The Journey Toward Authentic Communities and Cultures
We believe that authentic communities and cultures are energetically held together through the principle of the Law of Love. When this Law is fully active, its members are interconnected, operating in integrity, and experiencing peace, harmony, and understanding in all of the community or culture’s activities. The members of authentic communities and cultures are able to give and receive unconditional love, even in challenging situations involving intractable conflicts. The individuals, couples, families, large organizations inside the communities and cultures are able to evolve. This is the underlying principle of LOVEvolution.
Communities and cultures are alive, dynamic, living organisms that have a life of their own and evolve in their own unique way. They need to be fed, nourished, and engaged with in order to grow, change, and mature over time. Understanding and recognizing the “aliveness” of large organizations requires being able to observe their dynamics, while also being inside them and experiencing them personally. This is acomplex process.
The authenticity of a community or culture can be determined by how it they actually follows its stated values and beliefs. An inauthentic community or culture says and does things that are entirely different than its stated set of values or beliefs. For example, an inauthentic community states that it honors diversity and but creates and reinforces policies that discriminate against minorities.
As part of our research, we applied our four-stage developmental model to these communities and cultures, and identified the developmental process that they must successfully complete in order to become “authentic. Our research consisted primarily of living in different communities and cultures and looking at how unrecognized and unhealed developmental traumas influenced their behavior.
Over the course of our 34 years together, we have moved about fifteen times, about half of them within our hometown community of Colorado Springs where we have lived in 8 very different neighborhoods. Each neighborhood’s character and makeup was noticeably different. We have also identified community and cultural differences between Colorado Springs and its Front Range Neighbors–Pueblo to the south, and Denver and Boulder to the north. Residents of these cities each have their own identity and rank order the others according to their place in a sort of “pecking order.”
There are many kinds of cultures within a community, state, or region. They include religious, ethnic, political, economic, social, academic, athletic, and environmental cultures, as well as special needs or interest groups involving sexual preferences; disabilities such as deafness or blindness; athletic teams; and academic specialties and institutions. People participate in various kinds of communities and cultures. These memberships, when combined, give them a unique individual identity: A Caucasian male with a Midwestern farm background, who graduated from Northwestern University with a degree in chemical engineering, who is a member of the Methodist Church, and a fan of the Chicago Cubs and Chicago Bears, who now lives in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Each aspect of this man’s life creates a database of information that displays his values and beliefs, and his participation. This data classifies people into groups according to their preferences and can predict on the basis of the man’s behavior within his community and his culture. With sufficient information, this becomes “metadata” that can be thought of as an “individual algorithm,” and used to predict a person’s choices, values, and community and cultural behaviors. This metadata principle is now being used by multimedia giants such as Apple, Facebook, Google, and Microsoft in their corporate marketing.
As communities and cultures become more authentic, their evolution follows a developmental sequence that parallels the four-stage model of individuals, couples, families, and organizations. Each stage also has essential developmental processes that must be completed in order for them to become more authentic and evolve to the next stage. Any collective essential developmental processes that are not completed in one stage of development are carried along to the next one. This “excess baggage,” mostly unidentified conflicts and unhealed developmental trauma, makes it even more difficult for them to complete the essential developmental processes of the next stage. This stalls not only their evolution, but that of all larger systems, and ultimately of the evolution of the whole human species.
Cultural Categories: Traditionalists, Moderns and Cultural Creatives
In 1999 American sociologist and researcher Paul H. Ray and his associates gathered demographic data on the cultural values and beliefs from a sample of the US adult population. Their analysis of the data they collected showed it divided into three separate cultural groups, that they named the Traditionalists, the Modernists, and the Cultural Creatives.
Their research indicated that about 24% or about 48 million Americans at that time held a “traditional” worldview, and about 50% or 93 million held a “modern” worldview. The remaining 26% or 50 million Americans, which they identified as the fastest growing group. They claimed this last group held “post-modern” values and beliefs, so they labeled it as “Cultural Creatives.”
According to Ray, Cultural Creatives “…are forging a new sense of the sacred that incorporates personal growth psychology, the spiritual realm and service to others.” In a book by him and Sherry Anderson, The Cultural Creatives: How 50 Million People Are Changing the World, they identify them as a growing transformational force in America’s culture. As recently as the 1960s, less than 5 percent of Americans identified as Cultural Creatives, and by 1999 it had grown to 26 percent.
