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We should continue to be cautious about how we view disagreement. Certainly unnecessary disagreement is counter-productive, wastes time and drains hope. Still, disagreement is often good, often precious.

A lack of disagreement suggests we're on an adequate path, and here I refer to people putting out good ideas, or very good ideas, who may feel those ideas are indeed adequate. But few of these thoughts are sufficient to meet our challenges.

We're hardly even speaking yet about the 8 million youth in the U.S. on psychiatric drugs, or the fact that none of the psychiatric diagnoses pushed by the APA are based in science. It's mistreatment of youth on the scale of child labor in 1900.

In some ways, the worse the problem is, the more likely it's accepted across the social spectrum, including in the U.S. This is not unusual in human communities -- it tends to be the norm. It's also what will seal our fate if we don't have the right kinds of disagreements and gain consensus on outstanding paths.

You generally will not find the best ideas among the stalwart Republicans or Democrats. Or among college presidents, newspaper publishers, TV network owners, corporate CEOs, Ivy League grads, school superintendents, people worth more than $10 million, celebrities, famous artists, or anyone who millions of people are enchanted with. Ostensibly, this is where the best thinking would come from. Many are articulate; many do have good ideas; those people do listen to some extent; they are good at small improvements and maintaining some good standards.

But they also tend to be over-confident in their own vision of what's realistic and possible. They tend to be unable to see how their notion of a workable world falls apart, until it's actually fallen apart (very bad timing). They tend to believe that over-work, insufficient breaks, insufficient sleep, pills, caffeine, wine, and other culturally sanctioned habits are functional. They absorb societal assumptions, rather than thoroughly checking those assumptions with good logic. They tend to suppress emotions to avoid the cultural embarrassment of shirts wet with nervous sweat or trembling hands.

They really believe that things will work out best if they are in the top positions, that their particular collection of mistakes is pretty darn functional. They don't notice others who are using more courage and wisdom, and step down to make room. They're kind of like George Washington or Thomas Jefferson, admirable in some ways, but unable to put basic undeniable truths into motion, such as opposing slavery.

They seldom do what one group of business executives did when a few sentences of mine grabbed their attention at a conference in 1975. At the end of the keynote speech, I asked how the vision in that speech fit with realities about finite resources. Where would we get all the growth and profit they were excited about without the natural resources to provide it? They did not condescend or humor me; or downplay what I said, change the subject, or in any way turn away from reality or initial discomfort. They saw that my view of reality made a lot more sense than theirs. I had competing invitations to dine with them, dinner coming fifteen minutes after the speech. Before dinner they took turns asking me questions that elicited more of my thinking. Invitations to interview for jobs were made. But that's not the typical reaction in our world to new input. (Wouldn't that be nice!)

The Washington/Jefferson comparisons fit stalwart Democrats to a fair extent, liberal progressives that run local Democratic parties, people key in deciding what candidates should get energetic backing. There's an over-confidence that keeps their vision and possible achievement pretty small, and gives them an unaware condescension toward others. The rest of us are more politically naive, they believe, can't make the necessary compromises today. There was a year when I moved dozens of professionals -- attorneys, prosecutors, psychiatrists, prison administrators and other confident leaders far in a short time (with important help from three relatives). Most initially thought I was naive in wrenching a teenager from their influence, whom they all believed could benefit from drugs and labels, even though he'd committed six felonies after years of their "care." At the end of the year, all were very pleased with his progress, perhaps the greatest progress they'd ever seen a person make in a short period; none viewed me as naive. There was another year when my bosses at a nursing home tried to railroad me out of the workplace on the same set of issues, while simultaneously making the very changes I recommended. These experiences taught me a lot of details about where over-confidence and fear sit with people in top positions. They tend to push away (or delay) the very assumptions that would have the greatest utility. Or push away the person, even if quietly employing the ideas of integrity. short mini prom gowns suitable for skater

This is not unlike how influential Democrats view much of what I say today. They can see my sincerity, can relate to that; but often don't see that the naivete is heavier in their assumptions. I've not developed my views of what's possible through empty conjecture or hours of circular over-analysis. Or avoided new, excellent ideas that brought me great emotional discomfort at first. I've especially listened closely to ages 1-21, where much of the courage and intellectual power in the world is right near the surface. ( Imagine ages 16-40 electing a Donald Trump or Mike Pence last year. It just doesn't happen; it's a landslide against them if everyone in that age bracket votes. Recall the condescension coming from some Democrats as they accused young female Sanders voters of listening too much to their boyfriends. I hope the disagreement those women sent back to the commenters registered with all.)

It does not work to drink from the culture or be counter-culture. We must use each other's innate brilliance to make giant strides in two years or less. Or societies, climate, and ecosystems will collapse in on us in ways that are incredibly hard to handle.

At age one each of us had a pretty decent handle on reality and hope, though we were already settling into some traps. We have to regain that level of clarity and courage, and combine it with our collective knowledge and individual insights.

I've thought together with more people than any human I know of, through reading and conversation. There is a key person I know whom everyone should think with. In some ways, thinking with him can move us farther than thinking with a thousand others. He's dead, but that's not an obstacle in this case. His name is Harvey Jackins, author of the Human Side of Human Beings and other works. He put his name on a very useful theory that he and others developed, one that allows us to move quicker and deeper in stepping out of repetitive mistakes, repetitive irrationality.

It's still the only testable, comprehensive, and extremely practical theory related to human behavior, because constructing such work requires a lot of interaction with others, and a lot of yawning, trembling, blushing, talking, etc. These are things routinely discouraged in every culture, from birth. It requires realistic discussions that can only take place outside comfort zones.

People with their humility at the surface have an easier time opening this book, unafraid of its potential to challenge them. For instance, I had to check it with guards before entering prison on a visit. It was a gift for a relative. They sort of forgot themselves, after skimming it to establish it was harmless, and were murmuring and talking about various statements that stood out as they skimmed some more. It's like reading John Hougton on climate change -- kind of dry, but very significant if you care about the world. Conceptually very straightforward. After a few minutes they remembered the book was mine, smiled warmly, and handed it back to me. I had the feeling they thought very well of me just based on the fact I had that book. The theory contains the combination of caring, non-permissiveness and possilities we're all looking for. It relates to every challenge we face.

If your goal is to improve many things simultaneously, and this is the goal of maybe 5 billion people, maybe even 6, it's a sizeable mistake not to read The Human Side of Human Beings and discuss it with friends. It makes it much easier for us to pivot toward outstanding thinking and lives, as individuals and groups. You can own the book for something like $6, probably less used. It generally does not take a lot of pages to lay out our most fundamental and useful theories, nor does the first reading take much time for this book. If you read it only once, you probably missed its high utility.