Entries in the 'New Publications' Category

“Vaccination For A Social Epidemic” (Medium)

Medium published my new article “Vaccination for a Social Epidemic

There is no stronger trigger to anxiety than the unknown. And we are currently going through a challenging time heading toward the unknown. This terrifies us. Confusion, isolation, and agitation are some of the threats to the American state of mind due to the repercussions from COVID-19. Experts believe the situation is close to a social epidemic. The only way to stay afloat in these turbulent waters is through a support network, to build an immune system against anxiety through human connection.

Far from nature and disintegrated as a society, we have declined into perpetual uncertainty.

There are so many unpredictable and uncontrollable elements in reality, which themselves depend on myriad hidden causes, that we have lost trust in multiple aspects of our society. This makes people apprehensive.

Fifty years ago, we were not so fearful about the future. We thought we would progress and things would get better. Now we do not know what tomorrow will bring and if things improve for our children. It is no longer a speculation; we see that the world is declining. We are already facing a very real fear of approaching hardships.

A person naturally wants to know the probabilities for the future; otherwise he would not be certain about how to act in the present. In the past, most people could largely expect what would be the course of their lives. Life was simple, close to the earth, guided by the seasons and close to nature.

As we internalize this premise and begin to work on our connections, we bring about warmth and affection, supportive thoughts, and concern for others.

Over the years, we moved away from the perception of nature as the root of life, as the supreme system in which we exist. We distanced ourselves from each other, glorified individual achievements, and encouraged heartless competition between us to the point that the growing egoism caused us to feel that others and nature were created only to serve us.

We do not know what will happen next. We do not understand what is affecting us or how to respond correctly. Far from nature and disintegrated as a society, we have declined into perpetual uncertainty.

Slowly, we are getting used to the shocks that impact the world, while we still wonder what force acts in reality and brings all these events upon us. It takes the element of uncertainty for us to try to find the source of everything around us and to realize that it is nature. It is the same force that is compelling us to become similar to it, interdependent and synergic.

Through tremendous pains and troubles we are gradually coming to terms with the importance of building a fortress of strong and meaningful human relations. As we internalize this premise and begin to work on our connections, we bring about warmth and affection, supportive thoughts, and concern for others.

These actions will foster our confidence in the future and navigate us safely through our current state of uncertainty.

The future society must be one where people live in order to attain connection among them because in the connection, they will discover joy and wholeness.

People are social beings. We are so dependent upon society that it should be our safe haven when we feel scarcity and fear. We need to create an environment that provides a sense of confidence, of mutual guarantee. This is all it takes to heal the social epidemic.

“Why We Hate” (Linkedin)

My new article on Linkedin “Why We Hate

In all of nature, there is not an iota of hate, except in people. Animals don’t hate one another; it is a uniquely human vice. But there is a profound reason that only humans hate each other, and do so with such passion. Envy and pursuit of power and respect grow within us all the time. We are becoming increasingly unforgiving.

The more hatred increases, the more we will realize that we cannot overcome it by ourselves, yet we must overcome it or it will extinguish civilization.

In the past, you could see children playing together and enjoy each other’s company. Today, they play their game consoles, which pit them against each other, and all they care about is winning.

If you compare cats from two centuries ago with cats that live today, you will not find that they have grown more vicious. But if you compare people who lived two centuries ago to our own generation, you will find that we are far more self-centered, entitled, careless, and generally far worse people than our great grandparents. From generation to generation, we are becoming more bellicose, hurtful, and more sophisticated in our malice.

But there is a good reason for the apparent perpetual decline. We are the only species in decline since only we are destined to make a conscious correction to our nature. The reason for the spike in the levels of hatred in recent years, and particularly in the last few months, is that the hatred must become so fierce that it will force us to seek a way to mend it.