According to Ray’s research, the Cultural Creatives include two sub- groups. The Core Group of 24 million people consists of published writers, artists, musicians, psychotherapists, feminists, alternative health care providers, addicts in recovery, those interested in new thought spirituality, home schooling, and midwifery. This group is interested in inner growth and social justice.
The second group, known as the Greens, has values and beliefs more centered on the environment. The perceive nature as sacred, but are not as interested as the other group in spirituality or psychology. Take the Self-Quiz below that we created from Ray & Anderson’s book. It will help you determine which of these three cultural groups you identify with the most.
REVENTING BULLYING AND PUT-DOWNS Barry K. Weinhold, Ph.D. Click here to download our Student Bullying Survey and/or our Kindness Campaign survey for Parents. Choose “projects” as your topic of choice. Here is a sample bullying prevention policy for schools. The policy is best utilized as part of the Kind and Safe Schools Initiative, a bullying […]
by Barry K. Weinhold, Ph.D. Rush To Judgment: The Trial of Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold is a play that uncovers the hidden causes of school violence and how the “culture of violence” has invaded our nation’s schools. The play has been written to be performed by high school and college drama departments or community […]
By Barry K. Weinhold I created a transformational approach that I used during my 30 years as a counselor educator at the University of Colorado-Colorado Springs, and as a psychologist counseling clients. I found teaching & therapy to be opportunities for transformation and for facilitating shifts in consciousness.
A collective trauma is a psychological event shared by a group of people, including an entire society that disrupts development in all human systems. Traumatic events shared by an entire society create a residue of unprocessed collective emotions, beliefs and behaviors that constitute Collective PTSD, along with a perceptual shift in how the social group […]
In the Preface to Barry’s textbook, Conflict Resolution: The Partnership Way (2019), we challenge the prevailing assumption that war is inevitable and declare that, the natural state of the universe is peaceful interdependence. This is also one of the founding principles of our non-profit organization, The Carolina Institute for Conflict Resolution and Creative Leadership. We […]
By Barry K. Weinhold We have seen many people transform themselves and their relationships by resolving their conflicts, and recognize the relationship between resolving conflict and consciousness. For most people, however, conflict is something they avoid at all costs, which means that they miss important opportunities for personal transformation. This second group of people often lacks […]
The World as a System According to the teachings of the perennial philosophy and Ageless Wisdom, the natural state of the universe is harmonious interdependence. This may be difficult to believe with all the conflict that exists in our world. The whole universe seems out of balance because of persistent intractable conflicts.
You can listen to Barry’s interview on The Tank Spencer Show at WWNC in Asheville, NC. He talks about his work over the past 15 years on the prevention of youth and family violence. The hour-long interview was played on all six of the Asheville radio stations owned by Clear Channel Radio. In this interview, […]
1. Remain calm at all times. There may be lots of frightened, desperate people wandering in the aftermath of a breakdown of the social order: this is the greatest danger of all. Do not give in to panic — it impairs rational thinking and adds to the overall anarchy. 2. Make sure that the social […]
SUGGESTIONS FOR BUILDING LOCAL COMMUNITY Identify a group of people with whom you have similar values, beliefs and spiritual orientations and create group activities and projects to help forge them into a cooperative, self-sufficient, micro-society Create cooperative group projects and ventures such as gardening, food production, resource sharing and bartering. Make the needs of children […]
By Barry K. Weinhold and Janae B. Weinhold What is the Partnership Way of Conflict Resolution The Partnership Way of resolving conflicts embraces conflict as an opportunity for deepening the love connection between people and advancing their consciousness. When we discovered that most conflicts contain dualities that create experiences of separation, we created developmental and […]
Barry K. Weinhold, Ph.D. Name_____________________________ Date_______________ Directions: Place the number that represents your best response in the blank before the number of each statement. Use the following scale to determine your answers:(1= Almost Never, 2= Sometimes, 3= Often, 4= Almost Always).
