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Assume Good Intent


There have been positive changes occurring over several decades including now.  We are not in a time of doom and isolation, but of possibilities and togetherness.  Yes, things are getting better and we are awakening from our disillusionment.

The emptiness of living a life controlled by the ego, of focusing and protecting the self, first and foremost, has been encouraged by the systems our foreparents had designed for mistrust.  The only way into living a substantive life is by opening our true selves to others, being vulnerable and letting go of the ego.  The question is not how, but when.  Assume good intent is the key.  However, it is left up to each one of us to decide when.

As a society, there has been much polarization in attitudes and opinions that make a compelling argument for groups to remain suspicious of the "other."  If we are to remain polarized, we will continue to doubt others and remain separate.  Polarization is base on a particular truth whose main ingredient is fear.  However, there are many truths to a situation and all we are left with is to choose which perspective to take, to call our truth.  This is a choice.

There is evidence that we are turning the tide.   We have been doing this as a collective for years on a global scale.  We are becoming more compassionate and aware of our interconnectedness as evident in what Jerry Michalski, a pattern finder, lateral thinker, facilitator and explorer of interactions between technology, society and business, coined as "Design from Trust."  This system of design touches every sector of our lives and effects how we educate our kids, design our cities, treat employees, invest in new ideas, grow our food, and on and on. 

"Design from Trust" offers a consistent framework that can align all the different kind of projects that communities and companies are trying to undertake to find their way back to trust.  Michalski directs us to Wikipedia, the Internet, Crowdfunding, Crowdsourcing, The Gift Economy, Microfinance, Governing the Commons, Unschooling, Honor Codes, Animal Gentling, Time Banking, Free-Range Companies, Reformative Justice, Open Space & Unconferences, Traffic Calming, Work Place Democracy, Open Everything, Natural Farming, Pay What you Want, The Sharing Economy, Pattern Languages, For-Benefit Companies, Cooperatives, Circular Economy, Policy by Consent, Basic Income Guarantee, Participating Governance, P2P Lending, P2P Everyting among so many more as examples of "Design from Trust" that works.

Traditional thought and popular perspectives that were adopted from generations past where systems were designed from mistrust are now being upended.  Despite plenty of evidence supporting the argument that we are not trustworthy, the opposite is true.  People are more trustworthy that we think they are.  

On an individual level, if we choose, trust can unlock our genius and expand our state of awareness to different ways of viewing life whereby releasing us from the emotional constraints of the ordinary mind.  At the end, we evolve not just as individuals but as a species if we choose to.

According to The New Quotable Einstein by Alice Calprice (Princeton University Press, 2005: ISBN 0691120749), a distraught father who had lost his son had asked Einstein for some comforting words and on February 12, 1950 Einstein wrote the following, presumably a more accurate version of his famous quote that was first published in the New York Times on March 29, 1972: 

A human being is a part of the whole, called by us "Universe," a part limited in time and space.  He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings as something separate from the rest—a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness.  The striving to free oneself from this delusion is the one issue of true religion.  Not to nourish it but to try to overcome it is the way to reach the attainable measure of peace of mind.


Yung Park, M.D.

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