Monday Feb 28, 01
for a more Peaceful Planet
Define a wise decision as an act of
caring toward the self, all others, the earth and what is beyond the earth
now. Take the wise decisions that we already make,
build upon them, commit to a process
where we evaluate our every day, moment to moment decisions, agree
to make more and even better decisions and implement
PO Box 4494, Pueblo, CO, 81003
(719)545-3820 OR (719)248-1680
I have tried to incorporate in this package
all the information you might need to start a project. If
you have any questions at all please contact me. I
also give presentations and workshops. For those there is usually a cost, but
I will be as accommodating as I can be .
I'ts a pretty good trick to find a vision or common set of values that the
greatest percentage of the culture might be willing to agree upon and even
allow to be taught within our schools. The idea that wisdom is based on some
aspect of caring , is a value that can be found in a multitude of
differing societies. Caring is something that we can agree upon. We will not ,
as a collective whole, agree as to what constitutes caring. What is a caring
act for you may very well be an uncaring act for me. We can, though, promote
intensive scrutiny. Look at our decisions as we ask ourselves " Is true
caring reflected in the decision?". We can agree that wise decisions are
based on caring and that ignorant decisions are based on harm.. Our common
vision will have to allow for diverse thinking, not get in the way of the
separation of church and state and be! something we can teach everywhere
including our schools. With all our rich and diverse belief's:
Fundamental Christian, Buddhist, Agnostic,
Earth religions, New Age, Atheist,
Humanist, Moslem, Jewish and
a huge range of other differing beliefs,psychologies and thought systems, and
philosophies within our schools, families, workplaces
and communities we can promote:
1. A wise decision is based on a deep and honest caring
of the self, all others,
the earth, and what is beyond the earth ONE MOMENT AT A
2. A dumb decision is based on harm.
3.WE HAVE A RESPONSIBILITY TO BUILD UPON THE WISE
DECISIONS WE ARE ALREADY MAKING, MAKE MORE AND EVEN BETTER WISE DECISIONS AND
IMPLEMENT THOSE DECISIONS.
4. WE CAN LOOK FOR AND GIVE EACH OTHER SUPPORT TO HELP IMPROVE
THE QUANTITY AND QUALITY OF WISE DECISIONS.
5.WE CAN AGREE TO ALLOW OTHERS THE BELIEFS THAT MOST HELP THEM
TO MAKE WISE DECISIONS EVEN IF THE BELIEFS AND THE DECISIONS ARE ONES WE CAN
NEITHER UNDERSTAND NOR SHARE.
THERE ARE TWO GENERAL WAYS OF REDUCING VIOLENCE
1. We can attack that which is causing the problem.
2. We can initiate aspects into our life that are
counter-productive to violence. We can promote values of peace, loving and
The second is much more effective.
WHAT NEEDS TO BE DONE
1. Each one of us must commit to constant evaluation of our
decisions, asking ourselves, " what can we do, act, say , believe, that
will be a better decision?" We must ask ourselves
" is what we are deciding to do an act of caring toward ourselves,
all others, the earth and what is beyond the earth now...?"
Every little decision and every major decision
must be held up to scrutiny. Guilt shame, criticism, blame, , or for that
matter vanity or pride are not ( FOR MOST FOLKS) emotions that are going to
help us in our evaluation.. We must become aware of what we are thinking,
doing, and believing and deliberately improve upon them.
2. We must challenge others to do the same.
3. If at all possible, we must form groups to support and
encourage one another.
4. These groups must grow and split and grow some more..
When a group reaches 14, it must split into two groups of seven where we
constantly invite others, including the children, to join us as we hold our
decisions to a scrutinizing light.
5. We must advertise and promote the idea that a wise decision
is based on a deep and honest caring of the self, all others, the earth , and
what is beyond the earth right now.
6. We must advertise and promote holding up our every day
decisions to a scrutinizing light in order to improve upon our decisions.
7. We must promote and advertise the formation of the exploration
8. We must promote and advertise the idea that others be
allowed to believe and make their own caring decisions in ways we might
neither understand nor share.
