We Need To Work Together To Create Peace - Intergroup Institute

Thought

We Need To Work Together To Create and Protect Peace In America

We need a Peace Movement for America. 

We need to do wise and effective things now to keep us from being just another multi-group nation at war with itself.

We need to avoid going down the paths into ugly, evil, dysfunctional, damaging, and dangerous instinctive intergroup behaviors that will lure us far too easily into their highly seductive pathways if we do not understand exactly what they are and why they tend to have very real power over our thoughts, emotions, values, and behaviors.

Knowledge is power.

We need to understand those major and very real risks relative to our instinctive behaviors — and we need to understand the opportunities for us all that can exist if we understand those risks and influences, and if we very intentionally do the right things to make them assets instead of damaging emotional and behavioral liabilities. 

We need to do that work together. 

We need to bring together a coalition and a movement of well intentioned, well informed, aligned, and enlightened people to help us get past some of the tribal behaviors already damaging our country today at many levels, and we need to work together to rise above those damaging behaviors to bring Peace to America. 

Currently we are dangerously divided in increasingly dysfunctional, angry, and damaging ways. The news media gives us examples every day of how divided we are at many levels.  

We need people of good will, good hearts, and good heads to do enlightened things in aligned and intentional ways in order to create the future of inclusion, safety, security, good health, and prosperity that we all want for our children and our grandchildren’s children. 

Our Grandchildren Will Be Badly Damaged If We Do Not Get This Right

Our grandchildren are at major risk of having a grim, ugly and very dangerous and badly damaged future if we do not do some right things now to keep that future from happening. 

We are threatened as a nation and as a people by the ability of negative intergroup instincts to affect our emotions, thoughts, values and behaviors.

We are not alone in facing those risks. Damaging intergroup behaviors are happening with increasing volume and scope in both our country and in the world around us, and we need to understand exactly why that is true.  

There are more than two hundred ethnic and intergroup conflicts happening in the world today — and we have people in many settings feeling very empowered to hate and damage people from other groups in each of those settings, because of the basic sets of intergroup instincts that are being activated for all of those people.

Instinctive behaviors are at the heart of all of those problems and conflicts. We all have Us/Them instincts causing us to divide the world into Us and Them, and do very different things to Us and Them.   

We Suspend Conscience In Doing Damaging Things to Them

We actually suspend conscience in doing damaging things to Them. We now know beyond any doubt that our instinct shaped thought processes can cause us to feel no guilt in lying to Them, damaging Them, imprisoning and enslaving Them, ethnically cleansing Them from our settings, and even actually committing genocide against the other groups when we perceive them to be Them at the purest instinctive levels.

We feel right at an instinctive level doing evil and damaging things, and we do not understand that those behaviors feel right to us because they are supported by instinct-driven thought processes and emotions that we all share.

Instincts have a huge impact on our lives. We are instinctively territorial, hierarchical, and even tribal — and we build our cultures in every setting to help our instincts achieve their goals in each setting. 

We are instinctively hierarchical, so we build hierarchies in every setting — with alpha leaders of various kinds, and with levels of relative status for people that feel right to us in each setting — because we tend to feel right acting in accord with our instincts and our cultures.

Building cultures is an instinctive behavior. We create expectations for how we should behave in each setting, and we tend to believe that the cultures we create deserve both our compliance and our support.

People standing in a line will create a culture for the line that will have rules about who can be in the line, and how each element of line behavior should be followed.   People can become angry and even enraged from violations of the culture of a line — and we have even stronger levels of anger when we perceive people to be violating the rules of larger cultures that we create in each setting.    

We Detest, Hate, and Punish Traitors

We have very strong loyalty instincts that cause us to detest and punish traitors to our group, and we have instinct-guided and shaped expectations that create a sense of loyalty to the cultures we create for ourselves in each group and setting.

Our Us/Them behaviors tend to meld with our basic Tribal Instincts — and we find ourselves both identifying with our own group and feeling an instinct-shaped sense of distrust, dislike, tension, anxiety, and even anger and fear relative to people from any other group.

We need to rise above those instinct-shaped feelings, beliefs, and behaviors.

To do that, we each need to understand each of those instincts and how they work.   We each need to understand how those basic sets of instincts shape our lives, and we need to understand how they shape our thoughts, beliefs, and emotions in every setting.

Knowledge is power. The InterGroup Understanding books and website are set up to give us that knowledge and that power.

We Can Make Important Decisions To Act In More Enlightened Ways

When we understand how those instincts are shaping our lives — and when we understand the role cultures play in shaping our thoughts and behaviors — then we can make important decisions to act in more enlightened ways, and we can do the things that are necessary, using our instincts and our cultures as tools, to create a future of intergroup Peace, safety, security, and prosperity for America.

