, nor do we, is that he meant for them to become the bait.

Tips for Fishing and Living #23

Tip # 23:

“He fishes well who uses a golden hook.” Latin Proverb

When one fishes – or does anything – having a specific intention makes the project unfold accordingly. One’s “golden hook” could be that there is a focused outcome that then gets carried throughout the project. The opposite of this is the old notion: “If you don’t know where you are going, any road will do.”   

Sometimes we are better at telling others how they should or could do something – what their outcomes ought to be – while we are not doing so well in our own lives. Talk is cheap.

Offering advice or instructing others on how to live, all the while being clueless in living our own life, bespeaks a lack of integrity. The inability to “walk the talk” is a hollow way to live. It has a certain arrogance in it. Also, people mostly see through it, where they “consider the source” as very suspect.

Another way to think about a “golden hook” is the idea that one gets what one pays for. And when someone buys something of low-grade quality. At first they feel pleased when they pay for it, and then displeased every time they use it. But when they buy a well-made article, they feel extravagant when paying for it, and well pleased every time they use it. There’s nothing wrong with getting the best price for the best product, or even buying lesser quality items to serve your particular purpose.

Sometimes I get a tool at Harbor Freight. I don’t expect to be doing the particular project I need this tool for again. The tool serves its purpose. Even if it’s more than a one-time fix the lesser quality tool usually suffices. There are always trade-offs. The old adage, Getting what you pay for is mostly correct. But this isn’t only about buying expensive vs. cheap stuff. The “golden hook” is about having clear intentions.

Saint Damien of Molokai went to Hawaii in the late 1800s to comfort and serve people with leprosy. Each Sunday he would preach to the leper colony people, always addressing them as “You lepers.” After many years of being with them, one Sunday he got up in the pulpit and began his sermon with, “We lepers…”

There is a certain irony in thinking we are being the teacher only to discover we are the more often than not the student. This can be humbling. It is also grace.

Each of us is called to give sermons – our sermon. The best way to do so is not by using words. It is by the example in how we live our own life that speak volumes!  I have a friend who is a Dominican Sister. They are technically called the Order of Preachers – O.P. She once told me that their life’s work is to be a living sermon. While they are called to do actual preaching, it is not necessarily by words, it’s by the way they life their life. She said she examines her life on a regular or daily basis to see if there congruency between her words and her life?

This is a wonderful question for each of us:

Is what I are prescribing for others how I am also living my life?

Yes, we are all flawed. Imperfect. With inconsistencies. These are there for us to address, and grow from. If we don’t acknowledge our Peccadilloes, we are then prone to living a certain dishonesty.

“Heal thyself, physician.”

It takes a while to clean up our various lacks, and to uproot them. Perhaps a lifetime. Integrity is something that grows and broadens into a more comprehensive quality over time and from experience. Initially we may think we have integrity when we return the extra five dollars the cashier mistakenly gave us at the grocery store checkout. We may come to realize not speaking up to a work colleague who tells a racist joke is a lack of integrity. We may come to see our lack of compassion for the homeless, or our justifications for not helping someone when we could have done so, and so on, are further areas where we still lack integrity.

Becoming an integrous person is an on-going, never ending process, laced with plenty of mistakes from which to learn and grow. They are opportunities that can lead us to living a life where we find we have always more work to do; that we are never done. Its best we think of ourselves of as being a “work in progress.” This doesn’t give us an excuse to rest on our victories. Nor does it mean we must beat ourselves up over each new realization when we fall short.

 There is no such thing as cheap grace. With an intentional life we are choosing to keep learning, growing and healing our wounds, our mistakes and/or omissions. Still, the road to heaven is heaven. Such a life is one where our clear and persistent intention is to grow into maturity, and become a person who knows how to love, and how to make a positive difference. That is quite a Golden Hook to fish with.

Tips for Fishing and Living #22

Tip # 22:

 “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.”  Chinese Proverb (although others claim this quote, as well).

Perhaps, this is the most common of all fishing quotes, it also is one often ignored.

We are more likely to give to a specific cause, or one-time request, than invest in a more systemic approach to another’s difficulty. This can be appropriate, but there are times when helping is helping, and when helping is not helping. As the old Marlo Thomas song says this second kind of helping, “is the kind we all could do without.”

 Previously, I presented how when our own children got into young adulthood they would invariably come to us with their anxieties and turmoil about some pressing life issue at hand. They’d be consumed by whatever they found themselves confronting, and would ask for our parental advice. Initially, I was more than glad to regale them with my sage advice. Ok, I was delighted! After all, I was chuck full of great and learned wisdom. However, this proved almost never useful. They would do one of two things: either do what I had suggested, and blame me if things turned out poorly; or they’d ignore my input and do what they wanted to do in the first place. As I said before, I eventually learned to stop giving advice. Instead, I would listen, and then tell them I had total confidence they would figure out their best solution.

