Our Friendly World with Fawn and Matt
Revolution vs Evolution and the Art of a Coherent Community During Turbulent Times
This episode we focus on Revolution vs Evolution and the Art of A Coherent Community During Turbulent Times and we begin with the etymology of revolution: to turn; to roll back. The definition is really revolt, which originally meant to renounce allegiance, which is really interesting since we're always talking about friendship and community and family; the family that we create, but to renounce allegiance that's revolution.
Revolution is also a change in paradigm.
Evolution is an opening of what was a rolled up and opening of what was rolled up.
We discuss the cause of fear and division. Fawn gives the example of Santa Monica and how the utopia bubble was getting thin, when things became more (here's the four letter word - "busy"), where people began becoming more and more busy, didn't play as often, didn't have happy hour meals as often and began to get quiet in conversation. The family began to dwindle. The free, wild, uncontrollable laughter didn't happen as much. Things felt more and more serious and soon began that new normal.
So what's the lesson here and this tiny bit of time in this tiny bit of community is the basis for our conversation today? How does revolution ignite in a peaceful heart? How can we turn it around? Here at our friendly world, we always say that friendship is the key to what ails our society. It is the key to social economic and racial conflict. Because when we see how supported we are, that we are better, stronger together, as we say, we help each other with all aspects of life, we are wealthy, we are not alone and we value each other.
[00:00:00] Fawn: [00:00:00] Hello, everyone. Hi, again, I'm so excited I picked up this book just a little bit ago. Right. And, um, the way I came across this book was really crazy because I was researching something that has nothing to do with anything, but somehow, I mean, whoa, wait a second.
Matt: [00:00:21] I would say it's kind of central to
Fawn: [00:00:23] everything. Okay. What was happening was I was doing research for something that kind of had something to do with the podcast, but anyway, in a universal roundabout way, I was guided to this book and I got it right away. I'm like, I can't believe that, that title. Okay.
I've actually talked about this book on the last episode we totally got into it. This person is here today. I will introduce him in just a second, but you know, I like to give you nuggets of wisdom.
I'm obsessed with etymology of words and everything and trying to figure out how in the heck did this happen. I looked up revolution and I promised like, [00:01:00] I wouldn't use words like that on this podcast, but here I go. Okay. The etymology of a revolution, I can't even say it it's to turn; to roll back.
Now, remember that turn roll back. The definition is really revolt, which originally meant to renounce allegiance, which is really interesting since we're always talking about friendship and community and family, you know, the family that we create, but to renounce allegiance that's revolution, another meaning is the rotation of a celestial body on its axis
motion of any figure about a center or access. Okay. Like a sudden radical. I know it was just getting too wordy, whatever, whatever a sudden radical or a complete change. Also a change in paradigm. And then I'm like, okay, well what about [00:02:00] evolution, revolution, evolution? And to me , it looks like the same thing to me, evolution and revolution.
Evolution, remember I said revolution. Remember it means turn roll back. It's interesting because I found evolution was an opening of what was a rolled up and opening of what was rolled up. So anyway, this actually brings us to the topic today. I have a nugget of wisdom from Santa Monica and usually our nuggets are pretty happy and pretty uplifting.
And it, at first it may not seem so what this nugget I'm going to give you. Okay. Just bear with me, bear with me because. It was a mentorship. Like I always talk to you guys about the city of Santa Monica was my mentor and it was showing me the path that we were headed on without me knowing it at the time, it was about [00:03:00] learning about true community, true friends, true love for one another and how that manifests a life that is wealthy, rich, healthy in body and spirit, as well as all the strife that we see with racial injustice, all of that, the key is the art of friendship. It seems so trite to say that. And it's been what almost a year now, Matt, we've gone episode after episode giving examples of what that truly is, what the art really is; everything from the art of martial arts, to the art of cuisine, the art of entertaining, the art of being a good host, the art of community, all of that. So let me give you this nugget, but just bear in mind, it may seem harsh, but I'll just give you the story. It was around 2:00 AM and you all know, I lived right across the street from O'Brien's pub in Santa Monica and Matt, this was before he moved into the [00:04:00] neighborhood. It was 2:00 AM. The pub was closing, I heard yelling the voices were kind of familiar. I look out the window and then I lean out and couldn't, you know, I couldn't believe what was happening was really scary and confusing. And I was shocked to see one of our friends out there with a baseball bat and he had so much rage and there was like a whole gang of them and they were our friends.
Right. And they were beating not the windshield, but the back side of the car, you know, the glass, they were just smashing it to bits. And I, why are you laughing? Oh, it was, it was really scary to watch because I, what was normally like this level headed guy that I know, for him to be moved to such rage and violence.
I didn't, I didn't understand it. It was like, it was like, I was watching a movie. It was my heart. [00:05:00] It just hurt, you know, like. I kind of felt like I knew what was going on. Obviously I don't know it was terrible. And then one day I felt that rage myself. And instead of a bat, I had my fist to the hood of a car owned by some ignoramus and a bunch of people in this car.
Now, you know, me, I'm not, we may love martial arts and we have training, but I don't like violence. And I don't, I don't like that kind of behavior. I don't like, you know, I'd much rather walk away, you know what I mean? But I got out of my car and I had such rage and I'm tiny. And there were four people in this car and I didn't care.
The rage just led me there with my fist and I was pounding the hood of the car. And everyone in that car looked scared and they were all bigger than I was. And [00:06:00] so go figure. How, how, how does that happen? You know? Um, so anyway, that same fear and shock I felt about my friend and watching his actions that night, I felt about myself.
I had to check myself right then and there and figure out how and why I allowed such rage to take over me. So over the course of several months, the neighborhood began to experience violence like here and there pockets of it. It was like, it was like a virus hitting and, and infecting more and more people and becoming more destructive and more frightening every time, like every time something happened, it was a higher degree, like a bigger scarier degree, like extreme violence.
In, in a, in a sleepy beach community, you know, like, you know, with
Matt: [00:06:59] a fair [00:07:00] number of bars and a fair number of people came to
Fawn: [00:07:03] visit and yeah. Yeah. But, but still like, we, it was a loving, it was a loving little village. It really was, it was like a little utopia, but that destruction with more and more people like it.
