Monday, October 31, 2016

What is Peerly Human?

Peerly Human reflects the search for a unifying, hope-based, practical approach to individual and social well-being. It seeks to understand and address the most difficult social and cultural challenges of our day. In the face of widespread demoralization, apathy, cynicism, othering, social exclusion, labeling, blaming and the difficult societal dynamics that perpetuate this, Peerly Human returns our focus to the common sense wisdom that inspired the Universal Declaration of Human Rights nearly seven decades ago:

  • Fundamentally, as human beings we are more alike than different. 
  • There are certain basic needs we all share as human beings. 
  • We all need the same basic things to live and be well.
  • Without things like safety, shelter, food, respect, dignity, fairness, the means to make a living and support a family, no one feels well.

When it comes to basic needs like these, the personal and social effects of fear and want are devastating.  Few of us manage to live well, do well or be well in the face of such challenges.

This is more than an individual problem. It affects all of us.  When individuals, families and communities can’t access what everyone needs to live and be well, our relationships with each other suffer. The urgency and desperation created by fear and want, bring out the worst in human nature. This is a recipe for reactivity, jealousy, self-protection and self-interest. 

 When this kind of deprivation persists, such attitudes and actions become routine and pervasive. They infest the entire social fabric. We lose confidence in each other and in the larger social structure of which we are a part.

You can see this dynamic being played out in communities and towns around the world. Here is an important case in point. Some of the most despised social groups of our time include 'the mentally ill', 'addicts', 'criminals' and 'the homeless.' Yet, across these same demographics, there is a single common denominator. Both Government and industry studies indicate that roughly ninety (90!) percent of those so labeled are survivors of adverse childhood experiences. As children, far too many of us were trying to grow up, cope and survive without reliable access to the basic things that everyone needs to live and be well. The outcomes - both short and long-term - speak for themselves.

Peerly Human acknowledges this important truth. We offer a simple, straightforward remedy. Instead of pathologizing, labeling, or condemning, we seek to understand how each of us got where we are. We look at the basic human needs and concerns that everyone has. We ask ourselves whether these things feel safe and secure now, whether they always have, and how that has affected our lives. We seek to transform the quality of our own lives - and to protect the life of the communities we live in. We do this by supporting each other to listen deeply, to learn from the wisdom of our own experience and to access the basic things that everyone, everywhere needs in order to live and be well.

We each do this in our own way and according to our own conscience. We seek to understand and respect both our own needs and those of others. We ask for what we need. We offer what we can. To the best our our ability, we participate in ensuring that everyone, everywhere can access the same important resources and opportunities we want for ourselves. In this way, we raise not only our own standard of living, we also to contribute to the quality of life for our families, communities and the world we live in.

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