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My new article on Linkedin “Too Entitled to Be Ashamed”
When we were kids, grownups would often tell us off by saying, “You should be ashamed of yourself!” or “Shame on you!” It didn’t help. Today’s young people feel so entitled that no one even tries to use this “educational tool.” Today, if we want people to change their behavior, we have to go much deeper than shaming them; we have to change the motivation for their work.
The main difference between young people today compared to a few decades ago is that today, we feel more alike. People wear the same clothes all over the world, communicate in the same language (English) with people all over the world, and have more or less the same culture. Because people feel more alike, they feel that what they have within them is nothing special, that everyone has the same traits, so there is nothing to be ashamed of.
Indeed, what can people point to about me that is so uniquely awful that I should be ashamed of it? There is not a single trait in me that millions around the world do not have, as well, so why should I be ashamed of it?
Even toward children, using the “Shame on you!” instrument should be minimal, or it will create in them unwarranted insecurity that will impair their development as they grow. Besides, even if you shame them, their shame is like ours: embarrassment that they got caught, not that they did something bad.
Respect is something we all (still) want, so you can play on that, but this is not shame. It is simply that no one wants to lose face.
Nevertheless, if the values in my society are crooked, my “shame” will be crooked, too. If, for instance, I hang out with criminals, then being a successful criminal will make me proud. If the police catch me, I will not be ashamed because of my crime, but because I didn’t commit my crime well enough not to get caught.
Therefore, if we want people to change, we should not work through shaming them, but through changing the social values. Currently, the prime value is entitlement. Superstars and social media idols boast about their sense of entitlement to the point that sociologists call it the “Me! Me! Me!” culture, a “narcissism epidemic.”
If we want a different society, we must change people’s values. Through the media, social media, and the education system, concentrated and orchestrated efforts must be made to change our social values.
If we idolize people who bring people together, soon, our whole society will be more connected. If we bring to people’s awareness that the global village is not a small town in Iowa, or some place, but a term that means we’re all connected and dependent on each other for our lives, then people will begin to treat each other differently. Their self-interest will drive them to be considerate. From there, they will begin to develop more genuine care, and our world will begin to return to sanity.
Michael Laitman, On Quora: “Why don’t we get rid of intellectual property laws and stop restraining creativity and innovation?“
If we reach the understanding that everything we achieve and discover can benefit humanity and will be recorded about each one of us in our soul’s eternal account to the degree of benefit that we contributed—then the approach of guarding that which we discover and not wanting to free it would disappear.
There are such discoveries that people have made, which they do not want to open up to free use by everyone. If we were to understand that our reward is precisely in our giving to humanity, and that it becomes registered on our name forever—then we would act out of a reward not of money, but of recognition. Nature would treat us in a useful and favorable way, thanks to which we would merit feeling eternity and perfection above this life.
However, for the time being, we remain as egoists, i.e. people who wish to enjoy at the expense of each other, and fail to understand nature in such a way. It turns out that we use nature in the most egoistic way, for personal benefit alone. As a result, we live in a world where we each guard our intellectual property, and the world progresses via an indirect path toward its eventual balance with nature.
Based on a Q&A with Kabbalist Dr. Michael Laitman on September 9, 2006. Written/edited by students of Kabbalist Dr. Michael Laitman.
My new article on Linkedin “Israel at the Bottom of America’s Priorities”
The United States used to consider Israel a strategic partner, a primary matter in their international agenda. Not anymore. Israel needs to get its act together and realize that its fate depends solely on its willingness and ability to strengthen within, before it is too late to regret its inaction.
U.S. President Joe Biden met with Israel’s Prime Minister Naftali Bennett at the White House in the midst of the Afghan debacle. The fact that their first face to face meeting was postponed but not canceled despite the crisis was interpreted by some as a good sign that the relationship between the two countries is strong. Biden said, “We have become good friends,” and assured “Iran will never have nuclear weapons.”
But besides the photo opportunity and formal official statements, the summit between both leaders has no real meaning, no substance at the moment. Biden is preoccupied with his faltering mandate and does not consider the Middle East of utmost importance at all.
The U.S. has its own priorities and urgent crisis to solve at multiple levels, so it is not surprising Israel would come last. They seem to be taking the same stance with other regions of the international arena. Americans are leaving Europe alone for a while, and releasing their pressure on them.