And it just, it started to cause fear and division. The utopia bubble was getting thin. We became more, here's the four letter word "busy", we're becoming more and more busy. Didn't play as often. Didn't have happy hour meals as often began, to get quiet and conversation. The family began to dwindle. The free, wild, uncontrollable laughter we would have, didn't happen as much. Things felt more and more serious and soon began that new normal. And it's funny because that's, when you moved into the [00:08:00] neighborhood, you know, we talked about this last night, cause I was telling you like, Hey, if you don't mind, I'm going to tell you the dark side of what happened in Santa Monica. And you're like, well, I don't, I, I didn't, you didn't see that.
And I explained to you why and why is that? Because you and I started to form our own little bubble. Yeah. And I mean, you still hung out with the friends and the, what we call family in the neighborhood, but I'm telling you before you moved in like months, months, months before it was different.
Matt: [00:08:33] invitations into people's personal spaces were fairly singular for sure.
Fawn: [00:08:37] So what's the lesson here and this tiny bit of time in this tiny bit of community is the basis for our conversation today? How does revolution ignite in a peaceful heart? How can we turn it around? Here at our friendly world
we always say that friendship is the key [00:09:00] to what ails our society. It is the key to social economic and racial conflict. Because when we see how supported we are, that we are better, stronger together, as we say, we help each other with all aspects of life, we are wealthy, we are not alone and we value each other.
So this book that I was telling you about the other day with Maya, we brought up this book, it's called the art of community seven principles for belonging. And the author is Charles Vogel, who is here with us today. Let me just give you a little bit of like teeny, tiny little bio about him.
When I opened his book, I was only 10 pages in and I was screaming at it. I was yelling at the book because I was saying, you know, someone's saying what we've been saying. Here's a scholar who's been, who's saying what we've been saying. And so I, I tracked him down and [00:10:00] he is with us today.
So Charles Vogel, you guys is an advisor speaker, and award winning author. One of which is this book, the art of community. Please friends help me to welcome Charles Vogel, Charles, welcome. Welcome.
Charles: [00:10:24] I'm delighted to be invited.
Fawn: [00:10:26] I want to jump in deep, right? Matt, let's go in deep because friends out there we've talked about this for ages now. You all know, you all know the story, you all know the value of community. Let's really get into the, the, how could I describe this Matt?
The high level stuff. Like I don't, I can't think of a better word for it right now. Let's just get into it deep. Let's go deep and figure things out and let's turn this around because I feel like, like, I, I try not to talk like this, but I feel like we're in a [00:11:00] revolution right now. It's not okay.
Especially it's around the world, but it's, I'm, I'm especially feeling it in the United States and I've always told
Matt: [00:11:09] you. Well, we're, we're seeing unrest in Cuba. We're seeing unrest in South Africa. We're seeing, you know, we're seeing a lot of very challenging. I want to, I want to be this way. You want to be that way, but for some reason it's not okay.
Fawn: [00:11:25] Well, it was never okay. It was never okay. And if you're not gonna listen to me and if you're not going to hear me, if you're not going to understand me, well, then we're going to have a problem. Remember our friend would say, there's, we're going to have a problem, a misunderstanding. Um, Charles, I had a friend who would say, well, we're about to have a misunderstanding, which meant a full-out brawl, like a fight.
But, so I feel like there's been a huge misunderstanding. And if, feel like we can turn it around. So Charles help us out. Hello.
[00:12:00] Charles: [00:11:59] Hello? Yeah. We're just
Matt: [00:12:00] going to dump that right on your plate.
Fawn: [00:12:03] No, it's a conversation. This is not an interview type of podcast, Charles. We're just, uh, welcome to our kitchen table.
First of all, we're just going to have a conversation, figure this out right now.
Matt: [00:12:15] Well, can we talk about how, why you ended up with this bump Vista with your fist on somebody's, uh, hood?
Fawn: [00:12:22] Do I have
Matt: [00:12:22] to, mm, but it, it might afford to give us some context as far as like why that moment or what that was.
Fawn: [00:12:31] I feel like I, it was mass consciousness thing happening because it wasn't just this, this thing that happened in front of me that angered me, I was picking up on mass consciousness.
I was picking up on the whole vibe of unrest that was building in everyone's hearts. I'm very intuitive. I'm very, what's the word I'm gonna. An extreme empath. So I was picking it up and, [00:13:00] and I noticed other people, other friends were also picking it up. But what happened was, I mean, he was so ridiculous, but parking in our, in our little place in Santa Monica was horrible.
So, you know, God forbid you had to go to the bathroom because it may take you two hours to find a parking spot to go home. And so I knew this person was pulling out of this parking spot. I was waiting, my signal was on. I was waiting. This, this guy was taking forever to pull out. As soon as he slowly pulls out this car who obviously saw me, saw my signal, totally looked at me right in the eyes and just stole the parking spot.
So I got out of my car and I'm sorry, I, I, I'm very ashamed of my behavior, but I'm just letting you know someone as peaceful. As I sound so egotistical, but I'm just saying it can, enrage can take over anyone. Okay. And it can [00:14:00] come from anywhere. And so there, I hope that answers your question. Now. I sound like a terrible, horrible human being, but I mean, I'm human.
Matt: [00:14:09] So we get to, we get to describe it as certainly the, one of the aspects that encompasses your rage was certainly this thought of scarcity, you know? And, and we see a lot of that justice, injustice, scarcity, and injustice, as soon as you have something that everybody wants, but only a few people can get it.
Those people who get it feel special, those people who don't get it feel abused or neglected or. Pushed down.
Fawn: [00:14:40] I mean, yeah. I mean, we, we always talk about stuff like this, but the, the whole main idea that I want to get out today is this idea of revolution where in this peaceful society, it, it, this rage can ignite in a peaceful heart and it can take over your [00:15:00] best senses.
All right. How can we move that around? Because what it does, what I noticed it did was it divided us all right. Here was a community where we played together. We rollerbladed together. And there was no age-ism. There was no sexism, no racism. I mean, you know, I always talk about our tattoos. We had beautiful, like Maori tattoos, all the way that range to the range of we had Auschwitz Auschwitz.
Numbers on our, on our arms. Do you know what I mean? That was the whole encompassing neighborhood. We were all family and we were all together. And that kind of fear that sets into a society that kind of rage and anger can take over so quickly, like a wildfire. How can we stop that? How can we turn it around and evolve instead of really going [00:16:00] out into full blown war?
How can we remember, guys, we're still here to play. We're still here. We can break bread together. We can still, we can still be a community that is thriving and loving. How can we stop this rage? Charles, have I gone way off topic? You're quiet.
