A Divided Country: Rising Expectations, pt. 1

By Dr. Denise R. Ames

I remember reading Charles Dickens’ historical novel, A Tale of Two Cities, in my high school English class many years ago. 02.1 Tale of Two CitiesThis memorable quote opens the book: “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair…”

At the time, I wondered how all of these different emotions could be expressed at the same time. Now I realize that we are expressing many different emotions all simultaneously—anger, fear, hope, despair, concern, love, and hate. These emotions are not necessarily rational responses to events but bubble up from our deep core of being to burst forth.

Our country was built on a myth: “Work hard, play by the rules and you can achieve the American Dream,” I bought into this myth. I worked hard very hard. As baby boomers, my husband and I built and sold six houses in our early years of marriage, along with our other jobs. It was physically demanding work but we were able to accrue a nice nest egg from our endeavors.

I taught my Gen-X children the same values. They had challenging jobs as teenagers like cleaning the lard barrel at Hardees, “walking beans” to get weeds out on hot summer days, babysitting for long stretches, and cleaning houses.

02.2 walking beans

“walking beans”

My children grew up expecting they would achieve the same lifestyle level as I had, but from their experiences they knew it would take dedicated effort and a college education. They learned to be resilient adults. They were able to overcome setback, adversity, and figuring things out on their own. The lessons have stuck with them.

But from my readings and observations, I am learning that Millennials and Gen Z have different expectations about the future. As I see it, they are expecting a similar lifestyle but somehow missing the connection between working hard and achieving rewards. Because of the implications of the American Dream, the current generation assumes that they can have a similar lifestyle as their parents. But the question is how to acquire these expectations without the often boring and repetitive hard work. They have figured out a way.

Along comes the political philosophy of democratic socialism. The politicians promise 02.3 potato chip factorythat the government can provide many of the life’s comforts with little effort from recipients. Free college education, reimbursement of student loan debt, free health care, well-paying and secure jobs, subsidized day care, and a host of other goodies. I remember toiling for a long, hot summer at a potato chip factory to earn enough to pay my tuition and expenses for a year of college. With a little help from my parents, and low-cost tuition, I saved enough money to pay the costs, with lots of grueling over-time and Saturday work. I had some “skin” in the game, I wasn’t going to blow it.

I will continue to blog about the cultural divide in our country in March. My forthcoming 01.4 Dividedbook—Divided: Five Colliding Worldviews and How to Navigate Them—describes the cultural divide primarily in the U.S. through the lens of five worldviews—indigenous, traditional, progressive, globalized, and transformative. Ideas from the blogs are explained in the book as well.

About the Author

01.2 DeniseDr. Ames’ varied life experiences—scholarly research, teaching, reflections, and extensive travels—have contributed to her balanced and thoughtful perspectives. Earning a doctorate in world history education, she has taught secondary schools, universities, a community college, professional development trainings, and lifelong learners. In 2003, Dr. Ames founded the educational non-profit, Center for Global Awareness, developing globally-focused books and educational resources. She has written seven books, blogs, lesson plans, articles, newsletters, and teaching units for the non-profit and clients.

Dr. Ames is now developing a program called Turn—transformative understanding and 01.3 Turn imagereflection network—that encourages life-long learners to see things with new eyes, shift perspectives, and understand the balance in all things. She teaches classes and writes about cross-cultural awareness, indigenous wisdom, a transformative worldview, learning from the past, a mythic journey, and transforming travel.

 

 

 

 

Posted in awareness, cultural divide, perspectives, populism, Uncategorized, worldviews | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A Time to Speak Up: 12 Insights on Recent Events. #10 A Globalized Worldview

By Dr. Denise R. Ames

This is a momentous time that we are experiencing. Who can be trusted for wise council? Where are the elders? Elders have something to add to the conversation about what is going on today. I am one elder who feels I have something to say. The following are 12 Insights that I have learned and want to share with you.

#10 A Globalized Worldview  

It is time to step back from impulsive actions and confused thinking to look at the big picture, the whole system, of our society, as many are set to reform it or overthrow it.

3.2 holisticFirst of all, I see our society, culture, economy, beliefs, government, etc. (traits) as a holistic system in which all the different traits interact and reinforce each other to make the system operate smoothly. All the system’s traits share a common ideology, otherwise there is discord. Since the late 1980s onward, we have embraced a globalized worldview in which the economy has been governed by a neoliberal (free market) form of capitalism. The American global economy has been governed by these neoliberal principles and China and others have promoted mercantilist or state capitalist principles.

1.3 UNOur political governance has been globalized as well, with an accompanying mindset of embracing global institutions, such as the World Trade Organization, United Nations, and treaties such as NAFTA (North American Free Trade Association). The US (somewhat) has encouraged a global work force through legal and illegal immigration.

The elites of this globalized worldview hobnob in Davos, Switzerland every year to make sure this system continues to benefit them, with some token crumbs tossed to those who

11.1 Davos

Davos, Switzerland

are “left behind” in this march to “progress.”  To be fair, this global economy has worked well for some in the US, an upper crust, about 20%, who consist of well-educated media, university, bureaucratic, and philanthropy elites who have firmly established themselves to reap returns, while an upper 1% of tech giants and others have reaped fantastic rewards.

Meanwhile, the American middle class has experienced stagnant wages and fewer opportunities for advancement, largely due to increasing competition and a hording of wealth and opportunities by the upper 20%. In the meantime, the ignored lower 30% of 3.1 President Donald TrumpAmericans have witnessed growing poverty, fractured families, and few economic opportunities.

Although this is a brief overview of the impact of a globalized worldview on the US, this worldview has actually “lifted” millions of Chinese and Indian people into an economic middle-class status. Some of it at the expense of the American middle class.

The 2016 election was monumental because Donald Trump and his chief advisor Steve

11.2 Steve Bannon

Steve Bannon

Bannon formed a counter-globalization movement. It drew on the anger and anxiety of those hardest hit by the globalized worldview. Sadly, to say, the only candidate in the Republican party to give voice to the disaffected was Trump, the others recited the tired mantras of a globalized worldview.

His message of skewering those who sent manufacturing jobs overseas to low-wage countries (China, etc.) and calling out those who welcomed or ignored illegal immigrants as a way to capitalize on cheap labor, was greeted enthusiastically by those adversely affected by a globalized worldview. Unfortunately, Trump laced his rejection of the globalized worldview with racist language and sometimes bizarre misinformation, but it did not deter his hard-core supporters.

On the left, Bernie Sanders tried to launch a similar movement, but unfortunately most of the Democratic party had been wooed into the globalizers camp. Also, identity politics clouded and impeded a clear message of countering the globalizers.

