Fall in Love, Have Children*, Stay Put, Save the Planet, Be Happy
Frank Schaeffer & Gareth Higgins
REGISTRATION NOW OPEN - COURSE TAKES PLACE ON THE FIVE SUNDAYS FROM JANUARY 23RD TO FEBURARY 16TH, 2022, FROM 7-8:30PM EASTERN. ALL SESSIONS WILL BE RECORDED AND AVAILABLE FOR VIEWING LATER.
REGISTRATION IS $49, WITH NO ONE TURNED AWAY FOR LACK OF FUNDS. PARTICIPANTS WILL RECEIVE A FREE PRE-PUBLICATION E-COPY OF FRANK SCHAEFFER'S NEW BOOK ON REGISTRATION
Bestselling author Frank Schaeffer offers a passionate political, social, and lifestyle "blueprint" for changes millions of us know are needed to rebalance our work lives with thriving relationships: Fall in Love, Have Children*, Stay Put, Save the Planet, Be Happy. Even before everything was disrupted by COVID-19, millions of US Americans were already questioning capitalism's "values". We were already challenging the idea that your job defines you. We already knew something was wrong. Loneliness, frustration, and alienation were already on the rise. Even the most "successful" among us felt too busy, too preoccupied, and too distracted to enjoy what we intuitively know are life's greatest rewards: vibrant relationships, family life, connection to others, involvement in our community, and the thrilling experience of love.
Fall in Love... builds a well-researched and entertaining bridge to living happier lives and to a better future. It shows us how, based on a better understanding of our evolutionary selves, we can thrive in family life and in our work life too. But to do both joyfully - and at the same time - depends on rediscovering the priority of relationships, connections, community and love.
In this five session course, we will explore topics of great significance to our lives - out in the world, at home, and deep within our very souls. Each session will include:
- An opening practice to help ground us.
- A conversation between Irish story activist Gareth Higgins and Frank Schaeffer introducing the session topic.
- A conversation between Frank and a special guest illuminating the topic further.
- Breakout groups for deeper reflection with other course participants.
- Question & Response time between the participants with Frank and special guest.
- A wrap up reflective exercise led by Frank sending us out into the world until next time.
* We recognize that "procreativity" is not just for parents - the idea of "having children" does not have to be taken literally. Every life is called to be generative toward others, to "make" something with their lives. We seek ways to honor the procreativity in us all, and to spea with great tenderness toward folk who have wanted but not been able to have literal children, and those who have chosen not to.
** Each session will offer a film, some music, reading, or other work on which to reflect prior to the next session.
*** We will offer opportunities for participants to connect with each other between sessions as well - this is entirely optional for folks who would like it.
*** The purpose of the course is to help us shape a better, more humane society through learning and affirming a better and more humane outlook on reality, and developing better and more humane ways of living at home and in the world. by the end of the course our hope is that you will have learned some new personal practices for facing the future with joy and courage, connected with fellow travelers, and become more alive to the possibility of the present moment than afraid of the future.
****COURSE PARTICIPANTS WILL RECEIVE A FREE PRE-PUBLICATION E-COPY OF FRANK SCHAEFFER'S NEW BOOK ON REGISTRATION
Registration for the course is $49, with sliding scale options below that amount for anyone who needs to pay less, and scholarships may be available too - just contact us at this link to ask for details of sliding scale registration and scholarships. The course syllabus is below.
Session One - Fall in Love
Thanks to oxytocin, bonding with our pair-bonded partners, lovers, children, adopted children, grandchildren, and other members of our communities—feels rewarding in ways that go beyond anything else. The "oxyjoy" we feel makes all our struggles seem worth it. So... how do we shape a better, more humane society that caters to who we humans actually are—evolving primates who discovered our ultimate joy in being loved and loving in return?
Session Two - Have Children
Bonds form when we become home, protector, caregiver, nurse, best friend, teacher, and co-adventurer with a child, lover, or friend. What if we changed our definition of success so none of us faced social pressures or economic pressures during our children’s little-child years (say birth to four years old and preschool) to conform to a pro-business, one-size-fits-all, Goldman Sachs’– style model of life focused on our job title? How can we push back against the careerist survival of the fittest time and soul famine?
* And it's important to note that procreativity is not just for parents - the idea of “having children” does not have to be taken literally. Every life is called to be generative toward others, to “make” something with their lives. Let us find a way to honor the procreativity in us all, and to speak with great tenderness toward folk who have wanted but not been able to have literal children, and those who have chosen not to.
Session Three - Stay Put
US Americans on the move, chasing jobs, leave behind family and other deep connections again and again and again. Then we wonder why our relationships go bad and why we feel lonely. Evolution built us to expect help from others and to give it. But we’ve made it hard for anyone to be there for us or for us to be there for them. If the coronavirus taught us anything, it’s what our actual needs are. College is nice, jobs are necessary—but we need connection. We need community. We need to be nurtured and supported. That means we have to resist moving all the time. This means choosing to live intentionally in stable long-term community.
Session Four - Save the Planet
We need to make a choice to not become just another cog in the heartless grow-the-economy, money-worshipping, status-seeking, power-hungry, fame-seeking commerce machine inexorably squeezing the life out of our fragile planet—and the joy out of our lives. In other words to "save the planet" we need to first redefine what we mean by the word success.
Session Five - Be Happy
A lot of us are asking: Is so-called modern life all it’s cracked up to be? Is being selfish really the way to declare our presence on this earth for the short moment we have on life’s stage? Can we listen to our own evolutionary biology and dare to embrace the truth about ourselves or will we listen to the next version of damn-the facts ideology and start yet another cycle of unhappiness? Given who we evolved to be—cooperators who are happiest when caring for others and sacrificing for others, and in return being cared for—we can choose to direct our next step and the one after that toward a better, more humane life. That is when we will find we are happy.