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compassion, collaboration & cooperation iN transistion


Having been encouraged as a left-handed dyslexic • by both my parents

and maternal grandparents, but particularly my mother • that I was actually,

with my own specific mindset of skills and capabilities, no different from

anyone else and should therefore accordingly treat everybody with the

respect that they were due • I was from an early age equally enamoured

with the various specific mindset of skills and capabilities, of both the

female and male members of our species; to the extent that it [BE]came

increasingly apparent to me, once I had left Grammar School, that women

had to work much harder than men, to be accepted in the workplace on

equal terms with men, despite the revolution that had taken place in the

workplace during WWII, as a result of men going off to fight the war.

the course of my career, I [BE]came increasingly frustrated by the

supposed success of women in LIFE, who had gained that accolade by

virtue of their acceptance of the OLD ORDER patriarchal mindset, rather than

taking up the challenge of initiating a NEW ORDER mindset based on the two

active principles of YIN & YANG. A juxtaposition exemplified today, by the

mindset of the likes of Hilary Clinton, Angela Merkel and Dalia Grybauskaitė

vis-à-vis Theresa May, Hilda Heine and dare I say Marine Le Pen.

So in the context of ALL that I have said in cyberspace so far, just consider

the fact that Elizabeth Debold's TIME to BE HUMAN article IS quite frankly

ABSOLUTELY SPOT-ON and brilliant in its appraisal of the dilemma that our

species faces today. As she herself says... 

"Likewise, men also need to develop qualities and capacities that have been more traditionally related to women, such as nurturance and caretaking, in order to transform their agency. The agency that has been historically associated with men and masculinity has been radically independent and impenetrable in ways that make interdependence and interrelatedness nearly impossible. Limiting ideas of what makes a man also creates an “over-investment in gender identity that inhibits flexibility and creative exchange between people. It also creates strange ideas of gender freedom—as if freedom from restrictive ideas of masculinity means to adopt traditional notions of femininity.

The divide between the worlds of family and work has created an interior divide between masculinity and femininity. The belief that this polarity expresses the right and true relationship between men and women as opposites IS an enormous barrier to transformation. It is that core belief that keeps too many women invested in relational otherness - wanting to [BE] wanted, needing to be needed, rather than seeking to fulfill one’s desires and destiny as an active agent of change and potential. It is also that core belief that locks too many men into an isolated agency that prohibits real dialogue and deep engagement with others.

Even the popular notion of “balancing” the masculine and feminine in the self still starts from the premise that certain qualities are more appropriate for women or for men. Isn’t creative agency the birthright of any human being? Don’t we want CARE to [BE] a universal quality that we each cultivate in widening circles of empathy and responsibility for others? The capacities and qualities that have been divided between us as feminine and masculine are human qualities that all human beings, female and male, deserve the freedom to cultivate.




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Comment by Michael Grove on December 1, 2016 at 12:10

After the Brexit vote in June, Theresa May was denounced by Remainers for her reticence in saying what would happen to 3.5 million EU workers living in Britain. Would their rights be protected? 

Before proceeding, the UK Prime Minister was justifiably anxious to discover what reciprocal arrangements there would be for the 1.8 million or so Britons living in the EU. However, she recognised this was a crucial matter that could be resolved before the process to leave the EU is triggered and the negotiations begin. Now we know that it is not the UK standing in the way of a deal on this issue BUT a handful of EU countries led by Germany. Mrs May had been hoping to announce an agreement in Brussels next month but this appears to have been stymied by Angela Merkel. This is an ominous development that does not bode well for the talks to come.

Nor does the apparent handing over of these negotiations in their entirety to the European Commission. Mrs Merkel says the 27 other EU nations will take a common position and it will be for officials in Brussels to do the deal. This is clearly designed to forestall attempts  by the UK to divide the bloc. However, the danger is that it will institutionalise the process in a way that will make flexibility and compromise hard to achieve.

The UK had been hoping to see a “down to earthpragmatic approach of the sort championed by the Polish prime minister     on her visit to London this week. That is unlikely from the Commission for whom preserving the integrity of the EU project          is all that matters. A discrete deal on reciprocal worker rights would show goodwill on all sides, and every effort must be made to keep it alive.

Comment by Michael Grove on December 1, 2016 at 22:22

We hope, as I believe the rest of the EU hopes, that Britain’s new relationship to the EU will be as close as possible, and based on the principles of proportionality and balance of rights and obligations. Whether we manage to complete this arduous task of bringing negotiations to a satisfying result will depend solely on our imagination and leadership. We need a good compromise which gives both our countries the best possible options for economic and security cooperation. Poland will be a constructive partner in this process, as we have been in the past – but the initiative for determining British ambitions and expectations as to the future level of cooperation with the EU has to come from London. In the referendum, the British people expressed their will to regain full control over their political life, and so Brexit is inevitably about their readiness to propose and effect a new arrangement for their relations with the EU.

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