Welcome to our “Best Of 2022” edition. Join us for this compilation that highlights some of our favorite moments and special guests centered around the idea of Psycho-Politics. Our world is at a tipping point where our sense of normalcy needs to catch up to the reality of our country and world. What’s being proposed is to care for our families and widen our scope to reach out beyond our loved ones. It is perfectly natural to want to care for our relatives and close friends, however, continuing to only support our small circles perpetuates poverty, war, terrorism, and global warming. Receive encouragement, tools, and support from Robert and Dave on ways to increase the percentage each of us can reach out to the world to create ripples of positive change during this holiday time of giving and beyond.
Although this idea may feel grandiose and external, the work starts from within. We are repeatedly creating wars outside of ourselves by not facing and resolving the war inside ourselves. If we are caught in our fears, anxieties overwhelm and helplessness, we are trapped. Learning to face our most challenging emotions can allow space to contemplate what qualities, actions, and thoughts will foster wisdom and healing. Together we can develop the capacity to be wise and caring responders to these challenging feelings. We all have the freedom to be in our traditional conditioning, to run away, to act out, or we have the freedom to ask ourselves, what is our best self and how can I help? These questions can be an expanding catalyst for external dialogue and internal inquiry. If we can stay in this state of looking for solutions rather than reacting against the problems to find core universal needs, these billions of small changes will make a difference in the planet’s momentum and our collective future. Thank you for listening. Wishing you and yours a very happy and healthy holiday. We look forward to greeting you next year with more great content and thought-provoking ideas.
Mentioned in this episode
Mark Gerzon (Mediators Foundation)
Adam Bendell (Toniic)
The Global Bridge Foundation
Note: Below, you’ll find timecodes for specific sections of the podcast. To get the most value out of the podcast, I encourage you to listen to the complete episode. However, there are times when you want to skip ahead or repeat a particular section. By clicking on the timecode, you’ll be able to jump to that specific section of the podcast
The Missing Conversation, Episode 74. Best of Series.
On this podcast, we will propose critical new strategies to address world issues, including homelessness, immigration, amongst several others, and making a connection to how our individual psychology contributes and can help transform the dangers that we face. We will break from traditional thinking, as we look at our challenges from a freer and more independent point of view, your host Robert Strock has had 45 years of experience as a psychotherapist, author, and humanitarian, and has developed a unique approach to communication, contemplation, and inquiry born from working on his own challenges.
Robert Strock (00:45):
Welcome everyone to The Missing Conversation. This is our end-of-the-year Best Of series. It’s a compilation of some of our favorite episodes and clips that we have pulled together in a single episode for you. We hope you enjoy what you’re about to hear. We hope these excerpts, in the best of series, inspire you to listen to our full episodes. You can find the full episodes by visiting our show notes on our website at theglobalbridge.org. On the menu bar, just click the Best Of tab [under podcasts] and thanks so much for listening.
Psycho-Politics comes from a place of, it’s really natural, really natural, that we wanna love our families; and that’s a sacred ideal. However, we’re at a time where if we only give the vast majority of our energy and love to our families, and we don’t extend more of this to others in need and to our imperiled planet, it creates an “us” and “them.”
And the wealth stays for those that are wealthy in a compartment and the poverty stays in another compartment and we have the perfect conditions for war, for alienation, for terrorism, for global warming. And so psychologically, it’s an encouragement to increase the percentage that each of us reaches out to the world, both in a global warming sense and in a sense of giving energy to those that are in need throughout the world. Another aspect of the first principle of psycho-politics centers on becoming aware of our overwhelming tendency to make distrust, fear, anger, and other challenging feelings the responsibility of others. When we favor ourselves and those we love much more than our country and planet we unwittingly contribute one-by-one to leadership that reflects this same self-centeredness. We can no longer responsibly separate ourselves from what’s happening in our country and world, if we look at our own tendencies, when we have an emotion that is disturbing us, our first inclination is to blame others, as in, I’m afraid, angry, distrustful.
Because of you, we need to tune more effectively into our own disturbing emotions and feelings and how we project them on other parties, races, religions, and countries. We are repeatedly creating wars outside of ourselves by not facing and resolving the war inside ourselves. We need to develop the capacity to be a wise and caring responder to these challenging emotions. In doing so, we can pause and contemplate what the qualities, actions, and thoughts are that promote greater wisdom and healing. We don’t have to change our feelings, but find a way to not let them rule our responses. Once we begin to see this, we can develop our capacity to care for the greater world. This is a quantum leap, but it’s not impossible. Being witness to the evolving collapse of systems all around us should inspire ongoing awakening to a sense of self that is more insightful, generous, and inclusive.