Identity politics also played into Trump’s hand. Most of his supporters had enough of being belittled and bullied by the upper 20% and “fake news,” they eagerly put all their eggs in the Trump basket.

About the Author: Dr. Denise R. Ames

01.2 DeniseDr. Ames’ varied life experiences— teaching, scholarly research, personal reflections, and extensive travels—have contributed to her balanced and thoughtful perspectives. Earning a doctorate in world history education, she has taught secondary schools, universities, a community college, and lifelong learners. In 2003, Dr. Ames founded the educational non-profit, Center for Global Awareness that develops globally-focused books and educational resources for grade 9-university. She has written eight books, plus numerous blogs, lesson plans, articles, newsletters, teaching units, and conducted professional development workshops for the non-profit and its clients.

Dr. Ames is now developing her new program: TURN, Transformation, Understanding, and Reflection Nexus.  TURN encourages life-long learners to see things with new eyes, learn from the past, and understand the relationship of all things. She teaches workshops/classes and writes about TURN’s five topics: learning from the past, cross-cultural awareness, five colliding worldviews, elder wisdom, and transformative travel.

Divided: Five Colliding Worldviews and How to Navigate Themhas just been released!07.3 and 08.2

Divided addresses the question on the lips of every American: why can’t we get along? The cultural divide is threatening our democracy and destabilizing our country. Divided looks at the deep cultural divide through the lens of five colliding worldviews—indigenous, traditional, progressive, globalized, and transformative. This approach helps us make sense of our deep divisions and suggests ways of bridging them.

It is urgent that we understand and bridge the cultural divide. Bridging the divide is dependent upon first understanding it. Gaining an understanding of the five worldviews enhances our success of arriving at sensible solutions and increasing civil conversations. If not, rancor and intractability ensue.

 

Divided is one of nine books written by Dr. Ames and the Center for Global Awareness, check out their offerings! Global Awareness Books  

Posted in bridging the cultural divide, cultural divide, Uncategorized, worldviews | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A Time to Speak Up: 12 Insights on Recent Events: #9, Five Future Scenarios

By Dr. Denise R. Ames

This is a momentous time that we are experiencing. Who can be trusted for wise council? Where are the elders? Elders have something to add to the conversation about what is going on today. I am one elder who feels I have something to say. The following are 12 Insights that I have learned and want to share with you.

The Coronavirus and Protests/Riots and their Consequences: Five Scenarios

5.3 corona eyesThe combo of COVID-19 and the George Floyd events have shaken Americans. What are the consequences of such seismic events on our lives? Although I am certainly not predicting the future, I have taken a stab at giving my impressions of what may result from these two events and also events simmering below the surface for several years. I have given a range of my impressions from dire consequences to rosy scenarios. Hopefully, the rosy scenario will prevail.

1.  Mass Chaos
An economic and social crisis will lead to mass chaos in the U.S. Amidst the loss of jobs and shuttering of businesses, a civil war breaks out between the left and right. 02.2 antifaDisagreements about governing and national loyalty tear into the fabric of America pitting two different national visions into an irreconcilable divide. Armed militias on both sides face off against each other, as vestiges of emasculated police forces are no match for the well-armed tribes. The American military is called in to restore order, but must deal with guerrilla warfare in cities already ravaged by crime, depopulation, and ineffectual leadership.

2.  A Progressive Future
Joe Biden is overwhelmingly elected president, sweeping the popular vote and electoral 10.1 Bidencollege, while Democrats also take the Senate and House of Representations. This crushing victory has emboldened the progressive left and they make demands on the centrist/moderate wing of the party. Moderates shrink under the onslaught. The left hastily enacts new and expensive social programs to fulfill their progressive mandate and stimulate the economy. There is token opposition by a neutered Republican party. The resulting influx of vast quantities of money into the economy spurs inflation and economic woes for the middle and upper classes who own assets that are quickly shedding value.

3.  President Trump is Re-elected
The protests (which often devolve into riots) continue into the fall with no letup in sight. Democrats have tried to reason and negotiate with the far left, but the violence 3.1 President Donald Trumpcontinues. Crime rates soar, especially in the largest cities. The mass exodus from large cities to smaller cities and from financially strapped blue states to red states continues for those who can afford it. Because of the disorder and ineffectual Democratic leadership, President Trump is reelected president by a narrow margin, once again winning the electoral college but losing the popular vote. The left refuses to accept the election results and stages even more protests, which often devolve into riots. Maligned and decimated police forces are unable to quell the riots, resulting in the military taking control of large cities.

4.  Liberalism Fades, Authoritarianism Rises
Liberalism—a form of government supporting free speech, press, religion, and 08.1representative government—fades as more authoritarian forms of government become more popular. Both the left and right wage an intense assault on the foundations of liberalism in America. The left is the first to launch an attack with a viral campaign to defund the police, knowing that without the police chaos and disorder will prevail. With disorder, the chances of ramming through a different political ideology becomes easier, as the public is distracted by survival tactics. The disorder continues, despite election results, and proves more destabilizing. An authoritarian form of government becomes more of a reality, most likely on the left.

5.  A Biden Victory, Moderation Rules
Biden handily wins election. He skillfully reaches out to all segments of society, including 10.2the Progressive left and the Populist right. Almost everyone resonates with his message of coming together as a country and embracing our shared values. Protests end, order stored, residents begin to return to depopulated cities. Although the national debt is sky-high from stimulus spending and curbing the spread of the virus, everyone is glad to contribute to slightly higher taxes to pay for a brighter future. An “era of good-feeling” is reminiscent of happier days in America’s past. Unemployment plummets and new manufacturing jobs return to America to ease the anger of white, working class men, while adding jobs for African-Americans and other minorities. It is morning again in America.

About the Author: Dr. Denise R. Ames

01.2 DeniseDr. Ames’ varied life experiences— teaching, scholarly research, personal reflections, and extensive travels—have contributed to her balanced and thoughtful perspectives. Earning a doctorate in world history education, she has taught secondary schools, universities, a community college, and lifelong learners. In 2003, Dr. Ames founded the educational non-profit, Center for Global Awareness that develops globally-focused books and educational resources for grade 9-university. She has written eight books, plus numerous blogs, lesson plans, articles, newsletters, teaching units, and conducted professional development workshops for the non-profit and its clients.

Dr. Ames is now developing her new program: Turn, Transformation, Understanding, and Reflection Nexus.  Turn encourages life-long learners to see things with new eyes, learn from the past, and understand the relationship of all things. She teaches workshops/classes and writes about Turn’s five topics: learning from the past, cross-cultural awareness, five colliding worldviews, elder wisdom, and transformative travel.

