Are You Prepared to Change Your Life?
Are You Ready to Change Our World?
Summary of the Website
we would be able to create a world where we all could fulfill our wildest dreams.
Toward a Science of Human Behavior
Imagine that it is possible for all of to learn that interdisciplinary knowledge and,
as a result, gain access to our unbelievable powers.
Fulfilling One’s Extraordinary Potentials
We should remain aware that such learning opposes what we’ve been taught all our lives, and thus the habits which keep us imprisoned. As a result, we must replace those habits with new ones that open us up to who we and others are, and what is the actual nature of the world.
1. Physical Structures
2. Biological Structures
Helen Keller, blind and deaf at the age of 19 months, later wrote: “I knew then that ‘w-a-t-e-r’ meant that wonderful cool something that was flowing over my hand. That living word awakened my soul, gave it light, hope, set it free.”
John Dewey, the eminent philosopher and educator, recorded in his Reconstruction in Philosophy (1920/1948): “Democracy has many meanings, but if it has a moral meaning, it is found in resolving that the supreme test of all political institutions and industrial arrangements shall be the contribution they make to the all-around growth of every member of society.”
Reviewing our treatment of physical and biological structures, each of us can learn to fully utilize the incredible powers of THE SCIENTIFIC METHOD AND LANGUAGE.
3. Sociocultural Structures
Thus, bureaucracy is not the enemy so many of us have come to believe. Rather, it is the limited external interaction—or failure to use the scientific method—within a great many bureaucracies that is responsible for many of their limitations. And it is the general lack of internal interaction that limits even the best of bureaucracies. What we’ve learned above about increasing interaction among our emotions, intellect and actions points a direction for the further evolution of organizations. We need to move FROM A BUREAUCRATIC TOWARD AN INTERACTIVE or evolutionary way of life.
4. Individual Structures
The above analysis suggests this: a focus on the “HEART,” “HEAD” AND “HAND” of the individual–versus an outward orientation–is crucial for yielding personal and world development or evolution, which has no horizons.
From Limited Development toward an Increasingly Interactive Way of Life
As a result, We can EXTEND THE KAIZEN VISION from experiences at work to continuous improvement throughout one’s everyday life.
Instead of a world with a small number of winners and a very large number of losers, we would move toward societies, following Lewis Carroll, where “everyone has won, and all must have prizes.”
To actually move toward the ACTION required by our VISION of a new world, we must transform, one step at a time, old habits into new ones. .
We invite visitors to this website to help us further our own understanding of how to achieve human development. What are your own experiences of successes? Of failures? How do you assess this website? Creating Life Before Death? What suggestions do you have? What do you think of the idea of an PERSONAL LIBERATION MOVEMENT for helping us to address personal and world problems? What is your own vision of next steps in human evolution, and view of how to confront present-day problems?
I have never forgotten the value of that personal experience. His impact has continued throughout my entire life. Following graduation, advanced degrees, research at the University of North Carolina and teaching at the University of Illinois, I enjoyed thirty-seven years at Boston University teaching a variety of courses in sociology. After publishing a number of books and articles, I founded “The Sociological Imagination Group.” This involved scholars in sociology who shared their research at annual meetings stressing an interdisciplinary approach to knowledge of human behavior.
Retiring in Sarasota, Florida, I found myself in front of a Barnes & Noble bookstore, where I met Tom Savage. In pleasant conversation we discovered we had both been at Boston University in the early 1960s. I was teaching sociology in the College of Liberal Arts, while at the same time next door Tom was attending seminary at the School of Theology. Recognizing that a Scholar and a Preacher bring unique perspectives to any investigation about the meaning and significance of life, we decided to collaborate, writing Creating Life Before Death: Discover Your Amazing Self. My former student, Andy Plotkin, and two friends, Neal Weiss and Max Spitzer, who had worked with me previously, added their voices to broaden the appeal of our message
To put mere words into action, Tom and I created a seminar for Plymouth Harbor, a retirement community in Sarasota. The interaction among the participants brought to life personal experiences contrasting with my earlier academic exchanges. Now, Tom, I and our co-authors have raised the idea that we are facing two crises in the modern world. The first is to recognize how a bureaucratic viewpoint and way of life has compromised individual creativity and freedom. The second is a world failing to address problems threatening our future existence.
Expanding into the development of an organization, a seminar and a website, our focus now is on the development of a PERSONAL AND WORLD EVOLUTIONARY MOVEMENT, dedicated to nothing less than changing our bureaucratic societies into evolutionary societies. Our focus differs from that of other movements that also point in a democratic direction. For we see every individual as possessing incredible yet largely untapped potentials for personal development that education has failed to unlock. Our optimism is based on the conviction that interdisciplinary social science knowledge can help the individual transform capacities into abilities that will change the world.
When I Begin the Ancient Game of Chess
by Bernard Phillips
When I begin the ancient game of chess,
Commanding knights and pawns in bitter strife,
I wonder at the thought that I possess:
How is it with the greater game of life?
