Through this program, we seek to prepare together to become agents of sustainable changes in our communities. We plan to achieve this through the promotion of critical thinking and the cultivation of inner peace, with that in mind the following activities will be carried out:
- Critical Thinking workshops. Together, we seek to increase our critical thinking to better understand and respond to the problems we face. We will be sharing some workshops to fuel reflection and struggle.
- Course: Cultivating inner peace. We are going to be donating a free course on how to cultivate inner balance, where we are going to learn how to manage our emotions, how to work with destructive thoughts and how to have non violent communications.
- Review: Popular Planet. We want to share ideas of change through a review which purpose is to give the reader tools to change the world.
Why the promotion of critical thinking?
The situation in Venezuela also hits the press, and with it, information and critical power. In 2018, up to 26 newspapers disappeared and 20 closed permanently. Nowadays you hardly get newspapers. Less space for the press is less democracy, and of course, less information accessible to the population about what is happening in the country. We notice that there is a strong political polarization in the country and it is also perceived in the press, and in society in general.
The situation is blocked because of that, there is less information and what comes out is partisan information. This camper information seeks to validate more what the government does, for example, than to inform. Free expression, without labeling or ideological prejudice is scarce as are the non-aligned cultural or political activities where we could group together to reflect, comment and criticize. It is difficult to act like this, (to think) freely, since we are in a place already ideologically marked. The discourse is taken in a network of constraints and our life is inscribed in a space that influences us. There are marks in us of thousands of advertisements that we can see daily. Our imaginary is already full, and it continues to be filled based on what the anonymous market and development (advertising) spokespersons, or information professionals (mass media) consider useful.
Advertising acts on us in a repetitive way, and in that it is violent, since with this repetition something of us is sought, just as with the media, beyond informing, they look for something from us: that we buy such a thing, that we think in such a way. They can thus become tools of domestication. They harm free will and pollute life by their imposed slogans (about what has to do with beauty, rightness, achievement, etc.). While the producer does not buy what he did, and the consumer does not do what he buys, advertising unifies this exploded reality, trying in different ways – but always polluting – to create the union between demand and supply.
This project proposes a program that seeks to foster the critical thinking that we need so much. The program “becoming agents of sustainable changes” will be carried out through workshops, debates, shared readings, films, among others. Considering that the reduction of the press and its polarization weakened critical thinking, we want to look for another combination, for collective reflection, testimonies, workshops, debates. The idea is to recover our own thinking, our own voice, to do useful things that improve our situation, approaching a Venezuela with less suffering and more peace. For that, we also want to analyze and resist advertising aggression, thus defending the environment, the word, and us, as free beings.
The practice enlightens the conscience but we still need to train as conscious beings. We need the practice and also the development of critical thinking because the two feed and allow sustainable changes. It is through this combined process (theory and practice) that we can consider a common salvation. With those ideas in mind, we will also create, for example, Popular Planet, a review to think and change the order of things.
Why the cultivation of inner peace?
The Declaration of Human Rights has fifty-eight articles. But in our relationship with others, there is an article that summarizes them all, that is, that nobody wants to suffer and that others want – and have the same right as us – to be happy. This simple statement ultimately summarizes the entire Declaration of Human Rights.Matthieu Ricard
French geneticist and monk Matthieu Ricard reminds us that the main purpose for which we fight for human rights is because we all want to be happy. In fighting for human rights, we do it because we believe that for a society to function better, we should all have the opportunity to reach a level of well-being and inner peace that will lead us to live a fruitful life. Throughout history many have wondered how that well-being is achieved, that inner peace. From the investigations carried out in relation to this matter it is important to highlight that it has been shown that unlike what can be believed, money does not determine the level of well-being or happiness of a person. Studies in developed countries have shown that although people have more money their levels of happiness have not increased. In countries such as the United States or England, trends in depression, alcoholism and suicide rates have increased despite their economic development. And although poverty levels affect happiness levels, research has shown that mental illnesses are the main causes of suffering in the world, says Richard Layard, a professor at the London School of Economics, who explains that “mental problems are an important cause of unhappiness however if the individual is employed and receives a decent salary ”
By learning a little bit more about mental illnesses, we can see that psychological factors are among its main causes, such as destructive thinking patterns and difficulty in managing feelings. Emotional and social deficiencies, according to writer Daniel Goleman, are not only related to mental health problems (anxiety, stress, depression, eating disorders) but also to serious social problems such as decreased cognitive ability, divorce and suicide rates , chronic diseases, violence, loneliness, alcoholism and drug addiction. It is important to highlight, as Daniel Goleman points out, that insisting on the importance of becoming aware of emotional and social deficiencies is not intended to underestimate the role played by other risk factors, such as poverty, which can lead to many mental diseases or various social problems. Because of that, the author emphasizes – and we agree with his clarification – “that one of the levels of intervention must be political and economic, trying to alleviate both poverty and the rest of the social conditions that engender these problems.” But In addition to these interventions, there are other possible alternatives to help people overcome the problematic situations they face, situations often caused due to emotional or mental imbalance in their lives.
This project not only seeks that basic needs are met in a sustainable way, since we are aware that to create a world with less suffering and more peace, much more is needed than just the fact that our basic needs are covered. We are aware of the role that destructive emotions and destructive thoughts play in our lives. Emotions determine the quality of our lives. They can save us, but they can also cause real harm. In view of this, through this project and within the aforementioned program “becoming agents of sustainable changes” it is proposed to foster the cultivation of inner peace, through workshops that foster emotional and mental balance. We will seek to share tools designed to help us manage our emotions and feelings so that it is not they who determine our actions but that we ourselves are consciously deciding how to act in the face of certain situations that life presents us. Similarly, we will seek to provide tools that allow us to be more aware of our thoughts and how to stop those destructive thoughts that cause us suffering.