07.3 and 08.2Divided: Five Colliding Worldviews and How to Navigate Them has just been released!

Divided addresses the question on the lips of every American: why can’t we get along? The cultural divide is threatening our democracy and destabilizing our country. Divided looks at the deep cultural divide through the lens of five colliding worldviews—indigenous, traditional, progressive, globalized, and transformative. This approach helps us make sense of our deep divisions and suggests ways of bridging them.

It is urgent that we understand and bridge the cultural divide. Bridging the divide is dependent upon first understanding it. Gaining an understanding of the five worldviews enhances our success of arriving at sensible solutions and increasing civil conversations. If not, rancor and intractability ensue.

Divided is one of nine books written by Dr. Ames and the Center for Global Awareness, check out their offerings! Global Awareness Books  

 

 

 

Posted in bridging the cultural divide, cultural divide, Uncategorized, worldviews | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

My 5 Key Issues for Fall 2020

By Dr. Denise R. Ames

I have found that these 5 key issues need our immediate attention, whether we discuss them in the living room, classroom, boardroom, or factory. We have been pulled in all directions because of the coronavirus and George Floyd events. I think the fall is a perfect time to refocus on the key issues we are facing as a nation and world.
(I will resume the 12 insights on recent events on Friday.)

“We can only be divided if we don’t understand each other.” Denise Ames

08.11.  Addressing Environmental Stress.
This is the #1 issue we are facing. And not just climate change but ocean pollution, loss of soil fertility, fresh water shortages, climate migration/refugees, global population, encroaching deserts, loss of biodiversity, species extinctions, and the list goes on. It needs our laser-like focus and all voices heard from all different camps. It could be an issue that can galvanize support across the cultural divide, if we can only learn how to see and discuss the issue from multiple perspectives.

07.3 and 08.22.  Bridging our Cultural Divide.
We have become so polarized as a nation, bridging the divide seems an impossible task. Our shared values and common goals are eroding. But America, despite all our shortcomings, is still looked to as a world leader. Hopefully, American leaders will emerge who are beacons of hope for Americans and people around the world and who celebrate our common mission to tackle environmental problems and restore and reform Liberal (free speech, etc.) governance. Working on common problems brings out the best in people who are on different points of the divide. Differences fade, while working to arrive at mutually beneficial solutions.

08.33.  Shifting our Attitudes and Taking Positive Action
It is very depressing to always dwell (as the media does) on what is wrong in our nation. I have found, that it leads to greater passivity, anxiety, and short-sighted solutions among the citizenry. Although protesting has increased, it doesn’t appear that much positive action has resulted from these efforts. The divide continues, perhaps even more entrenched than before the protests. Our problems are complex and need solutions from all sides (see #2). We have to humbly admit our “side” doesn’t know everything, while collaboration can lead to positive solutions.

08.44.  Supporting a Local Economy
Recent events have been deadly for American’s health, psyche, and general well-being, but it also has been catastrophic for small businesses. Many are struggling to survive or have thrown in the towel altogether. Giant corporations have the means to weather the storm, with the luxury of gobbling up small businesses if they fail. I support small, local businesses as the cornerstone of a more equal and robust society, as well as more in tune with environmental resilience and personal well-being.

08.55.  Enhancing our Sense of Well-being
The nation’s well-being has been shattered as a result of the pandemic and the general malaise affecting us all. Our world is turning upside down. Participation and confidence in something larger than ourselves lead to greater personal well-being, but we have to be wary of “causes” that demean others, and are exclusionary, short-sighted, and condone violence. When considering change the words of John Lewis are worth heeding: “Take a long, hard look down the road you will have to travel once you have made a commitment to work for change. Know that this transformation will not happen right away. Change often takes time.”

08.6

John Lewis, d. July 17, 2020

In discussing and thinking about the five issues I highlighted, I suggest remembering the words and actions of the late Congressman and Civil Rights leader John Lewis “You are a light. You are the light. Never let anyone — any person or any force — dampen, dim or diminish your light … Release the need to hate, to harbor division, and the enticement of revenge. Release all bitterness. Hold only love, only peace in your heart, knowing that the battle of good to overcome evil is already won.”

01.2 DeniseAbout the Author: Dr. Denise R. Ames

Dr. Ames’ varied life experiences— teaching, scholarly research, personal reflections, and extensive travels—have contributed to her balanced and thoughtful perspectives. Earning a doctorate in world history education, she has taught secondary schools, universities, a community college, and lifelong learners. In 2003, Dr. Ames founded the educational non-profit, Center for Global Awareness that develops globally-focused books and educational resources for grade 9-university. She has written eight books, plus numerous blogs, lesson plans, articles, newsletters, teaching units, and conducted professional development workshops for the non-profit and its clients.

Dr. Ames is now developing her new program: Turn, Transformation, Understanding, and Reflection Nexus.  Turn encourages life-long learners to see things with new eyes, learn from the past, and understand the relationship of all things. She teaches workshops/classes and writes about Turn’s five topics: learning from the past, cross-cultural awareness, five colliding worldviews, elder wisdom, and transformative travel.

07.3 and 08.2Divided: Five Colliding Worldviews and How to Navigate Them has just been released!

Divided addresses the question on the lips of every American: why can’t we get along? The cultural divide is threatening our democracy and destabilizing our country. Divided looks at the deep cultural divide through the lens of five colliding worldviews—indigenous, traditional, progressive, globalized, and transformative. This approach helps us make sense of our deep divisions and suggests ways of bridging them.

It is urgent that we understand and bridge the cultural divide. Bridging the divide is dependent upon first understanding it. Gaining an understanding of the five worldviews enhances our success of arriving at sensible solutions and increasing civil conversations. If not, rancor and intractability ensue.

Divided is one of nine books written by Dr. Ames and the Center for Global Awareness, check out their offerings! Global Awareness Books  

 

Posted in bridging the cultural divide, cultural divide, Uncategorized, worldviews | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

A Time to Speak Up: 12 Insights on Recent Events. #8 Things Fall Apart

By Dr. Denise R. Ames

This is a momentous time that we are experiencing. Who can be trusted for wise council? Where are the elders? Elders have something to add to the conversation about what is going on today. I am one elder who feels I have something to say. The following are 12 Insights that I have learned and want to share with you.

Things can quickly fall apart, and it takes a long time to rebuild once they have collapsed. 09.1Whenever I look across the nation and see turmoil, protesting, rioting, and wanton destruction in many of America’s largest cities, I am reminded of the 1958 novel by Nigerian author, Chinua Achebe, Things Fall Apart. Achebe chronicles the pre-colonial life of indigenous Nigerians and the consequences of the arrival of Europeans during the late 19th century. In short, the traditions, culture, and way of life of Nigerians quickly fell apart with the imposition of modern ideology by European colonialists.