The more hatred increases, the more we will realize that we cannot overcome it by ourselves, yet we must overcome it or it will extinguish civilization. This, in turn, will drive us, even if against our will, to work on healing it together. And this compulsory cooperation against an enemy that dwells in each of us will foster in us love for one another. Were it not for the intensity of hatred, there would not be necessity to love. Were it not for our defeat in battling hatred alone, we would not turn to one another.

The hatred we feel will never vanish. If it did, so would our need to love. It is precisely the growing hatred that makes us increase the love. As we advance on “two legs,” hatred and love, we march toward knowing the depths of human emotions, how we can overcome conflicts, reign in anger and hate, and in the process, learn the depths of human nature.

Only if we understand the role and significance of hate will we be able to truly love. And when we do, we will see that all of us, all colors, races, faiths, and cultures were created hateful, but only so as to turn the hatred into love of our own volition.

“Coronavirus Reprogramming Us” (Israel Hayom)

My new article on Israel Hayom “Coronavirus reprogramming us

We may not notice it because it’s who we are, but the way we think about life, the things we want, value, prefer, our aspirations, manners, fears, reactions, all those are “programmed” into our psyche through the social environment we live in. When COVID-19 forced itself into our lives and locked them down, it affected all of us.

To some, its impact was physical, but to everyone, it is emotional. The social and behavioral implications that the coronavirus has wrought are just beginning, but they will be far-reaching and enduring. We have entered a new era. The sooner we adapt, the better for all of us.

Even if we want to return to our previous way of life, the presence of the virus will make it very difficult. Wherever we go, there is a chance we might catch the virus or transmit it to another person, even if we wear a mask and keep our distance. Gradually, the virus is forcing us to reconsider things we used to take for granted, such as going out to bars and restaurants, hopping a plane to go on vacation, buying new gadgets just because they’re new or because our friends have them, etc.

By forcing us to behave differently, the virus is actually “reprograming us.” Who would have thought just a few months ago that we could envision a life that’s not an endless pursuit of immediate (yet dissatisfying) pleasures? But now, if we only had our basic sustenance guaranteed, many would gladly opt-out of the bandwagon and say, “Stop the world, I want to get off it,” to paraphrase on Leslie Bricusse’s musical.

The coronavirus is not “just” another epidemic. Just like a computer virus, it is reprogramming our operating system and changes our very essence. But not in a bad way; on the contrary, it is slowing down our lives so we may discover hidden pleasures that we’d missed before. By forcing us to rely on one another for our health, the virus is teaching us that we can trust one another, that we can build supportive communities, and that we can find pleasure in people more than in stuff.

The coronavirus will not let us return to unbridled consumerism, to unchecked exploitation of the planet and each other. It will teach us how to build a good, sustainable life for ourselves and for our children. If we follow its directives willingly, we will complete the transition quickly and easily.

If we remain obstinate, we will complete it painfully and slowly. Either way, COVID-19 will win. It will force us to lock up what’s not essential for life, and open up what’s essential for happiness.
[267518]

“Time For The Woman Power” (BizCatalyst)

My new article on BIZCATALYST “Time For The Woman Power

Reality consists of two forces, feminine and masculine. The balanced complementary interaction between them has created all that we see around us, the entire universe. But people are different. In us, the masculine force has been dominant for millennia, and the grim results are patent. The feminine force, the one that creates life and nurtures it, has largely been missing from human society until only a few decades ago.

But things are changing. In just a few dozen years, women have moved from having virtually no impact on society to being heads of states, heads of the most prominent monetary institutions such as the International Monetary Fund and the U.S. Federal Reserve, and other prominent positions.

It is no coincidence.

Just as in nature, the masculine and feminine forces are equally strong yet distinctly different, and each contributes its own vital addition to the whole, human society must now learn how to incorporate women into society in a positive and constructive manner.

At the moment, many women who have reached management positions have done so, in many cases, by adopting masculine attitudes. This is counterproductive because it’s precisely the nurturing and caring feminine quality that we need.

