Empathy Surplus Project Celebrates Our 10th Year in 2019!

Our Human Rights Pocketbook Project builds strong, caring neural pathways

The Human Rights Pocketbook Project was launched in 2018 with a printing of 1,000 copies and seeks to distribute the Illustrated Universal Declaration of Human Rights to incoming high school and college students with the help of caring society
organizations like Rotary, Lions Clubs, and Kiwanis Clubs that have a relationship with the United Nations. 

Thank you Rotarian Action Group for Peace for embracing this project.

We are grateful for the major donations from Rotarians Chuck Watts, Jason Hillard, and Rotaractor / Rotarian Jerry Bailey, Edward Jones Financial Advisors, Wilmington, OH, that helped with this first printing, and Rotarians. 

We are inviting caring society organizations, ethical businesses, and effective government to consider partnering with us with a $5,000 donation in exchange for a one page ad in the back of the pocketbook for the next 20,000 copies. We are grateful to Edward Jones Headquarters, St. Louis, Missouri, for being our first major donor. Learn more with this flyer.

Caring Citizen Leaders Like You Are the Solution to build strong, caring neural pathways

The Empathy Surplus Project was formed on August 27, 2009 as a nonprofit corporation under the laws of the State of Ohio. We are a 501(c)4 tax-exempt organization and are in the process of shifting to 501(c)3 status - stay tuned. 

Our mentor, Dr. George Lakoff, says, "The blessings of democracy cannot be taken for granted. Maintaining democracy requires conceptual and linguistic maintenance." 
In democracy maintenance there are two components to law making: material and cognitive. The cognitive component to law making is the good idea that has to be in the brains of human beings for a law to make sense.

The good idea(s) like "human rights" and "democracy maintenance" MUST be repeated over and over and over again to build strong neural pathways in the human brain and body. 

Our Mission to Maintain Democracy by Building Strong, Caring Neural Pathways

To help build trust for a strong caring body politic that's responsible to its residents, the educational mission of the Empathy Surplus Project is to:
  1. Promote the latest brain research by Dr. George Lakoff and colleagues that informs caring citizen leadership education;
  2. Support caring citizen leadership education, especially of our elected representatives at the state and local level, that respects, protects, and promotes human rights through a federation of neighborhood communities of practice called Caring Citizens' Congresses;
  3. Assist congresses to promote human rights; and 
  4. Partner with like minded ethical businesses and other civil society organizations to strengthen effective government of, by, and for people at all levels.

CaringCitizenCongress.jpgOur Declaration 

to Build a Caring Society

I am a caring citizen.

I occupy compassion.

I here highly resolve that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom - and that government of the people, by the people, for the people shall not perish from the earth.

I am a person with human rights.

I care for my own Safety and Happiness and that of others.

I am the solution to expanding life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

And for the support of this declaration, joining caring citizens known and unknown, we mutually pledge to one another our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor

Our Four Empathic Activities Creates a Caring Common Sense

We are a community of practice. Every day we will promote the idea of a government of care by practicing Four Empathic Activities. 

  • We will inwardly digest and use the latest insights of the brain to frame caring conversations in our spheres of influence.
  • We will implement our caring policy directions through partnerships with ethical business, effective government institutions, and caring society organizations.
  • We will invite others to join us and promote governing with care.

Consider Repeating Our Values to Create a Caring Common Sense

Empathy, Responsibility and Strength - Empathy and responsibility to self and others, basic human rights, are strengthened when people lead with these values to care for one another, leading to freedom and fairness for all.

Protection, Fulfillment and Fairness - When you care for someone, even people you don't know, you want them to be protected, their hopes and dreams fulfilled, and to be treated fairly.

Freedom, Opportunity, and Prosperity - Fulfillment in life comes from being free. Our communities must have sufficient prosperity for its residents to have the opportunities to care for themselves and each other.

Community, Service, Cooperation - Children are shaped by their communities. Shared responsibility requires serving and helping to shape that community. That service above self requires cooperation.

Trust, Honest, and Open Communication - Effective cooperation requires trust. Building trust, or a trust / brand, requires the consistent, honest, and open communication of these core American values in all aspects of our lives.

The Caring Citizens' Congress: Your Neighborhood Community of Practice

The First Caring Citizens' Congress of Wilmington, Ohio (FCCC), is our first congress. A community of practice it's weekly assemblies are supported by more than 35 members in several states.

To start a congress in your neighborhood, you can join a congress web conference; or start your own. Whatever your choice fill out the email form below. The weekly gathering lasts an hour. Half of weekly time together is spent in discussing and reflecting on what we are leaning from Dr. George Lakoff about how to apply the latest insight of the brain to our policy direction concerns in our sphere of influence. Here is a diagram of the emerging Empathy Surplus Project.

Caring Policy Directions

Cognitive policy is about what the public has to have in its brain in order to support material policy - the good idea. Caring Citizens' Congresses focus on cognitive policy called caring policy directions. The Empathy Surplus Project helps promote the policy directions of its member congresses. Currently we have four caring policy directions.

Sample Agenda of Weekly Congress in Its 1 Hour Session

  • Weekly peaceably assemblies of the congress fulfill the "Investment" component of the 4 Empathic Activities. If your congressional members are in the same geographic area you might consider gathering over a meal. Congresses may convene via web conferencing if membership is spread out.
  • 1st 30 minutes begins with the Caring Citizen Declaration and is spent focused on our individual and local efforts to implement policy directions and invite other to our 4 Empathic Activities. These activities include emails, blogs, letters to the editor, visitations to solicit partnerships with other civil society organizations, ethical business, and effective government institutions, etc.
  • 2nd 30 minutes focuses on the Inward Digestion component of our 4 Empathic Activities  and continues with discussion of this week's reading or video presentation by Dr. Lakoff. Once a quarter a live program could be substituted for the presentation with discussion as usual. It ends with adjournment and the recitation of our 4 Empathic Activities.

How to Join

There are several ways to participate and the first way is to fill out the email signup form below. The members of the Empathy Surplus Project are neighborhood think-and-do-tanks called Caring Citizens' Congresses. You join the Empathy Surplus Project by joining a neighborhood congress and / or one of its working groups. Don't have one in your neighborhood and want to start one? Fill out the email signup form below. Don't have time to participate and still want to support our work? Fill out the email signup form to become a Monthly Freedom Investor?


Subpages (1): Fellowship Program