Sep 202013
 

Setting limits

From the book: Chum for Thought: Throwing Ideas into Dangerous Waters by David Satterlee

Read or download this essay as a PDF file at:https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B4eNv8KtePyKeExGUS1vT0E1cDg/edit?usp=sharing

Does Setting limits cause #isolation, loss of #intimacy, and even #alienation of #love?

Setting limits

Women often feel at a disadvantage in relationships with men. Social pressures, openly or unrecognized, can give men a dominant role. How is a woman to feel self-respect, personal worth, independence, initiative, control, and security? The common answer, these days, is to “set limits.”
Setting defensive limits makes intuitive sense. “That which cannot touch you cannot harm you.” But, at what cost in isolation, loss of intimacy, and even alienation of love? In fact, the issue of boundaries and limits can affect the character of any relationship, not just those between men and women.

Kinds of Limits

Parents and teachers are urged to set firm, appropriate limits for young children as part of youths’ guided moral development. The goal is for children to experience rich, genuine emotional lives while still conforming to “acceptable ethics” of justice and care in their relationships with others.
Initially, the idea of setting interpersonal limits was promoted as an act of enlightened consciousness; essentially a form of thinking: “sticks and stones … names can’t hurt me.” In this sense, setting limits defines ones internal perceptions of self. That is, thinking: “If other’s judgments of me are invalid, I do not have to embrace them.” This is a healthy state of mind that reflects appropriate emotional well-being and self-esteem. Such internal limits allow potentially-damaging emotional threats to simply drop away before wounding the ego.
Inevitably, however, the phrase “setting limits” creates images of walls, fences, and “lines in the sand.” This sense of the phrase is a last resort of desperation and confrontation. It defines external requirements on the behavior of others. This is saying: “Don’t tread on me; don’t even look at me funny.” Arising from an already-wounded state of mind that reflects acute and immediate fear, this form of external limits create boundaries that alienate us from each other.

Kinds of Relationships

If you have a real enemy, whom you want to keep away, by all means build a strong wall to force limits on their behavior. This will clearly define your firm and determined intent to maintain a relationship of distrust, fear, misunderstanding, or prejudice.
However, you may meet a person whom you want to know, love, and cherish. By all means, spend time with them, care about their welfare, encourage them to express themselves, listen with heartfelt interest, and respond in kindness even when they may need correction.
Mates open themselves even more intimately to each other; lowering their defenses, and becoming increasingly vulnerable. In consideration of the other’s tender openness, good friends or mates will voluntarily refrain from pointed emotional aggression. And, both will extend the “benefit of the doubt” when responding to the actions, words, and motives of the other.

Making the Choice

How will you relate to the world in general and to others as individuals? Adversarial-divisive relationships compete, insist on rights, demand justice, and are often driven by suspicion and fear. They cause us to withdraw into a defensive crouch, determined to define, conserve and defend our personal boundaries — pushing others away or striking out if we feel sufficiently threatened.
Supporting-nurturing relationships cooperate and draw people together. Based on empathy and mutual regard, these relationships spring from a heart filled with compassion, care and love. We stand with open arms, ready to share, invest in the future, and create a richer life for everyone involved.
Apr 102012
 

@ChumForThought – By David Satterlee – Throwing ideas into dangerous waters

“Chum” is the word for chopped fish that is thrown overboard to attract other fish – and especially sharks. Ideas are like chum for thought.

I believe that comparing ideas can be a force for good that attracts us to each other. Strangers often become friends as they talk and work together, uniting to solve mutual problems.

Many people like to avoid controversy like they would avoid swimming with sharks. You hear friends say “let’s talk about anything but politics and religion.” That’s completely understandable, and if a friend tells me that, I’ll be the first one to back off and respect their need for comfort without confrontation or fear.

However, as Proverbs 27:17 says, “As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.” I think it is good to compare notes and discuss ideas. We make both ourselves and our companion better for the time we spend trying to understand each other.

We become enemies by withdrawing and refusing to talk, empathize, think, or compromise. People who can’t talk together become suspicious and divided. They become fearful and hateful. They often resort to war to resolve their differences. Unthinking alienation is not the path to peace, security, and brotherhood.

The ability to communicate about issues, including our values, is what draws us together as friends, families, and communities. When we can communicate, we can work together to solve problems. We can unite for common goals and for our common good.

I believe that we become better people when we chose to compare and discuss ideas. It can useful to know what is going on and discuss events. But, it is often pointed out that gossip, by only discussing people, can be damaging. Coming together about ideas is best.

