The Children's Rights Problem

All of the material for today's discussion came from a PDF document on a website called www.worldwewant2015.org. The PDF is called, "What Does 'Equality' Mean for Children in Relation to Adults?"

So for our discussion today I have three questions that maybe ask the same thing:
Can the concept of ‘equality’ be meaningfully applied to relationships between children and adults?
How do we raise children in a way that acknowledges the cognative/developmental limitations of children while at the same time respecting children as autonomous individuals?
Do children have certain inalienable rights?
Is there a better way to ask these questions?

Recognizably Human

Well-being is not just a question of the wealth or pleasure that a person has; it is a question of how people manage to live their lives and the ability they have to do certain things that are important to them. -Professor Amartya Sen, 1979.

Human worth or dignity has implications for all types of relationships, including political ones. At the same time recognising and respecting this fundamental equality of worth or dignity means arranging social relationships in a way that recognises and respects the differences inherent to human beings.
The social arrangements that may best provide the conditions for recognising and respecting that equality should involve the provision of equal basic capabilities, which allows each person to stand as equal in her society. [This should take into] account both freedom and well-being, [but also take into account social] processes that can impact the idea of justice.
Recognising fundamental human worth and the need to create social relationships that respect this is accompanied by the demand that society work actively to remove existing socially derived inequalities.
p. 73 Justice as Equality: Michael Manley's Caribbean Vision of Justice by Anna Kasafi Perkins

Human beings are of fundamental worth simply by being human. Human society should be arranged to recognise and respond to this underlying equality.
--p. 73 Justice as Equality: Michael Manley's Caribbean Vision of Justice by Anna Kasafi Perkins

Agree or disagree?


Reinventing Organizations

Reinventing Organizations is a book which does a good job of describing aspects of the new ways people are finding to work together. The book organises worldviews into groups and lables them with colors. This is somewhat useful for understanding people's different approaches to organisations. Here's some exerpts which hopefully present the main ideas in the book. The book is worth reading in its entirety. You can buy it at the site, or also download it for free and give the author a donation.


Some questions from the book
Can we create organizations free of the pathologies that show up all too often in the workplace? Free of politics, bureaucracy, and infighting; free of stress and burnout; free of resignation, resentment, and apathy; free of the posturing at the top and the drudgery at the bottom?
Is it possible to devise a new model for organizations that makes work productive, fulfilling, and meaningful?
Can we create soulful workplaces―schools, hospitals, businesses, and nonprofits―where our talents can blossom and our callings can be honored?

討論逐字稿: Difficult is Good? 2014/10/24 discussion

Towards the end of the discussion:
How much should it matter to you what other people think?
40%
Oh, a number! That's cool!
I think it should matter to the extent that you have to take care of other people
It's like personal boundaries.
On the internet there's this concept, "My rights end where yours begin" MYEWYB for short, meaning, there's a limit at some point to what I want, when it starts intruding on what other people want.
It's really hard to find that boundary, of thinking enough about other people!
It's hard to ask this, where's your boundary? You can't just ask this.
Our culture doesn't have any way of saying it!
It's hard to ask about it!

Sometime people won't tell you, they think you should know.
Sometimes they don't even know.
Unless you push their buttons--
There's a story I read on the internet, two guys were sitting in a cafe across from a jewelry shop, and a mom wanted to pierce her daughter's ears, and the girl kept saying 'No' but the mom had it done anyways. So the girl learned that saying 'no' just results in being forced. She learned that no doesn't mean anything when you're not in power.
But we do this in small ways, too. One time we left a restaurant but the two year old with us didn't understand that the restaurant was closing and it was time to go and everyone was outside already, he was having a good time. So he refused to leave. And instead of spending the time to explain to him, I just grabbed him. When he saw everyone outside he finally understood, but still, I broke his trust, and violated his 'no'. So the problem is, when you're dealing with people who don't understand everything, who are in your care, is this kind of situation. When are you overstepping bounds or not?
So it's because parents don't trust their children, so they force them to do things?
Well, there is that, they don't trust them to know enough.
There's so many aspects to self-trust, all of the things we talked about today, they're all a part of it, it's a very complicated picture!
And your growing-up background will influence how you trust yourself.
Does Taiwanese culture have any message like of 'you're not good enough'?
Sure, yes!
Where do you suppose this message comes from?
Education, school--
Comes from history, tradition. Colonialism.
It's related to colonialism? How?
We were colonised by Japanese, they stratified people, and the KMT came doing the same thing, delegated the force to the people.