Society is still in a learning process; we have yet to discover what it means to add the feminine element to public life. That said, we already have an example: our own families. In the family, the man is traditionally regarded as the head of the family, but every man who’s ever been married will confess that the real boss in the family is the woman. Because a woman has a natural ability to see the whole family as one unit, and because she can multitask far better than any man, she can prioritize correctly what needs to be done and when.

The situation is much better today than it was several decades ago, but there is still much room for improvement.

As in the household, so in business and public life, women’s inherent capabilities should receive their due respect. The situation is much better today than it was several decades ago, but there is still much room for improvement. We still need to learn how to give women their rightful place in leadership without forcing them to behave like men—since then we miss out precisely on the quality that only they can contribute—and without intimidating men by the presence of women in leadership, since the masculine quality is just as required, and only when the two work together harmoniously is lasting prosperity possible.

Indeed, the world is moving toward an era where more and more women take leading roles, and humanity can only gain by this. However, as in everything, we must transition into it properly and see that we are gaining feminine qualities rather than losing masculine ones, so that together, the two build a family-like world for humanity, and for all of life.
[267541]

“The Benefits Of Diversity” (Times Of Israel)

The Times of Israel published my new article “The Benefits of Diversity

It is written in the Mishnah (Sotah, 9:15) that at the end of days, hatred will soar. Judging by what is happening today, we’re nearing the end of days. Never has so much hatred been spewed on social media, newspapers, and television, and the wave only seems to crest ever higher. It’s not as if there are no quiet places anymore, but the zeitgeist is simply toxic. One word out of line—and it is super easy to cross the line—and you’re banned, excommunicated from the world.

The racial hatred and anti-racist protests we have seen lately are part of that murky tide. Like all waves, racism-driven riots will have their crests and troughs, but the trend is definitely toward a giant storm.

The hatred will not stop there. As hatred intensifies and spreads, fragments within each group will split from the main corps and form smaller camps that will fight against each other. Society will disintegrate and anarchy will reign. It is written in the Talmud (Sanhedrin 98b) that even the greatest sages would not want to live at the end of days.

Clearly, we are not there yet, but we are heading there. If we don’t reverse course, we’ll get there sooner than we realize.

The Role of Hatred

The problem is that we think that hatred is all bad and harmful. We’re trying not to hate but by doing so, we’re missing the chance to correct it until we face a more intense eruption of hatred.

Hatred is the dislike we feel toward anything that is not us. Our sense of uniqueness is deeply rooted in our psyche, but it is there for a good reason: We perceive only through opposites. If we didn’t grasp the sensation of darkness, we wouldn’t know that there is light. If we didn’t feel what cold is, we wouldn’t be able to feel warmth. Likewise, if we didn’t feel hate, we wouldn’t be able to feel love.

Therefore, when hatred surfaces, we shouldn’t try to stifle or deny it. Instead, we should make a conscious effort to increase our love for the object of our hatred to the point that it is bigger than the hatred that has surfaced. If all the parties involved in the manifestation of hatred participate in the effort, the result will be greater love than ever before. If not all parties take part, the whole process is hopeless.

If all parts of society engage in this endeavor, we will increase the love in our world to levels that we’ve never seen before, and it will be precisely because of the unprecedented level of hatred which forced us to forge a matching level of love. By denying the legitimacy of hate, we are denying the world of love, and sentence it to more intense manifestations of hate that will soon follow.

According to this paradigm, everything that we hate is actually a springboard to experiencing greater love. If today, the most intense hatred manifests between races, this is precisely where the new level of love should appear. However, this will only happen if both sides work together on increasing the love between them to the extent of the current hatred.

I realize this is a completely novel idea and contradicts most everything that we’ve been taught. But on the other hand, what we’ve been taught isn’t working anymore, so it’s time to try a new direction.

