This is the second posting on what I believe a mature culture would value. In the previous one I commented on a) the primary need to value children, and b) the need for a cultural story, a mythic narrative, that honors wisdom.
As I reflect on why I am writing this blog today, I came across an interesting quotation: “Do not try to save the whole world or do anything grandiose. Instead, create a clearing in the dense forest of your life… ~ Martha Postlewaite.” At some level, I am attempting to do both, to save the whole world, and to create a clearing in my own life. My mythic narrative is such that I want to leave a better world for my grand-children, and my own life has been about emotional growth in honor of spirit; I believe we all want this, to support our children and to grow in spirit. So these values speak about what I want as well as what I believe we need to bring to conscious awareness for our survival as a species.
To continue — the next value I suggest is:
An educational system that provides deep support for life-long growth.
We must recognize that every human being has the right to education, not just a few years of schooling, but a life-long pursuit — because education never ends. Such a system is the basis of the pursuit of wisdom. It must start with the recognition that the education of women is a major key to our survival as a species — women are the life-givers, and in general, are far more capable in the pursuit of cooperation then are men.
In such a system, people would meet in small groups, at least weekly (with children present), to discuss life issues of importance, learning from themselves and from skilled mediators, learning how to resolve difficulties and cooperate with each other. It cannot be a top-down model of what people should do; it is not an effective means of learning. People would mentor each other, challenging both themselves and the systems within which they live. Easy, no; essential, yes.
Practical skills that allow living with diversity and resolving conflict.
What do you do when you are in conflict with someone else? The vast majority of people do not like to engage in conflict; I certainly don’t. but I at least have learned that conflict is normal — it is the essential fabric whereby we come to like and value each other (if we were all the same, it would be really boring!). But it is not easy.
In the best of circumstances, we have billions of people on this planet. Each one of us is different, and entitled to living space (food, shelter, education, health, etc.). And each one of us is emotional; when emotion-laden differences arise, we call it conflict. Frequently I have said to people: We are emotional; we can have clarity — it’s optional. And it requires ongoing effort to be able to think clearly about issues when emotions run high. Despite the dictates of modern psychology, I am a strong advocate of Blowing Out®, the system I developed as a method for moving through emotional issues so as to have clarity in conflictual situations.
So often I hear people say that we should not be in conflict, that we should be able to resolve issues peacefully, and other admonitions as to how we should behave. I have very little use for shoulds, other than they being an indicator of conflict (see my earlier blogs on this subject). Every human being has thoughts and feelings about the struggles of life, and in general each person has their own experience, some having had more difficulty in life than others. Some have more power. Cooperation in diversity and conflict means that we work to provide justice for all, not just those who are in power. It means that all have a voice in providing such justice. Given our current maturity as a species, this takes incredible time and effort for resolution; perhaps as we growth in authenticity, it will take less time.
 described in my book Blowing Out the Darkness