Welcome to GordonHumankind.com 
                                                            
                                                                                         

                                                     Wishes for the Family of Humankind

 Offered by Paula D. Gordon, Ph.D.

January 10, 2013

The original version was authored July 18, 1996 and

submitted to The Millennium Project at a

World Futures Society Annual Conference in Washington, D.C.

That version has been slightly augmented and modified by the author.

 

  • Cultivate and realize the fullest possible expressions of love, harmony, humanity, civility, and cooperation. Recognize that if we fail to recognize and move toward a fuller expression of our essential nature — our essential humanity, and as many would say, our essential divinity — that life on earth will become increasingly brutish, cutthroat, deadly, anarchic, and chaotic.

 

  • Recognize that the ills that have arisen and that can arise from the uses of technology can be prevented, mitigated, and addressed so long as we remember that we have it within our power to make technology our servant. We can use technology to serve the needs of humankind and to improve the quality of life. By using technology in these ways, we are acting to free ourselves to explore and to live and experience life to the fullest. The value of technology lies in the extent to which humankind can devise ways of using it for the betterment of humankind. Humankind is taking part in its own self-destruction to the extent that it acts in ways that divorce the use of technology from basic human values of life itself, human health and welfare, and the freedom with which to enjoy, experience, and realize all of these values to the fullest.

 

  • The rigidification of rules and regulations, microlegalisms, and micromanagement that fly in the face of common sense, understanding, experience, judgment, and wisdom, are creating conflict and problems; seriously restraining creative uses of energies and resources to address our problems; as well as threatening our mental and physical health, sanity, freedoms, and our very humanity.

 

  • It is essential that widely held views regarding the role and nature of science and scientific endeavor and the explanatory usefulness and applicability of Newtonian physics to the understanding of human and societal behavior need be reconsidered. The "soft sciences" have failed to increase in any profoundly human way our understanding of human and societal behavior and problems. This widely accepted "value neutral" approach to "understanding" is widely sanctioned and rewarded in academic and professional communities, including business and public administration. The widespread acceptance of this scientistic, value neutral approach has been responsible for the destruction of idealism, realism, human understanding, and common sense in untold numbers of human beings and, importantly for the future, of unknown num­bers of students and graduates. This approach has impaired our capacity to address with humanity our most pressing problems. This approach has too often kept persons in roles of responsibility from even recognizing and coming to terms with the nature and root causes of the problems that face us. The embrace of such value neutrality and such superficial and inadequate approaches to analysis and understanding has too often led to actions that are divorced from human consideration, feeling, insight, experience, knowledge, wisdom, common sense, and judgment, and from common human values and humanity. Arthur Koestler made some of the same observations. In recent years, Margaret Wheatley is among those making a similar case.

 

  • Recognize, as Mary Parker Follett in her works had noted, that the definition of the purpose of democracy can be seen as the unleashing of creative energies. Recognize that these unleashed creative energies can be used for the benefit and the betterment of individuals as well as society as a whole. In fact, Ruth Benedict's notion of the healthy, "high synergy" society was one in which individuals acted in a way that served both their own interests and the best interest of the social whole. A "low synergy" society was one in which the actions of individuals were counter to the interest of the social whole. Another way of looking at health and unhealthy groups and societies was suggested by Herbert Shepard. He said that the "mentality assumptions" of competition, compromise, and coercion typify unhealthy organizations or cultures and that the direction that we need to move in if civilization is to survive is toward a healthier set of "mentality assumptions" that includes cooperation, collaboration, and consensus seeking, and one would add, caring.

 

  • Encourage the adoption or re-adoption by the nations of the world of a concept of the public good and the public interest which emphasizes the need for governments in free societies to act in ways that maximize the values inherent in a free society — values of life, health (individual and societal), and freedom (individual and political). Try to help those who have as yet failed to move in the direction of such an understanding through the use of educational strategies and through example.

 

  • Address the major problems of our times and encourage governments and all segments of society to recognize the importance of devoting time, energy, understanding, and resources to doing so. Adopt approaches and policies that address the underlying causes and unmet needs that give rise to problems that are affecting human health and functioning and the realizing of societal stability and viability.

