Saturday, July 30, 2005

Gladiators or goal-reachers?

'Here lies a can of worms that requires urgent leadership.'
- spoken recently in the Australian House of Commons, quoted in Hansard, without clear attribution

Governments of western countries are so used to rabid opposition from other parties in their legislatures that they seldom think to meet together behind closed doors to work out agreements on controversial issues. Instead, they fight among themselves over the issues, ultimately making them all look bad because it is obvious to onlookers that they have no intention of agreeing on anything.

Think about it. Would you rather have political representatives who will find ways to reach agreement on tough subjects or those who conduct verbal duals to the death?

We citizens need solutions from our legislatures, not gladiatorial spectacles.

Bill Allin
'Turning It Around: Causes and Cures for Today's Epidemic Social Problems' is available in soft cover, ebook download or ebook on CD.
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Friday, July 29, 2005

What do we deserve in life?

Compare what you want with what you have, and you’ll be unhappy; compare what you have with what you deserve, and you’ll be happy.
- Evan Esar (1899-1995)

How do we measure what we deserve? Do we deserve more when we acquire more for ourselves? Or do we deserve more when we help others to improve their lives and have more hope for the future?

It's a sobering bit of introspection to ponder what we deserve.

Before we do that, we must drop the pretense that the world owes us something from the time we are born. Instead, it is we who owe the world something for the privilege of building lives for ourselves.

If we choose to let circumstances dictate our lives, rather than to build our own lives, then we must accept what we get. When we build our own lives and in the process enhance the lives of others, again we get what we deserve. In the latter case, we would deserve more. We would get more because others would be helping us build our own lives as we are helping them build theirs.

Building a life is not a solitary process. It's a social process requiring other people who act both as supports for us and as people we can support when they need us.

Bill Allin
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Monday, July 18, 2005

Can we survive without education?

There is no need to education. It is not that you read a book, pass an examination, and finish with education. The whole of life, from the moment you are born to the moment you die, is a process of learning.
- Jiddu Krishnamurti

Isn't that an odd thing to say, that we don't need education? Doesn't that go against the findings of studies galore and experience through the centuries? Yes and no.

Krishnamurti means that true education is self education. In school, just as at home before we go to school, we need to learn the things that are critical to our survival and thriving as adults in today's world. These are things that are not necessarily written down as school curriculum, but are collected wisdom that has been passed down through the ages from parents to children, things we consider straightforward, such as the Golden Rule.

The problem is that while people are capable of learning what they need to function in jobs, schools and as keepers of their own homes, vehicles and other property, we are not all receiving the same basic messages about the collected wisdom of the ages. Not every child is taught that murder is wrong, so we have too many murders. Not every child is taught proactively that using non-prescription drugs or using prescription drugs improperly is wrong, so we have people who die or who destroy their minds and the lives of their family members by using drugs improperly.

Every child must receive the same messages, those messages that all of us reading this received from our parents and our teachers. TIA wants to insist on this simple rule for parents and for schools. It's cheap to implement and it will have benefits for the rest of the history of our planet.

Let's tell others about this. The time is now.

Bill Allin
'Turning It Around: Causes and Cures for Today's Epidemic Social Problems' is available now for order from book stores and online book sellers.
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Friday, July 15, 2005

Your life is in your hands

In oneself lies the whole world and if you know how to look and learn, the door is there and the key is in your hand. Nobody on earth can give you either the key or the door to open, except yourself.
- Jiddu Krishnamurti

An awesome responsibility, isn't it? Many people suffer the greatest humiliation, punishments, deprivations and restrictions of life because they believe that others are totally responsible for the conditions of their lives.

Not so. Decisions about the directions of our lives are made within our own minds. Many of us are so afraid of change that we can't even contemplate making our lives different.

But it can be done. Others are doing it.

Bill Allin
'Turning It Around: Causes and Cures for Today's Epidemic SocialProblems' is available now for order from book stores and online booksellers.
See for more information.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Do we teach power and domination?

