Quiz #1: Are you ready to become a cultural pioneer?
This quiz measures your dissatisfaction with the status quo of our current culture.
- Have you ever dreamed of living in a different time or place where people were more free and safe?
- Did you ever sense as a child that you were meant to be raised differently?
- Are you regularly tense and worried about how you will pay your bills and fearful of what will happen if you get evicted?
- Do you wonder why people in your local neighborhood hardly smile and seem full of angst and pain?
- Do you feel discouraged and angered by daily news reports?
- Do you wonder if school is really meant to teach us to tolerate a 9-5 work schedule than to help us learn how to learn?
- Do you wonder why outer beauty seems to matter so much more to people around you than inner?
- Are you lacking inspiration, finding that things which used to be exciting (such as partying, gaming, dating, movies, or shopping) are losing their appeal?
- Are you tired of people asking how you make money rather than what you are passionate about or how you are feeling?
- Do you feel that the people you meet in day to day interactions are competitive, immature, and exterior-oriented?
- Have you ever wondered why pictures of people living indigenously, no matter the continent, are so much more joy-filled than pictures of “civilized” people?
- Do you, or have you ever, struggled with depression, eating issues, or chronic illness?
- Do you have frequent nightmares or difficulty remembering your dreams?
Analysis: If you answered yes to many of these questions, then this culture is not working for you. You may feel disheartened, but don’t worry. Your dissatisfaction is a blessing: it means you are in touch with your innate sense of what is healthy and nurturing, and you have the will to change. Remember, you’re not alone: the old story isn’t working for a lot of people, and it’s not simply because they’re crazy. For most of human history, we lived a different way, and that lifestyle is what we are designed for down to our very blood and bones. If something in you is calling for a more satisfying way of life, you are ready to become a cultural pioneer.
Quiz #2: Are you living like a cultural pioneer?
This quiz measures how much the actual conditions of your life indicate that you are living by a different set of values. There are 2 parts. Tally the number of Yes answers and No answers for each part as you go.
1. Do you end up defending yourself, or getting offended, on a daily or weekly basis?
2. Do you get sick or injured more than twice a year?
3. Do you regularly “work” more than 4 hours per day? Do you regularly sleep less than you need to?
4. Do you feel like if you don’t get something done now, you won’t have time or energy later to do it?
5. Is it important to you to own a house or land in order to feel safe and secure?
6. Do you invest most of your time and energy saving money for vacation or travel (an escape from your daily life), working long hours so that you can have a few weeks of leisure and enjoyment sometime in the future?
7. Do you believe the problems in the world are caused by a few select individuals (i.e. government leaders, CEOs, or people of a certain background or upbringing) being greedy, mean, evil, or lazy?
8. Do you feel punishment is an appropriate and effective way to resolve conflicts?
9. When you go outdoors, do you find yourself viewing everything in terms of how much money it is worth or how you could use it?
10. Do you often (i.e. on a daily basis) feel that you are being treated unfairly?
11. If it’s bedtime and you’re tired but there are more things on your to-do list, do you usually push yourself to exhaustion to get it all done?
12. Do you rely on tattoos, piercings, and clothing to show people who you are, more than your actions?
13. When you look in the mirror, do you get bogged down by your inner critic?
14. Do you regularly exhaust yourself or forego your own best interest in order to be liked by your friends or family?
15. When you want to learn about something, do you feel you need to take a class or do a program in order to learn? Do you postpone exploring skills you’re interested in because you can’t afford to pay for expensive schooling or training programs to do it?
16. Do you find yourself running into the same frustrating situation or conflict repeatedly, or drawing in the same type of friends or partners that don’t serve you well?
17. Would you rather be right than be happy?
Count the number of yes’s and no’s you answered.
1. Do you live with the kind of people who don’t hesitate to make you soup when you’re sick, remind you to brush your teeth if you forgot, or take time to join you in doing something you’re excited about? Do the people you’re closest to support what’s best for you and for themselves?
2. If someone were to ask you intermittently throughout the average day whether you are genuinely enjoying yourself, would you answer yes?
3. Do you encourage the people around you to take care of themselves? For example, if you need a favor from a friend who you know is very tired, do you push for the favor or do you encourage them to rest?
4. If your partner is upset, do you encourage them to take some space to breathe rather than taking it personally and getting upset with them?
5. Do you feel that you deserve to live a leisurely lifestyle with plenty of healthy food and good company, not because you’ve “earned it” but simply because you are alive?