Charles: [00:16:22] I don't know how to contribute to this conversation. This is your memory and your thoughts.
You know, things that I'm not connected with.
Fawn: [00:16:32] Yesterday we were talking about the country possibly going into a state of revolution. Right. And that's what sparked my memory of this that happened in Santa Monica. How can we have community when the whole world seems to be on fire?
We always talk about when people feel like they don't have the capacity to be friends with someone [00:17:00] because they're always in survival mode in a community. When you feel like you're always in survival mode, it's not a time to really open your arms up and be giving
and contributing to a community, contributing to someone else and being there for someone else, because you feel like you're fighting for your life, whether it's because of money, you have to work these jobs, or maybe there's a health issue that you feel like, wow, I'm all alone in this. There's no one, no one here with me when all these things happen, I feel like there's no sense of community anymore because there is that false feeling that we don't have community anymore, that we're in it by ourselves.
And that can lead to rage when we feel like we're just by ourselves.
Charles: [00:17:54] Well, I mean, there's a lot of layers there that you're referencing. Um, if [00:18:00] we go. Yeah, to the highest altitude. You know, my thoughts on what you're describing is, um, part of that rage was you had a sense that nobody was taking care of you in that particular, very specific incident with the car. And I'm certain that if context is king, so I don't know what the context was in your experience.
When someone stole a parking spot from you. I think there are many contexts. There are almost certainly many contexts in which someone's stealing a parking spot from you would not send you into rage, but the context here was about only was there not enough, but it was really disrupting your lifestyle.
You couldn't even come home and find a parking spot, anything that looked timely. And there was also a sense that there was nobody to take care of you, that when someone does steal those parking spot and now you're left for two hours search for another one. There's no, one's going to make sure you get what you need in this case, where to get home.
And if we. Recognize that as a microcosm, what's going on, at least in this country and large in the larger world as well. But I live in this [00:19:00] country, the United States, uh, we're in a place where the wealth disparity is so great that it's true. Um, leadership be it corporate or government, uh, is not taking care of the bottom 80% of America. When I say 80%, because before the pandemic, we know that 80% of America lived paycheck to paycheck or said differently. Uh, 80% of America is shockingly close to homelessness, right? One diagnosis, maybe one car accident, um, when job change and boom, um, families would have no home. My understanding is before the pandemic, um, over 10 million children in America, uh, had subsidized meals at school.
And that was before the economy was hit with a global pandemic, uh, not 1 million, not 2 million, but over 10 million children. That's my understanding. Uh, we are right. We are in a culture that's extensively the richest in the history of all people who have ever had wealth. And [00:20:00] at least 80% of us are not getting what we need to have quite frankly, sanity.
Well, I don't know very much about revolution. I do know that there have been revolutions where enough people didn't get enough that they said enough of this and they restructured the system. And you know, one of those is China in the mid 20th century, of course famously the French revolution.
Uh, and I'm certain their history as you can go on and on and on. Uh, one of things I'm concerned about is my understanding is the majority of the workforce right now is millennial millennial. And if I understand what I'm reading, uh, millennials control 5% of the wealth and the country as the majority of the workforce.
I don't know at what point there is something that could be called revolution, um, how physically violent it is is yet to be seen. But I don't, it's somewhere between [00:21:00] 5% and zero. Right? Right. Yeah. For the majority of our workforce has nothing to lose. They have zero clearly they're going to throw off the minority.
So the question is, at what point does that happen? What's the tipping point between five and zero. Is it 2%, is it 1%? Cause whatever it is, that's where the trend is going. And I worry about that because I live in this country and my son is hopefully gonna live this country a lot longer. And it looks like within our lifetimes, if this trend continues, we're going to see something that I think will be called revolution in the rear view mirror,
stemming from the fact that we're not taking care of each other or providing a structure, others can take care. I don't believe 80% of the country's lazy. And I don't believe any of the country. 80% of this country is so stupid. They can't create a, a life where they can save up money at the end of the month.
I just don't believe that's true. I think it's because we've [00:22:00] created a structure or that's where we're at.
Fawn: [00:22:03] I think we're all on the hardest working countries. I mean, we don't even take vacations. It's rare. You have to be of a social cer certain social class to actually get the vacation and actually go on vacation.
But like people work two, three jobs. Remember Matt, when we lived in port Townsend, everybody, everybody had two, three jobs working constantly. We are not lazy. This country is a hardworking country. This country is very embracing and so willing to step in and donate and
Matt: [00:22:38] help. Yes. And super innovative too.
So you would think that there would be more, there is more wealth to be spread around. It's just not
Fawn: [00:22:45] being spread. So what is going on? What is, what is going on? I was, I was listening a few, a couple months ago. I don't remember his name. He's a billionaire, but he was saying, look, I made a list for myself and [00:23:00] I thought to myself, should I ever be homeless, I'm going to make a list. And I'm going to ask everyone on this lists, hey, can I stay on your couch for a week? And so he found just enough people to put on his list where he could live a year without being out on the street. I'm saying if we can remember to come together, if we have that support, that fear
being homeless or that fear of I'm by myself, is eradicated. And then you have enough energy to focus on making life better. If, I mean, it's pretty simple, right? You can, you can, I'm willing to have any friend come stay with us,
Matt: [00:23:47] right? Yeah. Me too.
Fawn: [00:23:48] Have like a friendship Airbnb. Right. I just feel like, what do you think Charles is happening within our community as a whole in society where [00:24:00] we've made that disconnect?
How did that happen?
Charles: [00:24:05] Well, this goes really deep. So if you read and expert experts who write stuff, and I guess I'm one of those experts, they'll largely talk about three trends since mid 20th century. Uh, one is Americans are moving more than ever before. I believe it's an average of roughly five times. And whenever we do that, we're largely moving out of places where we have relationships that are supportive and we're restarting again, nothing wrong with that.
But you do that five times over your adult life hood and well, you're separating yourself from a lot of people from relationships that could've grown to be more supportive. The second one is Americans have largely and are largely leaving their home faith traditions. And fortunately, they're doing this often for really good reasons.
What it also means is that Americans are not, uh, convening weekly or regularly, uh, among communities and committing the rituals [00:25:00] that brought people together around shared values and purpose for generations, and that's just not happening. And then of course the big elephant is social media. Uh, we're spending golly dozens and dozens of hours in social media a week.
