Category Archives: Civility

Break the Chain of Non-Forgiveness

Created November 20, 2020

On November 6, 2020, my blogpost was entitled Both Sides Are Protecting America in their Own Minds, and in it, I wrote:

“We all grew up with the same values. Other countries were corrupt, we were taught, but here we had the privilege of living in a democracy, where there is concern for every individual.”

A wise executive at a top advertiser company wrote me to say “I think that perspective misses the values piece. When some are raised with values of hate, bigotry and selfishness we don’t come from the same starting point.”

In other words, despite being taught the same American values, we are all also programmed by the other “values” our parents taught us by word and example, including such things as hate, bigotry and selfishness.

There is no denying the truth of the reader’s point.

Why is it that parents let themselves pass on any form of negativity to their beloved children?

It is because they don’t realize they are doing that. They may not pay attention to the process at most times, and when they do notice their own behavior and the effect it is having on their kids, they see it differently than an objective outsider would see it.

In other words, when a parent teaches hate and selfishness they are not able to see reality objectively. What they themselves have been taught has become so deeply ingrained they have perceptual biases, like a fish not being able to see water.

In this way, hate and selfishness are passed down from generation to generation like a great chain that can never be broken.

In my blogpost of November 2, 2020, entitled The Follower Type, I quoted from Wikipedia’s coverage of The Authoritarian Personality, a 1950 book which showed the link between authoritarian leaders and their followers. Both the leaders and the followers learned the same negative “values” from domineering parents. Children of domineering parents have an almost unbreakable tendency to become domineering parents and domineering people themselves. The neurosis brings along with it cultish blind followership, anti-intellectualism, superstition, and the projection of all of one’s own repressed perceived weaknesses (the shadow self) onto a scapegoat group.

All great psychologists and deep thinkers have spoken and written about the process of clearing out the mind and emotions of conditioned neuroses formed in childhood. Abraham Maslow  in particular described the emergent new person cleansed of imposed leftover deficiency feelings as being Self Actualized, freed from being motivated by deficiency compensation and free to pursue the manifestation of all the positive creative potentials within the individual self. No longer a robot of his or her self-limiting early conditioning, this person has then broken the great chain of non-forgiveness (of self, of parents, of the scapegoat group, of intellectuals, et al).

I call this mentally and emotionally cleansed state “the Observer state” and my book MIND MAGIC is a collection of stimuli designed to help bring about the Observer state. During the pandemic that book is now free to anyone in the world, at the link.

What should we do if we wish to break the chain of passed-down divisive “values”? We ought to communicate with our children, whatever age they now are, confronting this subject courageously and non-self-protectively. Ask them if you taught them anything related to hating other people, if you encouraged them to think selfishly. Talk it out. Reach agreement if you can on a FRESH START. Age does not matter, a FRESH START is always a freeing new way of being. It puts away the past and does not dwell upon it, bringing almost all attention into the present with a little bit left for the future. The future you and your children want to have, and want America and the world to have.

With what is facing us all today, the “six tidal waves” as I call it in To the People of the World, if more of us can give ourselves and our children a FRESH START and focus on solutions in a collaboration with all people of good will, we will overcome all of these threatening situations we ourselves have caused due to our conditioned neuroses that have been our baggage for all of history.

And as individuals, what we can in our own private alone spaces, is to contemplate our own upbringing, and our own domineering, hatreds, and selfishness if any, and where it might have come from, what good or harm it has done us so far in our lives, and whether we want to carry that baggage any more, or if we would feel refreshed to have a FRESH START ourselves. If you would like more structured help in such contemplation it is available in the free book MIND MAGIC in Chapter 5, “What Do You Want? Stripping Away Imposed Limitations To Find Out What ‘The Me That Was Born’ Wants”.

