The jomanity Point of View
Here are jomanity's overarching beliefs.
1: Living a life with joy and meaningful connections takes effort.
2: Democracy needs informed and thoughtful citizens to thrive.
Democracy flourishes when people with different perspectives come together to find shared solutions to complex problems.
Democracy needs both equality and difference.
What does that mean?
Equality: We have a lot of shared values and big goals: Our shared values include what is important (say equality, fairness, compassion). Our shared big goals include things like having clean water and air, a strong education system, good opportunity for ourselves and future generations, and a long list.
Difference: We benefit when we have differences in how we achieve the shared goals.
3: Humanity is more good than not.
4: The people around us, online and in real-life, have a huge affect on what we believe, think, say, and do.
5: Us and them, instead of us versus them.
We believe more unites us than divides us, and that most people share the same goals.
We believe we can spend time with people who share similar beliefs, without hating people who don't share these beliefs.
6: We want to foster compassion, courage, and generosity. And also, we don't want to be suckers.
It's a tough skill to know whom to trust. People can be intentionally and unintentionally cause damage. We know that people can be cruel, selfish, manipulative, or any other host of things.
7: We believe everyone can practice healthy skepticism without cynicism.
We're talking about skepticism with what we hear and see, and what we think and believe:
What we hear and see: It's easier to manipulate and distort information than it's ever been. Fake news is easy to create. Misleading statistics are a google search away. Even well-meaning people spread misinformation. "A lie can travel halfway around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes."
What we think and believe: Every human on the planet has biases. From money to race to how we see ourselves, biases are deeply ingrained into how we think. That's okay--knowing it is a great place to start.
When we say "healthy skepticism," we're talking about understanding our assumptions and beliefs so that we can be more fair and make better decisions.
8: We value what makes each of us unique.
9: We don't think any group of people is better or worse than any other group of people.
We don't believe that any groups of people are superior or inferior.
We fundamentally believe in equality by race, age, gender, size, religion, or sexuality.
10: This is a place for constructive conversations that are kind, helpful, and truthful.
It is way easier to keep talking about a problem than to work on solving it. Conversations are focused on understanding, collaborating, compromising, and solving.
Online, it's too easy to react. Things annoy us or offend us or anger us. Usually, people aren't trying to upset us. So, our goal is to build norms around catching our first reaction, then shifting to really understand someone else's perspective, then doing an effective job of representing our own perspective. This is hard. We want to help people do this better.