We really do not have a choice as a nation today about whether we need to become better at dealing with those particular sets of group-related instinctive issues.  America is becoming much more diverse at a very rapid rate, and our pathway to diversity is inevitable, unstoppable, irreversible, and irrevocable at the most basic levels.    

People who worry about diversity in America often focus on immigration as the most relevant diversity issue. Immigration is actually not the key and primary diversity issue for us as a country.

Immigration is almost a distraction relative to the current, overall diversity reality for our country.     

The Majority of Births in America Last Year Were to Minority Mothers

The key diversity issue we all need to recognize, as a country today, is that our future diversity is being created very directly by births — not by immigrants. 

We have crossed an incredibly important line relative to who is being born in America. 

Last year, the majority of children who were born in our country were from our minority populations. A clear majority of all babies born in America today are from our minority groups. 

The percentage of minority births in our country is going to climb every year into the foreseeable future. We have crossed that important line for who is being born every day in America, and there is no way for us to go back.

Our children are always our future. That’s how that process of being born and then surviving works. 

Having a majority of births from our minority populations means we will not have a majority group of any kind in this country in the relatively near future.   

That reality means we now need to become very good at being diverse. We need to make our diversity an asset rather than a risk and a liability, and we need to create a future where our diversity strengthens us as a nation and a people.

We need to understand very clearly what that reality of being perpetually diverse will mean for our children, our grandchildren, and our great grandchildren, and we need to do the right things now so all future generations survive, succeed, prosper, and thrive.

That can be done — but it is not the path we will be on if we do not recognize the risks and dangers created by our instinctive behaviors, and then do the right things now to have our instincts help us succeed — rather than steering us to bloody, damaging, and emotionally seductive and self reinforcing division, anger, and conflict. 

The cold, clinical, and indisputably functional truth we all need to recognize is that diversity inevitably triggers a particular set of very basic instinctive reactions — and we will need to excel at managing our instinctive reactions at the intergroup level because we will be a nation of multiple groups, and if we do not create Peace for those groups, we will be just another nation at war with itself.       

The World Is Full of Nations At War With Themselves

People are killing each other in group conflicts in more than two hundred settings, and people are feeling right and justified in doing all of those killings because that is how our instincts cause us to feel when those instincts are triggered. In many of those settings, that intergroup conflict and those intergroup killing activities and levels of hatred and anger have gone on for centuries. There is no natural or even foreseeable end to the intergroup tension, conflict, violence, and damage in many of those settings.

That level of ugly and angry intergroup conflict for many other multi-ethnic or multi-tribal countries is obviously creating a grim, ugly, dysfunctional, and dangerous future for those countries — and it is one that we should avoid at all costs.

The risk is very real. It is a very modern and current risk. The world is full of nations at war with themselves. The Sudan and Syria have tribes killing people from other tribes. Yemen is clearly a tribal war masquerading as a political conflict.

All of the countries in the Middle East are engaged in internal tribal warfare and are killing each other by group. 

Cusp Of Chaos, a book in the InterGroup Understanding book trilogy, explains all of those battles in the Middle East, Africa, Indonesia, Malaysia, India, China, and the former Soviet Union.

China and Russia both have separatist groups killing people and being killed. The Ukraine is clearly a tribal war. Chechnya could not be more tribal.    

Immigration Is Adding Major New Areas of InterGroup Conflict and Damage

All of those historical interethnic conflicts in all of those traditionally multi-tribal countries are now being supplemented by new sets of intergroup conflicts triggered in many settings by immigration.

Immigration clearly triggers very powerful and immediately relevant sets of damaging intergroup instincts in a growing number of settings. 

Every country in Europe has growing numbers of immigrant groups changing the traditional and historical tribal purity of each country, and introducing new subsets of the population who clearly feel division and conflict with the legacy groups in each country. Chapter Seven from Cusp of Chaos (and this website) explains why those levels of immigration are happening, and why they are doing particular types of damage in each country where they are occurring. 

All of those situations and behavior patterns in all of those countries make perfect sense and are entirely predictable when we understand how Us/Them instincts work in intergroup settings.

Anyone who tries to explain all of those conflicts situationally, as having unique local origins and relevant local situational historical causes and circumstances, clearly does not understand how people think and feel in intertribal settings. This website and the InterGroup Understanding books work together to very directly explain what is actually happening in those situations and settings.    