And the research is pretty clear. There's correlation between time on social media and happiness. And social media is really, really good about connecting us with lots of people who don't care about us. It's really lousy about helping us develop rich, vulnerable, supportive relationships with people who deeply care about us.
Right. Except words. But that's the trouble.
Fawn: [00:25:37] Wait, I'm sorry. You both talked to the same time. Sorry.
Matt: [00:25:39] I w I, I just said, I think the key thing there is vulnerable relationships.
Charles: [00:25:44] Yeah. The term that I coined in my book building brand communities.
I wrote that with Carrie Melissa Jones, we coined a term called avataring. And avataring is when we present the version of ourselves that we think other people [00:26:00] want to see, and there's nothing wrong with that. Uh, we avatar all the time and people who are multicultural often know that we're switching back and forth from one culture to another, just to make that a comfortable trip.
Fawn: [00:26:11] Is that kind of like code switching?
Charles: [00:26:13] I think code switching could be, um, describes the type of avatar, but I don't, I don't know enough about that so I can speak with authority of, so it's not fundamentally bad. The problem with that is that's not, when we're advertising, we're not presenting a version of ourselves that we think is truly authentic and we don't believe people truly understand us.
And we choose when and where to be more vulnerable, to be more honest and authentic, to show a shared identity, we may largely hide. So when we're spending our time in a place, be that social media space where we're almost exclusively avatar ING, we're not having that experience where people see us for who we truly are.
Right. And, and we're on the other, the flip side. [00:27:00] We're also not seeing other people that way. So those are the big three, but I think it goes even deeper than that. Those three trends cannot be ignored, but certainly that's not the whole thing. I think a bigger story is we're living in what I understand is called a liberal culture.
And I mean that literally not colloquially. What I mean by that is we live in a culture or each person, um, feels a need or in fact has the need to establish our unique identity and prove our value in our culture. Let me say it a little bit differently. When we show up in this culture, we largely can't name.
We largely cannot depend on the name of our parents on the class we were born into, uh, to the land that we were given to give us an identity and establish our value. And in many ways, for obvious reasons, that's really good, right? That's how we have [00:28:00] even the potential, even though it may be an illusion, those country, there's the potential of transcending class because the name of my parents is not going to determine my identity in this culture and my value. The flip side of that is if we all show up or let's just say the vast majority of us show up and we have to determine our identity, since I can't depend on my father's name to give that to me. And I have to prove my value. Now I'm spending much of my life establishing my identity and proving my value.
And I'm doing that with a bunch of other people who are doing the same thing and what that can distract us from, or rather set differently, give us enough discomfort so that we can't attend to just knowing we're connected, just knowing we belong, just being in community because we're proving ourselves.
And let me be really clear. I participated in this [00:29:00] wasn't a hundred percent full boar, uh, for decades myself. And that's why there's a lot of empathy. And it's taken me until, you know, pretty far into my adulthood to understand, whoa, maybe I can back off of that.
Fawn: [00:29:17] I'm confused. I'm confused. What, what is it that you're doing, Charles?
Are you going spending a
Charles: [00:29:23] lot of time establishing identity and proving my value in this culture?
Fawn: [00:29:29] I see a lot of it, aside from the heritage, aside from the family name, is that what you were saying? Like
Matt: [00:29:37] starting again? Don't just exactly. You start from scratch and it, it, it can be even worse
Fawn: [00:29:43] and we've had to,
Matt: [00:29:43] now. It can be even worse. I mean, you know, Charles gets to say, yes, here's the books I wrote. Bam, go figure it out. Uh, for, for, you know, someone like, let's say me, you know, every time I start a new job, it's the same story. It's like, okay, it's the first week I [00:30:00] got to get a nice, solid base hit.
Okay. Within the first three months I got to go hit a home run. Just to establish the fact that I'm not an idiot.
Fawn: [00:30:09] And then someone like me who is like, look, this is me, this is my photography. Look, this is my life's work. And then, you know, getting questions like, well, what, what are your successful, uh, major accomplishments?
I'm like, well, this is my book. This is my portfolio. This is what, these are the projects I did. But to me, it comes to money and I want to like, not live on a planet anymore because I feel like my value is zip zero because I'm not financially successful. I'm not the big name. I don't have a name. Nobody knows me aside from thank you friends who support us on this podcast, but also I want to talk about this, remember like
prime example, we were watching, Padma. Padma the show on cuisine around the world and really getting into the immigrants and [00:31:00] where this particular dish comes from, where the hot dog comes from, where the French fries come from. And getting into wow. Before it was a world war one was a world war one where the Germans in Wisconsin was a world one or two, one or two.
That's a good, I think it was before world war II, the, all the Germans had to completely erase who they were. And I'm like, wow, that must be nice because they can blend in. They're white, but, but they had to erase everything. And then I also think of your mother, Matt, who is so offended, should I ever bring up her heritage?
She's totally Caucasian. She is what was the religion Lutheran? Totally Lutheran and whatever. But like, she's like, she's so proud of the fact that she doesn't know anything about her heritage. Like it's erased and she's proud of that. And I'm like, [00:32:00] ouch, because I feel like in our society here, people try to erase me all the time and I'm like, please don't erase me.
Don't erase my color. Don't erase my culture. You know what I mean? So it's this thing where you can't depend on elders anymore because they've had to erase things for, for good reason. They sometimes, you know, for good reason. Yeah. And, but I don't know. I just feel like that's part of the big problem of this identity that we're talking about.
It's so it's so complicated and it's so painful. I had to erase my background, not because I disliked my background, but I came from a crazy family. They were, they were horrible. They were very hurtful and toxic. So to start a new family, We had to have a pure circle, you know, like a circle of trust, a circle of health.
So I feel like there are all these different facets and these [00:33:00] different examples in our society and everybody's out on their own. So to form a community, to form anything, I mean, let's say, okay, there was a ritual of going to church. Well, the churches are breaking apart. The churches, everything is, seems to be everything seems that it's just falling apart, getting torn down for good reason in some
Matt: [00:33:24] cases.
Exactly. But I think we hyper-focus on those quote unquote good reasons. Um, you know, molestation inside the Catholic church. And just the fact that let's say the masons are just out of touch and they're all just getting old and, and on
Fawn: [00:33:39] and on and on telling someone they're going to go to hell because they are gay.