Hitler and Mussolini were only the primary spokesmen for the attitude of domination and craving for power that are in the heart of almost everyone. Until the source is cleared, there will always be confusion and hate, wars and class antagonisms.
- Jiddu Krishnamurti

I don't believe that "domination and a craving for power are in the heart of almost everyone." This statement overlooks a vast number of people who, at heart, fear those who have a desire for domination and power.
Krishnamurti is correct that people will not work together and live together in harmony while power is taught to children as being desirable. It is equally correct that we will not live together in harmony so long as we fear those who seek power over us.

Power is a kind of greed which we should teach to children is an addictive disability, not significantly different from addictions to drugs, alcohol, gambling or work.

A study of various different cultures shows that power and domination are not the same across all peoples. That means that it must be taught differently to children, depending on the culture into which they are born.

We can teach differently if we desire to have this happen.

Bill Allin
'Turning It Around: Causes and Cures for Today's Epidemic Social Problems' is available for order from book stores and online book sellers now.
See for details.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Touch: the ultimate unsatisfied need

A friend wrote:> Each individual has a level of physical contact that satisfies their need for loving contact. Is this a built in trait or a result of environment?

I like your term 'touch quotient.' It's a tad too much toward jargon, but it works for me.

Each human life (each mammal life, for that matter) begins with 100 percent hugging in the womb before birth. The womb is the ultimate security blanket, which may explain why people have such great devotion to their mothers who tend to extend that period of total security for many years by embracing their children frequently.

A hug is a safe place where nothing costs anything, nothing else matters, there are no problems, no pains, no worries. It's like a drug high, only without the withdrawal later, which may explain why people are attracted to the temporary relief of drugs when they can't get socially acceptable forms of touch.

A person who loses the need for touch from a loved one or has that need greatly reduced is damaged somewhere in the brain. The brain controls the nervous system, which is the most important sense involved with hugging (though not the only one, to be sure--smell is very important, for example).

The truth is that we know very little about the brain. Though we are learning fast, it's a tough subject. We can't experiment on human brains, so we must take advantage of opportunities presented by people whose brains have been damaged by disease or misfortune or by studying identical twins.

When something gets turned off or changed in the brain, we may (if we are lucky) know the chemistry of what happened, but we have no idea how to reverse that chemistry. We can't reverse it because we don't know how the chemical reaction happened in the first place.

Returning to the original question, the answer must be that environmental factors must play a vital role as from birth we all want a security blanket wrapped around us constantly as our "built-in trait."

> While physical touch is important, it is also very susceptible to Modification by other factors.

The need does not change. Everyone needs lots of touch. However, it is possible that the satisfaction of that need may require changing by altering how the touch is expressed. For some, the intimacy of sex would be the ultimate expression of that need, whereas for others hand-holding, a head massage or simple touches on the shoulder while passing may be best. It may be that a loving pet (a kind that loves to be touched) could help still others to satisfy that need for touch in a compatible way.

There are no experts on this subject. The best anyone can do is to guess based on anecdotal evidence and personal experience. Allow me an example.

I knew that my first marriage was over a long time before my wife left. One night in bed, while "sleeping" I moved to touch her (back-to-back as I recall), she moved away. Maybe a coincidence? I moved to touch her again and she moved away again. The end had come, though the fat lady had not yet sung (as our saying goes).

My example is not intended to apply to any one situation situation, only to show that loss of touch from a spouse can be a crushing blow to a person.

> When the touch quotient of a couple gets out of whack it is a struggle to find a compromise that comes close to satisfying both parties.

I can only suggest that you keep searching for alternatives that might help both of you. Is a pet that loves to be touched, such as a dog or cat, a possibility?

> To little contact is hard on the more physical partner, while to much touching make the less physical partner feel used.

Where too much touch is a problem, the trouble is in the head, not in the nervous system. It's a problem that we simply do not know how to manage now.

> Factors that can change the touch quotients are religion, financial stress, physical tiredness to name a few. Without a constant and open verbal dialogue any drastic change will put any marriage at risk.

