Soul Food for Week of March 30th, 2012

It’s time for your Soul Food Friday again!

In the past week, in two different settings; one for the American Marketing Association Cause Conference and the other for the Platinum Awards, an event honoring some of the best and brightest at Mission Fed, I have had the opportunity to build on an idea that is integral to two separate sources:

The 2007 bestseller, The Passion Test whose authors Janet and Chris Atwood I hooked up with recently

and “Born to Be Good, The Science of a Meaningful Life” By Dacher Keltner

The essence of the predictive question here is, “Do you believe the world is a beneficent place?” and “How many of you believe that we were born inherently good and are actually wired to help others?

In Born to Be Good, from the relatively new field of affective science, the author makes a compelling case that humans are not hardwired to lead lives that are “nasty and brutish” but we are in fact born to be good. He investigates an old mystery of human evolution; Why have we evolved positive emotions like gratitude, amusement, awe, and compassion that promote ethical action and are the fabric of cooperative societies?

Isn’t that an interesting and important question for us to ponder?

While there was a time when ‘might may have seemed right’- evolutionarily speaking, today more than ever we require one another to be successful, and those that can actually get along better with others seem more likely to be successful in a complex, networked world.

This misuse of might is not just about physical dominance- mind you. We can be just as brutish being intellectually dominating as well. We have all met people that we think to ourselves, “They are so smart, they are stupid!”

Our modern intellectual, rational, analytical brain is brilliant at explaining things.
But “when all you have got is a hammer, everything looks like a nail!

Explaining things is a very useful pursuit. But when this morphs into explaining AWAY things, we start explaining away; awe, compassion, faith, trust, mystery, goodness, kindness, wonder and this does NOT create social value and a healthy society….

Got any thoughts on this?

Speaking of social value and effective leadership, on this week’s slate:

Changing Global Educational Paradigms:
I shared this one months ago, but it bears re-watching if we are even remotely serious about education, check out:
RSA Animate – Changing Education Paradigms
(thanks Kathy)

Transforming Local Education:
If San Diego Is to Work Tomorrow, Business Must Join in Educating Young People Today: San Diego Business Journal Article
 (thanks Andrea Y C)

Applied Technology in Education:
Exclusively iPads in the classroom and the end of text books as we know it?
It is happening here and now, as we speak in Burlington Massachusetts …
Check out:
(thanks NPR and Andrea for digging up the link)

What you focus on MANIFESTS!
Looking for a little happy news to counter the negative doom and gloom and sensational hype that dominates mainstream media?
Explore the Happy News website, that actually focuses on good stuff.
Here is one story that validates the power of honor & humility
(thanks Heidi)

Soul Food is not complete without Babies or Pets: 
Experience this explosive welcome home for one Marine
(thanks Larry G.)

Finally, take some time to smell the roses…
Click here!
This is a friend test. Send virtual flowers to as many friends as you “like”!
(thanks Larry)

Pay it forward…

“If you want to be happy practice compassion; if you want others to be happy, practice compassion – The Dalai Lama

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