May The Center Hold. Some have suggested I change this to “May The Center Re-Form”, suggesting that we have all moved further left or right, but I suspect this is an illusion; I agree that we are definitely more vocally on one party’s side or the other, but not that Democrats have become communists and that Republicans have become fascists. I still feel that most of us are closer to the center than depicted in our actual views of what actions need to be taken in the world, but have become angry at the opposing political party per se. This is not a distinction without a difference. It implies that if the parties disappeared overnight (as George Washington had strenuously advised) and we were all individuals again and we met to discuss what to do about health, education, foreign affairs, etc. we would find that we are not that far apart at all.

When this election is behind us, I hope that this is the reality that appears in front of us all as we pull together to solve the substantive action issues that are not inherently party power related.

Best to all,


Follow my regular media blog contribution, In Terms of ROI at Media Village. Click here to read my latest post.

An American Heroine and a Friend of China – Part 3

Agnes wound up setting up field hospitals, building sanitation facilities, lecturing, raising money, and doing everything else they asked her to do to help repel the invaders, including a continuing stream of reports to the world.

She often lectured about Democracy.

At one of these lectures, an old woman stood up and came forward and stood alongside Agnes. “She showed she was our true friend by her willingness to eat bitterness with us.”

The epitaph on her grave gives her name and years, and the explanation as to why she is in the Heroes’ Graveyard: AMERICAN REVOLUTIONARY WRITER AND FRIEND OF THE CHINESE PEOPLE.

                                 Bill Harvey and Chinese co-writer Zhen Zhung, December 1983                                                                     Photo taken by the senior scriptwriter Weston Gavin

She tried to warn the U.S. they were in Japan’s crosshairs though her columns and her books and appearances.

She may also have had some impact there. From 1940 on, the U.S. suddenly began sending war aid to China, first millions, then billions – and in those days a dollar equated to $17.51 in today’s dollars.

Not just money, and the best weapons, but also warriors, the Flying Tigers and troops on the ground, all risking and some losing their lives. Needless to say China was very much enamored of the largesse and the caring of the people of this nation far away doing something like this to help, or looked at more cynically, maybe the Americans realized what was coming and was simply making the best military moves under the circumstances. In either case, the hearts were in attractive mode, not like they have been lately. People risking their lives to protect each other. Gung Ho!

Let’s get back into that mode, can’t we? China and the U.S.A. We can’t change each other – at least, not overnight – let’s accept each other for what we are and be grateful we have each other for friends and trading partners and comrades in the quest to make the whole show sustainable. We need each other’s minds to pull together to fix the mess we made of Earth.

Not to mention we all have to work out what all of us will be doing when most of us are no longer needed for work, which is coming up soon.

Instead of arguing about stuff of lesser priority, let’s focus on the priorities together.

Now that we all know it, let’s act like we know it, and stop all this petty bickering. If we don’t all work together, we’ll all go down together.

Let’s go back to playing nice like it was until recently.

We will work out our difference by civil conversation, nothing else works, everything else makes things much worse.

In the Xian Incident, Agnes had taken a rifle butt in the gut, as soldiers stole her eyeglasses. Whatever it was that killed her had something to do with that war wound. She died in London, there for an operation.

My friends and I, learning of Agnes’s life story in the early 80s, were offered the opportunity by Chinese-American people well-wired in China, to be part of bringing the two countries back together the way it had been, by making the movie of her life, in a co-production with the Chinese.

She would show the love that naturally exists at many levels between the two countries.

She was a victor for the oppressed, and a Joan of Arc of the – presently in rolling-out mode – “help-each-other-out” revolution.

Gung Ho was the magic feeling in New York right after 911. Everyone experienced it.

As you drove past another car and happened to meet the eyes of its driver for a flicker of a second you were both in it together and you both knew you both knew it.

We and top government officials went on Chinese television when we signed the first movie coproduction deal between the U.S. and China.

But then, our producer couldn’t raise the completion money. “China?” the investors asked, and shook their heads.

We will still make that movie or miniseries someday.

A Song for Today, dedicated to Agnes Smedley:

May the Center hold.

My best to you all,