 

  • Recognize that drug abuse and substance abuse of all kinds is destroying the mental and physical health of an increasing portion of rising generations throughout the globe. Recognize that an increasing portion of the adult population is also being affected. Take steps to address the underlying causes of the problem of substance abuse and rec­reational drug use and experimentation, one of our most pressing human and societal problems facing humankind. Without will power, without soul power, there can be no initiative; there can be no sense of responsibility for ourselves or future generations. Recognize that substance abuse and other forms of addictive behavior are taking a considerable toll on mental, physical, and societal health, not only on those who indulge, but on those around them, including those who love them or depend on them.

 

  • Recognize a central underlying cause of many of our societal ills today is an absence of meaning and purpose in life. This can involve an absence of motivation and a sense of anomie. It can involve an absence of any healthy values and an absence of human feeling and sense of connection to others. Love, faith, trust, human feeling, and purpose, and a valuing of life itself, all need to be cultivated and nurtured. Even the presence of just one caring person in an individual's life can make all the difference. Restorative efforts are essential to the success of any attempts to address such ills. Addressing underlying causes and other unmet needs can also be critical to long-term success.

 

  • Address the problems of unemployment and underemployment by applying human ingenuity and creativity to the solution of these problems. Act to instill and encourage the valuing of all kinds of useful work and service, along with the valuing of other creative contributions to culture and society that enhance the quality of life and contribute to the health, happiness, and fulfillment of individuals and humankind.

 

  • Recognize the inhumanity of any national or global policy that does not have as its goal "zero" unemployed and require that reporting and analysis of the actual number of those who are unemployed and underemployed not be intentionally or unintentionally obfuscated. It is essential that the true extent of the problem be recognized so long as "unemployment figures" are allowed in effect to dictate national or global economic policies.

 

  • Address the problem of crime in a way that takes into consideration the root causes and unmet needs that give rise to such behavior. Adopt approaches to prevention, early intervention, treatment, and rehabilitation that are humane and that foster healthy human development.

 

  • As Abraham Maslow pointed out, recognize that it is crucially important that we decide what it is that we are trying to achieve through education. Question seriously the goal of global competitiveness. If, first and foremost, the purpose of education to help assure to the realization or continuation of a free and democratic social order, then all of our efforts in education need to be imbued with and informed by the values that are essential to sustaining freedom, democracy, and a responsible citizenry. 

 

  • Recognize the need for adequate shelter and health care as being a societal goal. Apply ingenuity and resources to addressing these needs. Avoid taking steps that turn people into numbers and dismiss the preciousness of every human life. Address the symptoms as well as the underlying problems and unmet needs that have given rise to these problems. Take steps to prevent the cycle from beginning in the first place and take steps to intervene at all subsequent stages of the cycle.

 

  • Resist the currently popular impulse and the bias to simply study and research problems. Resist also the impulse to try to address all problems by "committee" or reaching group consensus in a "bottom up" approach. If we neglect the people who have insight, vision, and understanding, persons with philosophical insight and with first hand understanding and experience of how to bring about change in non-coercive and non-intrusive ways; we will have failed to use what should be among our most valued resources. Provide opportunities for such individuals to contribute in major ways to the solving and amelioration of the problems and challenges.

 

  • Move beyond typical efforts to simply research problems. Encourage and value the development of the human capacities for common sense, understanding, ingenuity, sound judgment, responsible action, vision and leadership coupled with the all-important courage and initiative to take action. See the importance of the need for persons who are in roles of responsibility to have an understanding of the problem as well as the will and the courage to take action and the capacity and the gumption to act wisely. Cultivate understanding of the kinds of constraints that can get in the way of healthy change. It is unrealistic to think that persons who have adopted the role of non-participant/researcher observer will necessarily have the needed insight and experience to be able to envision workable or politically and organizationally feasible solutions or ways of addressing societal problems and challenges. It is even less typical that they will have the determination, courage, ethical and moral compasses, and cultivated sense of responsibility needed to carry out solutions or take action to address problems and challenges. While such characteristics typified the finest persons who have served in government in the past; in recent times the focus of academic and professional training programs have failed to develop persons with such attributes, character, capacities, and capabilities. For these and other reasons, the number of such persons needs to grow, not diminish.