33 words that would require an encyclopedia's worth of words to reply to if the proper studies were done (which they have not been).Touch is, to a social scientist, the final frontier.

Bill Allin
'Turning It Around: Causes and Cures for Today's Epidemic Social Problems' is available for order from book stores and online book sellers now. See for more information.

Monday, July 11, 2005

The best gift ever

Bob wrote:> The best gift ever? To be held in a loving embrace.

This may be the most important gift that anyone can give to anyone else. However, it lasts for too short a period. It needs to be repeated.

At least one major study has shown that we humans need 12 hugs per day (or some equivalent) to be fully satisfied. We can get by with a minimum of eight hugs.

What happens to those who have fewer, perhaps none at all? You will find them in prisons, in psychiatric hospitals, in divorce courts, in therapists' offices, in video stores picking out their movies for the evening. Of course, lack of human touch is not the only things such people are missing from their lives. But you may be certain that it is a very common element among them.

How desperate would you get if you had not eaten for five days? Or if you had not slept for three days? If you had not had water for two days? If you did not have enough stuff to keep you warm?

Human touch is a need, not a luxury.

Look at the kind of play kids get involved with at school. Most of it involves touching in some way. Kid get into fights--would the fights have not been necessary (might not even have been thought of) if each of the fighters had enough human touch to satisfy their needs?

There is a kind of physical therapy called Healing Touch. The therapist does not technically touch the patient. But the two come close enough to each other that the patient can feel the heat radiating from the skin of the therapist.

The patient feels better. The patient's "touch bank" gets filled. With that need satisfied, the patient's immune and other self-correcting body systems begin to function properly again.

Can we touch ourselves (such as by hugging ourselves) to achieve the same goals? I believe that when we do this, we satisfy maybe one-tenth of our need. What we should be taking from the habit of doing this is that we desperately need the touch of others.

Think of the social animals you know--bees, ants, horses, dogs, etc. Every one, without exception, not only needs the touch of others, but seeks it out. Sometimes, if necessary, they even force themselves on others just to get that touch need satisfied.

Oh, did I just say "force themselves on others?" Isn't that what rapists and those who physically abuse others do? You don't suppose...

Well, if you don't suppose, then you should.

Bill Allin
'Turning It Around: Causes and Cures for Today's Epidemic Social Problems' is available now for order from book stores and online book sellers. See for details.

Fear versus peace

A man who is not afraid is not aggressive, a man who has no sense of fear of any kind is really a free, a peaceful man.
- Jiddu Krishnamurti

The fear referred to here is not the natural fear which extends from caution about situations which are dangerous, but ongoing and pathological fear which people become accustomed to living with. This kind of fear is unhealthy as it affects the immune system and hobbles the brain.

Not being afraid of life is a state of mind which has the consequence of bringing peace and tranquility.

Bill Allin
'Turning It Around: Causes and Cures for Today's Epidemic Social Problems' is available for order from book stores and online book sellers now.
See for details and more information.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

The profit motive rules

"Sometimes what's right isn't as important as what's profitable."
- South Park, Prehistoric Ice Man

In North American cultures, those who believe in doing what is right face a continual struggle against those who believe that profit should be the guiding principle of everyone.

The profit motive works in the sociopathic atmosphere of large corporations where drones labour endlessly for the continued prosperity of their employers. They believe that their lives and the lives of their employers meld into one. That is, they have no life other than that of work.

Our education systems produced these people. Because they don't know how to make lives for themselves, the attach themselves emotionally and psychologically to their employers.

It's not hard to teach a child how to make a life. But evidence of people around us shows that this is not happening on its own. No one is directing education systems to build people. They are directed to build employees.

And that's what they do.

TIA believes that work is but one component of life. Let's put a TIA program in place.

Bill Allin
'Turning It Around: Causes and Cures for Today's Epidemic Social Problems' is available now for order from book stores and online book sellers.
See for details.

Sunday, July 03, 2005

Where do you stand?

You are an infinitesimal part of the universe. Within the known cosmos you are no more significant than a speck of dust.