We Can’t Allow Those InterGroup Instincts To Damage Us

We cannot allow those sets of instincts to do those levels of damage.

We face increasing levels of intergroup anger and division in our own country — and our own politics have taken on instinctive values, thought processes, emotions, and behaviors at increasingly dangerous and divisive levels. This website explains why that set of issues is creating problems here.

We need to make the fully-informed decision as a country to rise above the power and influence of those instinctive behavior patterns, and we need to turn our diversity into a major strength, an asset, and a source of collective strength as a nation.

We can do that if we have good-hearted people of good will make the decision to join together as an American Us based on our values and our shared beliefs.

The InterGroup Understanding books explain the six primary alignment triggers that can bring people together to have a sense of being Us in a functional and effective way.

We Need To Make Enlightened Choices About How To Rise Above Those Instincts

Instead of letting our intellect serve as a tool for our instincts and our cultures, we need to make the enlightened decision to use our intellect to become a people based on our shared beliefs, and we need to use our intellect in very intentional ways to both shape our cultures and utilize our instincts to give us a future where our grandchildren will prosper and thrive because of our great strength and our shared and enlightened values as a nation.

That can be done. One of the best moments of the Olympics is seeing the American gymnastic team going forward to compete. Every other nation tends to look like they are fielding teams of clones. The American team is a meritocracy-centered group and usually is wonderfully diverse. That wonderful diversity tends to win a very high percentage of the time, and the team serves as a visual and functional reminder to us all how much power and success can be created, by allowing opportunity for all be the world we have created.

We need to make the American Dream a key part of the basic Peace strategy for America.  

We have long celebrated the strengths and the benefits of the American Dream.  Many immigrants have come to this country for centuries in pursuit of that dream.  Many people have succeeded in pursuit of that dream. 

We have, however, only partially achieved the full levels of benefits that are possible from that dream. The American dream has primarily and historically given us strength as a nation by blending together all of the European tribes to create what had been primarily a blended Euro-American tribe who did receive the full benefits from that dream. Those people have had success that has made us stronger and safer as a country.   

We did, however, significantly reduce access to that dream for other sets of Americans. We have created very real barriers to that dream for too many people for far too long.

Primal Pathways explains how that dream has been applied most completely, only to a subset of our people. Euro-American males have been the primary beneficiaries of that dream.

People from other groups have faced significant discrimination at many levels in getting full access to the American dream — and our nation has denied full access to that dream for women throughout most of our history. We have a long history of discrimination against women that we need to understand and correct.  

We Need To End Discrimination Against Minorities and Women and Explicitly Commit to Win-Win Outcomes and Approaches

This website has several pieces addressing those historic and current behavior patterns of consistent damage to women.

Three chapters in the InterGroup Understanding books also deal with issues.

We need to end that discrimination against both women and minority Americans, and we need to very intentionally and effectively create full access to the American Dream for us all.

The truth is that the American Dream of achieving and individually succeeding is so powerful and so effective as a way of functioning, that with only partial access to that dream, we have become the most successful nation on the planet in many ways.  

We will be even more successful when we remove the remaining barriers and bring all people from every group into the dream, based on our shared commitment to our shared values and beliefs, and our universal commitment to help people from all groups win.

Win-Win needs to be a national value for us all in a very direct and explicit way. 

We need to make that commitment, and we need to understand exactly what that commitment to Win-Win outcomes is

We need Win-Win for all groups to be a commitment, a strategy, and a skill set for us as a country. 

The InterGroup Understanding books explain how and why that should happen.    

We Need To Become An American Us 

To succeed, survive, and thrive, we need to be an American Us.

We need to be linked to each other very explicitly, clearly, and directly as an American Us by our shared values. 

We need our shared values to be very clear. 

We need to be committed to democracy, to inclusion, to equity and honesty, and to continuous improvement as basic values and clearly aligned approaches to life for all Americans.

Those explicit sets of core values are outlined in the final chapters of two InterGroup Understanding books.

We can, and must, use those core values to anchor and guide a Peace movement for America.

We need to begin with a commitment as individuals and as a group to both those values and to Peace.     

We Need People to Understand The Power of Instinctive Behavior

Knowledge is power. We need people to understand how important instinctive behaviors are to our lives. 

Instincts shape us. As a core and shared belief, we need to understand exactly what we are doing and why we are doing it in each of the ways instincts guide our lives.

The InterGroup Understanding books and website are both set up to teach how those instincts work and what they do to and for us. We all need to have that knowledge in our lives in order to gain power over those instincts and their impact.  

It is possible to both have and share that understanding of those instinctive forces and impact.

