Helping individuals experience less suffering and greater well-being, and helping bring about communities that are more satisfying for everyone, gives me a sense of purpose and meaning in life.
About a year ago, I decided to take a more disciplined approach to helping others and bringing about more satisfying communities. This has led me to focus on:
Eventually, I would like to teach workshops and classes on all of these topics. For now you can read what I am learning in my journal.
Nonviolence is the creative use of compassion and solidarity to bring about more communities and societies that are more satisfying for everyone. I have completed the Metta Certificate in Nonviolence Studies from the Metta Center for Nonviolence. I am currently creating two classes on nonviolence: (1) an introduction to nonviolence, and (2) a deep dive on compassion.
Integroup dialogue helps people with different backgrounds to better understand each other, develop caring relationships with each other, and cooperate with each other to achieve shared goals. I am a table host with an interfaith dialogue program called The Red Bench. I am also learning how to design and organize different kinds of intergroup dialogue programs (click here to read more).
To me, social justice means that everu person can fairly and equally participate in shaping our society to satisfy our needs. There are many ways to work on increasing social justice. I personally work for social justice by participating in White Allies for Racial Equality at the First Unitarian Universalist Church of Austin. I also work for social justice through inclusion and diversity efforts at my workplace.
I am a volunteer at Resolutions Hospice. I offer companionship to people during their time in the hospice. My primary goal is to be a positive and caring presence, helping satisfy the basic need we all have for human connection and interaction. My secondary goal is to explore the religious practice of selfless service.
I have a Ph.D. in Psychology from the University of Maryland at College Park (click here to read more). However, I also have several hours of college coursework in computer programming, and I have earned my living for the last 16 years as a software developer.
"Nowadays, to say that we are clever animals is not to say something philosophical and pessimistic but something political and hopeful—namely, that if we can work together, we can make ourselves into whatever we are clever and courageous enough to imagine ourselves becoming."
— Richard Rorty