I see the traditions, (see previous blog) culture, and form of Liberalism (free speech kind) being assaulted on many fronts in today’s tumultuous atmosphere.

These events in U.S. cities also remind me of how thing fell apart for the people in Cambodia. Pol Pot was a Cambodian revolutionary and Khmer nationalist, who ruled09.2 Cambodia between 1975 and 1979 according to his interpretation of Marxism–Leninism. The Khmer Rouge, under Pol Pot’s leadership, classified people based on their religious and ethnic backgrounds. Buddhist monks were classified as social parasites, for example, and sent to work on the country’s newly collectivized farms as manual laborers. Even those who wore eye glasses were considered part of the elite class and eliminated. Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge killed around 2 million Cambodians as part of their plan to “purify” the country from elites and capitalists, and turn the country back into an idealistic agricultural state.

I cite these historical examples to give a sense of reality to what is going on today. It

08.1

Portland federal courthouse

seems unlikely that a relatively small group of people in our nation’s cities could topple a country the size and might of the United States, but it is not just those intent on destruction that can cause things to fall apart. Most importantly, those who implicitly support the revolutionaries in their destructive mayhem are also complicit in furthering along the eroding of our governance.

Many proclaim that they disagree or viscerally hate President Trump, his administration, 02.3 defund the policeand policies, thus justifying their support of those bent on destruction. I have found that Trump has acted as a provocateur aggravating division. But the left has taken the “bait” and responded with irrational, pent-up fury and promoted unpopular ideas that has also made things worse. According to the left, anything directed by Trump has to be fiercely resisted.

As far as I can tell, as I scour both sides of the media divide, we are in danger of reaching that point. When I see left wing and right wing militia, both armed, square off against each other in Louisville, I am doubly worried. It should be noted that things can escalate to a point where there is no return. When events reach such a fevered pitch, cooler heads will not be able to prevail. When things fall apart, they can do so quickly.

We desperately need leaders to take a stand and proclaim this violence on both sides as unacceptable. Unfortunately, so far, I have not seen anyone stepping up to this leadership role we desperately need at this pivotal hour in our country’s history.

About the Author: Dr. Denise R. Ames

01.2 DeniseDr. Ames’ varied life experiences— teaching, scholarly research, personal reflections, and extensive travels—have contributed to her balanced and thoughtful perspectives. Earning a doctorate in world history education, she has taught secondary schools, universities, a community college, and lifelong learners. In 2003, Dr. Ames founded the educational non-profit, Center for Global Awareness that develops globally-focused books and educational resources for grade 9-university. She has written eight books, plus numerous blogs, lesson plans, articles, newsletters, teaching units, and conducted professional development workshops for the non-profit and its clients.

Dr. Ames is now developing her new program: Turn, Transformation, Understanding, and Reflection Nexus.  Turn encourages life-long learners to see things with new eyes, learn from the past, and understand the relationship of all things. She teaches workshops/classes and writes about Turn’s five topics: learning from the past, cross-cultural awareness, five colliding worldviews, elder wisdom, and transformative travel.

DivCover-dsDivided: Five Colliding Worldviews and How to Navigate Them has just been released! $14.95

Divided addresses the question on the lips of every American: why can’t we get along? The cultural divide is threatening our democracy and destabilizing our country. Divided looks at the deep cultural divide through the lens of five colliding worldviews—indigenous, traditional, progressive, globalized, and transformative. This approach helps us make sense of our deep divisions and suggests ways of bridging them.

It is urgent that we understand and bridge the cultural divide. Bridging the divide is dependent upon first understanding it. Gaining an understanding of the five worldviews enhances our success of arriving at sensible solutions and increasing civil conversations. If not, rancor and intractability will ensue.

Divided is one of nine books written by Dr. Ames and the Center for Global Awareness, check out their offerings! Global Awareness Books  

 

Posted in cultural divide, politics, Uncategorized, worldviews | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A Time to Speak Up: 12 Insights on Recent Events. #7 Traditions are Important

By Dr. Denise R. Ames

This is a momentous time that we are experiencing. Who can be trusted for wise council? Where are the elders? Elders have something to add to the conversation about what is going on today. I am one elder who feels I have something to say. The following are 12 Insights that I have learned and want to share with you.

02.2 antifaWe are treading in turbulent waters. Uncertainty wafts through the air, tensions descend like the mist over our uncertain future. I am very disturbed by recent events. Although the coronavirus adds to the misery, I find the political events and riots even more disturbing. It feels as if activity has evolved from legitimate protests about police brutality and inequality to an illegitimate all-out coup attempt by an amorphous group of anarchists or Antifa.

I watched a YouTube video of the graffiti-covered, beleaguered federal courthouse in Portland and thought to myself: this is an assault on the foundations and traditions of the

08.1

Portland courthouse

United States. Although I am critical about certain values, policies, and attitudes about the U.S., I always frame it as suggestions for reform, not tear down the whole system.

Traditions are under assault from toppling statues (without public debate), almost 200 to date, to the rewriting of history with the 1619 history project that asserts our country was built on slave labor. This means we should block out the workers who labored long hours in unsafe factories and mines in the 19th century. We should be wary about this mugging of our traditions, since traditions are what gives us the foundations for our way of life, government policy, social structure, and so on.

08.2When traditions are toppled too rapidly it can cause anomie, despair, and hopelessness among members of society. Just ask indigenous peoples about the loss of their traditions, they can testify to the destruction it wields.

Those on the left are undermining values and traditions that have been the underpinning of American culture for centuries. The Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture recently displayed a graphic entitled “Aspects and Assumptions of Whiteness in the United States.” It declares that rational thinking, hard work, delayed gratification, the scientific method, nuclear family, planning for the future, among others, are white values. It doesn’t mention what black values are, I guess insinuating that they are not like white values. The graphic was removed but the intention was clear, these are white values and not the values of the progressive left.

As far as I can tell, some people on the far left are advocating for different values and traditions. What these values and traditions will be are quickly evolving and changing rapidly. Apparently, the nuclear family has to go, I guess community-based groups would be the “new family.” Authority structures would also go, so no more police, court systems, judges, or other rule-based institutions of the “white system.” Perhaps the same community-based groups would be the new rule-enforcing institutions. Our tradition of promoting equality of opportunity will be turned on its head, and whites will be the lowest on the social ladder, unable to advance because of the color of their skin.