 

  • Recognize the need to help cultivate the elements of citizenship that are essential to effective and responsible government. In situations where these fail to be present, adopt educational strategies that will serve to help inculcate them. Recognize that a major problem being faced newly emerging, would-be democracies, is that citizens in these reoriented nations are without current or recent experience of what it means and what it can entail to be a responsible citizen of a free and democratic society.

 

  • Consider the merit of slower and more carefully considered approaches to change so that populations are not thrown into social and economic chaos. Try to learn from mistakes that have been and are being made.

 

  • Encourage corporations and those in business, as well as others to adopt an attitude of social responsibility and discourage greed and lust for power as ends in themselves. Encourage a balancing of profit-making and giving back to society, in a way that fosters the unleashing of creative energies for the betterment of humankind.

  

  • Recognize that the playing of political games takes precious attention, energy, and resources away from critical human and societal problems.

 

  • Recognize that when persons in roles of public responsibility and trust play games with people’s lives and with society’s and civilization’s fragile future, that their actions are not only irresponsible, but some would say criminal.

 

  • Recognize that it will be difficult if not impossible to begin to ameliorate the problems that face us until and unless we achieve some agreement that our highest commonly shared value is the value and preciousness of life itself, be it perceived as being God-given or an existential given.

 

  • Recognize that honesty, fair play, and tolerance are essential if the family of humankind is to move in the direction of healthy societal development.

  

  • Recognize the need for focusing attention on nurturing the healthy development of humankind and adopt an attitude of individual and societal stewardship and responsibility for both human and natural resources. It is especially critical that those in positions of public responsibility cultivate such attitudes.

  

Some have said that we are that we may know joy and love, that we may experience the fullest possible meaning of existence. Others have said that to live life fully, to experience joy and love fully, is to know God and realize a divine destiny.

May we live in such a way and encourage others to live in such a way through example and deeds that all increasingly realize and experience a sense of meaning and fulfillment in their lives and come to contribute as a matter of course to the realization of that potential for the benefit of all of humankind.

                                                                                                 *****************

   

Copyright by Paula D. Gordon 

pgordon@starpower.net


 
This piece has also been added with permission of the author to the Global Futures Intelligence System of The Millennium Project at https://themp.org/challengegroup/15/resources/

Paula D. Gordon, Ph.D. is based in Washington, D.C. Her Ph.D. in Public Administration is from American University; her M.A. in Public Administration and her B.A. in Rhetoric are both from the University of California at Berkeley. Her areas of specialization include Public Administration, Public Policy, Management and Organizational Behavior, Ethics, Leadership and Change, Organization Theory and Behavior, Knowledge Transfer and Innovation Diffusion, Homeland Security and Emergency Management Policy, and Drug Abuse Prevention Policy. Dr. Gordon is an educator, writer, and consultant. She teaches courses at several different universities. She has served as staff officer, policy analyst, or special projects director for the National Institute of Mental Health, the Federal Energy Office and Federal Energy Administration, the National Science Foundation, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the Environmental Protection Agency, and the U.S. Advisory Commission on Governmental Relations. She also ran for Congress in Contra Costa County in the Bay Area in California. She has an extensive background in a variety of domestic policy arenas including drug abuse prevention, emergency management, and homeland security.

Dr. Gordon’s websites include the following:

• http://GordonHomeland.com
• http://GordonPublicAdministration.com
• http://GordonDrugAbusePrevention.com
• http://GordonHumankind.com
• http://GordonCancerTheory.com
• http://GordonEbolaImmunity.com

These websites include her work on some of the following topics: transforming and leading organizations, nurturing ethical and value-based behavior in the public service, unleashing creative energies in organizations for the benefit of individuals and society, and improving the problem solving and knowledge transfer processes. Also included is a website on an innovative theory of carcinogenesis and anti-carcinogenesis. Her doctoral dissertation, “Public Administration in the Public Interest” (accessible at http://GordonPublicAdministration.com ) focuses on the role of government in complex societal problem solving. In that dissertation she describes a new paradigm of public administration and governance.                                                              

                                                                         
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Online Courses Being Taught by Dr. Gordon for Auburn University Outreach in 2018

(All of the following courses are also expected to be taught in 2019.)