The second part of psycho-politics relates to the same thing as that with money and looking at the dominant portion that we give to our families and seeing, does it make sense when the world is so imperiled to not give a greater percentage of our money toward those in need and toward a planet that is really suffering. And the third and last part of psycho-politics is these questions of what’s the balance between taking care of my family and taking care of the poor and taking care of our planet? What is that balance? Asking that question for the rest of our lives? Asking it in a very personal way. And it doesn’t matter what scale you’re in because a smile matters, a good vibe with the clerk at the store matters, and giving your best attitude, if you’re in a survival struggle, to do the best you can to survive with dignity, it all matters, it’s all reaching beyond the us and the them.
Ken Druck [listen to the podcast episode] is the founder of Families Helping Families and founder of the Ken Druck Foundation. Perhaps even more importantly to the world, he’s the go-to person in the country whenever there’s a school shooting, he’s sought after for his guidance when anyone has lost a family member to sudden death. Ken, I’d really like to ask you, what were you raised to believe in and what emotional atmosphere did you come from? Let us know a little bit about your background.
Ken Druck (06:10):
I’m gonna let you know that in a minute, but I am so inspired and touched by what you just said that I have to comment, Robert. You know the three things that you just pointed out, the heart and soul of psycho-politics is we are at that inflection point. You know, is it us and them or is it all of us? Are we ready to evolve to that awareness that it’s all of us that we can love, it’s not either or, it’s both. And we can love our family, we can also embrace the enormity, the bigger picture, because it’s gonna be all of us or none of us in the way that we’re now operating
Robert Strock (06:52):
During the time of the Clinton administration, Mark Gerzon [listen to the podcast episode] co-led a bipartisan retreat with Congress. I asked him to weigh in on psycho-politics. I wanted to ask really what you feel in psycho-politics you find most meaningful.
Mark Gerzon (07:11):
The example that I would give would be the work I did with Congress, because the work with Congress was psycho-politics in action. Many people see us Congress and they just see politics. That’s all they see. Oh, they play politics in Washington. They play politics on Capitol Hill. Oh, look at it, there’s a possible government shutdown because they’re playing politics about the budget. But I looked at it and I saw people. I saw people I saw mostly men in midlife who were Americans, like the ones I grew up with in Indiana. And I saw them playing a game that was destructive for them, destructive for the country, and ultimately destructive for the world.
Robert Strock (07:42):
We are in a reality where our world is endangered, and if we’re caught in our own fears, anxieties, and we don’t open a door to realize as human beings, that we need to expand our sense of self to include more and more of others. If we don’t see that protecting our kids and grandkids by living the same old life, dooms them to a virtually inevitable early death, they might be fine with money in the bank, but money in the bank’s worthless when we’re flooded, when we don’t have food to eat, when the farms are overwhelmed. And it’s a whole new way of parenting, of educating, of politicizing, of even religions acknowledging. You know, we’ve said we’re chosen, we’ve said we’re the only way, but the reality is the whole earth is God’s people. So it’s going to be through all of these traditions making a shift—not so much to give up the tradition, but having an “and.” It’s like, I am a Christian and I need to do more. I am a Jew and I need to do more. I am an American and I need to do more. I am the leader of America and we need to do more. Adam Bendell [listen to the podcast episode] is the CEO of Toniic, a group of 600 entrepreneurs who are offering billions of dollars for projects to help the planet and the poor.
Adam Bendell (09:18):
If you swim against the tide and you choose to use your resources to help others and the planet, the riches you receive in return will wildly exceed market-rate financial returns. I’d ask those who have the resources to invest in the stock market, how they feel when the market is way down, when their wealth has appreciably shrunk, and tell them that my experience of that sinking feeling, which I too am vulnerable to, is mitigated when I’m investing for people and planet. Cuz even in down years financially, I know I’ve done well in those other dimensions. So this approach is not just good for others, it’s in our own self-interest. It gives us greater happiness. This approach, coupled with philanthropy, is in your vital self-interest.
Robert Strock (10:13):
Mark Gerzon put it this way:
Mark Gerzon (10:15):
Yeah, you need enough money to pay your bills, but you also need enough meaning to stay alive, to stay alive and not be continuously depressed and demoralized and addicted to something or other that’s probably not good for you. So that’s the dance.