08.3

Chinese Cultural Revolution, a professor “cancelled”

It all seems rather preposterous at this point. But as an historian, I am always reminded of what happened during the Chinese Cultural Revolution, Bolshevik Revolution in Russia, or the rule of Pol Pot in Cambodia. Their rules made no sense, but they were able to impose their brand of ruling through brute force and terrorism.

From the looks of what is going on in Portland, Seattle, and other major cities, the prospect of a dramatic change in our way of life and discarding of our traditions and Liberal form of government seems less preposterous by the day.

About the Author: Dr. Denise R. Ames

01.2 DeniseDr. Ames’ varied life experiences— teaching, scholarly research, personal reflections, and extensive travels—have contributed to her balanced and thoughtful perspectives. Earning a doctorate in world history education, she has taught secondary schools, universities, a community college, and lifelong learners. In 2003, Dr. Ames founded the educational non-profit, Center for Global Awareness that develops globally-focused books and educational resources for grade 9-university. She has written eight books, plus numerous blogs, lesson plans, articles, newsletters, teaching units, and conducted professional development workshops for the non-profit and its clients.

Dr. Ames is now developing her new program: Turn, Transformation, Understanding, and Reflection Nexus.  Turn encourages life-long learners to see things with new eyes, learn from the past, and understand the relationship of all things. She teaches workshops/classes and writes about Turn’s five topics: learning from the past, cross-cultural awareness, five colliding worldviews, elder wisdom, and transformative travel.

DivCover-dsDivided: Five Colliding Worldviews and How to Navigate Them has just been released!

Divided addresses the question on the lips of every American: why can’t we get along? The cultural divide is threatening our democracy and destabilizing our country. Divided looks at the deep cultural divide through the lens of five colliding worldviews—indigenous, traditional, progressive, globalized, and transformative. This approach helps us make sense of our deep divisions and suggests ways of bridging them.

It is urgent that we understand and bridge the cultural divide. Bridging the divide is dependent upon first understanding it. Gaining an understanding of the five worldviews enhances our success of arriving at sensible solutions and increasing civil conversations. If not, rancor and intractability ensue.

Divided is one of nine books written by Dr. Ames and the Center for Global Awareness, check out their offerings! Global Awareness Books  

 

Posted in cultural divide, perspectives, politics, Uncategorized, worldviews | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A Time to Speak Up: 12 Insights on Recent Events. #6 What Gives Us Meaning?

By Dr. Denise R. Ames

This is a momentous time that we are experiencing. Who can be trusted for wise council? Where are the elders? Elders have something to add to the conversation about what is going on today. I am one elder who feels I have something to say. The following are 12 Insights that I have learned and want to share with you.

07.1 progressiveIn earlier blogs I described how the progressive worldview is gaining ascendancy on the U.S. stage and becoming the dominant worldview. In fact, it is gaining followers very quickly and seems to be on the trajectory to become more entrenched in American institutions and consciousness. The progressive movement’s popularity, in my view, is because it is providing meaning for many Americans.

Humans are meaning-making animals. We want our lives to be filled with purpose and meaning. If not, we might live out our lives in despair or apathy. Meaning does not have to be the usual signs of success, such as a high-flying career, publishing umpteen books, or being awarded citizen of the year by your city. Meaning can be mundane, such as being a good grandmother or helping out a neighbor in need. Meaning is very personal and takes many different forms.

07.2I make the case that the progressive movement is providing a source of meaning to people who want to create meaning or more meaning in their lives. With the decline of neighborhood associations, neighbor interactions, civic organizations, religious attendance, and extended family, the traditional sources of meaning have declined or disappeared. To replace these traditional sources, some people have latched on to social justice movements as a way to help people feel they are contributing to the greater good.

Alignment with causes such as BLM or social justice actions, is a way for people to signal that they are contributing to the greater good by helping others. The key word is help. Instead of helping people who really need help, elders in isolated settings, tutoring at-risk kids, helping with a church rummage sale, or building houses for the homeless, many have found they are finding meaning in protests and the causes they represent.

Identification with a movement is a type of meaning-making that is in many cases 02.3 defund the policeactually far removed from the suffering the movement is trying to solve. For example, many people support defund the police as a worthy cause, yet the people who it harms the most, inner-city minority poor, are the ones who many people think they are helping. In reality, they are not.

I have found that many progressives have flocked to causes with the (probably unconscious) intention of finding meaning in their own lives. Since it is difficult today to contribute at a community or family level, causes are a quick and painless way to assuage our meaning-making needs. This is perhaps one reason why progressives can shift their attention quickly from one cause to another. Not long ago, the economy was a major focus of needing an overhaul, then it was climate change that grabbed our attention, and now anti-racism is the cause of the day.

My point is that finding meaning in social justice causes has its drawbacks. Often the solutions to problems targeted by social justice activists are complex and defy simplistic solutions. Joining a protest with simplistic jargon, such as defund the police or white04.3 fragility, often does more harm than good. Targeting an enemy and shouting they are causing the problem, delays seeking realistic and difficult decisions.

Thus, finding real meaning in one’s life may take rethinking one’s superficial involvement in social justice causes. There are many other ways to find meaning in life.

01.2 DeniseAbout the Author: Dr. Denise R. Ames

Dr. Ames’ varied life experiences— teaching, scholarly research, personal reflections, and extensive travels—have contributed to her balanced and thoughtful perspectives. Earning a doctorate in world history education, she has taught secondary schools, universities, a community college, and lifelong learners. In 2003, Dr. Ames founded the educational non-profit, Center for Global Awareness that develops globally-focused books and educational resources for grade 9-university. She has written eight books, plus numerous blogs, lesson plans, articles, newsletters, teaching units, and conducted professional development workshops for the non-profit and its clients.

Dr. Ames is now developing her new program: Turn, Transformation, Understanding, and Reflection Nexus.  Turn encourages life-long learners to see things with new eyes, learn from the past, and understand the relationship of all things. She teaches workshops/classes and writes about Turn’s five topics: learning from the past, cross-cultural awareness, five colliding worldviews, elder wisdom, and transformative travel.

DivCover-dsDivided: Five Colliding Worldviews and How to Navigate Them has just been released!

Divided addresses the question on the lips of every American: why can’t we get along? The cultural divide is threatening our democracy and destabilizing our country. Divided looks at the deep cultural divide through the lens of five colliding worldviews—indigenous, traditional, progressive, globalized, and transformative. This approach helps us make sense of our deep divisions and suggests ways of bridging them.

It is urgent that we understand and bridge the cultural divide. Bridging the divide is dependent upon first understanding it. Gaining an understanding of the five worldviews enhances our success of arriving at sensible solutions and increasing civil conversations. If not, rancor and intractability ensue.

