This weblog features the Global Integration Updates from Member Care Associates. The Updates provide materials to support colleagues in different sectors as they connect and contribute on behalf of the major issues in our world. Feel free to add comments and resources in the "Comments" section located at the end of each of the Updates.
Global Integration Update -- August 2017 Common Ground for the Common Good Everyday Global Heroes Moral Lives Matter
Image: Escher's Circle Limit IV
Doing good is the greatest treasure. Better than gold, better than pleasure. Sem Tob, Spain, 14th century
Overview In this Update we summon our colleagues across the globe to live heroically. We feature resources that encourage our heroic action as “everyday heroes” who are committed to cultivate heroic lifestyles in ourselves and others--out of the spotlight, out of the limelight.
Heroic action is moral action. It acknowledges the good and bad in everyone (as reflected in the above image) and the internal and external challenges to consistently engage in moral, pro-social behavior. One of the main definitions of the heroic includes four core parts: a voluntary action; done for the good of others or on behalf of an ideal; at significant risk to oneself; and not motivated by personal gain (Phil Zimbardo, The Lucifer Effect: Understanding How Good People Turn Evil;2008, p. 466).
Note that what is relevant for the “individual” regarding heroic action is also relevant for groups, organizations, nations, etc. Globalheroes is a term we use in this Update to refer to thinking, acting, and living heroically at the individual-institutional-institutional levels and everything in-between.
We finish with reflections onWorld Humanitarian Day(19 August). Designated by the United Nations, this day focuses on both the aid workers who risk their lives and the millions of people affected by crises around the world. We are inspired by the courage of both humanitarians and the vulnerable people they assist.
Actively integrating our lives with global realities by connecting relationally and contributing relevantly on behalf of human wellbeing and the issues facing humanity, in light of our integrity and core values (e.g., ethical, humanitarian, faith-based).
(the blog includes a translation tool into several languages)
Resources Shining the Light: Everyday Global Heroes Do right when others are doing wrong —or more likely when others are doing nothing.
This above quote (a paraphrase of Zimbardo) is our summary of the two hour symposium on Heroism, given at the American Psychological Association conventionin Washington DC (4 August 2017). The speakers were Phil Zimbardo, Zeno Franco, Scott Allison, Brian Riches, and Harris Friedman. Many of the resources below were gleaned from and inspired by this symposium.
Featured Websites and Resources Heroic Imagination Project (HIP). HIP “develops and implements research, education, corporate and public initiatives to inspire and encourage everyday heroism. [Its mission is to] encourage and empower individuals to take heroic action during crucial moments in their lives. We prepare them to act with integrity, compassion, and moral courage, heightened by an understanding of the power of situational forces. A fundamental HIP goal is that heroic acts and the people who engage in them should be celebrated to a greater extent than they are now. We believe heroism is not an abstract concept, but a continual personal choice. Heroism can be learned, can be taught, can be modeled, and can be a quality of being to which we all should aspire." (excerpt from the HIP website)
What Makes a Hero? Phil Zimbardo, Greater Good Magazine (2011). This link takes you to a summary of some of Zimbardo’s perspectives, research, and videos. “Simply put, then, the key to heroism is a concern for other people in need—a concern to defend a moral cause, knowing there is a personal risk, done without expectation of reward." ClickHEREto watch a related video (9 minutes).
The Banality of Heroism. Phil Zimbardo and Zeno Franco, Greater Good Magazine(2007). “Circumstances can force almost anyone to be a bystander to evil, but they can also bring out our own inner hero….The core of heroism revolves around the individual’s commitment to a noble purpose and the willingness to accept the consequences of fighting for that purpose….Today, it seems as if we are drifting further and further away from maintaining a set of teachings that serve as a litmus test for right and wrong.” (excerpt from article)
Our Definition of Hero. Scott Allison and George Goethals, Heroes: What They Do and Why We Need Them (weblog article, 2015). “If you haven’t read our first heroes book, our definition of a hero is based on our work as social scientists. We’ve asked many hundreds of people to tell us who their heroes are, and from our data it’s pretty clear that heroism is in the eye of the beholder. Preferences for heroes are as varied as people’s taste in music, movies, and paintings. Defining a hero is like defining a good meal at a restaurant. It depends on your values, your personal experiences, and maybe even the stage of life in which you find yourself.” (excerpt from weblog)
More Resources on Heroism
The Psychology of Heroism: Are Heroes Born or Made?Kendra Cherry, verywell(2016). “On January 2, 2007, approximately 75 people waiting at a busy subway station watched as a young man suffered a seizure and then fell from the platform onto the subway tracks. Onlookers watched in horror yet did nothing, but a man named Wesley Autry took action. Handing his two young daughters to a stranger, he leapt down onto the weblog article, acks hoping to have time to drag the man out of the way of an oncoming train. When Autry realized that there was no time to move the other man, he instead held him down between the tracks as a train passed over the top of them. "I don't feel like I did something spectacular; I just saw someone who needed help. I did what I felt was right," he told The New York Times after the incident.” (excerpt from weblog)
