The Breathe Free Principles book shows why good is what results from mutually beneficial interactions. Please read it and use it in your life. It gives us something to agree on. A great gift for your thinking friends.
The Left and the Right are trying to use government power to force people to do what the Left or Right want. The use of force is the problem. The American ideal of Liberty in the pursuit of happiness is a wiser way. This book will help you clarify and communicate where you stand on such issues.
It gives people in the middle a leg to stand on when discussing contentious issues with others. A nice simple chart is given to help differentiate between objectively "good" interactions and those that are not; such as stealing or accidents, etc.
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About the Author
A small town boy who moved to the big city and got clobbered by life.
Yet still believes in love and that tomorrow can be better than today.
He wants to give you a tool to help you recognize how what you stand for is good. And then be able to communicate why to others. Most people recognize that mutually beneficial interactions are good. They just need some assistance in recognizing how this concept can be utilized to stop the far Left and the far Right from gaining government power to control us.
Read an Excerpt
Simplest situation – only one person
It all begins with you. Your own internal subjective evaluation of anything and everything is the starting point of good. The only good that there has ever been is because somebody thought so. Why doesn't really matter, it only matters that your evaluation is positive.
Life involves other people, of course, but the starting point is always each person's subjective evaluation of something. To avoid confusion, this internal evaluation is better described as positive rather than good. This is because people also use good to mean the objective evaluation of something. Anyone committed to clear communication should use "positive" words or phrases when they speak about their own or other people's subjective evaluation.
If you think something is positive for you then indicate so by saying it is positive for you. You could say "I like that" or "I agree with that" or "that is satisfying to me" or "that is positive for me." Most importantly you could just do it and not say anything. Doing it reveals that you think positively about it.
If people committed to clear communication differentiated by using good to mean the objective good and positive or other similar words for the subjective evaluation, we would go a long way to alleviating many fights and conflicts.CHAPTER 2
Basic situation - You and Me
If there is only you and me, then we can decide together whether something is objectively good or not.
You, 1 Yes, we agree Yes + positive
1 Objective Good
When there is only you and me, then something can be designated as good only when we both agree. It is this expression of the interested parties in either verbal terms or, more importantly, revealed by people's actions that determines what is good. People agreeing make it so. Fortunately, most human action falls into this category. We go about our lives and primarily do that which we are agreeable to doing, given our circumstances.
This could be doing an activity together, or doing what each of us likes separately. For example, I skydive and you watch. Another example, we hold each other's hand. If you and I are holding hands and keep doing it, then we are doing something good. We could verbally say we both like it or the fact that we keep doing it reveals that we both like it. It is beneficial to both of us.
Basic Definition of Good:
Good is what results from mutually beneficial interactions.
The Basic Grid
Of course, people don't always agree. The following basic grid displays the four basic possibilities.
Me, Yes Me, No I don't Think it is positive
You, 1 Yes Good 2 Not Good Yes + positive +/-
Mutually Beneficial Disagree We Agree You yes,
You, 3 Not Good 4 Not Good No +/- - negative Disagree Agree Bad
2 & 3 Disagree
The two intermediate situations are what lead the world to much of our troubles. Continuing on with the holding hands example, if either you or I don't like it and are forced to continue, then we no longer have a "good" thing or situation. For anyone outside the situation trying to look at things objectively, situations 2 and 3 are essentially the same.
If there is a disagreement, then you have the right to your opinion, viewpoint or heartfelt belief. You also have the right to express your thoughts. What you don't have, is the right to forcibly impose your ways upon other people. In the worst case scenarios what we have is a crime.
Definition – Crime
Crime is a bad outcome, harm, for someone due to the deliberate intent of another to cause the bad outcome to happen AND knowingly doing the actual un-agreed upon action. The situation must always involve one party trying to do another party harm and succeeding at causing significant harm. Harm means a negative outcome that you did not agree to be a possible outcome. Example, you take $100 from me against my will. This is not good. Positive for you, you could say, but it isn't overall.
The fourth situation, 4 in the grid, is called an accident and nobody would say that was good. For example, a tree falls on us breaking both of our legs. Not good. Or, we are driving, don't see each other and smash into one another causing injury or damage. An accident is when we don't like the outcome but no one intended for the bad outcome to happen.
In the living of life there is always the possibility of accidents occurring. These incidents are not crimes. In our current legalistic society, they are often treated as if they are crimes. However, a true crime requires the intent to do significant harm to another as part of the incident. Having things turn out badly for someone is a part of the risk that we assume as we participate in the activities of life.
A more comprehensive Grid
For many situations the simple grid above is clear enough. However, many situations in life are not as we want them to be even though we freely entered into them. Positive and negative outcomes don't always indicate what is an objective "good" thing, activity or situation. It is more the parties making free choices to enter into the action or situation that reveals good or not good. So, to clarify, we need a second part added to the grid. It involves intent going into the interaction.
