Democracy, the Freedom Experiment, Is At Risk

Anything can be used for good or evil.

For instance, information technology, when used for good connects us across distances, saves us from having to go places by enabling us to do errands, and even work remotely. For businesses, they have more ways to reach us, pitch us their product, and with the data collected by our IT usage, they can identify our needs and wants, even create them for their own profit. But people and companies can also breach security and confidentially beyond the laws for their own gain.

Any group, small or large, can and do do the same thing for their own advantage.

Capitalism … The Idea and the Reality

In a capitalistic-driven society, individuals are encouraged to be independent, to generate wealth, especially vast amounts of wealth and to be admired for their their accomplishments, many of which have little or no regard for the many who have not or have not been driven as they have. However, not paying wages at or not above the poverty level, not providing benefits, and not paying their fair share of taxes based on the profits they make reveals the dark side of capitalism that has little or no moral conscience.

Socialism Is Not Communism and Was Designed For Good, But …

Socialism’s original intent was intended to balance the many imbalances born of rabid capitalism without a conscience that left many of a nation’s people poor, unhealthy, and abused. But as with other systems of thought or ideals, there were people who turned what was meant for good into evil by seizing all goods and dispensing it sparingly to the people the nation governed, which is now defined as communism, making capitalism an ideal to strive for, which is why, in droves, people from around the world do their best to make their way to countries, especially the United States that once most strongly represented the capitalism ideal.

Democracy … The Intent, the Experiment, and the Current Dilemma

To balance the extreme capitalism ideal of the United States, democracy, as well as capitalism are embodied in The Constitution, and to some degree also in other capitalistic-driven countries, such as Canada.

Democracy is supposed to ensure all of a nation’s people can have their say by voting, but even today that right in the United States, is being challenged by those in power who want to stay in power by whatever means, once again demonstrating clearly how something intended for good, democracy, is now being used for evil.

The Price Being Paid for Extremism Ideals

Because we have learned that anything often taken to the extreme is unhealthy and often causes great harm, we have to not only ask the difficult questions, we must be relentless in digging out the whole truth. In other words, we must as citizens with the power to vote, do what is called in the business world “due diligence” to see both the details and the big picture in order for us to make the best choices, not just for ourselves, but for our families, communities, nations, and yes, even globally … because what we choose or don’t choose does affect all of our circles of influence.

After realizing that extremism can be dangerous when it is selfish, for our own good too, we must be open to examining what has been and why it may not be working as it was intended so we can adjust what needs to be adjusted for optimal performance.

Would you run a vehicle into the ground because you choose to disregard the engine’s warning? Would you run your health into the ground because you choose to disregard your body’s and even your doctor’s warning signs? Would you put your pregnancy or child at risk because you did not want to be bothered with signs of something not being right?

We would not if we valued … respected our transportation, health, or child.

Today, around the world, and crucially in the United States right now, we have to take into consideration that rampant capitalism without a social conscience is selfish, bullish, and immoral. Immoral capitalism is no different from other forms of tyrannical concepts and people who exploited the masses for their own gain.

Does this mean socialism in its original form is desired? No. However, what it does mean is that socialism, like capitalism, can be adapted for the times because of raised awareness of the impact of the extremes.

We also have to accept that we are still learning and growing individually and collectively as a species.

Debunking Myths

Meritocracy

For instance, we have to debunk the myth that meritocracy, the idea that with capitalism everyone has an equal chance to amass great wealth, is not only false, it is not something everyone actually wants because not everyone values money above all else. Plus, some people even see those with great wealth as money idolizers who care nothing for anyone or anything besides themselves and their wealth. Of course, there are the exceptions, but their numbers are small in comparison.

Balancing

Besides, not everyone wants to get rich for the sake of getting rich … they want a rich life … a life rich with love, balance, health, and decent incomes to meet their needs and some of their wants provided by those who need the masses’ labour for their entrepreneurial enterprises, keeping in mind that anything less than providing wages at least at the poverty line is an abuse of power and a form of enslavement resulting from imbalance.

Empowerment

Yet there are people who fear the empowerment of people because they fear what people will do when they are truly free to choose … who to vote for, work for, buy from, and where to live. Yet this is what our western world touts as right, but once again, those who feel threatened are those who are fearful and therefore want to generate fear to keep control over people.

