Framing our organizations as "family."
But what kind of family? Nurturing? Or Strict? Empathic? Or Cruel?
Welcome back, Pro-Empathy Freedom Voters are the Solution subscribers. Our Empathy Surplus Network USA Zoom Forums are applying the framing recommendations from cognitive scientists, linguists, and progressive activists George Lakoff and Elisabeth Wehling’s bestselling book Your Brain’s Politics: How the Science of Mind Explains the Political Divide and retired progressive public relations guru David Fenton’s memoir The Activist’s Media Handbook. Here’re the schedule and enrollment link. Also, consider becoming a co-proposer of the Empathy Surplus Network USA’s first model legislation for state legislators at the CARE Education Bill link. We want to make the cultivation of empathy and learning about the Universal Declaration of Human Rights for all students in grades K through 12 mandatory in every state.
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Why do we frame our organizations as a family?1 Quite frequently, we unconsciously refer to our organizations as families because we first learned to govern and be governed by others IN our family. But it’s important to ask what kind of family - nurturing or strict - because not all families are alike. But hold on to that people-first, pro-empathy freedom frame for your organization for a minute.
The Season for Nonviolence
The Season for Nonviolence was established in 1998 by Arun Gandhi, Mohandas Gandhi's grandson, the same year cognitive scientist, linguist, and progressive activist Dr. George Lakoff launched his former Rockridge Institute. 2A deeply political and moral holiday,3 The Season is an annual observance from January 30th - April 4th, commemorating the empathic peacemaking efforts of Mohandas Gandhi and Martin Luther King, Jr. Their lives were ended by anti-empathy assassins on those same dates respectively.
In 2003, Arun Gandhi wrote, “This world is what we have made of it. If it is ruthless today, it is because we have made it ruthless by our attitudes. If we change ourselves, we can change the world, and changing ourselves begins with changing our language and methods of communication.”
Dr. Lakoff unknowingly confirmed with cognitive science Arun Gandhi’s philosophy of non-violence, writing in 2006 in Thinking Points, “Frames define common sense. What counts as “common sense” varies from person to person but always depends on what frames are in the brain and how frequently they are used and evoked. Different people can have different frames in their brains, so “common sense” can differ widely from person to person. However, in getting their frames to dominating public discourse, conservatives have changed “common sense,” and progressives have been letting them get away with it. Progressives should become conscious of framing that is at present accepted unconsciously as “common sense,” but that hides the deep problems (of cruel conservatism).”
Empathy Surplus Network USA sponsors The Season of Nonviolence Kickoff US Premiere of “Who Killed Gandhi?”
This year, Empathy Surplus was invited by artist Hyacinth Paul and author Terry Oroszi, both from Dayton, Ohio, to help sponsor the Miami Valley Season of Nonviolence. We are proud to have supported their efforts to host a visit from Tushar Gandhi, great-grandson of Mohandas Gandhi, to the Dayton Miami Valley.4 My friend and co-founder, Miriam Speaight, and I enjoyed meeting Tushar Gandhi at the US premiere of the 2013 documentary film Who Killed Gandhi? at The Plaza in Middletown, Ohio. One sad takeaway from the film is that Mohandas Gandhi is now considered a traitor in much of India because of his focus on deep empathy.
Upcoming Workshop - Framing Empathic Peace Scientifically
Empathy Surplus Network USA and Wilmington Yearly Meeting are proud to co-host a 90-minute workshop entitled Framing Empathic Peace Scientifically, March 2nd, at the Wilmington Public Library from 10:15 to 11:45 a.m. Find the event at www.facebook.com/empathysurplus. Email email@example.com if you live within an hour’s drive of Wilmington, have a FB page, and want to co-host this event to boost our reach.
Lakoff, George, and Wehling, Elisabeth, Your Brain’s Politics, Ch. 2.2. Founding Fathers and Homeland: How We Conceptualize Nationhood, p. 29, Imprint Academic, Exeter, UK 2016.
Renois, Shanayah, NonViolence NY Network, https://www.nonviolenceny.org/post/the-rockridge-institute
IBID., Lakoff and Wehling 2016