Dr. Gordon teaches online courses focusing on marijuana and on the overall drug crisis for Auburn University Outreach. She also teaches three additional courses that focus on various aspects of emergency management and homeland security. Below are descriptions of the courses and information concerning registration.

A Three Week Online Course on “The Effects and Impacts of Marijuana Use ~ Policies and Approaches Addressing the Challenges”.

Offerings in the remainder of 2018 include August 6 – 26, 2018, and September 3 – 23, 2018. Register online at http://www.auburn.edu/outreach/opce/marijuana.htm or call to register: 334-844-5100. The course will be offered in 2019 as well. The course is being taught in asynchronous time which means that those taking the course can complete assignments each week when it is convenient for them to do so. It is not necessary to be online at specific times each week.

Course registration fee is $199. (Please inquire about a discount if five individuals or more from the same organizations register.) Registrants are eligible for 3 CEUs.

The course is taught on a pass/not pass basis.

The course has been designed to help arm those who are concerned about the harmful effects and impacts of marijuana use with relevant information concerning the effects of marijuana use and the deleterious impacts it is having in America. Articles, reports, and videos that will be discussed in the course are all available online and freely accessible to those in the course. Many are accessible on http://GordonDrugAbusePrevention.com .

The course has also been designed to help individuals expand their knowledge and understanding concerning the problem of recreational drug use and addiction in America and how the problem can be addressed. The course is also designed to help those in the position of public responsibility understand the most current research information regarding the harmful effects of marijuana use and its impacts.

The course is designed as well to help public officials and those who seek to help inform public officials concerning the policy and program options that have been working, the approaches that are proving most successful in diminishing the amount of recreational drug use in America and in discouraging use altogether.

A NEW Four Week Online Course entitled “Combating and Treating the Scourge of Drug Abuse, Addiction, and the Opioid Crisis ~ A National Public Health Disaster”

This new four-week online course is to begin on July 16, 2018. While the course is one of four courses that Dr. Gordon teaches as a part of the Auburn University Emergency Management Certificate Program, it can be taken as a stand-alone course. To register, call the Auburn University Outreach Office of Professional and Continuing Education at 334-844-5100 or go to https://opce.catalog.auburn.edu/courses/c180716h .

The registration fee is $400. (Please inquire about a discount if five individuals or more from the same organizations register.) Registrants are eligible for 3 CEUs.

The course is taught on a pass/not pass basis.

The role that exposure to and the increasing use of marijuana are playing in the opioid epidemic will be highlighted in the course. See the 2/23/2018 Letter to Members of the Canadian Parliament (posted at http://GordonDrugAbusePrevention.com) for the research references that provide a wealth of evidence regarding these connections. The role of the black market will also be noted. The latest information about this public health crisis will be shared.

A broad definition of the problem with be presented along with a comprehensive approach to addressing drug use in America. Exemplary approaches that are being taken and that could be taken will be highlighted. The approaches include addressing the underlying causes as well as the symptoms of drug-taking behavior in the nation.

If you have questions concerning the courses, please feel free to contact Dr. Gordon at 202 241 0631 and leave a message concerning the best times for her to return your call or email her at pgordon@starpower.net . All Four of the Courses Taught by Dr. Gordon that are Offered in an Emergency Management Certificate Program by the Auburn University Outreach Office of Professional and Continuing Education. See http://www.auburn.edu/outreach/opce/emergencymgmt/ .