You know what that's kind of a problem. Yeah. So how can we, how can we turn this thing around? Because it just feels like there's one conflict after another and to have community, it feels like, wow, is the community going to have a precise [00:34:00] one inner circle? And they're going to have all these different circles and can all the circles, what's the, what's it called?
I always mispronounce it. Can we have a Venn diagram then, or Venn Venn diagram where we all have that all the circles coming together, all the inner circles coming together. And I know one of the things I'm intrigued by, um, in your book, Charles, is how you talk about inner circles.
Matt: [00:34:26] Let's just try and tackle the, you know, what's going on with community.
The first step is recognizing there's a problem. And I think, citing reason, number three, you pointed out Charles was social media. I think social media gives us that not quite healthy boost of I belong and I can feed off of that for a long time, but it's almost like I'm feeding on my own muscle.
It's it's not like I really belong, but I feel that way. And I'm constantly being like, oh, that's interesting, like scrolling through [00:35:00] Pinterest. You're like, oh wow, that's really pretty. And I get that endorphin rush and I want to stay there, which keeps me from actually getting out there and maybe entering into an uncomfortable, you know, maybe
Fawn: [00:35:12] a quote unquote real conversation, never ending scroll.
Matt: [00:35:15] It's the never ending scroll. It's the seeing everybody's perfect life on Facebook. It's the,
Fawn: [00:35:20] but that's that also happens with conversation. You meet, you see someone you're like, hi, how are you? How are you? I'm fine. How are you? It's totally. Um, it's
Matt: [00:35:31] pleasantries and
Fawn: [00:35:32] sacker empty. It's empty it's not even sacran. It's just empty words because people aren't paying attention.
They don't really care how you are. But if you care first, if you invite, if you have that invitation of truly having an honest question or an honest, offering like, wow, you know, you don't have to dump your entire horribleness that you may be going through on [00:36:00] the person, but you can say, hi, it's really good to see you.
Wow. I've had a day. Let me tell you, do you know what I mean? You don't have to get into the specifics, but you can just be honest. I think of people on social media, like women showing their fat rolls after birth, you know what I mean? There are people who are real on, there are communities I used to be so set against social media, but I can tell you since the pandemic, I am very grateful for it.
I never thought never, ever thought that I would like social media, but because of the tool of social media, because I don't, I don't, I don't handle BS. I I'm, I go straight. I hone in for the truth. I have found true life, best friends scattered around the globe,
Matt: [00:36:53] but these are people who
Fawn: [00:36:54] are, and we see each other every, every week, twice a week.
[00:37:00] Whatever there's eye contact. I know what's going on.
Matt: [00:37:03] And, but they also tell you about their missteps. They tell you vulnerable because
Fawn: [00:37:08] I was vulnerable first. Do you know what I mean? I don't care. There's
Matt: [00:37:12] half the key, you know, I, I still remember. I don't remember who wrote it, but they, they were talking about a one path through in business is to, when you make a business contact, you ask them for a really small trivial favor.
And as soon as that happens, you know, you've basically acknowledged you're vulnerable or their superior if with this one tiny little thing or whatever, but that makes them way more likely to come to you for a favor as well. Back
Charles: [00:37:39] on that, oh, here
Matt: [00:37:40] he goes.
Charles: [00:37:44] That's entirely possible that by asking someone a favor, what you're showing is their dominant and we're vulnerable, and that is classic manipulation.
That's Sensu right? Yes, it absolutely is. I don't believe that that's how most [00:38:00] people I meet want to relate to people. Um, I think that what's going on most of the time is most people want to contribute to most people wherever they go or said differently. Most people want to mostly contribute to most people most everywhere they go.
And we don't know where and how to do that. Or if we have permission to do that, in fact, I'm afraid to even approach, uh, houses when I'm out walking to move a package and hide it for fear that a security camera that will assume I'm there to steal the package instead of secure it. So, you know, I do, I don't secure those packages, right.
We'll hide a plant over there, honey, because I don't want to be accused of anything. That's how ridiculous our culture is on not giving me an opportunity to help when I see an opportunity to help. Right. When we ask someone for a favor and let's just assume that it's a favor, that's actually helpful. We are giving [00:39:00] someone an opportunity to share
what's already inside what we call internal motivation or self determinism to be a contribution. We want to be around people where we have an opportunity to express that. And that request is telling someone here's a relationship
I'm willing to offer your relationship, that you're seeking, that our culture is largely keeping away from you because we've largely commoditized our relationship to one another.
And I get really upset when I hear people come up with new ways to manipulate others in relationships. Um, really training us all to be scam artists just at a mild enough level that we won't get burned. Right? No. Cause my work is about how do we connect people authenticly. And, uh, not quite every day, I'm contacted by somebody who largely wants to manipulate people.
And, uh, they recognize that our culture is desperate for connection [00:40:00] and community. And so they find me, but all they really want to do is manipulate people. They want more views clicks. Log-ons posts pick one.
Fawn: [00:40:08] So how, how do you, how do you keep that from happening Charles?
Charles: [00:40:13] I cannot, uh, you know, we're in a time where, uh, this is going to sound terrible.
Marketers have, or many people say this many, many, many, many marketers have accurately figured out that we're desperate for connection and community. And so they use the term community and connection to what they've done for generations, which is extract. Now the extraction, as I said, is clicks log-ons posts, views, eyeballs, uh, comments.
But it's still extraction. They want something from me that benefits their brand and their they'd like to do it with that, with that, with as little output from them and said differently with as little contribution to me [00:41:00] as they can arrange, I'll give you my favorite example of how pure this has gotten in our culture. My friend of mine, friend of mine sent me an article about how a venture capital firm had created a video celebrating how one of their investment companies was using community for success and I'm a community expert.
So he sent it to me to show me, look, Charles, the world is finally caught up with what you're talking about. So I clicked on this video and it was this young tech CEO of a gaming company. Celebrating how they had a very successful launch of their game. And one of the things they did is they had a beta version of the game online that people could play.
And then they created a contest for those players at the beta version to have the best clip of them playing this game and to submit it to the company and the company would choose however many would win and they would get highlighted. And then there was an award for sending in a winning clip. [00:42:00] Then weeks later, when the company launched the game, they knew there were all these beta users who had clips of the game already cut because they'd submitted for the competition and they encouraged them to post them on the launch date.
And so the internet was filled with clips of this beta game on the launch day and the way they framed that was we turned the community and encourage the community to help us with the launch. Well in my work, if I did, I know you're a fan of my work. I define community as a group of people who share mutual concern for one another,
Fawn: [00:42:38] which is different from a group,
Charles: [00:42:40] right?