 A much better stance to take since this approach was simpatico to the idea of giving one a fishing pole and some lessons to empower them. I dispensed from offering any more fish, so as to not subject them to being forever dependent and beholding. As far as I was concerned they had everything they needed to make a good decision.

 The medieval Sephardic Jewish philosopher, Moses Maimonides, who became one of the most prolific and influential Torah scholars of the Middle Ages, wrote about Eight degrees in the duty of charity. In 1826 an explication of the eighth degree was published in a journal called “The Religious Intelligencer,” which described it this way:

The eighth degree, and the most meritorious of all, is to anticipate charity by preventing poverty, namely, to assist others in need, either by a considerable gift or loan of money, or preferably, by teaching him a trade, or by putting him into a business, so that he may earn a livelihood and not be forced to the dreadful alternative of receiving charity. In other words not simply giving him/her a fish.

 One of our grandsons purchased a doughnut machine and worked each summer weekend at a regional farmer’s market. A woman who has a huge doughnut business a few towns away stopped by. She immediately became very excited by his neophyte business. She has since taken him under her wing, and has been offering valuable lessons she has learned along her pathway. He has a mentor in this woman who is delighted to see someone else so enterprising. This is good helping.

 There are many people glad to offer some of their experience and knowledge to others starting up a business or project. YouTube is full of decent people offering free advice and hands-on expertise for all sorts of things as one example of this. I recently replaced the drum belt on our clothes dryer by first watching a video clip.

 Americans pride themselves as rugged individualists. But we are also part of a society. The truth is we usually get where we get by having other people lending us a helping hand, whether we acknowledge this or not. Some of us are much better at giving help than we are at asking for it. Other are the opposite. Here’s the deal: each of us has some wisdom, but not all of it. We each have gifts and talents to offer. And each of us have needs and areas in which we could use help. 

 Here’s a question: Are we or are we not our brothers/sisters keepers? People come down on both sides of this idea. Politically we hear pro and con arguments as to what we should or should not do for each other. Do we do too much or too little? Do our social programs do enough to serve the needy? Do these efforts help to move people to a better place? Do they do too much, and possibly keep them stuck in, say, poverty?

 When I am asked for money on the street, usually I offer to buy some food. On numerous occasions I’ve taken people into a café, or to a diner for a breakfast or lunch instead of giving cash. I do so because I’m conflicted about possibly enabling someone’s addiction. I really don’t know if this is a better way, but I also want to do something.

 There is an old story about people from a town standing along the riverbanks and pulling out people from the river, who are floating in the turbulent water, to save them from drowning. They continue to do this for a long time, eventually becoming exhausted. Finally, someone suggests they go up the river to find out why people are falling into the river in the first place.

 We have programs in place providing immediate help but do not address the actual cause or causes for the problems people face. Our health care system is mostly about “giving a fish” instead of teaching how to fish. Could we do more to address why people get ill? Of course help those who are sick, but how about seeing what can be done to prevent people from getting sick? Education is needed to help keep them well. Some health care insurances offer wellness options such as a gym membership. It is really smart thinking. A few days a week at a gym costs a lot less than a week or two in the hospital. Unfortunately we often have disincentives in our programs that work against helping people from getting out from under their illness, homelessness, unemployment, or poverty.

 Assisting people to be healthy, or get out of poverty is a systemic approach. It goes way beyond having welfare, or universal health care, for instance. It’s about creating a society that values health for all. It’s actually about fostering a society that values all people. This is a long term approach.

 Prisons do not work for anyone. It cost more to keep someone in prison than to send someone to college. To see the “win-win” approach that addresses prison as both a place to pay for ones’ crime, as well as, rehabilitate so an offender can become a productive citizen, rather than a hardened criminal only now more of a threat to society.

 We have to address how we educate children, and be more creative in how we are preparing them for careers that don’t yet exist. This requires teaching them how to think, be imaginative and creative, and problem solve. Also, it’s about empowering them to BE the future they are being prepared for.

 Finally, we’d have to address that our thinking is a huge part of our problems. We do not think systemically. We think in linear ways: Cause and Effect, Either Or. This way of thinking keeps us stuck in ways we can’t even see. There is a certain blindness with this. We are addicted primarily to our thinking. We’d think thoughts that prevent us from addressing greed, and justifying it by occasionally giving someone a fish.

Anyone interested in providing more fishing lessons?