We need people to read the core intergroup understanding books and the key parts of this website to understand both instinctive behaviors and the values and opportunities that exist for us all to do well, and to create the future we want for our children and their children, if have those instincts function as tools rather than as invisible and undetected dictators for our emotions and values.

We need public dialogue, shared discussions, and open communications on those issues, points, and strategies. 

We need people in each setting to understand those opportunities and to do what needs to be done to create a values-based sense of Us in each setting. 

We need to do that work and have that dialogue in our schools, work places, care systems, and local communities to keep tribal behavior and instincts from damaging us in all of those settings.   

We Need To Help Every Child From Every Group Get The Right Start

We also need to give all of our children the best possible start in life. We have more people in jail than any country on the planet, by a wide margin. We imprison seven times more people per capita than Canada.

We disproportionately imprison both minority Americans and people who have dropped out of school. Sixty percent of the African American males in their 30s who have dropped out of school are in jail today. Fewer than 10 percent of African American graduates are in jail. Because the pathways to learning start in the first three years of life, we know with roughly 80 percent accuracy by age three, which people will drop out of school.

We can keep people from going down those paths if we do the right things in the first months and years of their life. The Harvard Center For the Developing Child has done extremely important research on those times of development for every child.  We need to decrease the number of people in jail because we want people from every group to have better lives. 

The Art of InterGroup Peace, Three Key Years, and ThreeKeyYears.org lead people to approaches for early childhood parenting, and family and child interaction behaviors that can make life better, healthier, and more successful for every child.   

Now that we know that science about those key years, it is criminal not to use it to help every child.

We Need Honesty About Racism, Misogyny and Discrimination To Begin The Discussion

We need to be entirely honest with each other about how much racism, sexism, misogyny, and discrimination has been embedded into our history and our behaviors — and we need to make the shared decision as increasingly enlightened individuals to move on from here to new generations of behaviors and new levels and types of intergroup and interpersonal interactions that will bring us to the future we want, and that our children and their children deserve.  

The InterGroup Understanding books have multiple chapters dealing with our history of bad, and even evil, behaviors in many of those areas. We need to recognize how bad things have been in many ways — and then we need to have the courage, enlightenment, optimism, and good will to go forward to do a much better job in all of those areas beginning now

We will not be perfect. We will make mistakes and we will say unintentionally dumb and insulting things to each other. We will need to learn to be teachers and mentors and coaches for each other as part of that process.

No one is perfect. No one has been perfect. We need to recognize that, and we need to make the decision to start again and to do better in all of those areas now. 

We should now aspire to targeted levels of perfection in a few key areas based on our shared beliefs — and we should make the collective and individual effort to continuously improve how we do in those processes. But we need to recognize that imperfection is a perfectly functional place to start, and that we have things in our past that we need to make the commitment to never do again.

We Can Continuously Improve — Starting Now

The key is to start at our best current place in each setting and then to continuously and intentionally (and even systematically) improve in each area in each setting.

Continuous improvement clearly needs to be a commitment, strategy, belief, and skill set. We should do good things and then we should do better things — and we should help each other improve in each of those processes.

The rest of the world has billions of people mired in rigidity and embedded, and even stuck, in local and national cultures impeding and even banning progress and change. We can do far better than those cultures, and we can be stronger and safer and more successful as a nation when every one of us is an asset and a potential force for improvement, rather than each of us being a fixed cog in someone else’s mandatory thought processes and behavior patterns.

The positive economic impact of creativity can be huge, and our growing diversity can add layers to our creativity

We have proof points that show us diversity can be a major asset and advantage.       

Diversity Can Be A Major Asset and Advantage

A care system for 10 million people written about in the books Peace in Our Time and Ending Racial, Ethnic and Cultural Disparities In American Health Care had a staff of 200,000 that was 59 percent minority. The diversity in that organization extended to the highest levels. That care system had eight regional presidents, and only two of which were white males.

Half of the senior leadership team was female.

That extremely diverse care system had two-dozen performance measures where it received the highest care quality levels in the country. Consumer Reports, J.D. Powers, and Medicare all gave that care system number one rankings. That very high level of performance happened for the patients and customers of that system because it was an extremely diverse organization that functioned as a meritocracy, and because it was very intentionally brought together as a grouping of people by a commitment to values and by a shared vision that included a commitment to continuous improvement in the delivery of care

Diversity can be a major asset in each community and setting when people from all groups work together with shared values toward a common end.

We need to appreciate, recognize, understand, and then very intentionally utilize the great diversity we face as a country.        