Well, me playing a video game, that's brand new and taking a clip and submitting it, doesn't connect me with anybody else. It doesn't generate a relationship of mutual concern. It doesn't commit me to helping other people's welfare. I'm a customer. In this case, the beta customer posting a clip is not a commitment to community.
It's [00:43:00] posting a clip in any other generation, this would be called beta customers, you know, posting a clip online, but because of this era, the way it's articulated to the public, to their investors, to the investors, there's case, the venture capital's firm, um, celebrating this, it's called a community supporting a launch.
It's all B S and the problem with this is this is stealing our language of what we actually need. We actually had a community, we actually needed a relationship. We actually had people who look out for one another. We actually need people to support one another. When they take a risk and launch something new.
When marketers steal that language from us, what are we left with? Because my work is not about how to manipulate video game players, to post a clip, to help some firm make money on a launch. I'm not against it, but that's not what community is.
Fawn: [00:43:58] Can I say what? I [00:44:00] think we are left with action. I mean, it's what you and I Matt. We were talking about years ago is just bringing, just not paying attention to any of that, you know, shutting everything down and actually going out, arm-in-arm having a coffee. And creating things together and not paying attention to all these words that people have hijacked, like even the word love, I think that we can just turn our backs on it, but I guess boycott all of that.
And getting down to the very basic basic of life, which is being quiet at first, bringing a meal together somehow together like stone soup. I have a pot, someone has water, someone has a carrot, someone has an onion and we all [00:45:00] bring that in together and not worry about the external marketing speak or the industry out there.
I just see it on so many levels. On a social level. I see it on an environmental level. Like, you know, I feel like it's the, it's all these companies that are destroying the planet. I can do everything in my power. We're vegan. We, we have very little foot imprint on the planet, but our, our little beings here, what influence do we truly have when these huge corporations take over everything?
And they're making a huge mess, how can I clean that up? But if, if we just turn our backs on everything, which would, I guess, be a revolution of its kind, it wouldn't be good. It would be a total upheaval. I don't know how it would work because we're, so everything is so intertwined [00:46:00] that you can't disconnect is the problem probably.
Right. But how can we start? How can we,
Charles: [00:46:07] we're doing it now? We're naming. We're naming the problem and we're putting language to it. And you know, I'm looking forward to the day where marketers are embarrassed for stealing the language of connection community to Hawk, something we're not there. Maybe it's a pipe dream that we'll ever get there, but I'm looking forward.
Uh, you know, what's come to mind is no Pepsi was embarrassed when they made that ad that was tone deaf about the protest, the United States last year about racial inequality. Somebody got embarrassed because we could see boldly that they were just, co-opting something that's really important for our culture to hock sugar water.
And maybe if you and I and other broadcasters called this out, um, marketers will start becoming [00:47:00] embarrassed for stealing this language to hawk something. My example of video games.
Fawn: [00:47:04] Yeah. I mean, we can take it back to the school yard. If enough of us get together in a circle and start laughing at the bully or laughing at, you know, that it makes it stop.
Like we're going to do our own thing. You are ridiculous over here. Do you know what I mean? Absolutely. But it's about coming together. I mean, that's, it, it's as simple as that, but it's really hard to get through all the noise,
Charles: [00:47:33] push back on that Fawn. I don't think it's as simple as that.
I think we're fighting many, many trends that make it really difficult, which is why we're more lonely than ever before. And when we make it sound simple, when you say that, what I think is it, it dishonors the struggle that everybody alive in our culture is facing that has gotten us here. You know, we're at a time where our relationships are largely commodified.
Uh, you know, [00:48:00] it's a very simple, maybe even a tried example. It used to be when you had to take an airplane flight, you had to find a friend to give you a ride, right. Or it was this whole logistic expensive thing to figure out where to park. And now it's literally a, a button, right? Is that bad? No.
Obviously finding rides quickly is not bad. It is evidence of a commodification of our culture. That is the context of our relationships. Right. And you know, that you want to be the person who helps friends get to the airport when they're visiting her parents. And there's a two hour hoopla about finding parking and paying for it and then getting from the parking lot to you want to be that friend, right.
So, you know, that's going on. Another one is the wealth disparity also means, as you mentioned, people are just in survival mode, they're busy. And if you're busy, you don't have time to just have that coffee. Just have that beer, just go walk. Kids get hungry. My understanding is millions of kids are hungry every day in [00:49:00] this country.
Uh, those parents don't have time to just have coffee. I wish they would. And if they did, we'd be better. You know, another problem.
Fawn: [00:49:11] Can I interject, please? Don't lose that thought. Please keep your thought. But it is simple because if we for, okay, so this goes, so, all right, so I'm an architectural photographer.
And one of the things that really gets me is how our structures are there structuring our lives. Every structure I look at all the buildings that are created, even a simple park bench. Everything is situated so it's separate from everyone. So we don't talk. I'm six inches away from so many neighbors.
Each wall has a different neighbor, six inches. How deep is a wall, right? Six inches probably. But. Don't know each other. They don't want to know me. I'm like, [00:50:00] Hey. And they ignore me. Not all of them, but if we were to come together, if we all actually live together, because we do live together, there was a six inch little curtain basically, but we live together so we can have that coffee, but we don't.
Charles: [00:50:17] So you're, you're not wrong. And that you're physically apart by six inches,
Fawn: [00:50:22] but
Charles: [00:50:23] the misunderstanding goes or rather the, the limited understanding is the physical world is only one aspect of our experience. There's also the linguistic. There's the cultural, there's the economic, the legal, uh, there are people I'm afraid to talk to because I think within minutes and start yelling at me if I say what I want to say, um, uh, I'll give you an example. Um, I go to my wife's family is in Dallas. I'm literally a coastal author who works with, uh, tech companies [00:51:00] who goes to yoga four times a week. When I first started visiting my wife's family in Texas, she told me, don't tell anybody what you think, what you do or what you believe now.
I don't think that was good advice because that was a perfect recipe for people to not like me and think that I'm standoffish and never understand me and never have a relationship with me. Fair enough. But note, there was something in the air in the, we'll just say the culture that made her say to her boyfriend, don't tell people what you think, what you believe or what you do.