Enlightenment

Enlightenment comes from paying attention, not just to ourselves, but also to the world around us. There will always be people who will need to be cared for because of intellectual, mental, physical limitations, illness or age. They need our compassion and caring as well as financial assistance to ensure their quality of life is not substandard to those who can take care of themselves. With the wealth in our free nations, there should be no outcry of paying a fair share of taxes for the benefits the wealthy … and even the middle class enjoy.

The Take Away

More than politics, religion, or any other belief system should not overpower or override our awareness that what we do impacts us as well as everyone else. And what we believe is always subject to modification as we learn and grow, not just in intellectual intelligence, but also our emotional intelligence, that when combined transforms us into not just self-seeking individuals, but individuals who realize life is so much more than just about us … it’s about all of us.

An Old Story For the Present

Once upon a time a frog stood on the edge of a pond readying itself for its pending swim. A scorpion walked up to the frog and asked, “Can I have a ride to the other side?” Naturally, the frog quickly replied, “No! You’ll sting me and we will both drown!” But the scorpion persisted and argued, “No, I won’t because then I would die too!” Against the frog’s better judgment, the frog gave in and agreed so the scorpion climbed onto the frog’s back. Not too far from shore, the frog cried out, “You promised!” As the frog and scorpion slipped below the water’s surface, the scorpion replied, “I am what I am.”

Thankfully, we are more than what we may have or still do believe because humans are a species with the ability to learn, adapt, and realize more of our extraordinary potential. We do not have to allow good ideas to be transformed into evil. We forged nations based on democracy. We can change the culture that exploits the masses for the benefit of a few. We can employ socialism’s best qualities to help others without giving up capitalism’s good qualities. We can change the culture that has come to idolize the rich and their wealth by thanking them for their entrepreneurship that created jobs and living wages by doing our jobs well, without frustration, resentment, or jealousy … even with gratitude and satisfaction.

We have the power to combine the best qualities of democracy, socialism, and capitalism for our individual benefit, our nation’s benefit, and our global nation’s benefit. What are the rewards you ask? Peace, safety, and security, plus wellness born of the development of our unique potential development for work and life satisfaction.

What happens next is up to us. We have freedom’s power to choose, so let us choose wisely and set a good example at home and around the world.

KAITLIN ANN TREPANIER
Specialist, Writer, Speaker, Social Entrepreneur, Founder and President
http://www.connectingthedotswiththerespectprinciple.com
© All Rights Reserved 2014-2020
Originally posted November 1, 2020

  • Re-posted January 6, 2021 in response to coup attempt at the U.S. Capitol today.

Maybe these recent events will wake up the people still concerned solely about their liberty …

Maybe these recent events will wake up the people still concerned solely about their liberty versus people and animal health and well-being … as well as how their refusal is delaying an economic rebound, increasing taxes for health care, and burning out the very people who normally take care of all of us, but now can’t … because, well, some people still believe their right to choose to not wear a mask, to not social distance, to not gather, and to not self-isolate is more important than the rest of the people and animals … well, even the whole world.

“Breeders in Denmark euthanized 15 million minks over concerns about a mutated version of the virus that has spread among the animals. Mink farmers in Spain have culled almost 100,000. In the U.S., nearly 10,000 minks across Utah died of COVID-19 as the virus spread rapidly across farms in the state.” Quoted from The Globe and Mail

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/canada/british-columbia/article-eight-people-test-positive-for-covid-19-at-bc-mink-farm-outbreak/

KAITLIN ANN TREPANIER
Specialist, Writer, Speaker, Social Entrepreneur, Founder and President
http://www.connectingthedotswiththerespectprinciple.com
© All Rights Reserved 2014-2020
December 7, 2020

Healthy Relationships …

Reciprocal, respectful, non-competitive, loyal, confidential, boundaries, supportive, and wholehearted.

KAITLIN ANN TREPANIER
Specialist, Writer, Speaker, Social Entrepreneur, Founder and President
http://www.connectingthedotswiththerespectprinciple.com
© All Rights Reserved 2014-2020
November 20, 2020

Bully … Do You Know Any?

Bully … a person who habitually seeks to harm or intimidate those whom they perceive as vulnerable.

“he is a ranting, domineering bully

“Similar:

persecutor

oppressor

tyrant

tormentor

intimidator

coercer

subjugator

ruffian

thug

Source … online “Dictionary”

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KAITLIN ANN TREPANIER
Specialist, Writer, Speaker, Social Entrepreneur, Founder and President
http://www.connectingthedotswiththerespectprinciple.com
© All Rights Reserved 2014-2020
November 2, 2020

Looking Behind the Narcissist’s Curtain

Much like the OZ wizard character in “The Wizard of Oz” movie, narcissists may appear more confident, capable, and powerful than what they really are.

