Homeschooling Your Kids

How you homeschool your kids will be unique to you and your children. There is no “one-size-fits-all approach”. When you decide to take on this enormous task, you are entering “as if” a new world and you will require a tribe to help navigate through the uncharted territory and support your efforts. There are many professionals who are skilled in many areas to help you.

It takes more than just one or two people to raise a child; it takes a whole group of people and that’s why we are fortunate to have so many resources available to us via our connectivity resources and technologies through our devices online and which extend around the world. The gas-burning old yellow school bus needn’t run everyday in order to accomplish the task of many kinds of learning.

1. Keep a routine, but be flexible.

There are many ways, for instance, to learn basic arithmetic and language skills.

Portioning dough is division. Measuring the distance of a homemade running track or obstacle course gives a real world spatial sense of what the numbers mean. Planning a menu and executing it requires a lot of thought. It provides opportunities for all kinds of learning. Use your imagination.

2. Choose topics that interest your child. Choose the things that hold their attention for longer. Don’t force them. Be gentle and let them lead you to a certain extent. Their particular gifts will reveal themselves over time. Have fun!

3. Find online resources and use them. You don’t need to recreate the making of a wheel that’s already been made. Many educational websites are free to use.

4. Allow time for a break and make sure that if the style of learning that has taken place has been largely sedentary— that break should involve getting outside and getting fresh air.

5. Switch up the days. Too much of the “same-ole-same-ole” can be boring. A change is as good as a rest. Continually seek out new ways of doing things especially if the old ways don’t seem to be working.

6. Go easy on yourself. You don’t need to have six hours of structured schoolwork everyday.

7. Play games. Board games like Monopoly are good for counting. Scrabble is good for word building. Lots of opportunities out there.

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Other Ideas:

Teach your child how to keep a journal and fill it with memorabilia.

Learn skipping songs.

Online dance or yoga classes.

Kitchen science experiments like baking soda mixed with vinegar.

Garden projects.

There are so many opportunities it’s impossible to list, but carpe diem! You can seize the day and make it great for learning!

The Junk Drawer

Awhile back, I knew a lady who helped operate a museum/thrift store existing within the walls of a little old white church. Upon browsing the curiosities, I noticed a beautiful box-like structure, covered in some kind of plaster in which all kinds of little things had been pressed– buttons, thimbles, pins, wooden spools for thread, safety pins, bottle caps. I was touched by the sincerity of the expression of the unseen hand that had put this all together, with what most certainly was a lot of love. junkdrawer01I imagine those things came out of a junk drawer and the person that had an attachment to them, recognized their value by creating this artifact.

Very quickly my little moment of contemplation was interrupted by a female voice behind me, an attendant caretaker working behind the till. “That’s not for sale,” she said, “Frieda’s mother had made it.” Frieda managed the community thrift in close proximity to the museum. Typically the goods, once sorted, made their way to one of two places: either the antique store and museum in the old church or, alternatively, the community thrift. The finer things went to the museum and were consequently sold as antiques, for a higher price or not sold at all, but found a home where they could be appreciated by many travellers passing through the little town.

Simple enough one would think to sort the quality of the items, but I’m sure it’s not so. Like the sound of wind chimes speaking to the soul, the old box covered in plaster and things that probably landed in the junk drawer had spoken to the one who determined their importance, spending the precious commodity called time to caretake over them– those things that almost always wind up in a drawer with such an unfortunate name.

How often in life do we fail to acknowledge that the little things have greater value than we think. If, today, in fact, we think at all, bothering to take the time to do so, since we are increasingly governed on auto-pilot by apps promising to do more for us and quicker. Always we think, quicker is better. Indeed, that box covered with plaster and all those little things took more time and attention than most people today care to allow in their daily smart phone-worlds which, in fact may, by revelation, turn out to be quite phoney.

It’s amazing indeed, that something made by someone no longer living can reach down through time and mesmerize the eye of the current beholder. It’s amazing how the value of the seemingly insignificant can be raised to the level of museum quality rather than merely the community thrift side of things– something so priceless it can only be called soul. It manifests into this world by those actions we focus our attention upon, for the right reason. The priceless things in reality, it turns out, are often the very things that people take for granted.

Unfortunately, we spend our lives placing our time and consequently our money on things that really have very little value in the scheme of things.