 

Divided is one of nine books written by Dr. Ames and the Center for Global Awareness, check out their offerings! Global Awareness Books  

 

Posted in cultural divide, perspectives, politics, Uncategorized, worldviews | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A Time to Speak Up: 12 Insights on Recent Events. #5 Reform not Revolution

By Dr. Denise R. Ames

This is a momentous time that we are currently experiencing. Who can be trusted for wise council? Where are the elders? Elders have something to add to the conversation about what is going on today. I am one elder who feels I have something to say. The following are 12 Insights that I have learned and want to share with you.

01.1 Waves of Global Change, 2nd ed. coverIn the last blog, I wrote about the importance of looking at the big picture in determining what type of change a society should undergo and to not dwell on less significant matters. In this blog, I will continue this concept and advocate for reform as the best way to have both continuity and change.

One of five themes in my teaching and writing about world history is continuity and change. When spanning the big picture of our human history, the formation and collapse of societies have provided powerful lessons to reflect upon. One of these lessons is that in order for societies to thrive and continue they need to balance continuity and change.

06.1 civil warToo much continuity results in a stagnant society that is unable to flourish or accommodate the needs of their citizens. I would argue that the American South prior to the Civil War was an example of a society attempting to stave off change and hold on to the status quo, even though it resulted in a civil war. Changing attitudes and economic conditions in the northern states shored up the idea of free labor, and new moral sentiments saw black people as humans and entitled to the rights and dignity afforded to all humanity.

In this case, change won out over continuity in a blood-soaked battle-field that opened up festering wounds that have taken decades to somewhat heal. But the U.S. has done a reasonably good job (especially when looking at real world history examples and not utopian ideals) of balancing continuity and change.

06.2The notion of progress, deeply embedded into American consciousness, has worked well within a framework of Liberalism (the Enlightenment variety). The concepts of freedom of press, speech, assembly, and debate are firmly entrenched ideals that Americans share. In the preamble to our constitution is the quote that we are charged with forming a “more perfect union.” This quote implies that the progress of the American experience is never complete and we must continue the call to make the U.S. a more equal, prosperous, and freedom-loving country.

06.3Also embedded in this quote is a notion of reform. This means that the U.S. should continue to change and evolve, but not at such a rapid rate that it creates disorder and threatens the stability of the country. The founding fathers where familiar with the atrocities of the French Revolution beginning in 1789, when the initial call for the installation of a Liberal form of government was hijacked by revolutionaries who brought on war, executions, and chaos.

06.4Because of these unsettling events in France, the founding fathers were mindful about creating a nation with a delicate balance between change and continuity. Their creation of a system of checks and balances, three branches of government, and power disbursed between federal, state, and local governments was an ingenious strategy to insure this balance. An education system later evolved to inculcate citizens in allegiance to a Liberal form of government and loyalty to its cause.

In the history of our country many successful political reforms have been implemented—ranging from increasing those who could votes to include all males over 21 regardless of property-owning status, all black males, women, and those 18 years and older. Also, economic reforms, educational reforms, banking reforms, police reforms, and the list goes on.

02.3 defund the policeRejecting reform and going along with an impulsive implementation of untried policies goes against our centuries-long agreement that reforms are the best way to make crucial changes without losing the counter-balance of continuity. Defunding the police is much different than implementing police reforms. It also has a much higher chance of failure and widening the already wide chasm that is dividing our country. Hopefully, calm and reflection will prevail and our love-affair with reform will continue and not end in a messy divorce.

About the Author: Dr. Denise R. Ames

01.2 DeniseDr. Ames’ varied life experiences— teaching, scholarly research, personal reflections, and extensive travels—have contributed to her balanced and thoughtful perspectives. Earning a doctorate in world history education, she has taught secondary schools, universities, a community college, and lifelong learners. In 2003, Dr. Ames founded the educational non-profit, Center for Global Awareness that develops globally-focused books and educational resources for grade 9-university. She has written eight books, plus numerous blogs, lesson plans, articles, newsletters, teaching units, and conducted professional development workshops for the non-profit and its clients.

Dr. Ames is now developing her new program: Turn, Transformation, Understanding, and Reflection Nexus.  Turn encourages life-long learners to see things with new eyes, learn from the past, and understand the relationship of all things. She teaches workshops/classes and writes about Turn’s five topics: learning from the past, cross-cultural awareness, five colliding worldviews, elder wisdom, and transformative travel.

DivCover-dsDivided: Five Colliding Worldviews and How to Navigate Them has just been released! $14.95

Divided addresses the question on the lips of every American: why can’t we get along? The cultural divide is threatening our democracy and destabilizing our country. Divided looks at the deep cultural divide through the lens of five colliding worldviews—indigenous, traditional, progressive, globalized, and transformative. This approach helps us make sense of our deep divisions and suggests ways of bridging them.

It is urgent that we understand and bridge the cultural divide. Bridging the divide is dependent upon first understanding it. Gaining an understanding of the five worldviews enhances our success of arriving at sensible solutions and increasing civil conversations. If not, rancor and intractability ensue.

Divided is one of nine books written by Dr. Ames and the Center for Global Awareness, check out their offerings! Global Awareness Books  

Posted in awareness, bridging the cultural divide, cultural divide, perspectives, politics, Uncategorized, worldviews | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A Time to Speak Up: 12 Insights on Recent Events. #4 Look at the Big Picture

By Dr. Denise R. Ames

This is a momentous time that we are experiencing. Who can be trusted for wise council? Where are the elders? Elders have something to add to the conversation about what is going on today. I am one elder who feels I have something to say. The following are 12 Insights that I have learned and want to share with you.

#4 Look at the Big Picture

01.1 Waves of Global Change, 2nd ed. coverI am a firm believer in looking at everything from a “big picture” perspective. I am such a firm believer that I have written a book and taught classes about our human history over the last 40,000 years. When looking at this huge time scale, looking at the big picture is of primary importance.

I bring this up because as current events unfold, I am increasingly concerned about the big picture: these present attacks on our liberal democratic form of government and its history have profound ramifications. Frankly, I am stunned by the ill-informed actions and messages coming from those stoking the fires of a “political revolution.” There is a mixed message about what they really want and are fighting for. Perhaps the real goal is intentionally shrouded in obscurity because the idea of a Marxist state is so repulsive to most Americans, while fighting racism seems more benign.