9. We must hold up our beliefs about ourselves and others and
look for ways to improve upon those beliefs in order to make wiser and and
10 We must focus on the " Now" . Mistakes we have
made in the past or worries about decisions that we might make in the future
must not get in the way of making wise decisions right now.
PLEASE, PLEASE,PLEASE, I
NEITHER HAVE THE TIME NOR THE DESIRE TO JOIN AN "EXPLORATION GROUP".
WHY IS IT NECESSARY?
Every project initiated will have to take into
consideration the special and unique characteristics of it's group. A project
developed at a large business concern versus a small business versus a small
school versus a school district will bring it's own unique problems and
answers. A type of brainstorming will be necessary for each and every project
to adapt and to adjust. For some projects the encouragement groups may
not be feasible while another slightly different or radically different
approach may be much more effective. So brainstorm.Come up with your own ideas
as to what best suits your needs but do not let this be an excuse to ignore
the importance of the exploration groups.
IT IS ONE THING TO ADVERTISE AND PROMOTE THROUGH OUT A
COMMUNITY THAT WISDOM HAS SOMETHING TO DO WITH CARING. IT IS ANOTHER TO
COMMIT AS INDIVIDUALS TO IMPROVE UPON THE QUANTITY AND QUALITY OF WISE
DECISIONS. WITHOUT A CONSORTED EFFORT BY THE COMMUNITY AT
LARGE, VIOLENCE IS NEVER GOING TO BE REDUCED. BY DEVELOPING THE GROUPS AND
INVITING OTHERS TO JOIN, WE DEVELOP A PATTERN, COMMUNITY WIDE, OF IMPROVING
OURSELVES. THE GROUP MUST NEVER GET TO A SIZE THAT STIFLES INDIVIDUAL
EXPLORATION. WE NEED TO GROW, EXPAND AND THEN REDUCE THE
SIZE OF THE GROUP SO THAT IT CAN GROW SOME MORE.
WITHOUT THESE GROUPS, WE WILL GREATLY REDUCE THE POSSIBILITIES OF CHANGE
WITHIN OUR COMMUNITY.
REAL FUNDAMENTAL CHANGE NEEDS A GROUP COMMITMENT.
BREAKING AWAY FROM OUR ROUTIN! ES.TO JOIN WITH OTHERS ONCE A MONTH TO
EXPLORE GROWTH IS NOT GOING TO BE EASY.
IN FACT IT GOES AGAINST A PATTERN WE HAVE DEVELOPED IN AMERICA OF BEING
SELF-RELIANT. MAYBE MORE THAN ANYTHING
ELSE , THE TOUGHEST COMMITMENT WILL BE TO FORM AND ATTEND THESE GROUPS.
WITHOUT, IT, A GREAT DEAL OF POWERFUL CHANGING MOMENTUM WILL BE LOST.
WORKING AS AN INDIVIDUAL
THERE ARE A VARIETY OF
THINGS WE CAN DO AS INDIVIDUALS, BUT SOMEWHERE ALONG THE LINE WE BEGIN TO MAKE
A TRANSITION FROM INDIVIDUAL COMMITMENT TO COMMUNITY ORGANIZING.
SOMETIMES THAT TRANSITION IS NOT VERY OBVIOUS AND OTHER TIMES IT IS CRYSTAL
CLEAR. WE START BY:
1. Commit to build upon the wise decisions we are already
making to make more and even better decisions.
2. We define a wise decision as one based on a deep
and honest caring of the self, all others, the earth, and what is beyond the
earth right now.
3. We commit to random acts of kindness and
senseless acts of beauty.
4. We hold our moment to moment decisions up to a
scrutinizing light, and ask ourselves "How can we improve upon our
5. We look at our beliefs ( things we assume to be true)
about ourselves, all others, the earth, and what is beyond the earth. We
ask ourselves " Are there slightly different beliefs that would
enable us to make better decisions?" We ask
ourselves, " Are these new beliefs something we are actually capable of
example of this might be: You believe that it isn't necessary to buckle
your seat belt on short journeys to the store. You might question this belief
and ask your self is it based on caring. Maybe it is based more on
convince. Maybe you need to change your belief.