This column will focus on the practical side of practicing “peace on earth and goodwill toward men.” I hope that you will find it to be encouraging and thought provoking… chum for thought.

©2012, David Satterlee

[amz-related-products search_index=’Books’ keywords=’ideas creativity’ unit=’grid’]

Dec 292011
 

Source: Back to Work: Why We Need Smart Government for a Strong Economy by Bill Clinton
Abstracted from pages 17-18

I believe the only way we can keep the American dream alive for all Americans and continue to be the world’s leading force for freedom and prosperity, peace and security, is to have both a strong, effective private-sector and a strong, effective government that work together to promote an economy of good jobs, rising incomes, increasing exports, and greater energy independence.

All over the world, the most successful nations, including many with lower unemployment rates, less inequality, and, in this decade, even higher college graduation rates than the United States, have both. And they work together, not always agreeing, but moving poured common goals. In other countries, conservatives and liberals also have arguments about taxes, energy policy, bank regulations, and how much government is helping an affordable, but they tend to be less ideological and more rooted in evidence and experience. They focus more on what works.

That’s the focus America

needs. It’s the only way to get back into the future business. In the modern world, leaned too few citizens have the time or opportunity to analyze the larger forces shaping our lives, and the lines between news, advocacy, and entertainment are increasingly blurred, ideological conflicts effectively waged may be good politics, and provide fodder for the nightly news, and columnist, that they won’t get us to a better future.

Our long antigovernment obsession has proved to be remarkably successful politics, but its policy failures have given us an anemic, increasingly unequal economy, with too few jobs and stagnant incomes; that is at a competitive disadvantage compared with other nations, especially in manufacturing and clean energy; and left as a potentially crippling debt burden just as the baby boomers begin to retire.

By contrast, other nations, as well as cities and states within the United States, with a commitment to building networks of cooperation involving the public, private, and nonprofit sectors, are creating economic opportunity and charging into the future with confidence.

My argument here isn’t that Democrats are always right and Republicans always wrong. It’s that by jamming all issues into the antigovernment, antitax, anti regulation straitjacket, we hog-tie ourselves and keep ourselves for making necessary changes no matter how much evidence exists to support them.

The antigovernment paradigm blinds us to possibilities that lie outside its ideological litmus tests and prevents us from creating new networks of cooperation that can restore economic growth, bring economic opportunity to more people and places, and increase our ability to lead the world to a better future.

[amz-related-products search_index=’Books’ keywords=’private public sectors’ unit=’grid’]

Dec 292011
 

Source: Back to Work: Why We Need Smart Government for a Strong Economy by Bill Clinton
Abstracted from pages 4-6

How do we ensure America’s economic, political, and security leadership in the more competitive, complex, fragmented, and fast-changing world of the 21st century? The 2010 election involved inflated rhetoric and ferocious but often inaccurate attacks that shed more heat than light. The attack proved to be very effective in the election, but I thought it was all wrong.

First, the meltdown happened because banks were overleveraged. In other words, there was not enough government oversight or restraint on excessive leverage.

Second, the meltdown did not become a full-scale depression because the government acted to save the financial system from collapse. Of course, the stimulus didn’t restore the economy to normal levels. It wasn’t designed to. You can’t fill a several-1,000,000,000,000-dollar hole in the economy with $800 billion. The stimulus was designed to put a floor under the collapse and begin the recovery.

Third, according to most economic studies, the stimulus, along with the rescue and restructuring of the auto industry, succeeded in keeping unemployment 1.5 to 2% lower than it would have been without it.

In other words, the crash occurred because there was too little government oversight of and virtually no restraint on risky loans without sufficient capital to back them up; the recession was prevented from becoming a depression because of a government infusion of cash to shore up the banking system; and the downturn hurt fewer people because of the stimulus, which is supplemented wages with a tax cut, saved public jobs, and created jobs through infrastructure projects and incentives to create private-sector jobs, especially in manufacturing.

[amz-related-products search_index=’Books’ keywords=’economic meltdown’ unit=’grid’]

Nov 172009
 

Source: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs

“The United States must change the way it produces and uses energy by shifting away from its dependence on imported oil and coal-fired electricity and by increasing the efficiency with which energy is extracted/captured, converted, and utilized if it is to meet the urgent challenges facing the energy system, of which climate change and energy security are the most pressing.  This will require the improvement of current technologies, and the development of new transformative ones, particularly if the transition to a new energy paradigm is going to be timely and cost-effective. [Click link, above for full story.]

Also of interest…