Home page ; Archive desk ; READ MY BOOK ; Next newsletter


Ideas for people pursuing an empowered life,




Strategic truths about human beings

In the last issue of The Jungle Times (click here) I wrote about the importance of building trust. I used examples to show how other species go to great lengths to form bonds that distinguish "them" from "us".

In a predator/prey environment, trust is an empowering tool because so much depends on it. That's why it's so difficult to understand why so many political and business leaders abuse the trust we do give them. Curious, I decided to see how our closest relative deals with the trust issue. What I found gave me a bit of a shock - they apparently think it's so important that they devote consider energy to building it up.

I'd never heard of our closest relative. I might have guessed the Chimp or the great Ape, but not the correct answer. Scientists in The Genome Project tracked our DNA code and found that our closest relative - sharing more than 98.4% of our genes - is the Bonobo. Originally misclassified as a "pygmy chimpanzee" by the French, the Bonobo is native to the Republic of Congo and most closely resembles Australopithecus. We separated from that common ancestor about 3 million years ago.

I was surprised to learn that Bonobos - who live 55-60 years - evolved a matriarchy. Groups forage in 10-15,000 acre territories, moving their home base a mile or two a day, living in communities that can have up to 75 members ruled by dominant females. Even the male social ladder is determined by female lineage. Females have organized their society so that trust is built up and maintained by the creative use of... ahem... sex.

Bonobos use sex to bond with each other, to relieve tensions, and to exchange power and pleasure. At the first hint of trouble, somebody will quickly jump in to - uhh - relieve the tension. They could've written the Kama Sutra, judging by the way they indulge in every sexual configuration, without reservation, several times a day. Bi-sexual, they use sex in all communications - like negotiating and persuading - to maintain a peaceful society.

So why is trust so easily eroded in human dealings? Because we don't build it up. In their book The Trusted Leader, authors R. Galford and A.S. Drapeau point out several strategic truths that should be considered whenever we deal with our fellow humans:

1. There's no longer any such thing as a private communication. You needn't get paranoid - but rest assured that anything you say or write will eventually reach the people most concerned or affected by it.

2. There are no more "off the cuff" talks. People will put deeper meaning or speculate wildly about your most casual remarks, decisions and moves.

3. The «effect of paradigm» is always in play. No one has an "objective opinion". Everybody's perception of "out there" is assembled "in here" by limiting pattern of neurons. In order to assemble some neurons into a perception, it's necessary to not assemble others. And (conscious or not) that implies a choice.

4. People lie many times a day. We don't always tell the truth. We share self-serving opinions and say whatever's needed to get by.

5. People hear what they fear most. In stressed organizations, most people arrive at negative interpretations of any directive or decision.

6. Trauma has a long memory. We'll react to, apologize for, manage or repair damage - whether we are responsible or not - for a long time after it's been done.

7. No good deed goes unpunished. Even an act committed with the purest intent and realized with the greatest skill, will upset some people who'll object to it, denigrate it or slander you.

8. Newton's 3rd law of motion always works - but never like you'd expect. While every action does have an equal and opposite reaction, the larger the organization, the greater the probability that a seemingly harmless act will a have hugely negative impact somewhere.

9. Good things do happen. The corollary to point #8 is that very positive reactions also occur - but people usually believe it to be luck or magic. In example, if you anticipate tremendous resistance to a change, you'll hear everybody say: "It's about time."

In other words, when dealing with the human species, be careful... it's like a jungle out there!



How do you get a good idea? You get a lot of ideas and throw out the bad ones.

That implies intuition (to get ideas) and analysis (to figure out which ones are bad) so the best technique to jump-start your creativity is Dr. Edward de Bono's «lateral thinking». He invented an easy tool called «6 hats» that makes the process so simple. Check out the details at here and see how your own thinking improves.



Pssst!! How'd you like to visit Costa Rica for FREE? ...OK so nothing is ever really free, you'll be working your fare. But consider how prosperity incubation has to do with giving material form to a creative intent... so if you do want to tour Costa Rica for FREE, intend it - and join the "Mayamü Touring Club". Get the details by clicking here.