The idea is simple: The other person is different from me; I dislike the other person, and I want that person hurt or at least gone. This hatred is what is fueling all the violence we’ve seen in recent weeks and months. If we leave it at that, it’ll blow up the entire country. So instead of letting it fester and grow, we should all make conscious efforts to increase our love for one another, even though it’s clearly fake. Surprisingly, however, our efforts will bear fruit and we will find that we can love people who, a moment ago, we couldn’t stand.

It is a very practical paradigm; it demands courage and commitment, and it is the country’s only hope for avoiding complete meltdown.

“Corona Parties – A Sign of Disregard For This World” (Linkedin)

My new article on Linkedin “Corona Parties – A Sign of Disregard for This World

They have been around since the outbreak of COVID-19, but now it seems they have morphed into something quite bizarre. People held Corona Parties, aka, “lock-down parties,” all over the world: In the United States, Australia, Belgium, Estonia, and many other countries, young people seem to be rebelling the way young people always do, by disobeying the rules.

We are at a precarious time in our history. Millennials will not stand idly by and be led; they are active, intelligent, and inquisitive, and we must provide answers about where the world is heading.

But lately, it seems as though people are going to these parties deliberately in order to become infected with the virus. They hang around people who have tested positive or are already showing symptoms and compete for money at catching the virus.

But money isn’t the issue here, it’s the defiance. And it’s not even defiance against the authorities, as such; it’s defiance against any boundaries! People, especially young people, are wanting more and more to break the boundaries and free themselves. They are becoming unruly because the rules make them feel fettered, and they want out.

I see this as a very important and positive sign. It is a sign that people want to emerge from the perception of the world they were born into and acquire a new perception, a world without borders, orders, or limitations. What they don’t know, however, is that the world they are looking for exists only above the ego. As long as they are led by their egos, they will keep falling into the same trap of trying to escape one way, discovering it’s done them only harm, then trying to escape another way, only to discover that the new way has failed them, too.

I feel for them, I sympathize with them, and I only wish that they would discover that all they need to do in order to break the shackles of reality is think of one another and not about themselves. It is in the other that they will find a boundless world; it is in thinking about other people that they will discover a fertile soil to cultivate and express themselves freely. Only in giving can one derive strength from the work itself, and only in giving can one express oneself to the fullest.

We are at a precarious time in our history. Millennials will not stand idly by and be led; they are active, intelligent, and inquisitive, and we must provide answers about where the world is heading. If we don’t teach them how to experience the shift—that the world has become one unit, that everything we do affects everyone, that we are dependent on each other for our lives, our health, our wealth, and our happiness, and that we can’t achieve anything unless we work together, if we don’t show them all that, their curiosity will become frustration, then anger, and then violence. It is already beginning to happen; we haven’t any time to waste. From here we can either rise to the very top, or fall to the very bottom.

“Heart Jobs — The Jobs Of The Future” (Medium)

Medium published my new article “Heart Jobs — the Jobs of the Future

Back in 2012, ARI Institute, of which I am the founder, published the book The Benefits of the New Economy: Resolving the global economic crisis through mutual guarantee. The book outlined a futuristic job market where few people work and provide for the needs of the rest of humanity, while all other people are occupied in “heart-jobs,” connecting their hearts and creating a social environment of mutual responsibility and care. A few years later, the idea began to take hold as governments began to toy with the notion of Universal Basic Income (UBI) which stipulates that governments guarantee people’s basic livelihoods. Journalist Thomas Friedman grasped the idea more clearly in 2017 when he wrote that in the future, people will have to “create more value with hearts and between hearts.” In an interview with the British Council, Friedman said, “We used to work with our hands. Machines replaced that but we started to work with our heads instead in a knowledge economy. …Next I think we’re going to work more with our hearts.” He was right; machines will do the rest.

The social benefits from such jobs are obvious: solidarity, absence of crime and violence, enhanced mental and emotional resilience, and a general sensation of contentment with life. But there is another major benefit that this occupation will present: personal realization of aspirations.