They see the Russians faltering and weakening, losing their voice, so they do not care if Russia deals with Europe. And regarding China, Americans can do nothing against it either, they are not in conflict and do not feel them as an immediate threat. China could take Taiwan and even Japan tomorrow, or absorb the regions in Russia bordering the Far East, and the U.S. would not care, it would not be its primary concern.
The U.S. and Israel’s meeting was just a gesture to show everyone that the United States is connected to Israel, and no more than that. Why? Because who knows today what may unfold tomorrow. Who can guess what will happen in the next round of foreign affairs and if the rules of the game will change? So, it’s worth spending fifty minutes on the presidential agenda.
A significant change has taken place in the last six months in leadership from the Trump-Netanyahu era to the Biden-Bennett period. Jews in America rejoice that Biden is in power but that joy stems from a lack of care for Israel.
Otherwise they would have backed Trump, our friend, who openly supported Israel, helped strengthen our ties with the Gulf states and raised our position internationally. He also performed many positive actions behind the scenes, but today we are in a free fall, left alone, without any real lasting support.
Our importance in the world is declining day to day, many leaders belittle Israel or maintain a cold relationship with us. We ascended the path of torment, a path that strayed far from our spiritual destiny. The deviation from the truth will only teach us that the people of Israel are not dependent on world leaders, not on the right or on the left.
The fact is that no global crisis today is being managed properly. The current circumstances with Covid-19, Afghanistan, waves of mass immigration to Europe, and the collapse of countries in the Middle East are only some examples of failed policies.
World leaders like Merkel, Sarkozy and others have stepped down from their historic places on the global stage, and the dust and fuss they leave behind should be an example for us, the people of Israel, to create an orderly and wise plan to realize that we cannot rely on any leader to successfully pave the way and solve our problems.
The solution is to unite in mutual guarantee and strengthen our inner bond, which is our very foundation. The people of Israel depend on supreme leadership, on the upper force, on the connecting power of nature. Currently, we are divided and conflicted, we throw blame at one leader or another, and falsely assure ourselves that if there were another figure here everything would be fine, but the division between us is what destroys us.
As our sages wrote, “If a person takes a bundle of reeds, he cannot break them all at once. But if he takes one at a time, even an infant breaks them. Likewise, Israel will not be redeemed until they are all one bundle.” (Midrash Tanhuma)
My new article on Linkedin “From Kabul to Istanbul”
The suicide bomber who killed 170 people, including 13 American service men, was not a lone attacker. He was part of the Afghanistan chapter of ISIS, known as ISIS K. Waves of terror intensify and subside, but they never really stop. Now that extremists in Afghanistan have gained control over sophisticated American weapons, including fighter jets and other weapons that can wreak havoc, we can expect matters to grow far worse. From Kabul to Istanbul, into Russia and into Europe, the green color of the caliphate is spreading.
Terrorism is not a “gig.” It is a well-paying career to be a terrorist, and it is paid for by powerful countries, powerful organizations, and powerful individuals. Terrorist organizations are growing increasingly better equipped, and it is quite possible that they will come to possess nuclear power. If they do, they will not hesitate to use it. For them, dying for the cause is not a dread but a dream come true.
Humanity is helpless in the face of such threats because in fact, there is no humanity—a cohesive body of nations. There are nations and organizations fighting one another for dominance. In this struggle, anything goes, no holds barred. Potentially, humanity could obliterate the threat of terrorism. Practically, no one wants to rise to the challenge.
The Taliban, armed with rifles, grenade-launchers, and the Quran, have just proven that on their own land, they can defeat the US, France, and the UK combined. Soon they will be swarming into Europe, Russia, and the US.
For Israel, though not only for Israel, I am sure this is bad news. The Taliban, and their Islamist allies, will not stay put. Their plan is to paint the world green. Not the green of trees, but the color of Islam. They are not moderate Islamists; they want everything.
They will set up “bridgeheads” in key locations around the world and use them as bases for expansion. In the Middle-East, it could be Lebanon or Syria, certainly Gaza, and even certain spots within Israel.
However, they do not plan to remain in the Middle-East. The goal of radical Islam is to set them up all over the world, in places such as South America, Africa, and even close to the US, such as in Cuba. The specific location is of little significance; what should worry us is their intention and determination to become the world’s rulers, and to convert all of humanity to Islam.
We are at the doorstep of a new era. Things we thought we knew are no longer true, and new players are coming in. There will be many struggles, and the only way to prevent an all-out meltdown of humanity is unity.