Fall foliage takes on new dimensions with digital photography. How do you take a great picture? Take a lot of pictures and throw out the bad ones. In the digital age, a camera and a computer are great tools and can be a very profitable art form. You can take, process, enhance, include or discard 1000s of photos a day, and only print that perfect one. As ever, Kodak is poised to help budding photographers. Check them out at http://www.kodak.com/ and follow the consumer links to taking great pictures.

Everything you need to know about digital photography is available at http://www.dpcorner.com/index.shtml. Follow "digital photo" or "easy imagery" links. Perfect Portraits, Dramatic Black & White, Sports-Action, Celebrity-Glamour... get top advice from Camera-makers at http://www.takegreatpictures.com/.

There's information on techniques and equipment at http://www.photo.net/photo/index.html and a fully illustrated online picture-taking tutorial at http://www.palmettobayinc.com/photo_tutorials.html. Also, find the secrets of "Pro" travel and outdoor pix at http://www.fodors.com/focus/.



"What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us." Ralph Waldo Emerson

"My father always used to say that when you die, if you've got five real friends, then you've had a great life." Lee Iacocca

"We have to shift from the materialistic, dualistic belief that people and their environment are separate, toward a new consciousness of an all reality, which embraces the experiencing ego, a reality in which people feel their oneness with animate nature and all of creation. Dr. Albert Hofman

"Because your own strength is unequal to the task, do not assume that it is beyond the powers of man; but if anything is within the powers and province of man, believe that it is within your own compass also." Marcus Aurelius

"Inner strength can overcome anything that occurs outside." I Ching

"Weakness is Death." Swami Vivekanand



Yutu had great strength and - as he grew - nobody in his town could beat him. But instead of becoming a hero, he became an overbearing bully. People who dared affront him paid the price. Uncaring, he borrowed from folks without ever repaying them, compelled them to do things for him under threats of punishment, and was generally a cad.

One summer evening he went to the top of the hill to cool off in the breeze. When the people who'd gathered there saw the ruffian approach, they ran away - except for one old man who seemed quite indifferent to his presence and just sat there.

"How dare you defy me?" yelled Yutu, intending to intimidate the old gentleman.

Instead the latter calmly replied: "Your hollow yell tells me how profound and deep your ignorance is!"

Completely taken aback, Yutu muttered insignificantly: "Who are you? Don't you know me?"

And the old man answered: "I do but I don't understand you. I know this - your mother's womb sheltered you for nine long months… and for what? She took tender care of you for many years... why? And your father wanted you to mature into a good citizen, to make him proud. While you can achieve something wondrous to make your family name known, respected and glorified, you behave as a lout."

He rose but continued unblinking: "Creator undoubtedly gave you an exceptional talent. Every creature has one. Why then do you degrade yourself thus and how did you become the useless sack of flesh that you are? Thanks to the choice you make, the State loses a serviceable citizen, the spirit of your ancestors is demeaned and your own destiny is sabotaged. I assure you that your refusal to be all the person that you can be, is greatly deplored by God Himself."

Yutu was angered but as the old man continued, he increasingly felt so ashamed that his every aggression collapsed. Then he felt an absolute blackness surround him and a chill he'd never experienced while fighting overtook him.

The old gentleman continued without pause nor hurry: "That cold chill - and much much colder still - will you feel if you spend eternity alone.

Yutu felt an even deeper sadness from a vision he suddenly had of himself separated from Light and engulfed by an ever-increasing darkness... a limitless "no thingness". It so moved him that he blurted out: "People have marked me as a desperate character so I act accordingly. But by your words I realize my mistake - pray tell me how to use my talents so I retrieve my family's good name."

And the old gentleman replied: "The butcher became a saint the very instant he dropped his carving knife. Follow his example. Repent now your affronts, vow to serve society and adopt a righteous path from here onward. Then you'll be a man who commands the respect of others."

Yutu repented, joined the army, was sincere in his resolve, worked to be a good leader and ultimately was promoted to General... to become the great person we honor and respect today.


Home page ; Archive desk ; READ MY BOOK ; Next newsletter