A Future of Zero Unemployment and Absolute Satisfaction

When it comes to working with the heart, there is no such thing as unemployment. Everyone can and must contribute. We need to understand that the world is going through a major shift. People are developing a new and fresh approach to reality, even if they’re not yet aware of it. The “jobs” we’ll have in the emerging reality will require working with our thoughts about each other, our social connections, and our desires, while machines do the physical and “intellectual” work.

The “jobs” we’ll have in the future will require our internal powers. Until today, we have employed only one natural force — the egoistic force that strives to benefit the self at the expense of others. But the world has come to a point where we cannot keep using only that force since it is pushing human society and the whole planet into a chasm of unbridled selfishness.

Unlike humans, nature is balanced, with two forces that operate in it — a positive, giving force alongside a negative, receiving force. Now, we too must tap into the positive force and activate it if we want to restore balance in our world. Just as our will power, our passions and desires pushed us to great achievements for ourselves, now they will push us to achieve great things for all of reality, and especially for human society. We will still work with our desires, with our will power, but that desire will work in the opposite direction than the one we have utilized thus far; it will work toward uniting people together in a bond of care and affection, warmth, and love, above all the contrasts in human society.

It’s not as if we haven’t been using the positive force altogether. We have, but only on a very basic, biological level, to keep our bodies healthy. But when it comes to our social lives, we lean far too much toward self-centeredness, to the point that throws human society off balance and evokes the clashes and conflicts we are seeing today.

So now that more and more people have ample free time, we must begin to overhaul society. People’s basic sustenance must be secured, either via monetary benefits or stamps or delivery of goods to everyone, while their time is filled with social activities that enhance the giving force within them.

The new “job” will require everyone’s participation. Since it concerns reshaping all of society, everyone will partake in the transformation: men, women, those with “regular” jobs, and those without.

The social benefits from such jobs are obvious: solidarity, absence of crime and violence, enhanced mental and emotional resilience, and a general sensation of contentment with life. But there is another major benefit that this occupation will present: personal realization of aspirations. Since people will contribute their skills and energy to benefit the society, the society will have a vested interest in the personal fulfillment of people’s dreams. If, for instance, a person dreams of being a great scientist, is it not in the interest of society to help realize that person’s dream? What about a great leader, athlete, or anything that one may want to do? As long as one uses one’s talents to benefit the society, the society will have a vested interest in realizing those ambitions. And the best part about it is that once a person achieves one’s goal, he or she will discover that the greatest joy is not in completing the feat, but that completing it makes other people happy. This will be the utmost confirmation that one’s goal has been worthy, and nothing is more rewarding than to know that one’s goal in life has been a worthy one, and has made a lasting, memorable impression on humanity.

There will be labor pangs along the way to this ideal society, but it is already within reach. The sooner we begin to work on building it, the sooner it will become our reality. The necessity to leave the ego-based existence is already evident; now it is up to us to determine how long it will take to build a balanced world of mutual care and solidarity.

“Capitalism Is Over, What’s Next?” (Medium)

Medium published my new article “Capitalism Is Over, What’s Next?

It has been dying for a long time but we didn’t know it. We thought we were practicing it; we thought it was the most advanced economic system humankind has ever conceived, while in fact, it has long been kaput, or as Webster’s Dictionary defines it, “utterly finished, defeated, destroyed, unable to function.” Indeed, capitalism has been destroyed by the very force on which it intended to capitalize: the human ego.

We must develop a more inclusive thinking where we calculate our actions according to the benefit of our communities, cities, countries, and eventually the world, instead of only our own.

When it first dawned on humanity, capitalism was the right thing at the right time. It facilitated progress, healthy competition, and in many cases, a chance to build a good life based on one’s willingness to work hard. But for the past several decades, the link between labor and income has been shattered and crushed, replaced by financial wizardry and exploitation of financial power for political gain, and vice-versa. And just to demonstrate the disconnect, ask yourself this: If every industry and every service in the country is breaking record lows right now, how come Wall Street is breaking record highs? This is what a shattered link between labor and income looks like. Very few gain from it.