Dr. Gordon is teaching the following courses in the Emergency Management Certificate Program:

• Planning & Preparedness for Homeland Security & Emergency Management Post-9/11 & Post-Katrina August 20, 2018 - September 16, 2018 http://www.auburn.edu/outreach/opce/emergencymgmt/#course10

This course is designed to help those currently in roles of public responsibility develop a deeper understanding of how to address some newly emerging challenges in homeland security and emergency management, challenges that have been unfolding since 2001 and continue to unfold in 2011 and beyond. The course will be of particular interest to those already in practitioner or policymaking roles, while also being of interest to those preparing for such roles. Those developing and teaching homeland security and emergency management courses in academia will also find the course of value. To register, click on https://opce.catalog.auburn.edu/courses/c180820

• Unmet Needs & Challenges: Some Key Challenges Facing Homeland Security & Emergency Management Post-9/11 & Post-Katrina September 17, 2018 – October 14, 2018 http://www.auburn.edu/outreach/opce/emergencymgmt/#course10

This course has been designed to increase overall awareness and understanding concerning the implications of 9/11 and Hurricane Katrina. The course is designed to introduce those taking the course to a wide array of accompanying issues and concerns relevant to homeland security and emergency management in a post 9/11, post Katrina world. To register, click on https://opce.catalog.auburn.edu/courses/c180917 .

• Key Elements of Critical Infrastructure Protection & Continuity Post-9/11 & Post-Katrina Proposed dates in 2019: June 10 – July 7, 2019 http://www.auburn.edu/outreach/opce/emergencymgmt/#course10

The course objective is to introduce learners to a wide array of issues and concerns involving the nation's critical infrastructure as that term can be broadly defined in the post 9/11 and post- Katrina world.

• Combating and Treating the Scourge of Drug Abuse, Addiction, and the Opioid Crisis ~ A National Public Health Disaster July 16, 2018 – August 12, 2018 http://www.auburn.edu/outreach/opce/emergencymgmt/#course10

The focus of this course is on the drug abuse, addiction, and opioid crisis ~ a public health disaster that is currently besieging the nation. The words in the course title are based on the wording of the mandate of The President’s Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis. Over the past several years, this crisis has emerged as a significant area of concern in the emergency management field. In 2018, many see the problem as having reached critical proportions.

The objective of the course is to study the nature and scope of the problem and its causes and possible cures. Strategies, policies, and approaches designed to address this public health disaster will be explored. Lessons learned from the past efforts by the U.S. and other nations to address similar public health crises will be identified and the applicability of these lessons to the current crisis will be discussed.

To register, click on https://opce.catalog.auburn.edu/courses/c180716h or call 334-844-5100.


Endorsements from Students Taking the Courses
in the Emergency Management Certificate Program
  Taught by Dr. Gordon Through 2017


Participants in the courses come from widely varying backgrounds. They have included Local, State and Federal government agency officials; Fire Chiefs and Fire Department officials, Police Department , local and regional Emergency Management Directors and officials, and other individuals in roles of public responsibility for emergency management, homeland security, and public safety , including, officers in the military, University officials responsible for health, safety, and security; and individuals in academia including those responsible for curriculum development.

• From a Federal official with responsibilities for emergency management and emergency planning:

I think this is a great course….. I would recommend for anyone involved in the emergency management field or involved with emergency planning. I would definitely want my staff to take this course….

• From an official of a large university with responsibilities for campus-wide Public Safety Information & Education:

This course has really helped me realize the impact on planning and preparedness of the differences in catastrophic and non-catastrophic events, and has helped me feel more equipped to address the planning challenges related to catastrophic events. In the past, I have focused mainly on technical and operational issues, but I can now see the importance of the broader perspective. It has also really emphasized to me the importance of understanding complex problems and the value of generalists, who can lead multi-disciplinary teams of experts in finding solutions to these complex problems facing emergency management today.

From a retired military officer currently pursuing a Master’s Degree in Emergency Management:

This course has shown me that there is so much information available if you simply look or ask for it. One of the main things I took away from this course is that flexibility is absolutely essential. There are so many variables that it is impossible to plan for every single situation. Even disasters that are classified the same, such as earthquakes, are very different as pointed out by Timothy Manning from a geologist perspective. I think if you understand that there is no “one size fits all” accompanied with a solid foundation of knowledge, flexibility will provide the necessary ingredient to be successful. Secondly, mitigation and preparedness are extremely critical when it comes to disasters/threats. Proper preparedness and mitigation starts with each individual and if everybody does their part, the end-result will be very different from those communities that lack mitigation practices and a preparedness plan.
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