6. NOW!!!!! Let go of past mistakes and poor decisions. Make
wiser and wiser decisions starting right now.
7. Look for an find the good and beauty in others. Appreciate
them and thank them. Send " Thank-you notes. Compliment
them , when you honestly are able to to do . Do it.
Look for folks making wise decisions and thank them for setting an example.
Do not spend great amounts of energy criticizing unwise decisions. It
wont help. Don't hand out praise with hidden insult. " You
are doing so much better than you did yesterday." Rather
thank them for the wisdom they are displaying today.
8. Affirm the worth and dignity of each individual
NOW AS WE START MAKING OUR TRANSITION FROM WHAT WE CAN DO
INDIVIDUALLY, WE BEGIN TO LOOK FOR WAYS, AS AN INDIVIDUAL , WE MIGHT
CONTRIBUTE TO COMMUNITY ORGANIZATION.
1. Try to find a sponsoring agency that can offer office space,
local phone, mail, secretarial, phone answering services, and
organizational skills. Focus on a three year campaign. This can be through
schools, inter-faith organizations, police , youth groups and so on.
2. Seek funding: grants, business contributions, church and
service organizational support.
3. Meet with school officials, police, inter-faith
organizations, churches, service organizations, and especially media:
newspapers, "Thrifty Nickels" and specialty newspapers (
senior paper, real-estate, business), TV, radio, bulletin boards, church and
schools bulletins, magnetic signs on vehicles, advertising on local government
vehicles, bumper stickers, bulletin boards, signs in schools, churches , and
4. Develop an advertising campaign that can go for a
three year period, and more if so desired. It may be necessary to hire
an advertising agency . Promote:
A. that a wise decision is based on a deep
and honest caring of the self, all others, the earth and what is beyond the
B. commitment by individuals to
make more and more better and better, wiser and wiser decisions
C. encouragement groups to split and grow and
split and grow
D. allowing others to believe and care in ways we
might neither understand nor share.
E. Now!!! Let go of past mistakes and future
F. Practice random acts of kindness and senseless
acts of beauty.
G. Pay forward. Give something away with no
expectation of repayment other than the person giving something else
away to others.
5.Ask for donations from business and media. If media can't
give as as needed , try to get reduced rates. Do not skimp on the advertising.
It's a major part of the campaign. After a three year period, most everyone in
the community should be able to define a wise decision as an act of caring.
6. Get local organizations, churches, schools, service
organizations, police and community agencies to help form encouragement groups
and contribute to the promotional campaign.
7 Have a phone number available to the public and the phone
manned so that individuals can get information about the encouragement groups
and where they can donate time and money.
8. Each group will have the responsibility of committing random
acts of kindness and senseless acts of beauty, pay forward, and
daily thanking people for setting an example as to what constitutes wise
9. Establish a campaign starting date. Keep track of police
statistics (for a community ) school, business organization, or family rates
of violence. We are looking for a definite trend of decreased violent
crimes, decreased reports of domestic violence, decreased reports of violent
acts in schools and businesses. Look for statistical data to substantiate the
reduction of violence. These statistics will show success and will be
needed for future funded projects.
WHAT IT MIGHT ALL LOOK LIKE
ONCE PUT TOGETHER.
THE FOLLOWING IS A TOTAL
Arellano is a will built Hispanic gentleman on the long side of 40. he has
long hair, usually worn in a pony tail,. He is divorced ( two daughters in
their teens) remarried with two children in elementary school. The two
teens live with their mother on the other side of town but they are constantly
over at George"s house. He kind of likes it. Through the years
George has begun to get along with his ex-wife. Some of George's
family believes that he drinks a little too much. George feels it's none of
their business. He probably does drink a little more than is healthy.
George makes a living putting up dry wall.
