Society and the Inner Progress of the People

“The United States is becoming a broken society,” writes The New York Times columnist David Brooks. America needs a fresh political wind that would empower community leadership and restore trust in neighborhood associations. “The only way to restore trust is from the local community on up,” he concludes.

That conclusion is too simplistic. Human nature being what it is, people carry around a lot of unresolved negative emotions. These emotions are acted out just as easily in a family or community as they are in society at large. To create real progress we have to grow beyond this negativity. We achieve that by becoming more self-aware. That means we discover and then address the issues within ourselves that induce us to be selfish, greedy, fearful, and complacent. We also learn in an in-depth way why it is that we’re lacking in wisdom, compassion, and self-regulation.

It would be nice to restore trust in the local community, as David Brooks writes. But we also have to establish trust in our own self so that we can refrain from personal and national self-defeat or self-sabotage.

While most of us do have a positive, generous, and loving side to our nature, we also have a dark side that we’re reluctant to explore.

At this website and in my books, I identify negative emotions and conflicts that operate within the human psyche. If we are lacking in insight, we're tempted to chose the path of least resistance. That’s the path on which we stumble over unresolved emotions and issues from our past, causing us to fall into self-defeating behaviors. It’s time to start operating outside the box. Otherwise, our mind will remain confounded and deluded by our resistance, egotism, denial, and defenses.

How can we restore trust on the local level, as Brooks advocates, when we often can’t even trust ourself? Many of us, for instance, can’t trust ourself to take care of our own health. We pledge to reform our behavior, yet we continue to eat unhealthy foods, avoid exercise, and accumulate stress. Many of us are dissatisfied, passive, cynical, judgmental, and frequently dogmatic. If we don't regulate our appetites, desires, addictions, and negativity, we won’t care about the fate of our local community or even our planet.

The renewal of our society requires a commitment to the study of the sources within us of our unhappiness and dysfunction.