Barry K. Weinhold, Ph.D. We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them. Albert Einstein Most politicians say they want to change the way politics is practiced in this country. This would involve a change in politics is something more dramatic than moving dirt in Washington. What […]
While the background about The Shift is complex and can be mind-blowing, there are several simple things that we can do to become a conscious participant in it. We all know that the only place where we have any real power and control is inside ourselves. And this is where we have to go, because […]
Janae B. Weinhold & Barry K. Weinhold We live in third dimensional reality a vibrational frequency anchored through relational structures guarded by reality “gatekeepers.” These folks appear as teachers, scientists, government workers, the military and the media and in personal relationships as partners, parents and children. Families serve as the primary gate keeping institution-the central […]
Janae B. Weinhold & Barry K. Weinhold Understanding the principles of LOVEvolution helps you navigate through this period of our history characterized by breakdown-breaktrough experiences. We see it as part of a larger LOVEvolutionary process of the Shifting of the Ages or Yugas. According to many experts, we are nearing the end of a 26,000 […]
“Only a life lived for others is worth living.” – Albert Einstein By Janae Weinhold, Ph.D. Kindness isnt just a fluffy, feel-good, warm-fuzzy concept. It is a powerful, energetic experience that transforms both the giver and recipient at such deep levels that some say it can work miracles. You can read accounts of these miracles […]
Barry K. Weinhold The following are the success indicators in Colorado Springs where the Kindness Campaign operated from 1994-2003: Participating neighborhood selected for All-American Cities award. Colorado Springs one of three U. S. cities named as A Community of Kindness. Started the Kind and Safe Schools Initiative, a project of the Kindness Campaign, in 125 […]
by Kent Nerburn Twenty years ago, I drove a cab for a living. One time I arrived in the middle of the night for a pick up at a building that was dark except for a single light in a ground floor window. Under these circumstances, many drivers would just honk once or twice, wait […]
The ideas that have lighted my way have been kindness, beauty, and truth. Albert Einstein Here are some suggestions for acts of kindness that you might consider doing. 1. When another driver is trying to enter traffic, smile and wave him/her to go ahead of you. 2. As you walk through your neighborhood, pick up […]
I recently got a call from a Kindness Campaign (KC) volunteer, Robert Wilson, who told me that his friend, Kyle Ross, had been tazered and arrested by the police. He asked if I would be willing to help her. I asked Robert to have Kyle contact me and describe what happened. I received a 12-page, […]
"We must be the change we wish to see in the world." – Mahatma Gandhi Below is a set of criteria for assessing the inclusion of the various elements of a community-wide Kindness CAmpaign. To be effective, a community-based Kindness Campaign Program should include all of the elements listed below. Included under each element are […]
Deeds of kindness are equal in weight to all the commandments." – the Talmud The Community of Kindness Award was created to recognize the exemplary acts of kindness by individuals and organizations. We are committed to identifying the people and organizations that are helping to create a community of kindness.
There are all these religions, so everyone can sing along. And all these people singing together make just one song. – Rumi Why would Christians, Buddhists, Baha’is, Muslims, Jews, and Earth religions come together To celebrate kindness! The Kindness Campaign sponsored its second Interfaith Celebration of Kindness on February 13 along with co-sponsors WNC Interfaith […]
I was at the corner grocery store buying some early potatoes. I noticed a small boy, delicate of bone and feature, ragged but clean, hungrily apprising a basket of freshly picked green peas. I paid for my potatoes but was also drawn to the display of fresh green peas. I am a pushover for creamed […]
On Thursday, Dec 14, 2005, a female humpback whale became entangled in a web of crab traps and lines. She was weighted down by hundreds of pounds of traps that caused her to struggle to stay afloat. She also had hundreds of yards of line rope wrapped around her body, binding her tail, her torso, […]
Hungry for meaningful dialogue On June 8, you can satisfy more than your appetite for Mexican food when you go out to dinner at Los Volcanes Restaurant. The Kindness Campaign is hosting a special Kindness Conversation evening, starting with a talk by Barry Weinhold, the campaign’s founder, called “The Kindness Revolution is Happening in Asheville.” […]
This is a story that was told to me by Pete Gignac, Owner of Ashley Furniture in Asheville. We were meeting for coffee at Starbucks and talking about the Kindness Campaign when Pete suddenly said to me, My wife, Brenda, is one of the kindest people I know. Let me tell you a story of […]
Following our very successful Interfaith Celebration of Kindness February 15, 2005, the Kindness Campaign is launching a series of Interfaith Dialogue Dinners in the community. The dialogue dinners provide an opportunity for people to explore together similarities and differences in their religious and spiritual beliefs. Groups of 6-8 people will meet with trained facilitators for […]
"Deeds of kindness are equal in weight to all the commandments." – the Talmud 1. Recruit one hundred volunteers 2. Increase hours for the Volunteer Coordinator (Cathy Holt hired in October 2004 as part-time Volunteer Coordinator) 3. Circulate a minimum of 57,000 Kindness buttons 4. Hold annual Kindness Week (Scheduled for February 13-20, 2005)