Two people, you and I, agreeing to do something and then doing it would be considered good. By our actions we reveal that we want to do it and therefore it is good. For example, we play a tennis match. This is a good thing. If it wasn't, then we wouldn't play. One or the other of us would choose to do something else. However, we are out there playing. All good.
Then, while we are playing, one of us is winning and at the end one of us, let's say you, wins. The result is thrilling for you and agonizing for me. There are two different subjective evaluations happening. We should use words such as fun for the "subjective positive" meant by choosing to enter into the action. You and me have this sense of fun or else we wouldn't have started the game. Then after winning you should use satisfying, fulfilling or thrilling for the "subjective positive" meant by the winning outcome. I could use negative words to describe my "subjective negative" of losing. It still is an "objectively good" thing that we played tennis. Even afterwards we would probably state this verbally but even more revealing are the actions of choosing to play in the first place. Clearly a good thing even though the outcome leaves one side "winning" and one side "losing".
Another example could be a simple game of playing checkers. I ask you, "Do you want to play checkers?" If you freely say "yes" then it is a good thing. One person wins, let's say you. You are better off for the thrill of victory and I have to deal with the agony of defeat.
Definition – Games
Entering into an activity that might result in a negative outcome but freely choosing to do so. You might feel really bad but you are not harmed by losing a game. This can be elaborated on for games that involve active participation, passive participation, team play and so on. Any elaboration or complication still leaves the activity in the 1A category as shown in the grid. Essentially all games are good and that is why they are so popular. Even the game of love.
This is also true for activities where nature is the opponent, like snow skiing. You might get hurt but you choose to engage in the activity anyway.
1B Good Surprises
A good surprise, 1B situation, can exist where a person doesn't want something to happen but then is forced to do something and the outcome proves to be positive for the person. Like forcing someone to eat a strawberry against their will but then they love it - "this is so delicious." Another common situation is parents sometimes force their kids to do things which the kids eventually like - "Do your homework!"
3B Bad Surprises
Bad surprises, 3B, are a normal part of living. You communicate out to someone else, like me, thinking that I will like or be interested in whatever you like. Yet you sometimes find out that I do not. It could be that I am not interested temporarily or maybe not at all - "I don't want to watch the basketball game!" However, the next week I could be reaching out to you to watch a basketball game because now I want to. Life involves a constant requirement to find out what other people have as their interests at any given time. A side effect is bad surprises. You thought we had a good situation, but when I muster up enough courage to communicate back that I don't like it, you realize that we have a 3B.
3B situations can also exist where we are both communicating or entering into activities with positive intentions but truth reveals itself to be other than what we expected.
If these situations are really extreme, they are called tragedies or comedies and movies are made about them. This grid covers many situations in life. Using it can bring some understanding when there is a lot of confusion.
Not directly on the grid but implied is another definition.
Definition – Maturity
Maturity could be said to be a willingness to quickly take in 3B, bad surprise, situations and change them by clarifying your negative feelings without taking offense. This involves telling me what you want in a clear manner and, equally as important, communicating what you don't want at any given time in a respectful manner. Failing to communicate perpetuates bad situations. It should not be considered a crime if someone is causing a non-mutually beneficial situation but the offended person is not clearly communicating their dislike. It is and continues to be a 3B situation instead.
Thus the power and wisdom of using traditional manners such as "No, thank you" or "Yes, please". These allow you and me to tell each other what we are agreeable to in a polite and respectful manner.
Furthermore, if a person really thinks they have a good, mutually beneficial, situation but is informed otherwise, it takes time for you and me as humans to process the information. It often won't make sense, at first, for you to tell me some tragic news like, "I don't love you anymore". Or a negative evaluation like, "You look stupid when you dance." Or bad news such as, "Your dog died." This might be unbelievable. My initial reaction will be confusion. Then I have to go through a mental process to try to make sense out of the bad news by reasoning that what you are saying isn't what you mean or it is a joke or only partially true. So, it is polite to communicate the bad news by being specific and allowing my "yes this is good" perception to be able to adjust to a new reality. It is wise to be patient if you want the 3B situation to truly go away or at least be clearly and properly understood. Give the other person some time to take in the bad news.
Also, you simply telling the other person doesn't mean they understand what you have said. A few different ways of saying the bad news may be necessary for the new reality to be truly understood. If you avoid communicating while hoping or expecting the other person to "figure it out" or saying "you should just know" then you perpetuate and complicate 3B situations. This is not good. It is the opposite of the power and wisdom of using traditional manners. Being rude makes 3B situations get worse, not better. Being cowardly by avoiding your responsibilities to communicate moves things over to 3, a crime. Maliciously lying definitely moves things over to 3. Perhaps the worst type of crime is deliberately being deceitful, deceptive or not saying anything when you know that you should. Especially when people's heartfelt emotions are involved.
Please People, Please
The next time you have an argument or serious discussion, re-read the beginning of this book and study the basic grid. (Also the full grid in chapter 5, if need be.) Identify what is mutually beneficial and what is not. Then go back and emphasize what is good. You will feel confident and proud if you do.