The Giraffe Heroes Project—#StickYourNeckOut. “This nonprofit honors Giraffe Heroes—compassionate risk-takers who are largely unknown, people who have the courage to stick their necks out for the common good, in the US and around the world. When we tell their stories over social and traditional media, others are moved to stick their necks out too, helping solve significant public problems important to them. Our books, blogs, curricula, speeches and trainings help them succeed. As long as there are Giraffe Heroes, there's hope. Telling the series of heroes may be the oldest strategy in the world for motivating people into brave, compassionate action—and it works.” (excerpt from website)
The Making of a Hero: Cultivating Empathy, Altruism, and Heroic Imagination.Ari Kohen, Matt Langdon, and Brian R. Riches. Journal of Humanistic Psychology (May 2017). “Abstract: Heroes are not born; they’re made. This article examines the commonalities in the backgrounds of people who take heroic action on behalf of others to theorize the ways in which our society can encourage citizens to prepare themselves to act heroically. In looking closely at a variety of people who have acted heroically, in a single moment or over time, we argue they have at least four crucial commonalities: They imagined situations where help was needed and considered how they would act; they had an expansive sense of empathy, not simply with those who might be considered “like them” but also those who might be thought of as “other” in some decisive respect; they regularly took action to help people, often in small ways; and they had some experience or skill that made them confident about undertaking the heroic action in question.” Also see the extensive Reference section at the above link. Note that this article must be purchased to access it.
Also Note Devex.Do Good: Do it well. Devex is a “media platform for the global development community…social enterprise working to make the $200 billion aid and development industry do more good for more people…[and] the largest provider of recruiting and business development services for global development.” (excerpt from website)
Peace and Collaborative Development Network(PCDN). The go-to hub for the global social change community. “PCDN is a rapidly growing social enterprise that gathers over 35,500 professionals, organizations and students engaged in social change, peacebuilding, social entrepreneurship, development and related fields. We are a one-stop-shop to inspire, connect, inform and provide the tools and resources to scale social change. In addition, PCDN gives members the tools, resources and jobs to lead successful lives and careers in the social change sector.” (excerpt from website)
Final Thoughts World Humanitarian Day--19 August Remembering ordinary global heroes
We finish with reflections onWorld Humanitarian Day(WHD, 19 August). Designated by the United Nations, this day focuses on aid workers who risk their lives and the millions of people affected by crises around the world. We are inspired by the courage of both humanitarians and the vulnerable people they assist.
”Around the world, conflict is exacting a massive toll on people’s lives. Trapped in wars that are not of their making, millions of civilians are forced to hide or run for their lives. Children are taken out of school, families are displaced from their homes, and communities are torn apart, while the world is not doing enough to stop their suffering. At the same time, health and aid workers – who risk their lives to care for people affected by violence – are increasingly being targeted.
For WHD 2017, humanitarian partners are coming together to reaffirm that civilians caught in conflict are #NotATarget. Through a global online campaign featuring an innovative partnership with Facebook Live, together with events held around the world, we will raise our voices to advocate for those most vulnerable in war zones, and demand that world leaders do everything their power to protect civilians in conflict. This campaign follows on the UN Secretary-General’s report on protection of civilians, which was launched earlier this year. Laying out his ‘path to protection’, the Secretary-General calls for enhanced respect for international humanitarian and human rights law, and protection of civilians, including humanitarian and medical workers as well as civilian infrastructure.” (excerpt from WHD website)
--ClickHEREto watch the one minute overview of this years theme. --ClickHEREto watch the 90 second video message from the UN Secretary-General, António Guterres.
Moral lives matter. Don't let the darkness--internal and external--eclipse your light. Be an everday global hero.
Member Care Associates Inc. (MCA) is a non-profit organisation working internationally from Geneva and the USA. MCA's involvement in Global Integration focuses on the wellbeing and effectiveness of personnel and their organizations in the mission, humanitarian, and development sectors as well as global mental health, all with a view towards supporting sustainable development for all people and the planet. Our services include consultation, training, research, developing resources, and publications.
Actively integrating our lives with global realities by connecting relationally and contributing relevantly on behalf of human wellbeing and the issues facing humanity, in light of our integrity and core values (e.g., ethical, humanitarian, faith-based). *****
TheGI Updates are designed to help shape and support the emerging diversity of global integrators who as learners-practitioners are committed to the "common ground for the common good." The image at the top of the Update (global pearl) is a cover detail form Global Member Care (volume 2): Crossing Sectors for Serving Humanity (2013). William Carey Library.
Disclaimer: The inclusion of the materials in the GI Updates as well as the recommendations and opinions expressed in these materials do not necessarily reflect their endorsement. The responsibility for the interpretation and use of the materials lies with the reader.