Unless you combine the life force that is within you with the lifeforces of others like you (and me). That gives you power unlike any known force.

You can't do it alone. Alone you are as worthless as dust, as am I.

We only gain significance when we combine with others to make things happen that would not happen under the forces of nature.

When you assume that you don't have to give much regard to others, that you must look after yourself and your own best interests, you adopt the natural value of dust.

When you combine your energy with that of others to make a positive difference to your world, to my world, to the world of everyone else who inhabits this planet in the same life form as you, you gain a special power and importance that is available only to one known species. Us.

When you put your power with that of others, you have the power of all those that are with you. Alone, you are weak, helpless, hopeless.

There are those who want you to believe that you really are weak, helpless and hopeless. I am not one of those people.

I want you to join with me to become something that neither of us could be alone. I want us to seek the assistance of others who wantto do something that humans have never done before. I want us to show everyone that humans are far more good than bad, far more right than wrong, far more honest than corrupt, far more divine and eternal than base and temporal.

Let's do what we have been given the potential to do, by speaking together for what we believe is right.

This is what TIA is about.

It's not about seizing power, but adopting it collectively with and through others.

Some people want to be weak, helpless and hopeless. I am not one of those.

Come, stand proudly with me. Together we will make the world a better place.

Bill Allin
Learn more about 'Turning It Around: Causes and Cures for Today's Epidemic Social Problems' at

We need social justice for everyone now

Maita wrote:> "This is a rare moment . The G-8 has a rare possibility without precedents to fight the problems that affect Africa".
> This sentence I copy and am pasting to express my hope that the world can be better if, people that are fighting for social JUSTICE, would practice what Bill wrote in TIA.

Thank you, Maita. We must remember that:
- the world is not a better place because we turn our backs to eat several meals each day while many starve--30,000 each day;
- the world is not a better place because we protect our agricultural products from cheaper imports from poor countries, imports that might have given the people in those countries a sustainable existence--our farmers can ALWAYS find other products to grow that we need;
- the world is not a better place because we do not help people in poor countries to educate themselves--we find ways to educate people in the most remote parts of Canada, for example, but we can't manage to teach millions of children who want to learn in poor countries;
- the world is not a better place when we allow fear to grow--fear is a product of ignorance, which is a consequence of poor education;
- the world is not a better place because we wish for peace but do nothing to prevent our governments from making war;
- the world is not a better place when we know what is right but leave it to others to see that it happens--it doesn't;
- the world is not a better place when we don't share the basic principles of what we believe with others--in the process we would learn that a large majority of people in every country share the same beliefs as us;
- the world is not a better place when we look at others and see how different they are from us, but do not see how much the same as us they are.Let's make the world a better place.
Let's Turn It Around.

Bill Allin
'Turning It Around: Causes and Cures for Today's Epidemic Social Problems' is available now for order from book stores (that stock books in English) and online book sellers.

See for details.

Friday, July 01, 2005

Cause of obesity

Simplicity is making the journey of this life with just baggage enough.
- Charles Dudley Warner, editor and author (1829-1900)

The pace of life in western countries is notoriously fast. Advertisers tell us we must do many things (all of which cost money), so we work more and try to do it all for fear of missing out on something.

In the process, we take shortcuts, such as with preparation and eating of meals. Thus we miss two of the great pleasures of life, both of which are healthy. In so doing, we eat an extraordinary amount of chemicals and preservatives in our non home-prepared food, which results in obesity.

In turn, obseity creates the need for new pharmaceuticals, weight loss programs and exercise facilities.All because we believe advertisers who, it turns out, control the passage of our lives.

Advertisers teach children this way of life. If we do not teach children differently, they will follow the same course we have travelled, never understanding the peace, tranquility or beauty of simplicity. They will sell their souls for thrills.

A TIA program would prevent this mind-bending of our children.

Bill Allin
'Turning It Around: Causes and Cures for Today's Epidemic Social Problems' is available for order from book stores or online book sellers now.
See for details and description.