Now, thanks to the coronavirus, it is becoming evident that capitalism has run its course. I believe that the tide in stocks we have seen after the initial drop when COVID-19 first struck is the Swan Song of capitalism. Like the sudden apparent recovery of a dying man before the final collapse, Wall Street is currently celebrating. But it will be short lived. Very soon, it will begin its final decline. It may be a longer process or a shorter one, but either way, capitalism has run its course.

To me, the more troubling question is “What’s next?” Because if we are not careful, the signs are pointing to a new dark era. Radical forces are becoming increasingly brazen and seek to overthrow democracy and capitalism, and install totalitarianism. It may take the form of communism, fascism, or Nazism, but whichever it is, it will not benefit the regular folk.

Yet, this will happen only if we stay idle. It is evident to everyone that the world today is an integral system whose parts are all interconnected. Everything that each of us does affects all of humanity. In such a system, caring only for ourselves is a prerogative we cannot afford. We must develop a more inclusive thinking where we calculate our actions according to the benefit of our communities, cities, countries, and eventually the world, instead of only our own. If we are aware of this then we have no excuse to sit by and let events develop on their own. We need to spread the word that we are all responsible for one another.

The violent struggles we are seeing now are counterproductive to the cause of mutual responsibility since they only increase hatred and separation. Being interconnected and interdependent means we care for one another. And just as I wouldn’t act violently toward a member of my family with whom I disagree, so I must avoid violence toward others, on whom I rely, even if I do not like them for whatever reason.

I am not endorsing socialism, and certainly not communism of any sort. Nor do I have a particular political affiliation. My interest is the well-being of humanity. Accordingly, I am endorsing caring, mutual consideration, and mutual responsibility.

The resulting economic system after the demise of capitalism will be something we have never tried before, since we have never cared for one another unless they were family (and even then, not always). There is no clear outline to this new economy, since we have yet to begin to care for one another, but as soon as we start caring, we will know what we should do.

It is a bit like a first time mother. Until she has her first child, she has no idea how to be a mother. But as soon as the child is born, she suddenly knows. She feels what she should do because her love guides her motherhood.

The same is true for a society that is based on caring. Until we begin to build it, we will not know what it should be like. But once we take our first step, the knowledge will come through our care for one another.

It is possible, and it is urgent. If we wait, the radical, totalitarian forces will gain too much traction and set society off on the complete opposite track.

“Corona – The Virus That’s Reprogramming Us” (Thrive Global)

Thrive Global published my new article: “Corona – the Virus That’s Reprogramming Us

By forcing us to rely on one another for our health, the virus is teaching us that we can trust one another, that we can build supportive communities, and that we can find pleasure in people more than in stuff.

We may not notice it because it’s who we are, but the way we think about life, the things we want, value, prefer, our aspirations, manners, fears, reactions, all those are “programmed” into our psyche through the social environment we live in. When COVID-19 forced itself into our lives and locked them down, it affected all of us. To some, its impact was physical, but to everyone, it is emotional. The social and behavioral implications that the coronavirus has wrought are just beginning, but they will be far reaching and enduring. We have entered a new era. The sooner we adapt, the better for all of us.

The coronavirus will not let us return to unbridled consumerism, to unchecked exploitation of the planet and each other.

Even if we want to return to our previous way of life, the presence of the virus will make it very difficult. Wherever we go, there is a chance we might catch the virus or transmit it to another person, even if we wear a mask and keep our distance. Gradually, the virus is forcing us to reconsider things we used to take for granted, such as going out to bars and restaurants, hopping a plane to go on vacation, buying new gadgets just because they’re new or because our friends have them, etc.

