“Getting a Grip”

  1. What is Lappé’s point in Chapter 1 about why and how our ideas or “mental frames” are so crucial to culture, society, our shared humanity?

“Yet Indians’ widespread belief in their powerlessness continued until Gandhi and others re-framed reality, revealing the power that was theirs all along. (p.5)”

—the mind controls the body, mentality, and the function of humans as a group. a shared common idea spreads like fire and can either break or make the civilization.

An example can be drawn from Hitler. He used peoples’ hate and anger to rise to power and ended up inspiring a genocide against the Jews. A simple idea can spark a whole movement which can be good or bad, however history has proven it to be really bad.

2. What are some of the dangers of Thin Democracy that she describes?

“Thin Democracy is dangerously vulnerable because its materialistic premise can’t satisfy our higher selves’ yearning for transcendent meaning. (p. 17)”

“Thin Democracy’s narrow, insulting assumptions about human nature cannot sustain dedication and sacrifice… (p. 17)”

“Thin Democracy’s demeaning materialism and its concentrated wealth help to swell the numbers of excluded people who feel humiliated and angry. (p. 17)”

From the quotes above, a Thin Democracy revolves around money. It doesn’t take in the full concept of involving everyone because of the gaps between the population. For example the poor and uneducated can’t make as big of an impact on politics in comparison to a wealthy educated individual. Thin Democracy focuses too much on money and leaves out the majority of the people it supposedly represents.

3. Pick one of the qualities and discuss what this means to you and your own quest for meaning and how your education helps build your capacity to participate in a Living Democracy.

learned, not auto: I am a student in college at this time and point in life. I am not sure where I’ll end up, but each day I will learn something new. Each day will shape who I become and each day I will challenge myself. With an open mind I will expose myself to each and every point of view in order to try to reach the goal of being unbiased. With an open and educated mind I can only hope to make a positive impact in my community and to fully participate in a Living Democracy

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