By Wade Lee Hudson
Love, altruism, spirituality, partnership, community, and cooperation thrive when humans feel safe. These feelings also emerge in response to disasters when we tap reservoirs of compassion and restore faith in humanity.
But when we’re afraid, we become angry, selfish, materialistic, domineering, individualistic, and competitive. Economic insecurity inflames those emotions. Social conditioning, mainstream media, TV, movies, political rhetoric, and highly competitive schools reinforce these negative tendencies.
Supportive, joy-filled communities that provide safety help us rise above our negative emotions. Families, extended families, close friendships, neighborhoods, churches, synagogues, mosques, sanghas, community-based organizations, and workplaces nurture growth. We can use fear and anger to stop injustice, spread positive emotions, and help each other become better human beings.
Intentional commitments strengthen self-improvement efforts. Wedding vows and mission statements illustrate the value of placing commitments in writing. These affirmations remind people of their commitment, help them hold each other accountable, and spread their values to others. By adopting clear, written policies, organizations can encourage their members to support each other with their self-improvement.