02.3 defund the policeThe killing of George Floyd unleashed a torrent of animosity towards police and law enforcement authorities by protesters and their allies. One of their “demands” is to defund the police. By targeting the police and law enforcement in general, they (protesters, etc.) are targeting the protectors of the existing order. In many cases, police morale has been shattered, their dignity assailed, and their confidence undermined. Police authority to maintain order and safety has been severely compromised. I don’t think we have fully comprehended what this means. But, as shootings and violence have skyrocketed in many of our nation’s cities, I believe we are getting a taste for what can happen.

11.2 plurbus unumAs the unraveling of the foundation of the U.S. gets underway, what kind of society is being promoted as a replacement. A complex nation, such as the United States, is a web of institutions, norms, behaviors, and values that have taken years to build up and solidified in place by laws, agreed upon mores, and endless civic debate.

I am afraid, the protesters have not thought about the consequences of chipping away at this massive block of stability and order. As a student of world history, I can attest that the collapse of a society is not a pretty picture. It is bound to produce chaos, a plummeting standard of living, and the loss of life. Are we willing to let a vibrant (although flawed in many ways) society be eviscerated for a unattainable utopian ideal?

05.1 reformReform has been construed as a “dirty” word by many of the protesters. They want action now. But as the “experiment” in Seattle is any indications of what this utopian idea may look like, we should be rightfully concerned. Many of the protesters say reform is too slow, doesn’t bring about the desired change, and only reinforces the existing system. Reform is often slow and the results are stretched over a long period of time, making the reforms seem as thought they are ineffective. Slow acceptance is precisely what reforms should do. Humans generally do not adapt well to rapid change, it is too unsettling.

05.2My plea is for those who are bent on wrecking the “system” to step back and look at the big picture of these actions. These destructive actions have unforeseen consequences that will most likely be negative. Building a society based on equality and justice does not magically appear. It takes years of patience, debate, multiple viewpoints, and solid leadership to create.

About the Author: Dr. Denise R. Ames

01.2 DeniseDr. Ames’ varied life experiences— teaching, scholarly research, personal reflections, and extensive travels—have contributed to her balanced and thoughtful perspectives. Earning a doctorate in world history education, she has taught secondary schools, universities, a community college, and lifelong learners. In 2003, Dr. Ames founded the educational non-profit, Center for Global Awareness that develops globally-focused books and educational resources for grade 9-university. She has written eight books, plus numerous blogs, lesson plans, articles, newsletters, teaching units, and conducted professional development workshops for the non-profit and its clients.

Dr. Ames is now developing her new program: Turn, Transformation, Understanding, and Reflection Nexus.  Turn encourages life-long learners to see things with new eyes, learn from the past, and understand the relationship of all things. She teaches workshops/classes and writes about Turn’s five topics: learning from the past, cross-cultural awareness, five colliding worldviews, elder wisdom, and transformative travel.

Divided:FDivCover-dsive Colliding Worldviews and How to Navigate Them has just been released!

Divided addresses the question on the lips of every American: why can’t we get along? The cultural divide is threatening our democracy and destabilizing our country. Divided looks at the deep cultural divide through the lens of five colliding worldviews—indigenous, traditional, progressive, globalized, and transformative. This approach helps us make sense of our deep divisions and suggests ways of bridging them.

It is urgent that we understand and bridge the cultural divide. Bridging the divide is dependent upon first understanding it. Gaining an understanding of the five worldviews enhances our success of arriving at sensible solutions and increasing civil conversations. If not, rancor and intractability ensue.

Divided is one of nine books written by Dr. Ames and the Center for Global Awareness, check out their offerings! Global Awareness Books  

Posted in awareness, bridging the cultural divide, cultural divide, perspectives, politics, Uncategorized, worldviews | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

12 Insights on Recent Events: #3 Social Justice, A Shallow Narrative

By Dr. Denise R. Ames

This is a momentous time that we are experiencing. Who can be trusted for wise council? Where are the elders? Elders have something to add to the conversation about what is going on today. I am one elder who feels I have something to say. The following are 12 Insights that I have learned and want to share with you.

# Social Justice, a Shallow Narrative

04.1In the last blog, “A New National Narrative,” I made the case that we need a new national narrative that fits better with our national reality. One of the national narratives that has recently thrust its way onto the national stage is the Social Justice narrative.

This narrative rejects the fact that United States was founded on Liberal (Enlightenment) principles based on the dignity of each person, who is imbued with inalienable rights responsibilities, and freedoms.

The more radical Social Justice narrative says these principles are lies, since the nation 04.2was founded upon slavery, misogyny, and colonialism. This legacy of lies and deceit are so egregious and embedded in the American psyche that, to them, there is no way to reform the system, since the system is utterly corrupt. Therefore, an overthrow of the system is necessary and a system based on radical economic, political, and social equality (equity) is imperative. Or, some even promote the turning upside of the current system where Whites have more power to one in which people of color have the most power.

Although idealistic and naïve in many ways, most elders know that this type of system is virtually impossible. It is also dangerous, since the overthrow and replacement of a political, economic, and social system in place for over 250 years would be wrenching for the nation and cost untold number of lost lives.

Therefore, a new national narrative based solely on Social Justice principles lacks 02.3 Coleman Hughesintellectual depth and realistic goals. The Social Justice narrative, for example, rejects gradual and steady progress as a way to improve racial equality. In fact, commentator Coleman Hughes makes the informed argument in a YouTube video that significant progress among African Americans has been made if comparison among other Black groups over time is used for analysis instead of citing the gap between Whites and Blacks. Its like comparing apples to apples instead of apples to oranges.

Also, to have a viable national narrative, a compelling vision that unites the country together in common endeavors is necessary. At the moment, the Social Justice narrative is advancing the “sin of slavery” as a new “religion” to compel whites to accept their role as oppressors of Blacks. This guilt is leading Whites to atone for the slavery sin by 04.3elevating Blacks to a role of superiority in American society. By worshipping the oppressed, culpable Whites are shedding some of their guilt. This does not have long-lasting appeal, and is rejected by many sensible Americans as Black racism.

As I see it, the Social Justice narrative does not have the moral conviction, ethical reasoning, or spiritual depth to carry it forward as a viable national narrative. Although it could be a part of a new national narrative, as a way to advance the dignity and worth of all Americans, as a stand-along narrative I see it as severely flawed.

About the Author: Dr. Denise R. Ames

01.2 DeniseDr. Ames’ varied life experiences— teaching, scholarly research, personal reflections, and extensive travels—have contributed to her balanced and thoughtful perspectives. Earning a doctorate in world history education, she has taught secondary schools, universities, a community college, and lifelong learners. In 2003, Dr. Ames founded the educational non-profit, Center for Global Awareness that develops globally-focused books and educational resources for grade 9-university. She has written eight books, plus numerous blogs, lesson plans, articles, newsletters, teaching units, and conducted professional development workshops for the non-profit and its clients.

