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Progressive Values Stories: Peter Harvey on Community versus Intolerance

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Community cannot for long feed on itself; it can only flourish with the coming of others from beyond, their unknown and undiscovered brothers.  Howard Thurman

I interviewed Peter Harvey at a Oakland California Democracy for America meeting.  Peter  passionately talked about the progressive value of community and shared an early memory of the community reaching out to him.  However, he thinks that conservatives have completely missed the mark of religious teachings by going off into intolerance 
 

Progressive Values Stories: Peter Harvey on Community versus Intolerance

I’m Peter Harvey from Piedmont, California.  My job is program manager for NASA projects, and I think progressives see government as a way of combining all of us and making us all part of each other.  We are a community, and that sense of community should not be just with the nation, but with the world.  We have a global climate crisis, that we need to come together.

I think progressives see that immediately, because we are part of each other and for us all to succeed we all have to pitch in.

I’ve been very interested in being part of the community, partly sharing my family, starting with the family values I became a scoutmaster in the local troop, before that a baseball and soccer coach.  And these are things that are partly inspired by my son and my daughter playing soccer, my son playing baseball.  But then within the community values that scouting has, it respects the community and says that scouts should be developing, part of the community, give service to the community. 

This is true of adults as well.  It is part of who I am, and I am just part of progressive values.  I see it an attachment between all of those things.  The situation I see is adults in my young life helped me out, and they did it out of the goodness of their hearts and sense of community.

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Edwin:  Would you actually like to tell the story?

Answer:  For example, when I was a young boy scout, in fact starting out in boy scouts, my parents had actually had enough with boy scouts, because my older brothers had already gone through it.  I went to learn how to be a boy scout, and the scoutmaster taught me, and he became my surrogate father.  If all of us became that in the community and watched out for them, every community would be terrific. 

Well, I can recall when I was at the code of honor, at the very beginning court of honor when you become a scout, every boy had his parents there to be behind him, and so forth.  And my parents didn't show up.  And a parent, Mr. Harold, showed up behind me to give me the scout medal.  And this was the first instance in which I can remember where a community member just stepped forward and said "This is a community of boys who need support.”

"A community is democratic only when the humblest and weakest person can enjoy the highest civil, economic, and social rights that the biggest and most powerful possess."  
A. Philip Randolph

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Community at Wikipedia
In human communities, intent, belief, resources, preferences, needs, risks and a number of other conditions may be present and common, affecting the identity of the participants and their degree of cohesiveness. Traditionally in sociology, a "community" has been defined as a group of interacting people living in a common location. However, the definition of the word "community" has evolved to mean individuals who share characteristics, regardless of their location or degree of interaction.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Community

Peter Harvey on Conservative Intolerance

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Founder of the Center for Building a Culture of Empathy. http://cultureofempathy.com The Culture of Empathy website is a growing portal for resources and information about the values of empathy and compassion. It contains articles, conferences, (more...)
 

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