Am I a wooden piece which someone moves,
A means to satisfy another’s ends?
Do I advance, retreat, in patterned grooves,
A creature of commands another sends?
Perhaps I am a player in the game,
And force the moves of countless other souls
To seek my own fulfillment, fortune, fame,
Ignoring in my quest their secret goals.
The castle falls, the knights remain en pris [exposed],
Besiegers there are none the eye can see.
Different: A Voice of the Atomic Age, 8, 2, Summer, 1954, 18.
Tom’s unique background combines 25 years as a minister and 23 years with the Sarasota, Florida, Sheriff’s Department, where he retired as a lieutenant. He served churches in Belmont, Massachusetts, where he was ordained, and in Elgin, Illinois, Madison, Wisconsin, and Sarasota, Florida. Moving from pulpit to patrol car, the robe and badge provided experiences granted very few of us. They have yielded numerous stories found in this book.
Attempting to rise above the biased cultural contamination of one’s own personal experiences in his native land, Tom has traveled to over eighty-nine countries, studying local traditions and beliefs. The goal he sought was an appreciation of unity within diversity, while championing individuality in community.
Tom sees art as history’s mirror, both reflecting and helping to interpret our human condition. Throughout the ages, art has been represented by a variety styles. These styles merely indicate an artist’s unique way for seeing our world. Our imaginations are expanded as their visions are presented to us in paintings, sculptures and crafts. Tom views the physical and social sciences as feeding the head, with art, architecture and music emotionally touching the heart
Tom was deeply moved by a writer who saw each of us being “tossed into the world.” The implications of that image were quite profound. Time, Place, and Condition are the realities we all face. For Time, what would one’s life be to have been “tossed into the world” in the first or fifteenth century, versus our own twenty-first century? For Place, how would we have turned out having been “tossed” into China, India, Arabia, or the Middle East? How would the cultural contamination of these areas have shaped our views on politics, religion, values and behavior? For Condition, the list is endless! Are you white, black, or brown in color? Male or female? Rich or poor? Free or slave? All of this determines how we see ourselves, our neighbors, and the world.
Tom holds a B.A. from the University of Redlands, California, and a Master of Divinity and Master of Sacred Theology Degree from the Boston University School of Theology. He created a unique experiment in community policing with over ten thousand volunteers for a citizen patrol. He has served as the founder of the Sarasota Public Arts Fund, on the Ringling College Scholarship Committee, and is a significant donor for philanthropic causes in the area.
A River of Time flows into an Ocean of Life creating our human condition. So many people out there in our world with differing ideas, beliefs, and values. Is it any wonder that others will not like us simply because they are not like us?
Tom enjoyed portraying himself to the public in three distinctive roles: cop, cowboy, and clergyman. There was, of course, a brief motorcycler, biker, “Captain America” period, when he made the obli gatory cross-country road trip from Florida to California.
But then, each of us has a story to share. Here you reveal your values, and at some point you pause to ask yourself what life is really all about.
Over the years you finally realized you were wiser than you thought, stronger than you recognized, and braver than you felt. In life, your voice and vote will count!
Don’t just sit in the bleachers, watching others play the game of life. Those active on the field will end up making all the rules you will later be forced to obey.
“Shop until you drop” says “to be is to have.” Gambling is just another form of escape. Neither activity will make you a true winner. With growth and change as the only inevitable realities in life, we must rise to meet the challenges they present.
Caught between a vanished past and an unknown future, let’s celebrate a joyful and creative life before our death.
READER – How do you FEEL about the IDEAS suggested in my poem, “THE LEAF”?
by Tom Savage
Here am I. Once supple, smooth, alive Now rigid, coarse, dying. Soon to drift quietly to the ground where expectant seedlings Greedily await my life-giving death. Those gentle breezes who Yesterday fondly caressed me. Now would rip me. From my mother’s limbs, sending me. Tumbling down to be trodden under foot. Raked, piled, leaped upon in childhood’s delight. Gathered and burned. The wind will aid a few in escape. But all such evasion an illusion. For the decree is quite simple: New leaves from old. Now, it is my turn. Behold, I am coming. Let all the earth rejoice.
For someone who would eventually teach courses ranging from the sociology of developing countries and family and society, I had the perfect parents to prepare me for an interdisciplinary life. My father was a world-class track star and a physics major at Harvard. He then became the president of his father’s clothing store in Boston. My mother was a renowned artist who realized that to be human is a proud achievement.
My crowning achievements have been my steadfast marriage to my graduate school sweetheart, and the upbringing of our two fabulous children. Next to these achievements, I am hoping to contribute to the mitigation of the two major interrelated worldwide crises of our era: creating more meaningful personal lives, and taking steps toward solving the world’s most pressing social problems, ranging from bullying, racism (and all the other isms), poverty (and all other forms of inequality), terrorism, environmental degradation, and war.