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Rob Kall: Being a Positive AND Tough Progressive

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I've been an advocate for positive psychology for over 20 years. But I find myself taking a very negative tack when it comes to politics.

I struggle with this contradiction. My spirit wants to be positive, but my gut goes negative.

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In the world of psychology, I've worked through this inner conflict. At one point, I argued that it was possible for any "problem" to be dealt with from a positive perspective. You could develop a strategy to move towards a positive mental, emotional, spiritual state, develop positive skills, techniques, etc.

But gradually, I was convinced that, while positive psychology is a great idea, a powerful approach that could make a huge difference in individuals' lives, that could take them to better places and mental emotional states than they'd ever experienced, you still have to deal with the negative. You still have to confront childhood trauma, abuses and suffering. You still have to face fears, anxieties, bad habits and unhealthy mental or behavioral patterns.

In illness, exercise and good nutrition can get you so far, but if you are infected with a pathogen, you have to kill it. You have to identify the pathogen and then treat it with an antibiotic, antiviral-- something that will kill it and stop the infection. Then, the good stuff-- exercise, healthy living, good nutrition can all do their work to make you healthier, more vibrant.

I want to see the United States and the whole earth and all of humanity at peace, healthy, with fairness and justice, absence of suffering, absence of hunger, poverty for all.

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I want to see children from all backgrounds given good educations, educations that support diversity, tolerance and understanding and respect for other cultures and beliefs.

I want to see a USA and a world that supports making the environment healthier and safer, that does all it can to treat the earth and all its creatures with respect, that values life, not just unborn fetuses, but all living creatures.

I want to see a USA and a world where living beings are treated better than corporations, where corporations are put in their place as servants and creations of mankind, not as feudal purveyors of favors to humans. I want to be sure that the USA does not participate in any treaties that favor corporations over humans, or that take away human rights or invalidate laws passed by democratic processes-- like the WTO, NAFTA, CAFTA, IMF, WB and others do.

Now Republicans look at my list and use their well worn and effective talking point, saying that I'm complaining, and not suggesting anything new, not coming up with plans. But they say that about any progressive or Democratic idea that is not consistent with their vision of smaller government and pro-corporate environment. They ignore actual proposals, focus on criticism of their destructive, anti-human, soul-less policies and label us negative.

I've realized that we progressives are the new conservatives. We seek to maintain and restore the values of the founders, of the constitution and even of the bible, where the people were reqarded with the land of milk and honey, not oil and de-regulation. We progressives are defenders of the old ways. We also have visions of positive futures, with clean renewable energy, greater freedoms and equality for all, better use of our shared commons-- education, ecology, public areas, natural resources, human resources.

The right wing labels many of these "visions" "big government and they attack or ignore them.

That's where my dark side starts to wake up. Maybe I should reframe it to be my political counterpart to an antibiotic-- an anti-right-wing-extremist-nutcase-corporatist medicine.
Maybe I should see it as the strong, aggressive approach one must take if a patient is infected. You kill the pathogen. In this case we're talking about a toxic right wing philosophy that is anti-human, anti-democratic, criminial, thuggish and totally toxic to the American way that millions of brave heroic soldiers fought to uphold.

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So, when I get pissed off and nasty, when I call right wingers rednecked, little dicked, cowards, stupid cuckolds, traitors, inadequate, impotent losers using Bush like Viagra and worse, I am going into my life/democracy preservation mode, attacking sociopolitical "pathogens."

Yesterday, I watched Al Gore's movie, AN INCONVENIENT TRUTH, and tears welled up, repeatedly. I kept thinking what a brilliant, heartful, moral man Gore is, that he could have been positively leading the US into the future, and that instead we've had the despicable, pinheaded, shallow, immoral, criminal we've had thanks to the supreme court's coronation of king george. I cried and I grit my teeth in anger, thinking about the stupid white southern men, the dishonest politicians and the members of religious groups-- people who have become traitors to the USA, traitors to the constitution, traitors to the America we've loved.

And it's not that I'm totally anti-corporation. I am, after all, an entrepreneur. I've made my living as a small businessman for the last 25 years. I've written about progressive approaches to business. There are good ways to include businesses big and small in a positive progressive vision. Corporations COULD be a part of the solution, part of the evolutionary progress. But the only way that will happen is if laws-- national and international laws are passed that require corporations to function in ways that benefit humanity. In 1940, master science fiction and science writer Isaac Asimov created his three laws of robotics:
Isaac Asimov's 3 Laws of Rootics (1940)
First Law:
A robot may not injure a human being, or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.

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Rob Kall has spent his adult life as an awakener and empowerer-- first in the field of biofeedback, inventing products, developing software and a music recording label, MuPsych, within the company he founded in 1978-- Futurehealth, and founding, organizing and running 3 conferences: Winter Brain, on Neurofeedback and consciousness, Optimal Functioning and Positive Psychology (a pioneer in the field of Positive Psychology, first presenting workshops on it in 1985) and Storycon Summit Meeting on the Art Science and Application of Story-- each the first of their kind. Then, when he found the process of raising people's consciousness and empowering them to take more control of their lives one person at a time was too slow, he founded Opednews.com-- which has been the top search result on Google for the terms liberal news and progressive opinion for several years. Rob began his Bottom-up Radio show, broadcast on WNJC 1360 AM to Metro Philly, also available on iTunes, covering the transition of our culture, business and world from predominantly Top-down (hierarchical, centralized, authoritarian, patriarchal, big) to bottom-up (egalitarian, local, interdependent, grassroots, archetypal feminine and small.) Recent long-term projects include a book, Bottom-up-- The Connection Revolution, debillionairizing the planet and the Psychopathy Defense and Optimization Project.

Rob Kall Wikipedia Page

Rob Kall's Bottom Up Radio Show: Over 200 podcasts are archived for downloading here, or can be accessed from iTunes. Rob is also published regularly on the Huffingtonpost.com

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