He always has work and side jobs, and more work than he really wants. He likes
to fish with his father but worries about his dad's heart.
The trouble really started with
George's eldest daughter, Marie. Though George doesn't like to admit it,
Marie had threatened to beat up another girl at school. Making, probably the
mistake of the year, she wrote the girl and note saying her intentions.
Not only that, she signed it. The other girl had no intention of going
to the school counselor. She wanted to fight also. The trouble is that a
teacher saw her reading the note and sent the other girl to the
school counselor. Because of some other trouble, it meant that his
daughter was going to have in school suspension. What real ticked George off
is that the other girl's father was a client and friend of his. He yelled and
said things to his daughter he later wished he hadn't.
George's friend suggested to George that the
two of them go over to the local family community center. George agreed.
The two men got to talking with other parents about the amount of fighting
that seemed to be going on in the schools. From then on the conversation got
more intense: the gangs, the shootings, and the violence in general with in
the schools and in the homes. George was handed a pamphlet. George went home
to read it.
Now if the truth were to be known ,
George wasn't much of a reader and in actuality both of his daughters could
read better than he. George didn't feel particularly bad about it, but
he did ask his wife to read the pamphlet to him. His wife didn't comment much
about the pamphlet and the two of them went to sleep.
Somewhere in the middle of the night, George
had the uncomfortable series of thoughts that left him sleepless for the rest
of the night and changed his and eventually his entire communities life. It
went like this.
"There's nothing I can do about the
violence in our community."
"I wonder if that is a belief about
myself that gets in the way of making wise decisions.?"
" Could I change that belief?"
" Well I suppose I could believe that I
can make a difference."
"Can I really believe that?"
" Not really"
" What belief about myself can I
believe that would help me to make a difference?"
" I suppose I could believe that
I might be able to make a difference"
" Can I really believe
" Yes I can......OH OH .....I
think I'm in trouble......."
As far as George
could determine, his next job was to believe and define that a wise
decision is based on a deep and honest caring of the self, all others, the
earth, and what is beyond the earth right now.... that a dumb decision is
based on harm. George wondered about the part of "all others". He
wasn't sure that he could care about everyone. he got to thinking about his
ex-wife. But any way he looked at it, up down, over and in-between , George
cane to the conclusion that the statement was true.
Things didn't happen overnight but
things did happed. He bought his two oldest daughters a heart shaped
locket. Once opened, inside there were two pictures: one of George , his
present family and one of his ex-wife and her family. He wrote a cared saying
"don't forget, you are very very loved." He took the two
younger children roller skating and even put on skates himself. It seemed a
wise decision though by the time he got home he questioned how loving he had
been toward himself.
George began to to look for the good in himself
and others. He began to practice random acts of kindness and senseless acts of
beauty. He even once left a vase full of flowers for an elderly couple he had
put up dry wall for.
There was, in his view , no way he
would join an encouraging group, let alone form one. It was not until the
brutal rape and murder of his neighbors granddaughter, who lived across town,
that George took on some new and different beliefs. George decided to believe
that " If you are not part of the solution , you are part of the
problem." George did not want to imagine that his apathy was
contributing to the violence in the world.
George took action. He xeroxed off the
pamphlet and sent it off to several school officials ,the chief of police, his
priest, and an uncle who worked as a clerk in city hall. George wrote that he
was hoping he could find some sort of agency who would support the Wise
Decision Project. His uncle posted the letter and pamphlet on a bulletin
board. George got his phone call. They could meet at city hall, but the city
wasn't committing to any thing else.
George sent pamphlets and a letter to several
radio stations, newspapers and an interfaith group he never heard of. No one
came. George set up a different meeting. This time he visited different groups
personally. 10 folks from different organizations came including a
representative of the D.A.R.E. program with the police. The
representative mentioned that the police had a bit of funding for just such a
proposal as a community development grant. the money wasn't a lot but the
D.A.R.E. officer went back to the Chief of police and got the chief to
agree to let the police department be the sponsoring agency. The police would
provide office space, use of phone, answer calls or at least provide a number
George could call later to get messages. The space would be available
for only six months at which time the police department would review the
progress. Two radio stations ( there were seven invited) committed 3 public
ser! vice announcements on a daily basis but not at very good times. They did,
though, offer to sell advertising at a 50% reduced fare. The
Thrifty Saver paper agreed to a weekly 3 inch by 4 inch ad for the duration of
the campaign. The inter-faith group agreed to track down 15 different churches
and synagogues and ask them to place advertising in the church bulletins.