Other than that have a good time. Now, now fair enough. That is an extreme example, but note, that's real. And there wasn't even a six inch wall between me and my now in-laws when I met them. Okay. So let us be, lets us honor all of the planes of reality that are influencing us when we see people are so desperately lonely, our surgeon [00:52:00] general, honest to God wrote a whole book about it.
Yes. Our surgeon general, right? Yes. Is writing about this because it's such a crisis. Can we, can we, is that when someone says all we have to do, it's just really a matter of read this paragraph, apply it to your life. And this thing that surgeon general Murthy wrote a whole book about this is all going to become irrelevant.
Well, BS, we've gotten here by creating a complicated mess and it was easy to resolve. It would be resolved already, and it's a mess and it's expensive. It's literally painful. And in many, many, many, many cases it's killing us. Yeah. I mean, I'll tell you when I talked to military leaders who reach out to me, they don't reach out to me because what they really want is for soldiers to hug more.
Fawn: [00:52:48] Yeah. What I wanted to ask you about that? What is that? W how do you work with the U S army? What do they want, what are they, what are they looking for?
[00:53:00] Charles: [00:53:00] I have to speak in the most general terms. Of course. Uh, not because anything that I'm doing is secret, but conversations are shared with me that are not meant to be, of course broadly.
Fawn: [00:53:10] I honor that.
Charles: [00:53:11] So I can see in those general terms, they're very senior people in the military. I don't even know where to begin.
I didn't know. We're gonna ask about this. I didn't prepare my thoughts. Um, one indicator. The problem in the crisis in the military is the very well publicized statistics that a us service members are killing themselves at rates that are unprecedented and in many units, um, unfortunately soldiers are killing themselves faster than the enemy can.
And the fact that we have a culture that asks people to do very, very [00:54:00] difficult things, and then doesn't have a way to support them when they do that for whatever else is true for us is a profound tragedy and the suicide numbers are a lagging indicator of a much, much bigger problem. And among the problem that's going on, that's led us to have these statistics in our country, uh, is the reality that soldiers don't have enough support in their lives to get through the challenges, the challenges when they're in service and the challenges when they come home and for every service member that's hurting themselves or thinking of hurting themselves, or is on a path where they might get there, their families, their neighbors, their buddies, and their coworkers, we're all impacted.
And it's a unspeakable tragedy. [00:55:00] And if we could solve it, we would have solved it. And right now nothing is working enough. And so the conversations that I have is to explore what can we do that might make a difference to this horrific mess we've created over one generation,
Fawn: [00:55:19] Charles, can I ask what we have done that maybe is not working?
Like what has been done?
Charles: [00:55:25] I'm not an expert in this, and there are literally thousands of experts that can speak to how, uh, active duty and veterans are being served. As I understand it, um, untold hundreds of millions of dollars for them spent in clinical efforts and, um, talk therapy, drugs. And I know that because these are probably the conversations that are brought to me about these efforts that we're using.
They're not in any way adequate. And my understanding is there's over [00:56:00] 60,000, non-profits in this country alone to serve veterans. And each one of those is making their effort, hopefully with the right heart to make a difference. And obviously this is inadequate as well. So everything from literally pancake meals to hunting trips, to fishing, to yoga, to fishing traditions, like all of these efforts are being made by untold hundreds of thousands of people trying to make a difference.
And the numbers not only are bad, they're getting worse. And again, I don't want to make it sound like it's all about suicide because it's not, that is only one lagging indicator of a much bigger problem. And whatever else is true, we, as a country have asked many, many people to go into harm's way to do things that at some level, many people think are important.
Now, whether those were all saying things, whether they were moral things, [00:57:00] whether things we'd ever do again, those are much bigger conversations. We can agree that people have gone to do things that have harmed them forever
and overwhelmingly, as my understanding overwhelmingly believing they're doing it to protect others and to serve a country that's taken care of them. And it's a deep tragedy that we can't find a way to handle this. And it's not because, and let me be really clear. It's not because. This is not due to missing concern or missing commitment to find a way.
Fawn: [00:57:38] Any, any thoughts, man? I feel like, I feel like we're on the verge of figuring it out. I really do.
Charles: [00:57:48] I hope you're right. I do. I feel
Matt: [00:57:53] like there's like 85, 4 million things to figure out like literally for every single [00:58:00] person on earth, there may be a different nuanced answer that's going to work.
Fawn: [00:58:05] And I feel like for every group, for every person that's hurting, there's another group that's hurting just as much.
Well, w we're all, we're all feeling it. Yes. You know, the children are also feeling. They may not have gone into battle, but they're feeling it. And there's as much pain with the little children. There's much as much loneliness there too. And I can tell you as a mother, I feel it. I feel it looking at an elderly person or I feel it when I look at someone who's been to war as if they're my child, I'm feeling it.
And I think that's one of the things we don't acknowledge is that we are feeling each other's pain and it's so big that we don't know what to do. And that's why people have inane [00:59:00] conversations like, hi, how are you? Fine. How are you? Do you know what I mean? There is no capacity. There is no there's no, what's the word.
You don't have the ability to even start thinking about your pain, because it's so big, but the longer we go on without telling each other stories, the longer we go on keeping things to ourselves, for whatever reason, out of shame or out of like, you don't want to, you don't want to burden someone with your thoughts or your experience.
The longer we do that, the worse things get. And at least we can have some conversations today.
Matt: [00:59:43] And every day conversation is extremely important. I think, as a society, you know, heaven help me me any, any time I have any issue, period, you know, tell me how to fix it right now. Give me the magic, give me the silver bullet, give me the one stupid trick that'll allow me to lose 80 [01:00:00] pounds or whatever. And sometimes that quick fix looks like scrolling through Pinterest and I get that, you know, and ultimately I feel like I'm digging that hole deeper. But I can avoid it for a minute and avoiding it for a minute kind of feels good,
Fawn: [01:00:19] but see that's what you do you avoid.
Yes. I like to jump in and fix it right away because I know other stuff is going to come along. There's going to be the next wave. I'm like, let me get rid of this right now. Not get rid of it, but like deal with it, clear it up. So I'm ready for the next wave. And I can ride it instead of the wave crashing down on me and sucking me with a current and like having me drown.
We need to have conversation. These conversations are really important.
We're not sponsored by anyone on this show. We're not making money. I'd like to, but we don't. Do [01:01:00] you know what I mean? This is real talk here. This is real conversation. I do believe in my heart of heart everybody that we are on what's the precipice precipice is a good word. What's the definition.