6. Do you prefer to enjoy sharing your time with a dear family member or friend at home rather than go on an expensive trip or fancy hotel room alone?
7. Do the people around you express that they feel supported by you? When you stay as a guest somewhere, do your hosts want you to come back and feel that their lives are easier and brighter for having you there?
8. Do your friends and family trust you enough to ask your advice, knowing you’ll support what’s best for them rather than just what you want them to do?
9. Are you aware of what plants and animals live near your front door and neighborhood? Have you ever observed these creatures just for the sake of appreciating what they are like, how they smell or sound, and how they interact with the world around them even when people aren’t there?
10. Do you notice when you start to feel angry or flustered? If you do notice, do you take a moment to breathe and re-group before continuing to interact?
11. When you are involved in a conflict, do you try to figure out what you can learn from it rather than try to find someone or something else that caused it?
12. If someone were to take 10 candid pictures of you throughout the day, would more than 5 of them show you genuinely smiling?
13. Do you enjoy the experience of doing or making things, even if you don’t complete them?
14. Would you take part in the experience of harvesting or weaving a basket for a few hours just to enjoy the experience even if someone else takes it home?
15. Do you believe it could be possible that for the majority of our history, humans lived cooperatively (i.e. supporting each other to mature emotionally, spending 2 hours per day working to feed themselves and the rest of the time to make music, dance, and ceremony)?
16. Would you rather live 60 years of joy, support, and emotional stability than 80 years of fear, judgment, and adolescent emotional reaction?
17. Does raising children with the support of 10 or more helpful adults sound better than raising children with 2 people working full-time jobs on their own?
18. Do you consider having strong relationships with your friends and family more important for your survival than having a surplus of money?
Count the number of Yes’s and No’s for Part II.
Competitive Culture Scale = Part I Yes’s + Part II No’s.
Add the Yes’s from Part I and the No’s from Part II. Thank you for answering the questions honestly! This tally tells you how much you may still feel undeserving of kindness, joy, and abundance. If it is high, please be gentle with yourself, for it is only natural to be influenced by the culture you live in. We just happen to live in a culture which teaches that we are fundamentally flawed beings competing against each other for scarce resources. Focus on accepting yourself and others and opening your mind to new ideas and perspectives, for that will open the way forward into something different.
Cooperative “Cultural Pioneer” Scale = Part I No’s + Part II Yes’s.
Add the No’s from Part I and the Yes’s from Part II. This tells you how much tolerance you have for a life of joy and leisure and how much you’ve embraced the cultural pioneer’s practice of accepting yourself and others, being grateful for every life lesson, and trusting that the universe will provide what you need. The higher this number, the more clearly you embody the path of “learning to be human again” based upon the story below.
The “learning to be human again” story:
For tens of thousands of years, most of our ancestors told a story (or many stories, more accurately) that humans are naturally social beings who, with the appropriate cultural training, are capable of cooperating. It tells us that humans have a supportive and beneficial but not superior role to play in a healthy community of life and that all life (not just human life) is equally sacred. It tells us that our reason for being is to experience and share as much joy as possible. It tells us that we deserve to take care of ourselves (and be supported to do so) and in so doing cultivate an atmosphere of good humor and enjoyment in which laughter is increasingly common. It tells us that we don’t have to suffer just to have a place to live, healthy food, and loving touch. It tells us that the world is abundant with everything we need if we are only willing to pay attention and be ready for what the universe offers us for our need. It tells us that our sense of security and safety come from knowing deep-down that we belong on earth, that everything we need will be provided, and that we are surrounded by loving companionship from all forms of life, especially a supportive and nurturing human “tribe”. It tells us that we are capable of building a supportive “tribe” full of relationships of mutual benefit in which we trust each other to offer kind and honest feedback that is in our best interest, as together we strive to see the world and ourselves more clearly (rather than simply wanting to be right all the time). It tells us we can choose to take responsibility as co-creators of every situation we find ourselves in and that we are capable of taking action to change anything that is not working in our lives, individually and collectively. It tells us to appreciate the process of what we do and enjoy the quality of each moment, because the energy we put into everything is our quality of life. Finally, it tells us that a competitive mindset is merely one phase of human development, important to experience but only a small part of our full human potential, and that with cooperative role models and cultural teachings we can grow into a more mature cooperative mindset in which everyone acts out of the belief that “what is best for the group is best for me”.