George found an advertising agency that would work with the group at a greatly
reduced rate. The ads promoted some of the following.
a. " A wise decision is based on a deep
and honest caring of the self, all others, the earth, and what is beyond
the earth now. A dumb decision is based on harm"
b "Commit to look at your decisions and
make more and more better and better ones"
c. "Think about forming an
d. Practice random acts of kindness and
senseless acts of beauty
e. Pay forward
f Allow others the beliefs that most
help them to care even if it is a belief you can neither understand nor share.
At the meeting
one lady said that she would speak to a variety of service organizations.
Within three weeks, use of a large bulletin board conspicuously located
downtown was donated to the Police department. Somebody had donated $500 to be
used to purchase magnetic signs promoting wise decision making. 2
service groups offered to start encouragement groups.
George had a great deal of
difficulty going to any of the groups but he did for no other reason than to
support the movement. But the group did grow and eventually one of his older
daughters asked to join, as did the friend who first went with George down to
the community center. The group grew to 14 and than split into two
different groups. George's wife even formed a group that met only via phone.
To start with , in the groups,
it was hard not to be critical of oneself or others and sometimes it
sounded like folks were trying to blow their own horns. Bit by bit folks began
the use the time to truly evaluate decisions and try to help each other make
and implement better and better decisions. Each person committed to
thanking someone three times a week for setting an example as to what a
good decision is. If a person blew it, they put into the treasury two dollars
to be used as little thank you gifts.
George felt his greatest success came when
he learned that at his daughter's high school, there were now three
Each group had both teachers and students.
One day his daughter who participated in the exploration group came home and
told George that there had been quite an argument about uniforms in school.
Some felt that it was an uncaring idea to implement and others felt it
was a caring idea. George reminded his daughter that we had to allow
others their beliefs even if they were thoughts we could neither understand
Each group met once a month and each
group committed to random acts of kindness, senseless acts of beauty and pay
forward ( giving energy time or money and expecting the person to give
it forward to someone else).
Bit-by-bit, throughout the
entire community, people began to define wisdom as caring. Not everyone
was committed, to be sure, and in fact some folks were down right antagonistic
to the whole concept. Over all though, the rate of violent acts within the
community,homes and schools were going down.The community was a genuinely
safer place to live and definitely more pleasant. George made sure the
organization compiled a list of statistics about the number of violent crimes
reported so that they could validate the worth of the project for future
One day while George was driving home from
work, he thought he saw a sign on a silver Toyota Mini Van. It was the thought
that had helped him become involved with community organization, "
If you are not part of the solution , you are part of the problem."
There are a variety of theories
out there as to why humankind commits violence upon itself. Some focus on
religion, some on behavioral sciences, some say violence is learned behavior
and some say it is inherited. We need to take the variety of
theories and see if we can devise a solution that takes most if not all into
consideration. Personal values and mores also become an issue. It is
unbelievable how much violence occurs in the name of a faith, religion,
good parenting or being an effective spouse. I would encourage you to become
involved in promoting the idea that a wise decision is based on caring. Some
of us belong to cultures that are notorious for not taking action. We must
find new beliefs about ourselves and our community that will help us to
become committed. W must not believe that it is useless. Ask yourself
" What can I do today" then do it . I have tried to include enough
information ! in this package so that a single individual could conceivable
start a "WISE DECISIONS FOR A MORE PEACEFUL PLANET"
project. If you require further information or would like to explore
a presentation or series of workshops. Please contact me.
Greg Boyko, PO Box 4494, Pueblo,CO. 81003