Matt: [01:01:12] come to me right on the edge. Let's call it the edge of,
Fawn: [01:01:14] shall we? I think we're on the precipice. Thank you. Um, crossing over. It's really painful right now. Everybody is in pain, but I do believe the more we talk about it, the clearer things will become. And we'll be able to take a deep breath, uh, healing the breath, because remember we talk about this on the show with martial arts, with yoga, the key to vital energy, the vital life force is breath.
We need to take a breath. It's like we're going from one trauma to the next. Time is moving faster than ever before, we're going into a whole new [01:02:00] era and things are speeding up, but what's also speeding of is the ability to heal the ability to understand each other, the ability to feel clear, the ability to take a breath.
And I'm sorry. I know, I know it sounds so trite. I'm not a scholar, I'm a street person, but it's as simple as a breath right now. That's what we have. And then beyond the breath we have our voice. That's another means for creating manifestation, for creating a better world, using our voices, to tell stories and using our ears to truly hear each other and feel each other energetically, spiritually, physically.
No, you have to get back to basics
Matt: [01:02:48] using our voices, to express our vulnerabilities and express our support for others when they express their
Fawn: [01:02:53] vulnerability and taking back the words from these jerks who are using all our [01:03:00] vulnerability, our love and stealing our words from us to make it so meaningless.
But what's not meaningless is our emotions.
Matt: [01:03:15] Just felt like he dropped the mic there. Huh?
Fawn: [01:03:18] It's a conversation to continue. Yes.
And maybe, you know, I did say I wanted to go deep, there's a lot to break down, it's not very good of a vegan to say this. I, can we come up with another example of how do we solve this problem? But you know what? The elephant you take a bite out of an elephant, one elephant, one bite.
Can we, is there another way we can describe that? I
Matt: [01:03:43] journey of a thousand miles begins with one step
Fawn: [01:03:46] baby steps and then that baby grows and runs. They run fast babies. We know that right. As parents, she zoom, zoom. Can [01:04:00] we carry on this conversation to another day and get into another topic regarding the same subject, bring some clarity and find ways in which we can actually create that utopia.
Am I a Pollyanna? I'm a Fawn and I can tell you, I feel good things coming for us. Usually when we experienced such pain, it's at the moment of birth and there will be some release
and maybe that's evolution.
Matt: [01:04:31] We don't normally have pauses. This is interesting.
Fawn: [01:04:34] I hate pauses actually.
Charles: [01:04:40] Anyways, you don't have pauses cause people just jump in.
Fawn: [01:04:45] I don't like it when people get quiet because I get ignored a lot. I'll usually bring up a subject, for example, with Matt's parents who are so opposite us and I'll say something and they'll just ignore it so that there will be, they can go on for [01:05:00] minutes.
No one will say anything. No one will acknowledge what I said
Charles: [01:05:04] is that how they are with other people
Matt: [01:05:07] sometimes. But they're inside of their own very insulated tribe, which is yet another kind of a story. Like if I don't ever see another worldview, I assume everybody thinks just exactly the same way I do.
And they're just like me.
Fawn: [01:05:23] They're very hardcore. Um, what, um, you know, politically like very, to the right, to the right and we're vegan and very much, I don't, I don't like to be put in any box. I don't like left or right. But
Charles: [01:05:38] I like to be in the winning box. That's another conversation
Fawn: [01:05:41] I would like to have my own universe and like be free.
Charles: [01:05:45] So I don't know what conversations you're reflecting on. Um, I think quite frankly, one of the things that our culture needs is a lot more silence and pauses. I
Fawn: [01:05:53] read that we're hiring
Charles: [01:05:55] a time where I don't even know if I can go 20 minutes without something, grabbing my [01:06:00] attention. And, you know, I say that as if it's disembodied, like something grabbing my attention, but who are we kidding?
Uh, there are people paid a lot of money to figure out how to grab my attention all the time. Somebody is trying to grab my attention. And when we try to fill space constantly. It doesn't leave the room for the, the reflection. And I've learned, there are many people that just need time to process something, to have something cogent, to say in response.
And if I don't give them that time, they never get it. And so the pause, uh, can be a way of honoring. It can be a way of saying, I don't need you to fill this time when you're with me. And you can take the time that you need to decide what you want to contribute and do it in the way you want to do it.
Fawn: [01:06:55] I read that about you, Charles, how you hold silence for [01:07:00] people that are grieving.
And I got to say, I was like, when, when there's that kind of silence, especially when I'm grieving, maybe it's because of my culture, but I feel like I'm suffocating. I need to hear something. I need someone to talk to me.
Charles: [01:07:20] Well, there's nothing wrong with that Fawn. I think the opportunity is to recognize for other people, that side of this can mean something profoundly different.
Fawn: [01:07:26] I honor that
Charles: [01:07:28] because when I provide people silence, it's a matter of honoring them and in my life, the best friends and the best times are the people where we don't have to talk
Fawn: [01:07:41] Well, do we put a pretty little bow on it for today?
Matt: [01:07:47] I don't think we've got a pretty little bow today.
Fawn: [01:07:49] That's a pretty little boat. Charles just gave us a pretty little bow. Fair enough. So with that silence, with that breath we will say, I will [01:08:00] say that I love you all out there. Thank you for being in our circle of friendship.
Thank you for spreading the art of friendship, because what we're doing here is truly in a very peaceful, beautiful way. Like a flower blossoming is totally revolutionary, and we will get through this, you know, revolution and talks about circles reminded me of how everything is circular. The breath is circular.
Everything nature goes in cycles. There may be pain right now, but nothing lasts forever.
We will make things better every day. So with that, folks, we'll see you in a few days. And Charles, I want to thank you so much for being. I know that everyone is clamoring for your attention and rightly so, you are a beautiful genius and so loving and compassionate, [01:09:00] and the world is so blessed to have you in it.
Charles. Thank you. Thank you for your beautiful work and thank you for joining us today.
Charles: [01:09:10] Um, I'm delighted to
Fawn: [01:09:11] be welcomed here. Hopefully we will continue this friendship, Charles. We love you, and we love you all out there. Thank you. All the countries that are listening to us.
Thank you. We are one. We are interconnected and I'm so blessed by this connection. Thank you. I'll talk to you in a few days. Everybody be well, bye.
Brought to you by Fawn Anderson of Our Friendly World with Fawn and Matt