When it comes to the topic of transformation, Werner Erhard is my go-to person. I recently watched a video on compassion with Werner and Dr. Jim Doty, one of the world’s leading neurosurgeons. I found it extremely beneficial in that I learned we, as humans, are hard-wired to care, it’s our default state and it’s how we function. As it turns out, compassion is the most optimal state for our health. When the heart and brain are working together, there are many, many benefits to us as humans. It’s also been proven medically that we are made to care.
I was reminded of this watching a nature program recently. I watched a scene I’ve witnessed many times – a baby animal is too weak to survive, and the mother decides to feed the strong ones, leaving the weaker one to die. It’s very hard to witness. In another scenario, a mother and father duck were taking their two babies across a treacherous passing to get to food. One chick got carried off in the currents, unable to catch up to its parents. The chick was lost forever and would die.
The parents kept going with the little chick who was keeping up – there was no other choice for them. I can project all I want onto the duck parents – “Oh man, go get that baby!! It’s going to die!! Don’t you care?” It’s not going to change the nature of nature.
This is heart-breaking to us humans who are wired to care. Animals in nature are wired for survival. They don’t possess the higher brain – the neocortex which gives them the ability to care.
In a similar scenario with the ducks, a human father would have seen to it that the mother and child with her were safe before leaving to get the other one. The instinct to save the wayward child would’ve been very strong and damn-near impossible to ignore. It’s what allows people to lift cars off someone trapped underneath!
When you find your humanity, caring is there. –Werner Erhard
At the end of the video, a woman asked a question regarding what’s going on in the world, specifically referring to the issue of millions of refugees – what’s going on with humanity that this situation is ok? Werner stated: “Fear makes people less human.” Jim answered with the following:
The problem is that when you create fear, it results in people doing things that are not fundamentally natural to them because they go into their stress mode and they don’t become more open, they become less open. If you look at our political situation you see a fear narrative and a group of people who are terrified and who then create “the other” in an artificial narrative that “there’s not enough” or “something’s being taken from me” or “somebody’s taking advantage.” Then you objectify the other and you justify doing horrible things.
In a state of fear, it becomes a case of me versus them; this is how it happens that we remain separate from each other. We forget to consider other people’s experiences and what they may have been through in their life. Instead, we objectify others, we judge them, and in doing so we lose our humanity.
It’s not just against others we do this – we do it with ourselves. And that’s the problem. We judge ourselves; we’re hard on ourselves; we get stressed and close our hearts – losing our humanity.
Jim shared something I’ve heard many times and I wholeheartedly agree with – Act how you wish others to act. Kindness pays forward, it changes other people when we’re kind to them and also benefits us as well. Give the gift of being kind and nonjudgmental – to others and yourself.
The one thing we all share and have in common is our humanity. I was watching a scene in the movie “War Horse” where two opposing soldiers came together to free a horse who was caught in barbed wire. The shooting stopped for an act of kindness and caring. Both sides understood what was happening and naturally created a space in time for the fighting to stop. At that point, ‘the war’, something which goes against our very nature, was put aside and the soldiers worked together to free the horse.
I’ve also heard about this happening on Christmas day during wartime. Both examples show that something bigger than fighting and winning a war were present: An opportunity to express real caring, which is the truth of who we are, superseded the violence.
Let’s put our wars aside and be kind to each other. We can start by being kind to ourselves and our families, then move out from there.
For more posts on Werner Erhard and/or transformational technology –
- Transformation of Fear: Moving From Fear into Action and Engagement: An Account of Overcoming the Fear of Public Speaking
- Werner speaks on compassion: Finding Your Humanity in Times of Stressful and Uncertain World Politics
- Werner speaks on being authentic: Authenticity: Being True to Yourself is the Greatest Gift
- On transformation and presentation: A Long-Awaited Change is Coming: Don’t be Surprised if Your Life Starts Shifting in a Powerful Way!
- 5. Accountability and personal experience as a 6 Day Advanced Course staff member: How Paying Attention to Your Words can Increase Your Life Force and Vitality
- Moving forward from the future: Creating a Future of Possibility
- The shape of organizations: Let’s Cut Their Tea and Coffee – That’ll Surely Help the Bottom Line!