Dr. Ames is now developing her new program: Turn, Transformative Understanding and Reflection Network.  Turn encourages life-long learners to see things with new eyes, learn from the past, and understand the relationship of all things. She teaches workshops/classes and writes about Turn’s five programs: learning from the past, cross-cultural awareness, five colliding worldviews, elder wisdom, and transformative travel.

DivCover-dsDivided: Five Colliding Worldviews and How to Navigate Them has just been released!

Divided addresses the question on the lips of every American: why can’t we get along? The cultural divide is threatening our democracy and destabilizing our country. Divided looks at the deep cultural divide through the lens of five colliding worldviews—indigenous, traditional, progressive, globalized, and transformative. This approach helps us make sense of our deep divisions and suggests ways of bridging them.

It is urgent that we understand and bridge the cultural divide. Bridging the divide is dependent upon first understanding it. Gaining an understanding of the five worldviews enhances our success of arriving at sensible solutions and increasing civil conversations. If not, rancor and intractability ensue.

 

Divided is one of nine books written by Dr. Ames and the Center for Global Awareness, check out their offerings! Global Awareness Books 

Posted in awareness, bridging the cultural divide, cultural divide, perspectives, Uncategorized, worldviews | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A Time for Elders to Speak Up: 12 Insights on Recent Events. #2 A New National Narrative

By Dr. Denise R. Ames

This is a momentous time that we are experiencing. Who can be trusted for wise council? Where are the elders? Elders have something to add to the conversation about what is going on today. I am one elder who feels I have something to say. The following are 12 Insights that I have learned and want to share with you.

Insight #2.  We Need a New Narrative

No wonder we are in a state of confusion and anxiety, our national narrative or our national story is untethered to our reality. The story of America as a shining star on the hill is being battered from all sides. The national narrative has been out of step for some time, but the twin shocks of the pandemic and protests has hastened its decline. What kind of narrative do we need?

03.1 hillThe old narrative held that Americans would continually prosper through hard work and perseverance to achieve a more prosperous standard of living than their parents. These rising expectations that life will be better for them than previous generations seemed achievable for some in the post-war years, but it has ground to a halt.

Actually, this idea of continuous, linear economic progress has been adapted by the current Progressive Worldview and altered to conform to the current narrative driving the rhetoric about Black Lives Matter and anti-racism. Progressives assert that white Americans have been able to achieve prosperity, but because of racism African Americans have been left behind mired in misery, oppression, and poverty. Not only must Americans root out racism, but since racism is so deeply embedded in the current capitalist system, the whole system needs to be overturned and a new one built on socialist, identity principles.

03.2 BLMThis Progressive Worldview is gaining traction as many politicians, tech-giant entrepreneurs, educators, academia, and media have jumped on the bandwagon advocating for this new narrative. Even calls to defund the police has gained traction among some unlikely people, for example, it is being moved along by the city council in Minneapolis where George Floyd’s death occurred.

Conservatives, on the other hand, have been caught flat-footed in this escalating push for the progressive narrative to become the established norm. The progressive call for social and economic equity is much catchier than the conservatives’ timid whimper to maintain the status quo and hold on to traditions, freedom, and individual choice. They have failed to articulate a compelling alternative to the sweeping and compelling progressive story.

I can understand why progressives and minorities are disappointed, angry, and uncertain about why this promised prosperity has not met their expectations. But I have 02.3 defund the policelong held that our expectations are outdistancing the reality of life in America. Progressives are comparing their “demands” to their own manufactured utopian ideal. Of course, progress among minority groups in the U.S. can never measure up to this ideal. If comparing minority progress to countries around the world, we have done quite well. In my lifetime, I can see considerable progress gained by minorities. But this measurement does not count.

I also see where progress has been negligible, arguably even worse than 50 years ago. This is in the inner-city area of major cities where there is significant poverty and black on black violence, and where a portion (not all) African Americans live. This is the area that needs targeted efforts to improve the lives of people who live there.

So back to the question at the beginning of this blog, what shall the new national narrative be? Instead of a call to remake America into a utopian ideal of equity for all, an unrealistic vision that is bound to disappoint, perhaps a narrative that is based on reality. A narrative that recognizes that humans, through our long million-year human history, have acquired behaviors that hinder us from forming a more-perfect union, but that we at least recognize these human frailties and continue to make improvements in the best ways we can.

We must recognize that our American nation and society are not an unshakeable fortress but can be undone. World history is littered with failed nations, kingdoms, empires, and dynasties that succumbed to instability, corruption, in-fighting, and finally to collapse.

Forging a new national narrative that has ideals to aspire to, but also recognizes human reality is a narrative worth exploring.

About the Author: Dr. Denise R. Ames

01.2 DeniseDr. Ames’ varied life experiences— teaching, scholarly research, personal reflections, and extensive travels—have contributed to her balanced and thoughtful perspectives. Earning a doctorate in world history education, she has taught secondary schools, universities, a community college, and lifelong learners. In 2003, Dr. Ames founded the educational non-profit, Center for Global Awareness that develops globally-focused books and educational resources for grade 9-university. She has written eight books, plus numerous blogs, lesson plans, articles, newsletters, teaching units, and conducted professional development workshops for the non-profit and its clients.

Dr. Ames is now developing her new program: Turn, Transformative Understanding and Reflection Network.  Turn encourages life-long learners to see things with new eyes, learn from the past, and understand the relationship of all things. She teaches workshops/classes and writes about Turn’s five programs: learning from the past, cross-cultural awareness, five colliding worldviews, elder wisdom, and transformative travel.

DivCover-dsDivided: Five Colliding Worldviews and How to Navigate Them has just been released!

Divided addresses the question on the lips of every American: why can’t we get along? The cultural divide is threatening our democracy and destabilizing our country. Divided looks at the deep cultural divide through the lens of five colliding worldviews—indigenous, traditional, progressive, globalized, and transformative. This approach helps us make sense of our deep divisions and suggests ways of bridging them.

It is urgent that we understand and bridge the cultural divide. Bridging the divide is dependent upon first understanding it. Gaining an understanding of the five worldviews enhances our success of arriving at sensible solutions and increasing civil conversations. If not, rancor and intractability ensue.

 

Divided is one of nine books written by Dr. Ames and the Center for Global Awareness, check out their offerings! Global Awareness Books 

 

 

 

 

Posted in awareness, bridging the cultural divide, cultural divide, perspectives, politics, Uncategorized, worldviews | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment