The following articles, published in various media, illustrate how widely the concepts found in To Find The Way of Love can be applied. The original sources are listed at the end.
AuthorHouse Author’s Digest
“The Importance of Sharing” by Oliver E. Deehan, December 10, 2012
“Sharing” can be conceptualized as the mutual enjoyment or expression of an idea, thing, feeling, or experience (such as equality, a meal, love, or sex). Sharing was and is fundamental to the development of all human relationships and civilizations.
Its importance is underscored by the fact that it is very ancient. As noted in To Find the Way of Love, sharing was part of creation, when the fundamental particles first formed relationships (i.e. shared potentials) and the evolution of the universe began.
The book also posits that the eventual appearance of life on Earth 200–300 million years ago was accompanied by a divine imperative for all species: “Life shall beget life.”
At first, sharing wasn’t really a part of that picture; competing for resources was. To fulfill the divine imperative, an individual animal’s most important actions were simply to eat and have sex.
But eventually, when the Age of Mammals began, evolution of the ancestral brain led animals—and ultimately, humans—to develop altruism, a concern for others, which was most fully expressed through parenting. The imperative to beget life then came to have two seemingly contradictory, but in fact complementary, aspects: self-interest and altruism.
In practical terms, those aspects mean the individual must sufficiently care for itself to be capable of reproduction and must also be committed to the protection and nurturance of progeny until they achieve maturity. And that means—even mandates—relationship.
To fulfill the imperative’s self-interest aspect, eating and having sex are still paramount for most individuals. But to fulfill the altruism aspect, an individual has many choices among countless potential actions that enhance another’s life or chances of survival, even at a cost or peril to the self.
Sharing simultaneously satisfies the requirements of both self-interest and altruism. It’s vital to help our children understand sharing from an early age, to ensure their strongest, healthiest, and happiest foundation in the relationships that make human life and society possible.
“Parenting and Altruism” by Oliver E. Deehan, May 17, 2012
Perhaps more than anything else, parenting is what defines humanity. The appearance of parenting in the world signaled the end of the Age of Reptiles (dinosaurs and their brethren) and heralded the beginning of the Age of Mammals—and parenting is probably the most important activity that humans have ever undertaken.
Reptile mothers reproduce by laying external eggs and hatching offspring capable of immediate independent survival. Reptiles have no apparent concerns for members of their own or any other species, including offspring, and often engage in cannibalism. Humans, thankfully, are different (most of the time). Like all mammals, our pregnant mothers bear young that emerge incapable of surviving without care. So for humans, parenting—protection and nurturance of offspring from birth—is absolutely necessary for the survival of the child and the species.
The root of our amazing brain began to develop in our reptilian ancestors. Initially, its capabilities were focused exclusively on self-interest, the individual’s own survival. Then, in the later years of the reptilian age, another ability began to emerge in that ancestral brain: altruism, the capacity to be concerned about another individual. Modern science has physically located this capacity in the limbic system, part of our brain’s second developmental stage. Altruism is essential to the activities of parenting in mammals. The limbic system also appears to include a key prohibition against cannibalism: thou shalt not eat thine own kind, if you will.
Because brain development has been a process of accretion, with each new ability added to the previously existing ones, the capacities to act out of self-interest or out of altruism are both hard-wired into our heads. Thus, our ultimate actions are a matter of choice, a function of free will; and technically, a function of the neocortex, our brain’s third developmental stage.
That neurological and behavioral lineage strongly suggests that our lives are in our own hands. By extension, how we can best live becomes a matter of education, beginning with our children. Therefore, one of the most important functions of parenting is education, through example and through the provision of schooling. Along with basic and advanced academic skills, parents can enhance their children’s education by encouraging their participation in sports and the arts—especially team sports and performing arts, as these activities both demonstrate and require sharing.
Learning how to share is a critically important lesson of childhood. It is absolutely fundamental to establishing and sustaining the personal relationships that will define a full, healthy human life. Outside of certain inherently imbalanced learning situations with parent/child or teacher/student, any true sharing demands an equality in power between the people involved in the sharing, with each person having the freedom to accept or reject the sharing without penalty.
Sharing’s deep significance derives from its mutuality and the fact that it simultaneously meets the needs of both self-interest and altruism. My mother demonstrated these profundities of sharing with a very simple but powerful example when I was fourteen. After school one day, my older brother and I were squabbling in our kitchen over who’d get the last apple in the fruit bowl. Mom heard us and intervened, taking the apple. She gave my brother a knife, saying, “You cut,” then saying to me, “And you pick first!” Her solution, and our actions, satisfied our self-interests and yet involved a consideration of each other at the same time.
Obviously, that incident made a deep impression on me. I’ve tried to apply its lesson in my adult life. In my book, To Find the Way of Love, I define the way of love for humans as “promoting freedom and equality in all personal relationships.” Voluntary promotion that arises from within is the most desirable, but even an external stimulus can lead to finding the way. And parents are in the best position to provide that stimulus. After all, just being a parent is an act of altruism but parents need to demonstrate equality with their children. As Gibran wrote in The Prophet on children, “Try not to make your children like you. Try to be like them.”
“Maintain Your Election Season Sanity: 11 Tips” by Oliver E. Deehan, April 26, 2012
Every four years we enter the besmirched gladiatorial combat that is a presidential election, not with acts of bravery but with loud and incessant accusations, threats, veiled or direct, distortions, national hysteria and endless debates. In the end, somebody wins and somebody loses. And while we may think we’re better or worse for it, the world stays on its axis for another go at the brass ring four years later.
Extraordinary what we put ourselves through: Some people claim the disease of election fatigue. Some watch endlessly. And the rest of us are somewhere in between.
So the question is, how do we best get through this political season in which we find ourselves? Here are some suggestions:
1. Avoid the hype. It can make a person weary.
2. Remember that everyone puts on their best face, exaggerates the positive and minimizes the negative.
3. Don’t pay attention to the daily struggles—the small, petty stuff.
4. Decide what matters to you.
5. Try to depersonalize it all. It’s better for your health to not divide the world into good and bad; angels and devils. Remember that your angel is someone else’s devil.
6. Think of raising children — pick your battles.
7. Don’t let the “Talking Heads” scare you. They have lots of airtime (or print space) to fill.
8. Educate yourself about the issues. If you aren’t anxious, your perspective will be different.
9. Listen for the appeal to self-interest or altruism among voters. Then ask, ‘What is healthiest for my country?’
10. Vote. Everyone should vote even if they have problems with the system.
11. LAUGH OFTEN, AND RECOGNIZE ABSURDITY. Imagine people on another planet watching all of this with the sound turned off.
The Paramus Post
“Learning to Love Despite Adversity, Societal Inequality. Lifetime of Experience Is Inspiration for Adventurist’s New Outlook” by Mel Fabrikant, Monday, April 2, 2012
Can everyone learn to love in a world so cold? Author and adventurist Oliver E. Deehan says yes. Deehan has succeeded at many things, such as flying planes in the Navy, sailing, skiing, and running a hospital, but it was his failures that drove him to write To Find the Way to Love: The Purpose of Our Existence.
Years after Alcoholics Anonymous changed him for the better, Deehan began to ponder the issues in the book, and 10 years ago he began to research and expand his thinking. From his new perspective, he began to live, love, and interact with others in a new and more positive light. “To find the way of love is to re-explore and re-examine the purpose of our existence,” says Deehan. “We need to change the way we treat each other, and change comes from personal commitment and from a growing sense of community.” To Find the Way to Love explores the evolution of human relationships. Deehan addresses many underlying problems we have in our society and pushes for a transformation in our thinking and a new way of life. Each chapter delves into important issues and offers up a solution to how we can improve and learn to show love for one another. “Inequality is the root of all evil,” says Deehan. “I hope that this book can contribute to the gradual transformation of human society to one based on equality, altruism, and concern for the common good.”
“Take your business model from good to great,” by Oliver E. Deehan, January 26, 2012
Have you ever made a business decision based on your own needs, rather than the overall good of the company? It’s no surprise that for most employees, the answer is yes. That’s because the brain is hardwired for self-interest and survival.
With that in mind, the question becomes how to fuse our understood self-interest with the greater good. The answer lies in the mindset of a company’s internal business model.
A horizontal approach to employee management—one that stresses the value of the individual—can help boost employee morale and, as a result, cause employees to act in the best of interest of the company.
Integrating a horizontal approach can happen in many different ways, but here are a few examples:
Hold brainstorm meetings that include all employees, from entry-level to senior management.
Sacrifice one day of productivity for a day of teambuilding exercises.
Show that you value and respect well-rounded employees by offering flexible hours so that people can accommodate their family, friends and extracurricular activities.
Be transparent—share the company’s business strategies and long-term goals with all employees because in business, as in life, having a firm understanding of our long-term interest can help us resist the temptation to act in our short-term interest.
If you’re still skeptical that this approach can work, take Hewlett-Packard for example. When co-founders Bill Hewlett and Dave Packard set a profit target, they informed every employee that there would be profit sharing once the goal had been reached. If someone came to them with a promising idea, they would encourage that person and their idea until it was developed, and then they would buy it. Everyone benefited.
Concern for others is good business. Support for an environment in which freedom and equality flourish is great business because it ensures that a sense of entrepreneurship, creativity and innovation can develop.
• AuthorHouse Author’s Digest guest article “The Importance of Sharing” 12/10/12: http://www.authorhouse.net/author-blogs/oliver-e-deehan
• Today’s Parent guest article “Parenting and Altruism” 05/17/12: http://www.todaysparentusa.com/site/2012/05/parenting-and-altruism
• HLNTV.com guest article “Maintain Your Election Season Sanity: 11 Tips” 04/26/12: http://www.hlntv.com/article/2012/04/25/tips-surviving-election-year-oliver-deehan
• The Paramus Post article “Learning to Love Despite Adversity, Societal Inequality” 04/02/12: http://www.paramuspost.com/article.php/20120402164210637
• MFRTech.com guest article “Take your business model from good to great” 01/26/12: http://www.mfrtech.com/articles/22954.html