This is where Israel will have to play its role. The only way to mitigate the turbulent era we are heading for is through unity. When it comes to unity, Israel must lead the way. Currently, Israel is the world’s leader in division, with the country being torn by subcultures that cannot stand each other.
Additionally, the division between Israel and the Jewish diaspora has become so deep that it seems as though the people who think of themselves as Jews within Israel and those who regard themselves as Jews abroad are not the same nation.
Moreover, world Jewry is also more divided than ever, splintered into myriad denominations and worldviews. In short, just as humanity is not a cohesive body of nations, Judaism is not a cohesive body of people. And without covering divisions with an overarching unity, there is no Judaism.
Since the Jews must lead the way toward unity, the more humanity becomes splintered, the more it will pressure the Jews. The wars that will engulf humanity in the coming years are not wars one can win. They are wars whose goal is to demonstrate that the only solution is unity above all the differences.
Therefore, the future will see humanity declining into increasingly violent conflicts and increasingly divided societies. At that time, Jew-hatred will grow until Jews come together and set an example of unity. As a result, wars around the world subside and lasting peace will prevail. What remains to be seen is the toll we will have to pay until that happens.
For more on this topic, refer to my book The Jewish Choice: Unity or Anti-Semitism, Historical facts on anti-Semitism as a reflection of Jewish social discord.
In the News (India Today): “2020 was a bad year. This has been said enough times and accepted by most people who wouldn’t want to be reminded of the terrible year. But, nobody would have thought that a year could be so bad that it will have a dedicated game to it which is kind of fun. Yes, 2020 now has its own game 2020 game, a free web-based side scroller that offers a fun take on last year’s events. …
“Developed by Max Garkavyy, 2020 game was built over a span of six months where each level is an event to forget from last year. The game looks inspired by Super Mario where the ultimate challenge is to avoid the obstacle and reach to the end. These obstacles come in the form of wildfires, COVID-19, TikTok, the US presidential election, and the endless quarantines. …
“Almost none of us want to witness another year like 2020 where everything that could have possibly gone wrong, did. Yet, almost all of us who survived this terrible year can look back at it and be proud. And, there is no better way to revisit 2020 with a bit of fun something that is made possible by 2020 game.”
Comment: Maybe it’s worth creating such a game to go back and know in advance what mistakes not to make.
My Response: I think that’s an idea. Any game in some way shows you a possible future. You can play several options here and see how it suits you, your attitude, perception, and so on.
Question: So the leaders of Europe and Trump, for example, could think and see what mistakes they made?
Answer: The problem is that they do not know where this is going, what these laws of nature are. Their ignorance is ruining them.
Question: And if you were given such a game “2020” now, what would you personally do?
Answer: It should all be built to compel people to get closer. Imagine that we are obliged to get closer to each other. For today, you must feel closer to others so much so that you feel that you are in their life, they are in your life, that you are mixed.
Question: So it is in thoughts, in decisions, in everything?
Answer: In everything! Everything got mixed in this world. And now you have to see how close it has come, and now you have to somehow find yourself in this: “Do I want to stay in the past? No, I have to get closer! And how do I get closer? I cannot. Maybe, after all, one way or another to get around this case? Maybe, like in a game, I can buy some chips, pay for something and not do anything?”
Question: So that all these thoughts that I don’t want to get closer, but I have to, they have to live in a person all the time?
Answer: Our whole life is a game.
Question: So you would take a player and bring him to such a state?
Question: And in all the problems: the hype with food that took place, the movements in America, the presidential elections, the only lever is the thought of closeness?
Answer: Only our closeness. As soon as we get closer, everything turns out right, even if it may not seem so to us.
Question: And what if one of the presidents were playing this game and had to make some decision?
Answer: He would make his state an exemplary stage for closeness. And then they would show the whole world that this is the way of salvation.
Question: His future is then determined and the future of the country, and even the world?
Answer: Of course. We will see in the near future that it will happen anyway.
Question: At the same time, as you say, the head should also think about the world? Is this his initial thought?
Answer: Absolutely. He should think not only about his country. And then his actions will really be set up for closeness, for connection. Everything will be very good. Just wish it would be soon!
From KabTV’s “News with Dr. Michael Laitman” 1/25/21
Comment: Irina writes: “We were born as twins. I always knew when to call Clara, when she was feeling bad, and she would call me. We never fought. Clara died, and it’s as if my strength was drained from me. I visit her at the cemetery, sit there and talk to her—this is my life now. I have a family, children, even grandchildren, but nothing brings me joy. Dear Michael, maybe you can advise me—what should I do?”