Also, please show and teach these charts to your children.CHAPTER 3
Clearly differentiating between similar terms is a start at having an intelligent discussion about conflicting ideas. Something that is Good may not be Moral or Legal or Popular. It probably will be Correct but that is something different. It is vital to differentiate if you want to have clear communications. Saying something is good or not good is different from these other concepts.
Good is often used to mean correct. This can create confusion. Correct has to do with the accuracy of what people are doing. We often use correct when referring to arithmetic or other situations where there is a clearly defined answer that we all agree upon and everything else would be an error.
2+2 = ? Answer "4" and you are correct.
Another example could be directions; "To get to the park you turn left at the next intersection." If you turn left, then you are correct. If not, then you are lost.
A person wishing to clearly communicate with the world should use correct when they mean correct and not use good to mean correct.
Incorrect is the opposite of correct. Being incorrect usually leads to a not good situation. Correct could be considered a necessary condition for the possibility of good to happen!
Quality is a word similar to good which has a lot of meanings. Some relate directly to good and some don't.
One definition of quality that indirectly relates to good has to do with the physical aspects of things. This is similar to correct. Having a quality or not having it is a matter of objective measurement. Something can have a lot of any particular quality or not so much. Temperature, clarity, stiffness, purity, durability, color, and so on. High quality indicates that something is actually as it is described. For instance, a high quality mirror reflects most of the light while a low quality one reflects very little. Something may possess some quality and then there is the measurement of how much of the particular quality does the thing have. These qualities are as endless as the physical sciences are able to differentiate the universe into parts.
In relation to good, quality has a second definition that is another way of expressing an individual's subjective evaluation of something. "That is a high quality painting." It is an attempt to apply the certainty of Physics to the subjective evaluation of a human beings' feelings or thoughts. "Franklin High School is a quality school." These declarations are fine as long as we understand that they are subjective evaluations and not objective scientific certainties.
You and me and others committed to respectful discussion of contentious issues should not allow a declaration of quality to be described as good. Such declarations are part of the subjective world of individuals. The subjective is important, of course, since it is the basis of anything that can ultimately be determined to be good. However, it is not good unless everybody else directly involved thinks or feels the same way.
This book could have been titled "What is Quality?" and had an almost identical discussion. However, it would immediately require a distinction between one person's viewpoint on what is quality and another person's viewpoint on what is quality. Designating quality to be part of the individual evaluation of something and designating good to be when people agree on the relative quality of something allows an intelligent discussion to be had.
In essence, good is objective good. An indication of high quality is another way of expressing a positive subjective evaluation of something. A measurement of physical quality is a scientific indication of reality. Physical quality can be objectively determined while personal quality cannot. Personal quality can only be revealed by you to an objective observer.
Right is another word that creates confusion when used in place of good.
Right, used as an adjective, should be reserved for talking about moral directives. The right thing to do is what is declared by the customs and moral religious rules of a society. These can be debated as to whether they should or should not exist, but to the extent most people agree upon them, then the meaning of right is doing what morals say you should do.
For example, you could say it is right to stay married. But it wouldn't be good if one of the parties wants out. Or it could be wrong to eat meat during a certain time, provided your religious beliefs dictate that. Or it could be right to go to Church on Sunday. Or pray daily. And so on. That something is "right" to do in some place and time does not necessarily make it good.
Wrong, or immoral, is the opposite of right, or righteous. To some, immoral would be not praying daily, etc. Immoral may lead to not good situations but not always. It is vital to differentiate between the two, immoral being one and bad being the other.
Other types of Right
Right is often used for correct. It shouldn't be by those wanting clear communications. Right should be reserved for referring to the Righteousness of some Moral Code.
It is also used for right and left direction which creates enough confusion. No need to have right mean good or correct as well.
Right is also used as a noun in that you have Rights. These are declared freedoms to do something. Such as vote or own land or own property or sing or dance. These are a different concept and not usually confused with the adjective usage of good. The most basic Right should be the freedom to engage in good interactions.(Continues…)
Excerpted from "The Breathe Free Principles"
Copyright © 2019 Dean Galvin.
Excerpted by permission of Dean Galvin.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Table of Contents
Book One What is Good?,
Chapter 1 Simplest situation 3,
Chapter 2 Basic situation – You and Me 5,
Chapter 3 Similar Terms 17,
Chapter 4 A few things are implied 25,
Chapter 5 Full Grid 31,
Chapter 6 Long Term 39,
Chapter 7 Commentary 41,
Chapter 8 What is Quality Thinking 47,
Chapter 9 Morals 57,
Chapter 10 God as Others B 61,
Chapter 11 Open vs Directed Society 67,
Chapter 12 Example - Off Shore Drilling 69,
Chapter 13 Conclusion 73,
Book Two The Principles,
Elaboration on the Principles 1,