The Brooklyn Museum & The Juice Man’s Dilemma

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By Jose Franco In an attempt to lose 15 pounds, I've started going for longer walks in my Park Slope neighborhood. As I walked by the Brooklyn Museum, I noticed a sign which states the opposite of what my wife wants me to do. ("Do Not Disappear Into Silence"). My biggest challenge as a small business owner consist of my inner battle deciding whether to speak out or remain silent regarding national politics. In 2018, I threw caution to the wind and commented on 200+ New York Times, Washington Post and Huff Post articles encouraging readers to mobilize and to think for themselves. I opted to comment online instead of sharing unsolicited advice with Stoop Juice walk-in customers. My in store attempts have produced mixed results, like when I engaged a hat wearing patron who seemed troubled, as he ordered a juice. He sighed and rolled his eyes as I asked, “Do you know what agape is? On another occasion, I refused to honor a certificate for a complementary 60 day juice cleanse to an individual who agreed to be featured in the "Benefits Of Juicing" documentary, because he didn't honor a mutual agreement. These misunderstandings have convinced my wife and business partner, I need to avoid offering unsolicited advice and solely focus on selling juices and smoothies. My wife believes as a byproduct of my interactions, the shop’s website was hacked and I was pranked called by someone who claimed to be Donald Trump.

 Despite my wife’s opposition, In January of 2018, I started collecting signatures to run for President of The United States. Through a post on Facebook , I announced my intentions out of frustration to the January 2018 government shutdown. I’ve written 55 articles on LinkedIn addressing healthcare, gun control, consciousness, economics, self awareness and the five primary ways new habits can be triggered. If you understand each habit trigger, then you can select the right one for the particular habit that you are working on.  Unfortunately, other people (Donald Trump) is one of the triggers and can make an immediate impact in your life and plays a role on your habits and behaviors.

Agape means universal love in Greek. It is the highest form of love—of God for man, and man for God. The fedora wearing customer told me about a business deal gone wrong between he and his brother—a deal in which he had gone against his better judgement based on trying to please their mother. This was always on his mind. I told him that he is perpetuating his own feelings due to not being willing to forgive his brother, and suggested he consider it in order to free himself of this burden. He smiled then said, “that’s easier said than done”. The other customer (documentary) wasn’t able to lose the first 10 pounds on his own within 40 days, as we had agreed upon. These two experiences helped me realize, it’s sometimes difficult for people to approach things rationally when history and emotions are involved. 

Unequal results of human achievement conjure up simplistic notions of injustice which can result in people misunderstanding my good intentions. Any business owner worth their salt has to follow politics and current affairs closely as the decisions made at the seat of power aren’t simple and/or transparent. These acts naturally impact the future success of any business and require continuous attention since ignorance is never a good excuse. I recognize my life is in process and what works for me may not work for someone else. Regardless of person, we must be accountable, transparent and surrender to our individual realities. We all have to contend with our capacity to do good and evil. Far too many people set themselves up for defeat because they’re unwilling to acknowledge the destructive side of their being. Opting instead to utilize coping mechanisms instead of chasing the difficult task of surrendering and objectively seeing yourself. Surrender is not the same thing as resignation. One can surrender to the reality of a situation and still take steps to create a different path. The concept of “motivation” is very important and challenges the assumption that acceptance will lead to equality or a lack of motivation. Equality is as undesirable as it is unrealizable. Attempting to achieve equality requires that each of us forego who we are and what we can do in order to create something in which no one ultimately believes - a society everybody is the same or has the same. let us by all means seek to increase opportunities for all. We have to proceed knowing to increase opportunities for all is likely to favor those better able to take advantage of them and may often first increase inequalities. 

Donald Trump has made it impossible for me to be silent. My wife thinks silence is scarce and rare and she wants me to deliberately keep myself out of the conversation and subsist without its validation. Mrs. Franco often says, "Silence is the respite of the confident and the strong." Unfortunately, we have an insecure President who projects in order to avoid facing his dark side and poses a danger to society. Projection occurs when we attribute an element of our personality, which resides in our unconscious to another person or a group. By itself, projection is one of the commonest psychic phenomenas. Everything that is unconscious in ourselves we discover in our neighbor and we treat him accordingly. Projection is a necessary component in our phycological development as it’s a primary means by which we can gain an awareness of elements residing in our unconscious. After projecting an element of our unconscious, the healthy thing to do is to recognize the subjective origin of the projection to withdraw it from the external world and to integrate this element of our personality into conscious awareness (The Now). This allows us to become aware of the faults we previously projected onto others and take corrective measures. 

Instead of showing courage by facing his weaknesses and dark qualities, Donald Trump blames Mexicans and other immigrants for the ills of our nation. Failure to confront his internal imperfections forces the President to continually look for scapegoats to make up for his shortcomings. Trump knows exactly what he’s doing by targeting entire groups not individuals. Trump's rhetoric is appealing to already formed groups who also use Mexicans and immigrants as ready made scapegoats. Relationships with these groups allow the President to avoid damaging personal relationships which occurs when you use someone close to you as a scapegoat. Scapegoating at a group level is made easier by the fact that some group members (all races) are individuals who are composed of their own weaknesses and flaws. The President’s rhetoric tries to provide legitimate reasons for indignation and falsely magnifies the problems by his proposed wall on the US and Mexican border. A small number of undesirable Mexicans serve as the hook Donald Trump has tied all of America’s problems. Trump's approach sends the wrong message and makes it plausible to justify persecution and violence to an entire group. This use of propaganda and other manipulation techniques are implemented to divert the public’s attention from Donald Trump’s other activities. 

Trump’s inability to self reflect overlooks four fundamental truths: (1) our capacity to destroy one another is matched by our capacity to heal one another. Restoring relationships and community is central to restoring well-being; (2) language gives us the power to change ourselves and others by communicating our experiences, helping us to define what we know, and finding a common sense of meaning; (3) thru surrender, we have the ability to regulate our own physiology, including some of the so-called involuntary functions of the body and brain, through such basic activities as breathing, moving, and touching; and (4) we can change social conditions to create environments in which children and adults can feel safe and where they can thrive regardless who occupies the White House. Once these truths are once again encouraged nationally, I can disappear into silence. 

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