Difficult is Good?

All of the following quotes came from a book by Charles Eisenstein called The More Beautiful World Our Hearts Know Is Possible. Click the title of the section to be taken to the online chapter the quote came from.

Difficult is Good
A corollary principle of self-struggle is to elevate anything that is hard and devalue anything that comes easy. It is therefore also a habit of scarcity and of ingratitude. Imagine you are a practitioner of meditation and someone asks you, “What do you do?” You reply, “Well, I sit on a cushion and pay attention to my breath.” The questioner says, “That’s all? What’s so hard about that?” “Oh,” you say, offended, “it’s really hard!” Being hard validates it. To do it, you have to overcome something in yourself; you have to prevail in some kind of struggle.
I realize that the paradigm of struggle is something that quickly falls by the wayside as one pursues the practice of meditation. Maintaining focus on the breath cannot happen through forcing, but only through allowing. In fact, it is extremely easy; our habit of making things hard is what gets in the way. Nonetheless, we often use “easy” as a term of disparagement, as in “She took the easy way out.”

Are things validated by being difficult, in Taiwanese culture? Is 'difficult' a virtue and 'easy' a cop-out?

討論逐字稿: Debt, Obligation, Empathy 2014/10/17 discussion

I remember we talked about transactions in the previous discussion, and also obligation.
What do you remember from the discussion?
When I came in, you guys were just talking about teamwork, and you described, mentioned that contribution and trust and sacrifice
Compromise!
Yes, and then we moved up to transaction, and we mentioned that market and profit and the idea that the Japanese company was about.
And we discussed what's the difference between altruism and self-interest.
So do you have any thoughts on that?
Sorry, not yet
Did you bring something?
Yes, I linked to the article
It's about a very popular idea, corporate social responsibility. Is that self-interest or altruism?

Debt, Obligation, Empathy

We're continuing the beautiful meandering discussion from the last time we met. The pieces below are just for reference, we can pick and choose what we need.

This first part is from the end of the Business or Friendship discussion guide:

What's a transaction? What kinds of transactions are there? Is there a difference between a 'transaction' and an 'exchange'? Are transactions always fair?
Exchange is all about equivalence. Both sides are keeping accounts, it's okay for both sides to keep account! Also, the entire relationship can be canceled out, and either party can call an end to it at any time. (paraphrase of) Debt p.103
What is the relationship between people in a transaction? Are they equals?

討論逐字稿: Business or Friendship? 2014/10/5 discussion

These are notes from the discussion that include partial transcripts of what we said.


Sharing:
Sharing is like I have something I can give part of it to someone I want to give it to.

Transaction:
A transaction is like I give something to someone else and at the same time I expect that person to give something in return, like feedback, or an object
Of equal value?
Yes.
Transaction may mean the same as 'private goods', that means a thing has it's own property rights, so the owner is the only one that can use it, sell it, dispose of it, so in the market, private goods can be transacted. At the same time, private goods are hard to share with other people. For example, if you need a pencil, you don't often share it with other people.
A pencil? It is very easy to share!
Use simultaneously, no.
Money is hard to share.
You can share a house! Share the right of use with other people.

What's easier to define: a business transaction or a friendship?
Or, what's the difference between the two?
Well, is there emotional affection involved? Are there emotions involved?
But business transactions can be emotional?
I'm talking about affection, or bonding.
A friendship has more bonding?