My Response: You have to break this connection. This is bad for you and for your sister. You should engage in living completely independently from your sister.
Question: Does such a powerful connection really exist?
Answer: Of course! She got used to it throughout her life!
Question: Since they were constantly connected how can she break free of it?
Answer: By understanding that doing so is harming herself and her sister, and that on the part of her sister, in fact, this connection has been broken. That is, she went somewhere far away.
I felt the same with my mother. Not all my life, but when she died. I felt as if she was carrying me in her arms all my life, and then she let me go. I was already over seventy years old.
Question: So, Irina should let her sister go. Is she holding her now?
Answer: Yes. And this is not good for both the deceased and the living.
Question: What does it mean not good for the deceased? She’s already dead.
Answer: What do you mean, she’s dead?! There is an inner state in a person that does not die. And the fact that the body has stopped functioning, so what?
Question: So she lives on, one way or another?
Answer: Naturally. Exactly right.
Question: And this connection definitely exists?
Answer: Yes. You just have to accept that they exist on completely different levels. They transitioned to a different state of connection.
Question: And have you transitioned to a different state of connection with your mother?
Question: Do you feel her now?
Answer: When I tune in to it, then yes.
Question: So, the connection with the mother never disappears?
From KabTV’s “News with Dr. Michael Laitman” 7/15/21
“The state of Uttar Pradesh, India’s most populous state with a population larger than Brazil, has announced draft legislation which would see anyone with more than two children denied state benefits, subsidies and government jobs. After a family has two children, there will also be incentives if one of the parents undergoes voluntary sterilisation.”
Question: Do you think such initiatives are correct?
Answer: We must not sterilize people like animals. People need to figure out themselves how to regulate the number of children they will have and why they do it.
Question: Are you suggesting a serious educational process?
Answer: Nothing will work without it, not laws or coercion, only creating a framework that a family would be proud of the fact that it brings up not a large number of children but rather special children.
Question: This revolution in thinking must take place by providing them with education?
Answer: Of course! And it will happen anyway. Otherwise, look at what kind of country it is! I was in India, I was in China, and I saw a big difference between people.
Question: Should it be carried out not by a bill on limiting the number of children, but by constant, structured education?
Question: It is interesting that in Europe everything is the opposite, they have to subsidize families to have children. Yet, in countries like Africa and India, families must be subsidized to have fewer children. Why is this happening? What is this different way of thinking in people?
Answer: It is all based on religious beliefs and principles.
Question: Why does a highly educated person, let’s say, with three or four degrees, want fewer children?
Answer: He wants quality instead of quantity. He understands that the main thing is quality. He wants his descendants to be educated, to understand, know how, what, what they live for, create the right environment around them, and put their children on their feet in turn.
Question: And if people would voluntarily have many children and give them good education, is this a cultural feature? Do they do this consciously? Do you welcome this?
Answer: Of course.
Comment: Our people always had many children.
My Response: First of all, it was a small nation. Second, one did not replace the other. People were encouraged to have a large number of children, but every person, every child, at least every boy, had a teacher who educated him. The family has always been proud of the fact that its children, sons, as a rule, were educated. “Look how many pages he knows by heart!” And so on.
That is, it was like a highest ideal, a reward, approval. Everyone aspired for a child to become a sage.
They do not have that there.
From KabTV’s “News with Dr. Michael Laitman” 7/15/21
This should force you to prepare everything for the next generation. This is why you live in the present generation. We live to prepare the ground for the next generation. In every sense.
Question: Why don’t we feel this way? And we taint…
Answer: Our egoism obscures this elementary truth from us.
From KabTV”s “News with Michael Laitman” 7/15/21
From the tenth century B.C. onward, the ancient Greeks adopted this wisdom from the ancient Jews. It passed to them until they broke away from the Kabbalists and began to interpret it in their own way, believing that the Earth is inhabited by gods, and that all sorts of forces are infused into stones, animals, etc.
This was already a clear totemism, and, of course, nothing remained of Kabbalah, just as nothing remained of it in all religions that took their origin from Kabbalah and then lowered it to the level of our world and all sorts of everyday actions that exist in religions today as their customs and laws.
From KabTV’s “Spiritual States” 1/21/21