Robert Strock (10:27):
I think the idea of endlessly pursuing balance is so important. It’s becoming clearer and clearer that we’re all in the same boat. We’re in the same boat in the sense that we all have the freedom to be in our conditioning, to run away, to act out, or we all have the freedom to ask ourselves what is our best self? And the failure to realize that we’re all in the same boat will inevitably result in all of us sinking. And when we see that, the alternative is to let our boat, our planet sink or be utterly destroyed. Hopefully, it becomes incentive, motivation, and an inspiration to want our planet to thrive, to want everyone to have an opportunity to survive. When you hear statements like freedom, please include freedom with accountability, freedom with caring, freedom with looking at the reality of the needs of the planet and using that freedom to help it to some extent.
This is Dave, my best friend and partner at the Global Bridge Foundation, and one of the most insightful and intelligent people I’ve ever met.
As I hear you speak and you talk about a world on fire, two things occur to me. One is the passion, the fullness of what that means to you. Along with, as you look out seeing people are asleep, living as if their world and their house is not on fire, and how to convince, how to move people. Hey, your world is on fire and you’re not even looking. I ask myself, and I’m asking you, why isn’t it happening more? What’s that about? Is this some pie-in-the-sky, overly optimistic aspiration?
Robert Strock (12:20):
Really important question. Until this last 30, 40, 50 years, there really wasn’t a consideration of the planet dying. There really wasn’t as deep a consideration of our country being no longer a democracy. There wasn’t the degree of obvious corruption or even questioning whether a fact is a fact or truth is a truth. We’re asleep. We’re sleeping in our old conditioning, not out of malice, but out of an illusion: A) that we’re gonna live forever, and B) that the planet is gonna live forever. So it’s staying in a questioning and recognizing that if we’re not even questioning, we’re living in a fairytale. And if that fairytale isn’t questioned, then the world is going to die. And if we don’t unite, then that is going to happen. So, the key is trying to have this be a catalyst for external dialogue and an internal inquiry. And I realize it’s taken me a while to wake up and I realize I’m not up.
I’m still in the midst of waking up. And all of us need to recognize that we’re never gonna wake up, wake up. So have an arrow pointed in the direction of every little step matters, every barrier we need to face, and then try to find a healing direction. If we stay in that state of looking for the solutions, rather than reacting against the problems, finding the core universal needs, rather than the personal reactive negativity. It’s the eight and a half billion small changes that’s gonna make the difference in the momentum of the planet. The need to be moving toward a global lessening and hopefully eventually alleviation of poverty from global warming, from nuclear war, from corruption, and moving toward cooperation, unity, international peace is absolutely vital. We need to see that there are incredible solutions that can transform the world and feed the hungry, all throughout the planet. If the wealth was used to give people the opportunity to grow their own food and the simple instructions that are needed, it could change the whole relationship that we have. Yes, clean energy is a very, very important part of the solution. That’s the one that we’ve heard a lot about. We haven’t heard as much about bringing the poor up. We haven’t heard as much about regenerative agriculture or ecosystem restoration, and these are viable. Our planet can rally in a way that’s unprecedented. The knowledge is there.
The fact that you can express this optimism in the face of what seems to be obvious solutions being so hard to get accomplished is incredible to me.
Robert Strock (15:22):
And again, here’s Adam Bendell.
Adam Bendell (15:24):
When we as a society reach the tipping point of enough people having had the insights to which psycho-politics is pointing, then we will be fundamentally enabled to begin working towards what author, Charles Eisenstein calls the more beautiful world our hearts know is possible.
If The Missing Conversation sounds like a podcast that would be inspiring to you and touches key elements of your heart, please click subscribe and begin listening to our show. If you love the podcast, the best way to help spread the word is to rate and review the show. This helps other listeners like you find this podcast. We’re deeply grateful you’re here and that we have found each other. Our wish is that this is just the beginning. We invite you to learn more about the Global Bridge Foundation, an organization collaborating to heal communities and the world at theglobalbridge.org.
Join The Conversation
If The Missing Conversation sounds like a podcast that would be inspiring to you and touches key elements of your heart, please click subscribe and begin listening to our show. If you love the podcast, the best way to help spread the word is to rate and review the show. This helps other listeners, like you, find this podcast. We’re deeply grateful you’re here and that we have found each other. Our wish is that this is just the beginning.
We invite you to learn more about The Global Bridge Foundation—an organization collaborating to heal communities and the world at TheGlobalBridge.org.
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