Friday, June 12, 2020

Obviously not accurate, and yet, has a measure of truth.

I like this whimsical sign.

Obviously, we're *not* only in need of water and sun.  We need sleep, companionship, mental stimulation and so much.  And we're not houseplants!

And yet, I enjoy how this trivial sign is a reminder, too, that in some ways we really need few tangible things to have a good life.  And, also, we do need to manage our complex emotions.

Emotions that include anger, fear, sadness, grief are difficult.

My hope is that all persons can live in a world spurned 
on by more hopeful and loving emotions.

My hope is that all persons can live in a world characterized 
by less fractured and hurtful emotions.

Let's do more to share water, sun and care & compassion, one to another.

Toward eupan ~

~ marty alan michelson, ph.d.

Tuesday, June 9, 2020

We get better when we own our actions and apologize

We can learn how to be better by studying the habits and practices of peace-able persons, peace-making communities, and by studying what has worked to achieve peace between and among persons, individuals and nations.

Cinnie Noble has written books and articles to help persons engage conflict toward reconciliation and peace.  Cinnie Noble founded CINERGY® Coaching and is former social worker and lawyer, Cinnie is a certified mediator (C.Med).

At her blog today she shared more than the abbreviated version I'll include below - as you are encouraged to read her presentation fully at her site.

The reality is people on the receiving end are not always ready for an apology – we might still be processing our hurt about what was said or done; we might not be otherwise ready to move on; we might consider the behaviour exhibited as unforgivable. Some have heard too many apologies from the other person for the same behaviours, and feel trust has broken down irreparably. . . . The following set of questions invites you to consider an apology you want to make for something you said or did, and also, one in which another person made an apology to you for something they said or did – but you have not accepted it.
  • What is the conflict about – the one for which you want to express an apology? What do you want to apologize for?
  • If you were to try out the apology (just in our conversation here as a practice) what would you say to make it ‘right’?
  • How might that apology as you expressed it be received by the other person (your answer to the above question)? If you don’t think the apology, as described in the previous question, would be well received what else might you say that might be?
  • What actions or words will you use – or not use going forward – that will reflect the sincerity of your apology – something or some things you will change so you won’t contribute to a repeat of the same sort of interaction?
  • What dynamic between you and the other person in this scenario make the change(s) you plan challenging? How might you overcome the challenge(s)?

Toward eupan ~

marty alan michelson, ph.d. 

Monday, June 8, 2020

Can a Virus Push us to become Better?

The impact of SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19 are intriguing at many levels.

It will be interesting to discern the future impact of this pandemic.

It has reshaped the world.

A few intriguing studies in the news today include:

Some personality types are less likely to cohere to social distancing/social care.  Individuals can negatively impact the future of societies.

Fossil Fuels may never recover from the impacts.  (Personally, I think fossil fuels will persist for many decades, simply based on the number of "end-user" needs in the forms of current vehicles on the road.)

A single nation, acting with social/government intentional impact, while impacted by SARS-CoV-2 has demonstrated they can "conquer" it.  Good Job New Zealand. 

And, it's evident that when people acted with some intention in shut-downs and social-distancing - lives were spared from COVID-19.  Social care and social action can make the world safer, better.

We can be better.

We need more social advocacy and shared commitment to one another - to the health and wholeness of all persons.

Toward eupan ~

~ marty alan michelson, ph.d.

Friday, June 5, 2020

Communication, Clarity and Data should inform our Social Transformation

I am sharing a comprehensive website about a social change advocacy program with metrics and data about police issues, police policy, and public political policy with safety issues.

Because the website and the data are new to me in recent days, I reserve the right to not agree with nor advocate for *every* *individual* issue.

The content data within the site, as well as the quality of graphics/handouts, and the presentation of relevant data is important to our public conversation.

We can live in a world where the police don't kill people by limiting police interventions, improving community interactions, and ensuring accountability.
comprehensive package of urgent policy solutions - informed by data, research and human rights principles - can change the way police serve our communities.

More at

A four-page PDF, with data and their suggested policy changes is at this link.

