How to Be a Human Again


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If an alien life form (or just someone who watches mainstream media) happened across the Useful Idiots community, watched a few episodes, and read the the Absurd Arena, they might start to think: “Hey, these people seem pretty down.”

We’ve talked extensively about the discouraging nature of constant news and how escaping it feels increasingly impossible, waves of bad news drowning us, the next one always breaking just when we think there’s a moment of peace.

But we also learned from you that 2023 is a year of wellness, a time to fight back and build a boat to sail atop those waves. You shared your tips for feeling good each day, and we promised an expert to teach us how to feel like humans again.

Darcia Narvaez is a professor of psychology emerita at the University of Notre Dame. She joins the Useful Idiots to explain how we’re living in a culture that goes against everything it means to be human, emphasizing toughness over tenderness, isolation over togetherness, making the US the most depressed, anxious, and chronically ill country in the world.

“We’re stuck in a cycle of competitive detachment, where we feel disconnected from others and even ourselves, while at the same time feeling we have to compete for anything worthwhile.” But Professor Narvaez has hope: we can break the cycle.

“There are still societies around the world though that resist this hierarchicalism and think it’s immoral,” she explains. “We have a lot to learn from them because they successfully live in egalitarian and healthy, happy ways. Unlike us.”

Watch the full episode to learn how other cultures and species are able to live rewarding, fulfilling lives, why learning and school is actually one of the biggest detriments to humanity, and everyday, practical tips to help you break your own cycle.

Plus, catch this week’s Thursday Throwdown on the other way we might break the cycle: nuclear Armageddon.

It’s all this, and more, on this week’s episode of Useful Idiots. Check it out.

0:00 Intro
2:09 The Absurd Arena (UI discussion board: get your comments and questions read on the show each Tuesday!)
8:42 The Four Food Groups of News
25:39 Professor Darcia Narvaez Interview


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