What pay-off do we have if all our resources go to the wrong place? It’s interesting to think of how the things that matter to the soul can’t be sold, just like that plaster box is not just any old plaster box, the same goes with how we value anything that has meaning. What matters to one may seem little and foolish to another, but most important is that we value people, especially the ones who need it most. Let’s consider for a moment:

Proverbs 21:13 says, Whoso stoppeth his ears at the cry of the poor, he also shall cry himself, but shall not be heard.

It is up to us to value the homeless people who have wound up in society’s junk drawer and recognize what they teach us about ourselves and where we are placing our attention.

It is given to each of us a portion and of that portion we must make the most to see that “the good” gets spread around appropriately. Yes, our leaders must be equitable, but we cannot expect them to wave magic wands to solve the problems of the world. We, as individuals, must take personal responsibility for the issues that face the homeless, the disabled and handicapped, the mentally ill, the working poor, the overworked business person, the starving artist, the burnt out nurse and doctor, the confused over passionate person like me who can barely eat sometimes because she’s too wound up, and the many people who, very soon, will be out of work due to our new technologies.

If we treat the homeless like they belong in the “Junk Drawer” of society’s priorities, we are missing a very important point. These are probably some of the best souls that we currently have on the planet. Souls that were so sincere and delicate, they could not tolerate the false foundations that our world has been built upon– foundations that wouldn’t exist if people knew the truth.

Nature has so much bounty. Try working with it and you will see. Grow a tomato and try and count the seeds. It would take a very long time just to do that.

People need to be allowed to work with their soul, to recognize that the current school systems are so geared towards perpetuating themselves they have forgotten the most important thing. It is not merely human intellectual pursuits that matter. To have that at the forefront of our educational system is in great error and if not corrected will cause much suffering in society as a whole on all levels as we shall see. Making proper changes is the only thing we should make haste with since our world is on fire and no one wants to live in a burning house.

The question of what changes need to be made will need to come from deep within the souls of each individual person upon this planet. It is incumbent upon all of us now to recognize if we do not make necessary changes in our own personal lives and scrutinize how we can build more positive structures with a moral core as its foundation, then we will face greater tribulation.

I have a bible I found at the community thrift. Strange, it really should have been located at the museum, but I was fortunate for where it was placed because I couldn’t afford it had it been classed as “antique”.

The book has a navy blue cover. It’s a King James Version, a 1967 edition.

Mathew 4 reads:

Then was Jesus led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tested by the devil. And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was afterward |hungry|.

And when the tempter came to him, he said, If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread.

But he answered and said, “It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.”

***

There is much to learn from scripture whether you study in English or Hebrew and there exist many faiths in various languages that bear the same seeds of truth and yield positive fruits.

Today, however, we witness to the fact that cheap fast food is placed higher on our priorities than quality bread made at home or in a small “caring” bakery. If we really understood how little food we need to live, if it were of good quality, we would understand how we have been misled.

People race foolishly around, not knowing what is the matter. They sit in idling vehicles breathing exhaust so that they can drink another coffee in a paper cup.

Let’s think of children for a moment. They are very close to the soul because they just came over from that other place. They can sense the falseness even if they don’t understand.

Children’s spirits need feeding. All of the ice cream in the world will not satisfy the human soul. It’s time to live the truth and it will set us free.

Haileevale

Problems and Opportunities

Whether we like to admit it or not, our biggest problems are really not what we think they are.  Although most of us have difficulties or what we often view as problems at various times in our lives we don’t spend very much time thinking about why they occurred, or what if anything we might have done to stem its flow before it started.

For most people problems stem from 4 main areas:problems-3

1)  Someone or something else and we have now control whatsoever.
2)  We created pretty much the entire problem.
3)  Someone or something happened, but the problem was created by our reaction or lack there of.
4)  It’s not really a problem at all, but we’re reacting like it is (they are opportunities).

More than half of what we perceive as problems are rooted in what we perceive to be our own limitations (ourselves), and they could have been avoided by us.  By either thinking and planning out what we could or would do, or by changing our attitude and how we react.  Rarely are problems really problems.  More than half of what we perceive as problems are actually just misinterpreted opportunities.

