When people are stressed and have heightened feelings of fear, they tend to
withdraw from other people, which also reduces the "happy" hormone oxytocin
being released in their brains and subsequently people become less happy and
Sharing what we have with one another and the rest of life makes us happier.
When you are terrified of poverty and violence, it's hard to see that. We
need to rebuild communities for our emotional wellbeing and ensure everyone's
physical wellbeing is as guaranteed as a government can make it.
The timing for this piece by David Amerland couldn't be better. Perhaps more
so than any time in the past 150 years, the people of the United States very
badly need to see the kindness of each other. Our future depends upon healing
this horrible chasm that has opened up over the past few decades, and our
assumptions about kindness play a big role in this as David helps lay out in
Nowhere is this need more powerful than in our media. It can lift us up, or
it can drag us swirling down.
David's mention of Star Trek in this piece reminds me of back when I was
working at Microsoft in the 90s, and I worked on a product that involved
licensing sounds from the original Star Trek series from Paramount. As part
of the actual contract, we had to agree never to use the licensed material in
ways that would take away from an optimistic view of the future. I was so
struck by that at the time; that such a strong belief system would be so
thoroughly and explicitly embedded in that material that it would actually
dictate the way it could be used even after all those years since its
original airing. Things like this really do matter.
What we believe about the present shapes the future.
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