“Overview. Narcissistic personality disorder — one of several types of personality disorders — is a mental condition in which people have an inflated sense of their own importance, a deep need for excessive attention and admiration, troubled relationships, and a lack of empathy for others.Nov 18, 2017”

“Narcissistic personality disorder – Symptoms and causes …
http://www.mayoclinic.org › symptoms-causes › syc-20366662”

KAITLIN ANN TREPANIER
Specialist, Writer, Speaker, Social Entrepreneur, Founder and President
http://www.connectingthedotswiththerespectprinciple.com
© All Rights Reserved 2014-2019
September 1, 2020

Authority Abusers

Just because someone has authority over someone or a group of people does not mean they have good character … what sometimes happens is people with a low “Respect Level” for his or her self needs to feel empowered by controlling and manipulating others with the, conscious or unconscious, intent to inflict pain that mirrors or is worse than their own. Such a person a group also seeks to elevate themselves above others … which is yet another way prejudice takes hold, grows, and manifests indifference, apathy, hatred, violence, and war.

 

KAITLIN ANN TREPANIER

Specialist, Writer, Speaker, Social Entrepreneur, Founder and President

Connecting The Dots With The Respect Principle

© All Rights Reserved 2014-2020

July 22, 2020

 

 

Break the Tradition … Not the Children

The fact people are still equally divided on whether a child is acceptable or note, plus the slow-shifting idea that maybe getting smacked was not a good experience is an opportunity to clarify the impact of physical punishment.

To strike means to give a blow to, to hit, to cause to come into forceful contact, to attack. To spank means to strike something with an open hand, especially on the buttocks, as punishment. Violence is physical force so as to injure or damage, is intense powerful force, unjust or callous use of force or power, a violent deed or act. Coles Concise English Dictionary, 1979)

Yes, many people have been spanked because it is a tradition, But also, many people have also received strikes that went well beyond spanking, including slaps across the face, smacks with belts, straps, rulers, yardsticks, whatever was handy for beatings that even resulted in death. Remember, people often take out their frustration and anger on those they “love.”

The problem is not the child or a child’s behaviour. The problem is with with parents, caregivers, and society to refuse to move past a tradition because it is a tradition.

On one hand, I do not understand why people, who take on the tremendous responsibility of raising a child and transforming them into an adult, would not want to take the time to learn from the present knowledge instead of repeating the past. If one was an employed caregiver, we certainly expect them to receive the same knowledge through training and to act accordingly.

On the other hand, my years of research, built on the research of other experts, including Alice Miller, the forerunner who studied how Hitler and others were shaped into the adults they became, revealed our dominant, often unconscious belief people have to earn respect to be considerable valuable.

When it comes to our stuff, if we value it, we treat it with care. How much depends on our own “Respect Level,” which was shaped by our own experiences. How we treat others and children reveals the same.

Even horse training advanced beyond tradition. “Breaking” horses is now considered cruel and unnecessary since “gentling” a horse results, not only in a quicker response, but in a response based on bonding fostering willingness versus fear fostering rebellion.

The final piece of the puzzle is recognizing our differences. One psychological tool, the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI), reveals there are sixteen personality types, yet we need to consider all the other influencing factors, such as, culture, religion, social status, etc. affecting a family. Considering these and many other factors, we really do not know how physical punishment is going to affect a child.

The truth is striking a child is no longer the smart, compassionate, or respectful thing to do … raising awareness and choosing alternatives is. Let’s break the tradition no longer serving us. Let’s not take the chance and break … then have to repair the children, teens, and adults … physical punishment creates.

Kaitlin A. Trepanier

By permission, this originally published “Letter to the Editor” in the South Bruce Weekender, January 21, 2016, is being published today by the original author to share the contents with a global versus small community audience.

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KAITLIN ANN TREPANIER

Specialist, Writer, Speaker, Social Entrepreneur, Founder and President

Connecting The Dots With The Respect Principle

© All Rights Reserved 2014-2019

June 30, 2020

 

 

 

 

From Gentle Souls to Monsters

History and science teach us that unacknowledged, unprocessed pain can transform even the gentlest of souls into monsters of all kinds, so we need a more enlightened and aware approach to how we treat each other … especially those closest to us … because love should not hurt, makes us feel bad about ourselves, etc. and if it does, it is likely not love we are acting on, but something else.