In order to stop this from happening we have to change ourselves.  Before we can change anything we need to change our way of thinking, change the way our brain responds.  The most basic human cognitive function is to ask questions.  If we think about something, try to reason it out we are questioning ourselves.  We already do this all the time.  Is the light turning red or green, should I turn left or right, what did they say?

Start to pay attention to the questions that your brain is asking yourself on a daily basis, as you go through your day.  This is the self-talk, the self-questioning that is happening all the time.  Once we become aware of the questions we are asking ourselves, we can begin to take control of those questions and actually ask questions that mean something.  As we get better doing this we will begin asking great questions and we’ll begin to get great answers, if we’re don’t we won’t.

Once we are aware of the automatic questions we are asking ourselves, we can start to ask two questions that we’ve all heard, but paid very little attention to.  They are:

1) What if?what if i could
2) Why Not?

Just by asking ourselves these questions, we will begin to open up the possibilities they bring with them.

What if I Could?  What would that look like?
I know I can’t, but what if I could?  What would it look like?

We can start out asking these in a general way.  When a potential problem or  opportunity presents itself to you, even if it seems impossible, keep asking.  Try it now, think about something that you have already perceived as a problem.  What if I could _____________ (and fill in the blank).  Just say it to yourself.  What if I could _____________ (and fill in the blank).  Well, What If I Could Do That?  What would it look like?  I know I can’t, but what if I could?

By asking these questions of yourself, It doesn’t mean your going to do it.  But counter intuitively this is the actual power behind the questions, your’e not putting anything on the line, there is zero commitment on your part right now.  Anything is possible, but as soon as you ask the question your brain makes a fundamental change.  Instead of thinking of reasons to stop you from doing it, it starts thinking of reasons and ways that you can do it.  This is an extremely important point.

Compass Pointing the Way to Business OpportunityWe all have a challenge or three to deal with.  Don’t shy away from them.  Meet them head on with:  What if I could?  When you ask yourself this you start tying to come up with a creative way to get by the challenging moment.  What you come up with will be a unique product of your experience, and your experience only.  No one else could come up with the same solution.  The more you ask yourself those questions, the greater the chances are that the answer(s) to the opportunity will be something truly fantastic.

Read the previous chapter, Access Your Potential

Read the next chapter, “What If?” and we’ll talk more about opportunities around and inside of us.

Ingredients for success

In order for us as human beings to accomplish something meaningful we need to do a few specific things.  Ingredients for success if you like.  We have to ‘Want something that doesn’t exist’.  It doesn’t have to be anything more than it is ‘Attainable’ after that it only needs to be ‘Specific’.  We’re not talking about an everyday type of want, like what you want to eat, or to have a nice place to live, a fancy car or lots of money. Get the idea in your mind.  Do you have it?overcome

Now ask yourself What If?  What if you could attain it?  What would it look like?  Don’t forget, It has to be specific.  This is not going to happen over night, but it won’t necessarily take the rest of you life either.  This is something you really want and are willing to work for.  For many of us this may be the hardest part of the entire process.

Do you have it in mind?  Be as specific as possible.  Now write it down, just as specifically as you thought about it.  Make the writing large enough that you can read it from a few feet away, something that you could place on your mirror and see every time you look at yourself, then place it where you will see it all the time, someplace you  can’t help but see all the time.  If we want it, write it down and place it in a highly visible place.  It will happen.

Each time you see it, each time you read it, you will believe it a little more.  More and more and more.  Slowly it will come to be a mantra for us a belief so powerful that our unconscious mind will take over thinking and working on it.

create-opportunitiesThis will be something that would otherwise not normally exist.  A goal that otherwise would not happen, you will have to use your creativity to imagine it and achieve it.  Most goals are simple they are just the next step, ways that are already proven.  We want to achieve things that haven’t been done by us or maybe even by anyone.  ‘Exponential Change’.  Don’t start with what is possible but with what seems impossible….  you’ll know its the right goal when it takes some courage to even think it.

Make sure you write it down so you don’t let yourself off the hook, and personally commit to it.  Place it it where it will be seen by you all the time, no one else has to see it, but you do.  Now within twenty four hours take some kind of action to achieve it. Anything that starts you on the path to its accomplishment.

