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‘Me generation’ – a thing of the past


‘Me generation’ – a thing of the past

San Francisco  – 1980

There’s been a shift in the rules for successful living, according to Werner Erhard.

Speaking to a crowd of some 8,500 at San Francisco’s Cow Palace in January 1980, the founder of “est” told them to look at the world from a “you AND me” perspective, instead of a “you OR me” standpoint.

Departing from philosophies emphasized by self-centered “self-help” publications, Erhard said, “We need a whole new set of rules to live successfully in a ‘you and me’ world.  We are still trying to make it with ‘you or me’ rules.”

He said, “In the past, the way I had a glass of water was to hold on to it.  Now, the way to assure you have a glass of water is to assure everyone has one.”

The new type of thinking, which Erhard says people have no training for, could breed what might be called failure.  Erhard wards that this is not truly failure.  People can expect to “fail,” he said, but failure in the context that “the world works for everyone” is an opportunity for a breakthrough.

Erhard says, “Each person’s life is shaped by a basic principle” which “thereafter unconsciously determines the shape and scope of their lives.”  People, he says, need to develop the basic principle, “The world can work for everyone.” He emphasizes that the individual does make a difference in the world.

When they adopt these attitudes, he says, they will see a shift in the way they experience life.

He said he believes what people want to do is make a difference in the world.  The “be careful, get everything you can” kind of thinking tends to dictate not only how people live and act, but how they look at the world.

What a person now needs to do, he says, is to “look at life, see what is wanted and needed, and start producing it.”

Erhard says each person must choose, for himself, the way he will make a difference in the world.

– Richard Guarino – San Francisco