Post-Election Connection with Darrell Becker (Voluntary Visions)



Darrell Becker, Morgan Lesko, and Katie Stone try to start figuring out how to building bridges of empathy in this moment. No matter the outcome of the 2016’s America’s Next Top President, this country was always going to need the skills sets which Darrell Becker explores and teaches at

Given Trump’s victory, which seems to have surprised most of the world, our culture could benefit from building some of the most beautiful bridges of connection in human history..

Here are some of the topics Morgan hopes to discuss:

  1. Brief description of Darrell’s work. Morgan explains why he so wanted to talk with Darrell in this moment.
  2. How was the country and/or world mentally prepared for various possible election results?
  3. How do you think the public response to the election results is playing out?
  4. Thus far, what responses do you find most surprising, saddening, and/or inspiring?
  5. What are other possible strategies individual people can take while processing and responding to this election?
  6. Can we fantasize about any “learning moments” various political actors could hypothetically have in the next chapter of the story?


Darrell plans to add some possibly helpful methods to the discussion:

  1. Begin with seeing all people as individuals, and try to limit looking at people in groups, which can tend to promote engaging in fallacies such as the hasty generalization, appeals to popularity, and collectivization in general.
  2. Promote inner curiosity and engage in the “discovery process”, similar to the beginning of a court case: attempt to discover specific motives for one’s own self, and specific people. Consider avoiding the assumption or claim that there are any general motives for groups of people. Groups are abstractions, composed of tangible individuals who have individual motives. For a list of abstract qualities used as motives: Look at claims, concerns and supportive evidence with a curious and open mind, attempting to see the situations and conclusions and evidence from multiple vantage points, rather than the false dichotomy of Right/Wrong.
  3. Notice levels of internal flexibility regarding conclusions and beliefs, and the amounts of apparent flexibility of other folks regarding conclusions and beliefs. When a claim is made (which can be called a belief by some people), look to see your own and the other person’s flexibility regarding the claim, conclusion or belief. This is similar to this quote:  “It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.” – Aristotle “….or without rejecting it.” – Darrell Becker
  4. Humility levels can be noticed, inside one’s self, and this can be apparent in others as a well. Do you have the capacity to build your self esteem by working to constantly refine a working idea of what things might indeed be true, or do you build your self esteem by holding firmly (see flexibility) to conclusions that you WISH to be true, evidence be damned? After assessing yourself, see if you can determine the levels of flexibility of specific people you are discussing things with. This relates to the first question in this flow chart:
    If a person truly wishes to maintain a conclusion, and doesn’t see any possibility or internal willingness to change that conclusion, this person may wish to have a lecture or sermon that helps to reinforce their beliefs. They may not be ready for an open-minded, curious, flexible and humble exploration of their beliefs, and knowing and respecting this as their preference can help promote interpersonal harmony.
    I can provide examples of questions to ask one’s self and others to determine these qualities. Questions to ask one’s self include “Am I willing to say that I might be wrong about this belief I hold? Am I willing to say I’m wrong about this conclusion or belief? Is the other person willing or able to say they could be wrong about a belief? Have they ever said they were wrong about ANY belief or conclusion?” This can be a point of connection, a way to make a bridge to them, by showing humility: “I used to conclude that _________ , and then I came upon evidence that showed I mislead myself. I now conclude _________. I realize I could still be wrong on this, but so far the research I’ve done has shown me practical applications of this belief to be __________.” Also: “Have you (the person you are talking to) ever held a strong belief, found new evidence, and changed that belief, realizing you were incorrect regarding your interpretation of the supportive evidence, as well as finding new evidence that changed your belief?”
  5. Beware the fallacy of guilt by association.


More Show Notes:



Darrell Becker, of Voluntary Visions, looks through the intellectual lenses of the Trivium method of critical thinking, Voluntary Communication (incorporating his own styles of Non-Violent Communication), the Non-Aggression Principle, as well as other lenses, so as to create internal and interpersonal emotional and intellectual equilibrium.

Darrell Becker, MSOM, L.Ac. is a licensed acupuncturist living on the Big Island of Hawaii. He has been a professor of western and eastern medical classes at the Hawaii College of Oriental Medicine from 2012 to 2014. Darrell has appeared on numerous podcasts and radio shows where he is often discussing the issues of parenting, communication skills and tactics that can be used to create intellectual and empathetic equilibrium, or balance within and between individuals. He is presently working to refine these concepts into his upcoming book, covering the subjects of his research, using the working title of “The Language of Choice”, a compendium of internal and interpersonal communication methods aimed at generating greater degrees and quantities of cognitive and empathetic freedom.

Morgan Lesko, of Wiki World Order, is a lifelong activist who has been studying and trying to learn how we will outgrow the corporate-industrial complex for ten years, after observing the physics of 9/11. He discovered NVC while participating in Occupy Sacramento, and soon found Darrell’s work and offered to be his webmaster.

Morgan also created Don’t Fallacy Me, a free, collaborative, multiplayer mind game! It provides an example, and the player selects the clearest logical fallacy. Over 140,000 logical fallacies have already been correctly identified by game players.

He will also soon be launching a new web application, Open Police Complaints, to create a world with universal, real-time access to police complaints data. This open data will no longer be controlled by government agencies. Instead, it will be publicly shared by the complainants themselves, who will be able to control who has access to their private information.

Katie Stone, of Green B, is completing her masters degree in Transformative Leadership at The California Institute of Integral Studies in San Francisco, interns with The Drug Policy Alliance, and serves as a board member of Students for Sensible Drug Policy. Katie is working hard to discover, flavor, and share new stories of our world… so we can live there as soon as possible.

With 6 years of experience in the cannabis industry, and nearly 10 years of experience in drug policy reform, Katie founded Green B to ensure cannabis based businesses are prepared for the realities of a modern and legitimate global market. A longtime cannabis activist, and advocate of environmental justice within the cannabis industry, Katie most recently worked as an intern with The Arcview Group where she lead the firms first sustainability audit and launched their Environmental Steward Sponsorship.