Adequate Answers to Big Questions
Adequate Answers to Big Questions

Adequate Answers to Big Questions

Let’s try and answer some of your questions about the Only Us Initiative and try and make a big idea into something a little more digestible, compelling, and actionable.

An invitation to make our world and our collective experiences better by working together to grow up, be thoughtful, and face our fears instead of embracing them. 

Building a world where there is no “them”, there’s only us by:

    • Be thoughtful about things and people that upset or intimidate you. Having hurt feelings doesn’t equate to being harmed. Growth, education, and the best things in life are often only found when we don’t let “being upset” get in the way.
    • Become self-aware of beliefs that are conditioned (and often wrong) versus beliefs that you earned through thought, evaluation, and collaboration--and would easily change with better evidence.
    • Build and create the relationships, classrooms, homes, workplaces, and communities where everyone is learning and enlightened together. Don’t have any expectation that that should already exist.
    • Make everyone around you part of YOUR team. You have the ability and responsibility to create the best things.
    • When there is a “me vs. them”, work relentlessly to turn it into an “us”.

The answer is pretty simple. We're all familiar with toddlers who refuse to eat good foods, cry when strangers talk to them, and are terrified of the dark. If they don't "grow up" and overcome that they are going to lead pretty limited lives and create a lot of havoc. That truth continues into adolescence and adulthood. If we don't keep growing up, we will never have the rich and rewarding life we could, nor will we be as beneficial in our communities as we could be.

Being convinced there's a monster under the bed is the limbic system at work and is the Emotional Center of the brain that works to keep us safe as unthinking babies and children. It's also the part of the brain responsible for irrational fears and insecurities into adulthood  (like a fear of spiders or people with a different skin color) if not conditioned (tuned) correctly.

The prefrontal cortex, Executive Center, develops from age five to around 20 and gives humans the ability to think rationally, solve problem, plan, be creative, have self-awareness, understand new concepts, and interpret emotions.

Guess what system is most often running the show with us? You guessed it the Emotional Center. That's fine if along the way it's being tuned with accurate conditioning (fear of sticking your hand in fire) that is itself rooted in facts and thoughtfulness (there's plenty of evidence of what happens when people stick body parts in fire). It isn't fine if it continues in its own irrational fears or is conditioned with other people's irrational fears (people with that color of skin are dangerous, people that talk like that are intimidating, people that look like that are disgusting, etc.). That poor sucker is going to have limiting life experiences and probably cause others a lot of drama.

The more you and I can employ our Executive Center and develop conclusions and knowledge from facts and understanding, the more we will actually be in control of our lives and shaping them to be rich and meaningful. Why? Because we have more opportunity to thoughtfully create win-win relationships with ALL people that are based on common objectives and collaboration. Our Emotional Center can't do that. All it can do is make you feel really loyal to someone or some group, really fearful of someone or some group, or really hateful towards someone or some group. It needs ZERO facts or evidence to do any of those things. Just the right story, told in the right way.  And, if you get sucked into the wrong conditioned belief, you could be the next one to believe that it is actually a good thing to hurt someone else. So for your own sake and the rest of ours, please turn on and feed your thinking brain. That is what makes you a human and not a trained animal.

In short, don't conclude, CREATE. There really isn't anything in this world that is unchangeable. With that recognition you can then be a catalyst to make changes that improve any situation. When it comes to your relationships with other people and other groups, you will always have the power to create something better. It really just starts with agreeing upon and working from a common set of objectives and then strategizing and experimenting to find the best ways to meet those objectives together. When issues or frustrations arise, as they always do, they can be addressed in the context of the agreed upon objectives.


  • Understand how our emotional system based beliefs are designed to protect us but more often than not make us scared of the wrong things (often other people) and dangerous to them. When amplified within a group, even more dangerous.
  • Recognize that as the Executive Center develops, the ability to think and contemplate is the opportunity we have to reconsider our conditioned beliefs and ultimately take ownership of how we tune the Emotional Center to be helpful and not harmful. That's the essence of growing up.
  • As children, we evaluate situations and work to control situations through emotion. Are people happy or mad is what matters most. Growing up is learning to shift focus and priority to actual objectives and outcomes--not how someone may or may not feel about something. So stop worrying about being in trouble, and start focusing on creating and meeting mutually beneficial objectives.