If you do this here’s what will happen, the universe will come to your aide.  I don’t know how it works, and I don’t care, it just does.  We don’t know how electricity works, but when we flip the switch it does.  The universe likes goals, write them down, commit to them and take action on them.  The universe will come to your aide.  Maybe you’ll meet someone, see something, read something that tweaks something within you.  It may not be the exact angle to get there, but its a way to get to the next step,  In other circumstances you may not have even thought it would apply, but because you set the goal and committed to it, the universe is helping you out in creative ways.

When something is working, don’t limit the success you could have, as humans we tend to get scared of things we don’t know about.  I’m not saying there shouldn’t be some healthy caution, but don’t limit your success, before you even give it a chance.

What If?  What would it look?  What if I could?  askThe world is your limit.  A test you can apply to yourself to see if you might be able to accomplish it is this.   Are you alive?  …Then you could.   There is a profound and divine reason we are all here.  That reason is to do everything we can for others, in that reason, with our creativity and commitment to accomplishing it, nothing is impossible.

How do we motivate ourselves how do we motivate those around us?  Well that’s simple we’ve been taught since we came into this world the same way, Reward and punishment, clean up your mess or get grounded, get good grades or you’ll fail, make more money get the things you want.  As human beings we’ve been taught this from early on, lets get a perspective on this, this is the exact way we train animals.

What sets us apart as human beings is our ability to respond to the most powerful motivational force on this planet, our sense of purpose.  Why we do what we do means everything to us.  If you want to get more out of yourself, more out of those around you, more out of your lives, more out of your careers remember why you do what you do, what your fundamental purpose is.  It works.

We all have these great purposes in our lives.  Some are just in smaller circles of influence.  Yours might be in a relationship, as a parent, as part of your community, spiritually.  They are the reasons we do what we do, the way we spend our time.  Write them down and ask yourself, are you limiting what you can do, by driving with the breaks on?

Most of us are.  I’m going to do it, maybe tomorrow.  We see it all the time.  If we want to take the breaks off we need to resolve to become the best at whatever our purpose is.  We’re all guilty of coasting as soon as something starts working.  Good becomes the enemy of great.  What would it take you to become the best?  Write it down, right now.  Write these questions down and there answers.  It won’t take long, you already know the answers.  We know what we need to do, we just don’t do it.  If you do, it will change your life.

optimismYou’re worth it, you only have so much time on this planet, if it’s worth your time to do something it’s worth your time to do it right.  What if? What would it look like? What if I could?  Set your sights on goals that don’t exist.  Become the best at what you do or want.  Live your life to its fullest.   You have a purpose.  We can change people’s lives.  We can change our lives.  Life is a wonderful thing.

Read the first chapter, Access Your Potential

 

Everyone Can Become Altruists

kidssWisdom and contemporary science dictate, we need to shift to an altruistic, bestowing way of life in order to rise above our problems.

 

 

 

 

 All of Nature, Humanity Included, Need Bestowal to Achieve Balance

We need not look very far to find ways to implement the principles of bestowal to life. Many contemporary scientific studies have confirmed the benefits, and advantages of bestowal in today’s interdependent human network. The reason why the researchers of those studies did not discover the implications of the integral human network—that we “infect” each other psychologically almost as we do physically—is very simple: they were not looking for such implications.

Similarly, there are many ways to observe the effects of the law of bestowal, if we only look for them as we analyze existing data.  The Social Interdependence Theory, by Johnson and Johnson, is one way of observing its effect on systems, but there are many other ways to observe it.  Professor Ervin Laszlo, philosopher of science and system theorist, states that no system can persist without its parts yielding to the interests of the system.  These thoughts are backed up by evolutionary biologist, Elisabet Sahtouris, and primatologist, Jane Goodall, along with many others.  In fact, any physician, network scientist, or biologist knows that to keep a system in balance, or “homeostasis,” the interests of the system must override those of its parts.  Each field of science refers to this principle by a different name, we call this “the law of bestowal.”  Essentially they are all the same, however, with the different names merely pointing to different manifestations of the same natural law.

A Lazy Man’s Guide to Why Humanity Needs Mutual Responsibility

On the negative side, the effects of not following the law of bestowal are evident. The growing alienation in society and the escalating isolationism on an international level, as demonstrated by publications such as Christopher Lasch’s, The Culture of Narcissism, Twenge and Campbell’s The Narcissism Epidemic, and Joseph Valadez and Remi Clignet’s essay, “on the Ambiguities of a Sociological Analysis of the Culture of Narcissism,” clearly demonstrate our poor social health.

