Why should we care about people who survive an earthquake who live half a world away? Why should we care about anyone other than ourselves? These are fundamental questions, the answers to which relate to politics, human rights, and the survival of our species as a whole. In this ten minute talk, Greg Bennick will explore the methods of psychological restraint that we unwittingly employ that prevent us from caring about others and in fact cause us to lash out against them. We will explore the idea that judgement and restraint provides what feels like freedom, but in actuality keeps us bound and unfulfilled in life and in ourselves. What are the psychological processes that create this reality for us? This talk will be framed from the perspective of Greg’s eyewitness accounts of the events this year in Haiti after the earthquake and his five trips there, and the reactions of those he has met throughout the world during his efforts to elicit compassion and action on behalf of survivors.
Greg Bennick is an American humanitarian activist, keynote speaker and award-winning producer and writer. He is the founder of One Hundred For Haiti, a direct action humanitarian aid organization helping people in Haiti. He sailed to Haiti after the quake on a sailboat with 10,000 lbs of food and medical supplies: this boat was the first private relief boat to reach the southern coast of Haiti. Greg’s film work focuses on projects which explore the human experience, including ‘Flight from Death’ (http://www.flightfromdeath.com), a seven-time Best Documentary award-winning film narrated by Gabriel Byrne which uncovers anxiety about mortality as a possible root cause of many of our violent and aggressive behaviors. The film has been called “One of the most ambitious documentaries ever made” by PBS Australia. The ideas in this film, about how we see others and subsequently choose to engage with or ignore them, will form the ideas about which Greg will speak at IdeaWave 2011.