We Need To Turn Our Diversity Into An Aligned Web of Humanity

We need to appreciate the fact that we actually have an array of cultures — with different food, music, and basic beliefs — and that we can use our shared belief in some core values to turn that diversity into a rich and aligned fabric of humanity that makes life better and more interesting for us all, and frees us from the rigidity that locks far too many countries into crippling their chances of improving in major portions of who they are and what they do.

America can be great and wonderful at many levels. The instinct-utilizing paradigms about who we are and why we do what we do that are embedded in this website and in these books can help us create and then maintain that greatness. 

That will not happen by accident — and it won’t happen because of either wishful thinking or good luck. It has to be something that we actually very intentionally do. 

Read The Website And The InterGroup Books As Thought Triggers

Please read the materials embedded in this website and in the five key InterGroup Understanding books to start the process of thinking about, dealing with, and taking full advantage of those opportunities our future is giving us.  

One book deals with instinctive behaviors. One book explains how screwed up we are as a country and as a world because of instinctive behaviors.  

One book explains how to create intergroup Peace using the Art of Peace instead of the Art of War.

One book gives case histories of places, times, and settings where these approaches that are taught and advocated in the Art of Peace have changed behavior. 

And one book explains what we need to do in the first years of life to save every kid from failure, incarceration, depression, and bad health.

You can read those books by the chapter from this website or you can order hard copies from Amazon for a relatively low price. Or both. 

We need to make some fully informed and very intentional commitments to each other that can help lead us to Peace. 

This website calls for us to start a “Truther Movement” for America that restores truth to our value set and commitment for one another. That piece of the website asks for a commitment to speaking the truth — and to guiding, converting, resisting, steering and — if necessary — rejecting other people or communication channels who choose not to speak the truth. 

The website also calls for us to have shared values and to make a commitment to one another to honor and follow those values in our groups and in our lives. 

Please Share The Website and Books With People Who Will Find Them Useful and Interesting

Please read those pieces and send your favorite parts and pieces of the website and the books to others who you believe should also make a commitment to Peace for America, and who might enjoy or learn from the materials. The website was set up to make every piece easy to share.

You can read the books by the chapter — and you can easily share any book chapters you find useful by just sending them to your contacts.

You can also put the essays, Thought Pieces, and book chapters on your social media link. The goal of the Institute for InterGroup Understanding is not to sell books, but to make them freely available to anyone. Amazon can deliver hard copies of the books overnight, and the prices for each book were basically set at the lowest levels that Amazon allows. 

The Institute is not set up to receive donations, but if you want to make a donation of sorts, just buy the books you like the most, and send them to people who might enjoy reading them.

We need to create both knowledge and creativity in order to achieve Peace.

We live in a connected world. That is an amazing and positive thing. We need to take advantage of that connectivity to teach and promote Peace — and this website was set up to facilitate, support, and enable that process. Evil people are using the Internet to promote evil. Angry people are using the Internet to promote and perpetuate anger. 

We need good people using the Internet to promote and perpetuate Peace. 

Please. Read the books. Read the website. 

Use social media to get this information into the hands of people you like and respect who should know this material. 

Also — please send links from these thoughts and materials to key pieces and points in relevant social media chains. Some of these pieces can be used to either rebut or convert, or even reinforce people in various social media information flows — so please use any and all of these tools in those ways when it makes sense.

The kid brain-development website — all by itself — has the potential to change the life of a child if you send it to a parent or family who then applies that science and approach for their child. You can personally, literally, change the life of a child today by just sharing that science and those parenting approaches. Lives change when parents learn about those basic paradigms. Send that information to anyone you know with a new baby or expecting a child. 

It can be a very good thing to do to save the life of a child.      

Today Is The Right Day To Start

Peace should be our goal. Commitments to Peace should be our reality. 

Today is a very good day to start. 

There is a beauty and immediacy to Now.

Now is actually a good time to start this Peace process. Things will get worse before they get better — and we need to start pointing the world toward better — Now.

And we all need to provide feedback to one another about what we are doing and why we are doing it. This needs to be a joint and collective process. We need all of us to understand these opportunities and we need many people who understand those processes and opportunities to invent and develop and do things that will help us succeed on these paths.   

We need people to start websites, interact with websites, and write pieces and blogs and communications of various kinds that help us with these issues. 

Information is golden and feedback is hugely useful and important. Please send us thoughts directly to this website about what we should do now and how we can do all of this better.  

Let’s save the world. It’s the only world we have, so we might as well save it.

And let’s enjoy the ride. It is amazingly fun and pleasant to do good things with good people for the right reasons in ways that make a difference.

Peace.

In our Time.