Complaints are gifts that keep on giving, even though they are usually gifts we would rather not receive. Complaining like everything else is contextual. It is just one way to show that we see gaps between how things are and how we would like them to be. I know some people who complain a lot […]
Interdependability: a mindset through which we translate interdependence into trust and abundance for ourselves and others
Interdependability – A mindset through which we intentionally convert our interdependence (which is a given) into a renewable and thus virtually limitless source of that which we need to survive and thrive. Interdependability is something that exists in the context of our relationships. Interdependability emerges when we embrace the paradoxical nature of being individuals who […]
How are we enabling people to climb the Ladder of Inclusion?
There are many ways to think about inclusion, most of which focus on how we “include” others. Recently, though, my colleagues and I have started to invert this formula, bringing human-centric design principles into the mix. We asked ourselves, “What does the experience of being included look and feel like?” and how can the experience […]
The Strange Tale of How We Came to See the World as an Eternal Battle Between Good and Evil
Guest post by Charles A. Cogan On September 30, Vladimir Putin gave a fiery speech about the Satanic West and Russia’s fight to overcome Evil (New York Times, September 30, 2022, “With Bluster and Threats, Putin Casts the West as the Enemy”). He also announced that the four regions of Ukraine that Russia had occupied […]
Hamaguchi Eshun’s kanjin: The Janus self (working draft)
In this series of essays, I’ve been exploring how embracing the social aspect of self construction might alter our view of what it means to be an individual. In previous essays, I have introduced the “I/me” model of George H. Mead and the ningen model of Watsuji Tetsuro. In this essay, I introduce the thinking of a […]
The Role the Hôjô Played in Transforming the Japanese Polity and Launching Six Centuries of Warrior Leadership
From approximately 1203 to 1334, Japan was ruled by a family known as the Hôjô. Although Minamoto no Yoritomo founded the Kamakura shogunate, the Hôjô became the real decision-makers of the polity after his death. In form, the Hôjô were servants of the shogun, but by the middle of the thirteenth century they exercised virtually unchallenged […]
Watsuji Tetsuro: Human existence is a tale of “persons supporting each other, existing in the world”
In the early decades of the 20th century, as G. H. Mead’s former students were documenting and organizing his ideas so as to ensure they would be available to later generations, halfway around the world in Japan, Watsuji Tetsuro was articulating his own vision of what it meant to be an individual in a world […]
To be a leader is to be followed. On what basis do we allow others to lead us?
Whether we are talking about societies, cultures, economies, organizations or inter-personal relationships, the dynamics of social power receive a great deal of attention. Our interest in social power is not surprising. Since human existence is largely and perhaps even essentially social in nature, our power to influence each other’s behavior has significant implications for all […]
Homo recipricans is open to a more cooperative future. Can homo communicus lead us to one?
Behavioral economics research suggests that people can be divided roughly into three categories: homo economicus, homo recipricans, and homo communicus. “Studies from behavioral economics suggest that about 20%–30% of people are purely selfish by nature, like H. economicus; about 50% are conditional cooperators (H. reciprocans); and about 20%–30% are very prosocial (H. communicus).” (p. 250 of Ecological Economics, Principles and Applications by […]
G.H. Mead: The self is essentially a social structure
As noted in the post Individualism is also a relationship, I have long been curious about whether our common sense understanding of the individual as something fundamentally set apart from the rest of the world provides an accurate sense of our actual existence. Does the sense of being a separate entity cloak a more fundamental […]