Indeed, the adverse effects of narcissism are beginning to show on the international level despite repeated declarations supporting unity, such as the ones quoted earlier in this chapter.  On December 3, 2009, an Associated Press news item declared, “Isolationism soars among Americans.”

A poll by the Pew Research Center survey found that “Americans are turning away from the world, showing a tendency toward isolationism in foreign affairs that has risen to the highest level in four decades.” The poll also found that “49 percent told the polling organization that the United States should ‘mind its own business’ internationally and let other countries get along the best they can on their own.”

Another, even more disturbing aspect of our alienation is hunger.  The alarming statistics that more than one billion people worldwide are hungry. But perhaps even more surprising is the fact that within the United States, “The number of households characterized as having ‘very low food security’—meaning food intake was reduced because of a lack of money—jumped from 4.7 million in 2007 to 6.7 million in 2008, and the number of children in this situation rose from 700,000 to almost 1.1 million,” according to a Los Angeles Times editorial titled, “A rising tide of hunger.”

But the problem is not lack of food; it is lack of mutual responsibility and a basic understanding that we are going to survive together or perish together because this is the law of life. There is no shortage of food in the U.S., but there is certainly a shortage of collaboration. On January 1, 2009, Andrew Martin of The New York Times described “a glut of milk—and its assorted byproducts, like milk powder, butter and whey proteins—that has led to a precipitous drop in prices.” Martin explained that the milk products were being stored in warehouses and deliberately kept out of the stores to prevent a further drop in prices. How hard could it be to find a satisfactory arrangement to guarantee the financial stability of farmers while not depriving millions of Americans of a staple such as milk? Clearly, if we followed the law of bestowal, even if only within the U.S., such absurdities would not happen.

Thus, both manifestations of following the law of bestowal (and its mundane attire of yielding self-interest before the interest of the system) and manifestations of breaking this law abound in our world. All we need in order to realize its inclusiveness is to become aware of its existence. And for that, we need to start with education.

You Don’t Have to Be a Teacher

To understand why the law of giving should be taught in school.  However, we must cultivate new ways of doing so. To awaken all the young people who wish to be encouraged toward a more spiritual life. We must acquire literary skills, a lively and colorful style, using prose, and allegories, even poetry.  Our weapon must be the pen we must translate all of the historical treasures into a contemporary style, thus bring it closer to our contemporaries.

Baal HaSulam once wrote, “We must establish seminaries and compose books to hasten the distribution of the wisdom.”  By making all texts accessible, we can facilitate transference of the wisdom of the ages through to popular media so people will know and better understand the basic laws of life and will know how to conduct themselves against mounting egoism.

However, we cannot look back in remorse that this has not been completed sooner—we can only take what is available from the past to prepare for the future. It is certainly not too late to begin to inform people of the hidden laws of Nature, which affect our lives in a very real way.  Just as everyone studies the basic laws of physics and biology at school, youths today should learn the basic laws of Nature.

In school, the principles of the Social Interdependence Theory could be a wonderful beginning.  If children learned to apply these laws to their schooling, they would benefit in many more respects than just education. In the previously mentioned research, Johnson and Johnson came to several far-reaching conclusions:

“Working cooperatively with peers and valuing cooperation result in greater psychological health than do competing with peers or working independently. Cooperative attitudes were highly correlated with a wide variety of indices of psychological health. More specifically, cooperativeness is positively related to emotional maturity, well-adjusted social relations, strong personal identity, ability to cope with adversity, social competencies, basic trust and optimism about people, self confidence, independence and autonomy, higher self-esteem, and increased perspective taking skills.” on the other hand, “Individualistic attitudes were negatively related to a wide variety of indices of psychological health, especially a wide variety of pathology, basic self- rejection, and egocentrism.”

“Social interdependence theorists note that both positive and negative interdependence create conflicts among individuals.” However, “In cooperative situations, conflicts occur over how best to achieve mutual goals. In competitive situations, conflicts occur over who will win and who will lose.”

In their conclusions, they also include suggestions concerning the structure of what they call a “Cooperative School.”

