This week’s selected media: March 17, 2024: You Are a Badass; Into a Strange Land: Women Captives among the Indians; Conservatism 101

March 17, 2024 by Joshua
in Tips

This week I finished:

You Are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life, by Jen Sincero:

You’ll hear in an upcoming podcast conversation with a Nobel Peace Prize holder, Erika Frank, that she and I riffed on our complementary ways of living more joyfully sustainable. I commented that she reminded me of a book I see in bookstores a lot but haven’t read, You Are a Badass. You’ll hear when I post the recording how badass she is. I read that she enjoyed the comment.

How could I not then read the book? Not many books over a decade old still get prominent placement in bookstores.

It covers a lot of major lessons I’ve learned in exiting a life of

  • Abdication
  • Resignation
  • Capitulation
  • Blindly following the path society or others lay for me (for their benefit, rarely mine)
  • Passivity
  • Claiming victimhood
  • etc

in favor of

  • Creating the life I choose
  • Freedom

It takes mental and emotional work, but not money or time.

I thought Sincero did a great job of bringing together the tools to create that transition. I wish everyone read and acted on books like it.

“Into a Strange Land”: Women Captives among the Indians, by Jennifer D. McDaid:

My upcoming book covers my experience transitioning from mainstream culture based on polluting, depleting, addiction, and imperialism (what else do you call taking from other places without consent?) to living more joyfully sustainably. I was heavily influenced by learning how much other cultures resisted this culture conquering theirs or assimilating people.

Indians resisting colonists factor heavily. I started my off-the-grid experiment the day I read Sebastian Junger’s Tribe, which recounted many such cases. Last week I spoke to Sebastian and he shared more background on such cases, which led me to research more. I found McDaid’s masters thesis on one aspect of the topic: how colonial women fared and compared living with Indians with living in colonial culture.

From its abstract:

Once captured, white women were inducted into Indian society through a process of benevolent education. Contradicting the fearful expectations of most captives, the Indians of the Eastern Woodlands displayed genuine regard for the well-being of their prisoners. Transformed physically by moccasins, feathers, jewelry, and paint, white captives were welcomed into Indian society and adopted into families to replace members lost to disease or war. As members of the tribe, the captives were treated with humanity and concern by their new relatives, assuming a rank in society equal to that of the individual they had replaced. Instead of abusing female prisoners sexually, the Eastern Woodlands Indians treated them as potential daughters or sisters.

Depicted in narratives as humane and civilized, the Indians likewise failed to fit within the stereotype of the savage provided by white society.

Note, “women captured by Indian tribes west of the Mississippi” faced much less benign conditions:

Burdened with work and deprived of food, they were only eventually adopted. Unlike the Indians of the Eastern Woodlands, the western tribes were largely unable to acculturate white captives completely into Indian society.

Conservatism 101, by The Leadership Institute: I’m nervous posting this course since I think people acting on sustainability tend to be liberals and I suspect many of them see even reading and watching others’ views as traitorous or meaning you agree with everything you read. But I have faith people will value seeking knowledge over staying in a bubble.

I found this course fascinating. It led me to read and watch a lot of the books and videos I’ve posted recently, like Friedrich Hayek, Russell Kirk, Edmund Burke, and more. I would recommend it to anyone interested in its tagline, “Discover what conservatives fight to conserve.” If you aren’t conservative, it will help you understand where they come from. If you are, it will help you find your roots. Most importantly:

If you want a more sustainable world, you will find abundant tradition in conservatism supporting stewardship and sustainability.

Here’s my certificate from graduating. I passed all the quizzes along the way.

Why don’t conservatives support sustainability more? My hypothesis: information about environmental problems came from academics, who tend to be more liberal. Along with the problems, they proposed solutions that made sense to them, not considering that many proposals embodied solutions incorporated liberal views. Conservatives reacted to their proposals’ implicit liberalism more than the problems. They judged the proposals but not the problems from the perspective of their values, so vocally objected to sustainability.

My hypothesis suggests a tragic mutual misunderstanding based on not realizing others’ viewpoints. From one perspective, I could say it takes two to tango and blame both groups for sticking in their echo chambers and prioritizing defeating the other group over seeing past their latent biases to collaborate to solve problems affecting us all. But that view affronts my leadership maxim: “Don’t look for blame but take responsibility to improve things to the extent you can.”

From a leadership perspective, I don’t blame anyone, recognizing it’s hard to exit biases we don’t feel we adopt, they just color how we see everything. If liberals could have foreseen how others would receive their messages, they might have framed them differently. If conservatives could see past that messaging, they might have seen problems that affronted their own values, even if they objected to solutions proposed by liberals. I believe both groups can overcome their differing values to restore a common value of stewardship.

I’m already taking my next Leadership Institute course, plus this course had dozens of suggested material to read and watch that I also plan to follow up on. I couldn’t be more proud of having taken the course, nor more wish I hadn’t been so blind to have pursued this direction earlier.

Incidentally, I learned about the Leadership Institute from visiting the Trump Bedminster Golf Course last summer, an example of Cultural Exchange Without Flying. People fly around the world, wrecking life, liberty, property, and freedom without exiting their culture. You can tell because “Traveling” with roller suitcases means they never leave smooth pavement. Meanwhile I travel a few miles and find meaningful cultural exchange.

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1 response to “This week’s selected media: March 17, 2024: You Are a Badass; Into a Strange Land: Women Captives among the Indians; Conservatism 101

  1. Pingback: This week’s selected media: March 24, 2024: The Conservative Mind: From Burke to Elliot » Joshua Spodek

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