What kind of relationship do you have with your ego? How did you even get to learn that you had one? How do you manage it? Do you manage it? What tools or perspectives do you use?
For the first half of this forum, Humanist Community member Laura Mappin will share her trip in getting in touch with her ego and developing ways to manage it that now work well for her. This trip didn’t involve any religion or other pop self-help methods since she was quite wary of them.
For the second half, attendees will be invited to respond and share their stories along this topic.
Close Encounters, ‘Take II’ –The Middle East from a Post-colonial Lens
Dr. Roberta Ahlquist
September 8, 2013
This presentation is a broad-brush overview of two months of travel in 2012 to Pakistan, Egypt, Jordan and the UAE, visiting and speaking in schools, seeing archeological sites, talking with ordinary people on the streets, attending a three-day wedding in Pakistan, meeting Egyptians in Tahrir Square in Cairo, Egypt, and visiting Petra in Jordan, among other places.
This presentation is given through the lens of a social justice academic who teaches at San Jose State University in the College of Education. Some of her questions were: What role has ‘Empire’ played in the lives of people in these countries? What kinds of changes have occurred? What kinds of curriculum exist for k-12 students, and for university students? Is it Western or Middle Eastern; Anglocentric, Eurocentric, Egyptian, or?
Professor Ahlquist’s research includes post-colonial studies, indigenous education, and unlearning racism and other forms of bias. She teaches multicultural foundations courses to prospective high school teachers.
Alistair J. Sinclair is a philosopher residing in Glasgow, Scotland. The source for this “Addendum” is his article “Henry Ford: The Visionary Humanist” published in Volume 20 (2) of “Essays in the Philosophy of Humanism”, a peer-reviewed journal published by the American Humanist Association.
“It is a shock when the mind awakens to the fact that not all of humanity is human — that whole groups of people do not regard others with humane feelings.” — Henry Ford (1922)
Dr. Sinclair argues that Henry Ford was a humanist who changed the world for the better. He had a humanist vision of society in which the standard of living of everyone would gradually improve and poverty would be gradually reduced. The humane capitalism which Ford popularized led to more efficient ways of lowering costs in large scale organizations. It also insured that there was a trickle-down effect that benefitted workers and improved industrial relations.
On January 5, 1914 Ford announced that his company would almost double the wages of its car workers and introduced the eight hour day and the five day work week (Previously the norm had been a twelve hour day and a six day week), He also introduced vacations for his hourly paid workers.
Ford was adamant that work should be found for disabled people instead of excluding them from employment because they are disabled. It would be quite outside the spirit of what we are trying to do, to take on men because they were crippled, pay them a lower wage and be content with a lower output.
This “Addendum” is a half-page presentation of a 20 page philosophic article, complete with notes and references. I commend the article to your attention.
Tom Bergstrom, a Humanist Community member will share important things in his life in this talk. He grew up in a blue collar town of 78,000 in southeast Wisconsin as a practicing Catholic. As a child he was mostly interested in riding his bike fast, and then later developed an interest in world events. However, in his teens he became ill.
For years during Tom’s teens, his best friend used fear tactics to challenge Tom to join the friend’s church. When Tom was 18, he finally joined his friend’s small modest conservative Church Of Christ. After eight years in the Church of Christ or the “C of C”, Tom found out that he could preach. His short preaching career began in his 20’s and lasted a few years from 1991 to about 1994. By 1999 he went through a divorce which led to a new discovery on Christian hypocrisy.
About this he says, “This hypocrisy opened my eyes. I educated myself about philosophy, Taoism, Buddhism, evolution, US history, particle physics, and other sciences. This new education eventually led me to become agnostic. At the same time as I was becoming progressive, American politics was becoming more conservative. Thus, I remembered my old Bible training which taught that there is a big difference between basic Jesus’ saying to love your neighbor and with right-wing American Christian propaganda. The right-wings’ lying rhetoric in the name of Jesus encouraged me to write, blog, protest, join socialists, join humanists, and to expose conservative right-wing American Christians’ hypocritical propaganda. I hope to open your eyes to the magnitude of the false Christian hypocrisy I have seen.”
A Mind of My Own is a dramatic true story of one woman”s recovery from traumatic brain damage following a motorcycle accident in Greece. Facing far more than broken bones and physical impairments, this classical antiquity professor had lost what was most important to her: her ability to successfully use language. This insightful and moving memoir begins with her awakening from a coma and not recognizing family members and follows her journey of recovery. Using journal entries, medical records, letters, and more, she tells her story from multiple perspectives. In a process reminiscent of the literary ascent in Flowers for Algernon, her journal entries illustrate her remarkable journey and provide an intimate narrative of what it takes to become a whole person again after severe brain damage. Her successful step-by-step struggle to return to a normal life is a reminder of what the human spirit is capable.
Harrianne and her son, Lucas, are active in the Family Program at HCSV. We are very fortunate that she will be sharing her amazing story with us. Her book is also available at the Forum.