The problem – civil obedience

Matt Damon reads from Howard Zinn’s speech “The Problem is Civil Obedience” (November 1970) from Voices of a People's History on Vimeo.

‘This performance was part of “The People Speak, Live!” with Matt Damon and Lupe Fiasco at the Metro in Chicago, on January 31, 2012, produced by Voices of a People’s History (peopleshistory.us) in collaboration with Louder Than a Bomb: The Chicago Youth Poetry Festival.’

Anchoring – the power of our senses

From a very early age anchoring becomes part of our hard wiring, locked deep into our neurology. Those little neurons go crazy programming certain situations and how they make us feel. I remember being given a mixed CD from a family friend when I was about 10, Toto’s Africa always makes me feel a certain way.

Anchoring can be used to create responses, both good and bad. We can all find anchors and fire them to change the mood of ourselves and others, hopefully for the better. The more senses are engaged in an anchor (sound, smell, visual, taste, touch) the stronger the emotion. So pretty useful to be able to fire certain anchors before a presentation.

NLP (neuro-linguistic programming) can be used for personal development as a model for learning, tapping into our behavioural patterns and self-awareness, to create those positive anchors. It gets a lot of criticism and here’s a pretty good blog post about the pros and cons.

“Neuro-Linguistic Programming n. a model of interpersonal communication chiefly concerned with the relationship between successful patterns of behaviour and the subjective experiences (esp. patterns of thought) underlying them; a system of alternative therapy based on this which seeks to educate people in self-awareness and effective communication, and to change their patterns of mental and emotional behaviour.” – [Oxford English Dictionary]

Surely having some positive anchors can’t be a bad thing – being aware of what some of our triggers are and being mindful of them? I know certain tracks are a positive anchor for me, what are some of yours?

Ray Anderson: The business logic of sustainability

If you haven’t watched this before, it’s an understated but powerful call to arms. Ray was the founder and chairman of Interface Inc (a very successful carpet company) and ‘recovering plunderer’ (his words). Since the 1990’s he turned Interface’s ‘take, make’ waste’ model on its head, which also lead it to global dominance doubling profits.

His theory, facts and evidence justify his powerful vision for sustainable commerce – which was a ‘Mission Zero’ plan. He used the below impact equation, to transform the way his businesses were run.

His question to us or call to arms: can we reframe civilisation itself, to have more happiness with less stuff? To change the whole system of our economics, creating a ‘new civilisation a sustainable species living on a finite earth, ethically, happily and ecologically in balance with nature.’

After all ‘theft is a crime and theft of our children’s future will be a crime’ surely?

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José Mujica donates 90% of his salary: the world’s poorest or richest president?

José Alberto Mujica Cordano was elected the Uruguayan president in 2010. He’s not only a vegetarian but he’s a very kind man. He’s known as the ‘world’s poorest president’ quite an accolade, as he donates 90%, yes 90% of his salary to charity and small entrepreneurs. He takes home around £485 and donates £7,500.

He’s described as an ‘anti-politician’ and a man ‘who speaks the language of the people’, no surprise then that he created the Movement of Popular Participation and is a lefty. Some may think he’s an eccentric man but his actions make a lot of sense:

This is a matter of freedom. If you don’t have many possessions then you don’t need to work all your life like a slave to sustain them, and therefore you have more time for yourself” the BBC reported.

The Uruguayan leader made a similar point when he addressed the Rio+20 summit in June this year “We’ve been talking all afternoon about sustainable development. To get the masses out of poverty. But what are we thinking? Do we want the model of development and consumption of the rich countries? I ask you now: what would happen to this planet if Indians would have the same proportion of cars per household than Germans? How much oxygen would we have left? It is this level of hyper-consumption that is harming our planet” – hear hear

Some think he’s mad, I say he’s a hero and understands life. Surely this makes him the richest president.

The good giraffe’s acts of kindness

The Good Giraffe

Mohammad Hirzallah was at the North Bridge,
Edinburgh, on 10 November.

The saying goes ‘the less you have, the more you give’. And that’s certainly true about The Good Giraffe.

Armstrong Baillie is unemployed and gives to strangers because it makes other people happy??

His random acts of kindness are done dressed as a giraffe (his favourite animal). He got the idea from “a man in a gorilla costume playing drums on the streets around Edinburgh… he really made me smile, and I know I wasn’t the only one,” he told Scotsman.com. I wonder what Phil Colins would think.

He hitch-hikes and busks to spend the donations on kind deeds: free bananas at the Edinburgh Half Marathon, coffee to cold passers by, £10 vouchers to mothers in hospitals. All just to be kind and cheer people up.

The Good Giraffe has been causing a bit of a stir and debate in online communities, some think it’s nice others just plain mad?

I wonder if brands or organisations like the Kindness Offensive will get The Good Giraffe involved in events.

Anthony At Your Service – this is cool

I love it when people send me stuff, thanks Richard Langrish for sharing this.

Anthony At Your Service is such a brilliant idea to integrate Anthony, who has autism, into the community. Anthony, with the help of his assistant and mum, now runs a delivery service with a smile.

I particularly like the the high dive bit, everyone needs to be challenged. A great film which challenges our prejudice.

I think Anthony and I would get on well, I love swimming too.

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