We can be better.

We can act better.

We are imperfect.

Political and social change are needed to insure all persons are cared for and protected. 

Stronger social cohesion within more loving & caring communities is possible.

Toward eupan ~

~ marty alan michelson, ph.d.

Saturday, May 30, 2020

Pure Objectivity is impossible . . . and yet

Detached and disconnected objectivity is impossible.

We are each shaped by personal, social, family, cultural, contextual, educational, experiential and genetic issues.

And yet, it seems likely to me that "to any outside observer" - persons from outside America looking at America  - must objectively ponder how "great" we are as a nation and/or how realistic is the claim of "the American Dream."

Viewed from outside America, it is likely that an objective outside observer would think that America is deeply divided, politically unstable, failing to care for the poor, not nurturing the sick, and fraught with true dis-ease and disease with respect to how immigrants and people of colour are (dis)respected and (mis)treated.

It's impossible for outsiders to know what America is really like.

Even if the killing of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, or the racial profiling of a bird watcher peacefully enjoying the park does lead to systemic change for America - these men still should *not* have been killed.

I know, my view is subjective and fraught with complexity. And yet . . .

To my view, America is deeply divided, politically unstable, failing to care for the poor, not nurturing the sick and fraught with true dis-ease with respect to how immigrants and people of colour are disrespected and mistreated.

Toward eupan ~

~ marty alan michelson, ph.d.

Saturday, May 2, 2020

"The rich get richer . . . "

U.S. President Andrew Jackson stated in 1832: 

when the laws undertake... to make the rich richer and the potent more powerful, the humble members of society... have a right to complain of the injustice to their Government.

Prior to this, the Poet Percy Shelley wrote in 1821:

The rich have become richer, and the poor have become poorer; and the vessel of the State is driven between the Scylla and Charybdis of anarchy and despotism.

How and why Rich people are rich and Poor people are poor is complex in various ways.  And yet, it is true for many who are poor that they do not get the "simple uplift" they need in a month, or a few months - or at crucial junctures that give them the extra dollars they need to "start" on the path to greater financial independence or success.

The following story is from an author/book not familiar to me from fiction I do not read. Though, when I read it online today it captured a glimpse of the "$50" that a person/family might need to transpose their lived reality for years into the future.  From author Sir Terry Pratchet, in Men At Arms.

"The reason that the rich were so rich, [Captain Samuel] Vimes reasoned, was because they managed to spend less money." 
"Take boots, for example. He earned thirty-eight dollars a month plus allowances. A really good pair of leather boots cost fifty dollars. But an affordable pair of boots, which were sort of OK for a season or two and then leaked like hell when the cardboard gave out, cost about ten dollars. Those were the kind of boots Vimes always bought, and wore until the soles were so thin that he could tell where he was . . . on a foggy night by the feel of the cobbles." 
"But the thing was that good boots lasted for years and years. A man who could afford fifty dollars had a pair of boots that'd still be keeping his feet dry in ten years' time, while the poor man who could only afford cheap boots would have spent a hundred dollars on boots in the same time and would still have wet feet." 
"This was the Captain Samuel Vimes 'Boots' theory of socioeconomic unfairness."

Let's work toward a world where all persons are rich enough for good shoes, healthy food, safe shelter, health-care needs and caring neighborhoods.

Toward eupan ~

~ marty alan michelson, ph.d. 

Thursday, April 30, 2020


It is hard to "change" a person.

Ultimately, each person has to choose to change themselves.

Though - we can have influence.

The word influence derives from the latin:

in - into
fluere -  to flow

Water that cascades over rock, with enough time, will "influence" a change in the rock - making rough edges smooth or carving a channel for the water's journey downstream.

My hope is that we will each learn better ways to "flow into" the lives of others - setting up patterns of behavior and habits that influence each of us to be more caring, loving and compassionate with all of Creation.

My hope is that we will have influence to help persons change themselves in ways that better reflect solidarity, kindness and mutual care for all living things.

Toward eupan ~

~ marty alan michelson, ph.d.