By forcing us to behave differently, the virus is actually “reprograming us.” Who would have thought just a few months ago that we could envision a life that’s not an endless pursuit of immediate (yet dissatisfying) pleasures? But now, if we only had our basic sustenance guaranteed, many would gladly opt out of the bandwagon and say, “Stop the world, I want get off,” to paraphrase on Leslie Bricusse’s musical.

The coronavirus isn’t yet another epidemic. Just like a computer virus, it is reprogramming our operating system and changes our very essence. But not in a bad way; on the contrary, it is slowing down our lives so we may discover hidden pleasures that we’d missed before. By forcing us to rely on one another for our health, the virus is teaching us that we can trust one another, that we can build supportive communities, and that we can find pleasure in people more than in stuff.

The coronavirus will not let us return to unbridled consumerism, to unchecked exploitation of the planet and each other. It will teach us how to build a good, sustainable life for ourselves and for our children. If we follow its directives willingly, we will complete the transition quickly and easily. If we remain obstinate, we will complete it painfully and slowly. Either way, COVID-19 will win. It will force us to lock up what’s not essential for life, and open up what’s essential for happiness.
[267202]
— Published on July 3, 2020

“Time To Overhaul How We Rank People” (BizCatalyst)

My new article on BIZCATALYST “Time To Overhaul How We Rank People

One of the first questions in every first meeting with a person is, “What do you do?” meaning what do you do for a living. There are two things we usually want to know when we ask that question: 1) How much you make, and 2) What is your rank on the social stratum. In fact, if you said to your new acquaintance how much you make straight away, he or she wouldn’t enquire about the type of work you do or your social stratum. Your earnings alone would enable that person to rank you.

But what do you do when money is meaningless? We’re heading toward a reality of widespread joblessness when many good people will be out of work permanently not of their own volition, but because there will be no jobs to occupy. This is not a futuristic scenario. COVID-19 has instigated this reality. If initially, people were furloughed, now they are being fired as more and more companies are adjusting to a reality of permanent low demand.

I already wrote countless times in essays and in books about the obligation of governments to provide jobless people with a basic income, and that this income must be contingent on participating in sessions that teach them about the reality that got them fired. While it is essential to know that the world that has become completely interdependent, and that in order to survive we must be responsible for one another, we must also tend to people’s sense of self-esteem.

To put it differently, there are three elements that people must maintain in order to be able to lead a satisfying life: 1) physical provisions (staples), 2) understanding the world they live in, and 3) a sense of dignity or self-esteem. Without any one of these three, people will be driven to despair, and many will resort to violence, which will tear society apart.

Because, at the end of the day, public figures cater to the desires of the public, the public must show that it respects people who give to society, and even more importantly, bring it together. There is no question that a cohesive society is a resilient society. Also, people are happier when they live in a supportive environment. We need to show that this is the society we want and that we pay people who help bring us together with respect, dignity, and accolades. If we do so with conviction, and resolutely show that we condemn people who exploit others, even the wealthiest, most powerful people will give up their power and fortune in return for appreciation.

We mustn’t forget that it doesn’t matter how many billions I have if people don’t know about it and respect me for it.

Therefore, if social values change, so will people’s desires, since nothing is more powerful than people’s opinion of a person. If we show what values we want, what kind of individuals we respect, we will create a society made of such people.

My teacher’s father, the prolific thinker, and kabbalist, Baal HaSulam, phrased the whole concept in one short paragraph: “Indeed, any experienced person knows that the greatest of all the world’s imaginable pleasures is to win people’s favor. Obtaining this coveted thing is worth making every effort and worldly concession. This is the magnet to which the finest in every generation are drawn, and for which they trivialize the whole of the worldly life.”

When we respect people who contribute to our solidarity, that contribution will be the new currency. The more people contribute to it, the “wealthier” they will be in the eyes of society, and therefore in their own eyes, as respect becomes the new currency. If we employ this tactic, we will navigate our communities and countries to safety in the stormy water of COVID-19 and beyond.
[267243]