However, as effective as these teaching methods might be, they can neither succeed nor even be accepted without also teaching children the law of bestowal, life’s purpose is to ultimately resemble that law, with all the benefits included in this similarity. Without providing this information, man’s perpetually growing egotism will eventually subdue any attempt at collaboration and will increasingly isolate people, as it has been doing for the past several decades.

The Creation of Positive Mass Media For Us All

In addition to the collaborative school environment, and the efforts to inform youth of life’s purpose to motivate them toward change, the principles taught at school should be applied in the home.   Otherwise, the clash between school values and home values will sentence all attempts to failure.

Our thoughts are a reflection of our environment.  So young people’s domestic environments should match the values of cooperation that schools should promote. A publication by the U.S. Department of Education, titled, “Media Guide—Helping Your Child Through Early Adolescence,” stated, “It’s hard to understand the world of early adolescents without considering the huge impact of the mass media on their lives. It competes with families, friends, schools, and communities in its ability to shape young teens’ interests, attitudes, and values.” Regrettably, the majority of interests that the media shapes are antisocial.

An online publication by the University of Michigan Health System, for example, states that “Literally thousands of studies since the 1950s have asked whether there is a link between exposure to media violence and violent behavior. Virtually all have answered, ‘Yes.’ …According to the AAP (American Academy of Pediatrics), ‘Extensive research evidence indicates that media violence can contribute to aggressive behavior, desensitization to violence, nightmares, and fear of being harmed.’”

In a capitalist country, the government does not enforce laws that prohibit violence on TV and other media. At best, the government might strive to restrict it, but statistics clearly indicate that these efforts are grossly ineffective. The solution should come from the people, not from government. People have to decide what they want to watch on TV, and to do that, they must decide what kind of individuals they want to be, what goals they wish to achieve, but most important, what sort of adults they want their children to become and in what kind of world they want them to grow.

When parents decide that they want their children to grow up with a hopeful future, that they do not want them to join the growing ranks of depressed youths already numbering (according to the National Mental Health Information Center) “one in every five young people at any given time,” then the change will take place.  TV, movies, Internet, and every other means of mass media lives and dies by its ratings.  When consumers decide that they want nonviolent media, then producers, screenplay writers, and advertisers will know how to create a whole new repertoire of nonviolent films that promote cooperative behavior, as mentioned in the section “Taking the Law of Nature as a Guide.”

Mass media is a learning aid and a democratic one in the sense that it truly depends on the viewers’ favor. While it is controlled by a relatively small number of people who have their own interests regarding what to air and what not to air, at the end of the day, the media still shows us what we want to see, or else the industry would go bankrupt. Because the majority of today’s people are more narcissistic than ever, so is the nature of mass media programs. And because we are becoming increasingly self-centered, the mass media increasingly caters to values of entitlement and isolationism.

Yet, isolationism and narcissism are unsustainable in an interdependent world. They are to society as cancer is to the body. The solution, therefore, is to find a way to harness our intensifying desires toward socially productive directions, which in the end are personally rewarding, as well. This is the only way we can rise above our growing egoism and unite.

The Wonderful Solution for all Problems

The solution is to use the newly acquired awareness of the global system that is humanity, and to teach the law bestowal that sustains it and (most important) the goal of life. The reward will be, as said above, “total power, total awareness, and total governance” (of ourselves, of our lives, and of the world). But this will happen only if and when we choose to unite. In doing so, we will achieve the goal of existence.

We can choose to do so after many painful “persuasions” on the part of Nature, or after self-persuasion using the environment, the principle of imitation, and the awareness of our social interdependence.

There are two kinds of people—those who advance toward life’s purpose willingly and knowingly, and reap the benefits, and those who advance unwillingly, unknowingly, and reap agony.  The first type … stormy waves come upon them, through the strong wind of development, and push them from behind, forcing them to step forward. They are moved against their will often with great pains.  But the second type move of their own accord, by repeating the actions they have seen and learned from others, this hastens there development.  They chase it of their own free will, with a spirit of love in them.  Needless to say, they rarely experience any of sorrow and suffering like the first type,”.

sia

“Everyone Can Become Altruists” is based on the book, Self Interest vs. Altruism in the Global Era: How Society Can Turn Self Interests into Mutual Benefit by Dr. Michael Laitman.