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KAITLIN ANN TREPANIER

Specialist, Writer, Speaker, Social Entrepreneur, Founder and President

Connecting The Dots With The Respect Principle

© All Rights Reserved 2014-2019

June 28, 2020

 

 

Exemplifying Respectful, Loving Leadership

This is what respectful, loving leadership looks like in contrast to disrespectful, hateful leadership. Bravo Sheriff Chris Swanson for your wisdom … providing a positive, life-affirming role model by listening to the protesters request and standing in solidarity with them, demonstrating not all police are represented by the few … those who should not even be police (peace) officers.
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KAITLIN ANN TREPANIER

Specialist, Writer, Speaker, Social Entrepreneur, Founder and President

Connecting The Dots With The Respect Principle

© All Rights Reserved 2014-2019

June 1, 2020

Is Freedom and Civil Disobedience, For Any Reason, Justifiable?

If every human was conscientious and never acted disrespectfully towards another human, freedom would be very different in our world. We would be able to trust that no person or organization would, consciously or not, seek to take advantage of or harm another person or group of people.

But, since that freedom definition is the ideal versus the reality, laws, courts, and prisons were created to help prevent, but also deal with those who harmed others, intentionally or not.

As someone who desperately sought the freedom to live the life right for me, not defined by other people’s expectations and wants, I felt caged by invisible bars. As a result, for years the desire to be accepted for my differences caused me to do the crazy dance of acing like most people I knew and then in defiance, when the restraint became overwhelming, I acted out, hurting both other people and myself.

Freedom finally came to me along with the wisdom no one gets to define my life, my beliefs, and my actions, so now  I live my life as I need to do for my own well-being. People like Nelson Mandela also helped me to understand what real freedom feels and looks like. Fortunately also, wisdom provided the respect and compassion to not force my beliefs and actions on another person or group, but also to be aware of how my beliefs and actions affect others.

Right now, after many weeks of lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic, people are crying “Freedom” and this morning I even heard an American restaurant owner, who had opened his restaurant and served a large number of people not practising social distancing, also cry out his and their civil liberties are being violated, so his civil disobedience is his and his customers’ right.

But civil disobedience, exemplified in Henry David Thoreau’s essay, “Civil Disobedience” that is part of many high school curriculum, is not about doing what one wants for any reason … it is about doing what one can to object to political leadership … that is harmful.

Sadly, though, many people who are citing freedom and resorting to civil disobedience are not acting to protect others as is its intention, in this case other people’s health, but to satisfy their personal wants, risking the lives of others for their own satisfaction and gain, for which there are many words, which I will leave to your imagination.

Yes, most of us are being hit economically for many reasons. Food prices keep climbing, but that does not mean we have the freedom to steal. People who sell us food often work for low wages and need their jobs, so they are forced to work. What about their freedom? Are medical staff free to choose who they help? What about their freedom?  What about other essential workers and their freedom? And all the people being forced back to work by employers to meet company income needs, personal income needs, and citizens needs, what about their freedom?

People are dying. Health care costs are skyrocketing. Life as we have known has been shutdown. This pandemic is not just about one person wants. It is about all of us … men, women, teens, and children around the world. Leaders are struggling, trying to do their best to help the people they govern. In-fighting is happening in governments. Protesting is an option … but putting the lives of others at risk to do so … the innocent … is not. Right now it may be not be a criminal law, however, it is a crime against humanity to act with such disregard for other life because someone thinks he or she is more important …  more valuable than anyone else.

It is time to get a grip on ourselves. It is time to support our nations and fellow citizens. It is time to step up and recognize our global citizenship. We may not like it, but let’s put the present scenario in perspective. We are at war. You have been called to be a soldier and do your part for the greater good of your nation and our global nation.

When enough of us finally grasp this reality, we will all win because we will not have so many people needing to feel more special that they seek to put themselves above all others and in the end, hurt not only themselves, but the people they impact. We will see ourselves truly equally, not slaves to ego and pride, but servants for the greater good, which also enriches our individual worlds too, empowering us with the freedom to be our unique selves that contributes in our unique way … adding versus subtracting to the quality of life of humanity … one person at a time.

KAITLIN ANN TREPANIER

Specialist, Writer, Speaker, Social Entrepreneur, Founder and President

Connecting The Dots With The Respect Principle

© All Rights Reserved 2014-2019

May 12, 2020