2022 Presidential Initiative
Enhancing Connection Through Praxis
By Rory Remer, Ph.D.
Praxis (the Social Justice Construct) is based on and in connection/relationships (i.e. mutual, synergistic interaction; each element being seen, heard, felt, acknowledged, and respected) - what “follow the science” is intended to be. The aim is going beyond the aspirational - beyond mere words - to action. Let’s experiment with ways of reframing masculinity by engaging with instead of preaching to (with apologies to all for doing just that, See Note).
Rory Remer, Ph.D.
Humble Arrogance and Arrogant Humility
Early, Division 51 seemed to be more respectful, appreciative, supportive, curious, loving, synergistic (Social Justice Praxis [SJP]). We had a “lovin’ feelin’.”
Now, the division seems to be more suspicious, disrespectful, intolerant, at odds, hateful, critical (Colloquial Praxis [CP]). We’ve lost “the lovin’ feelin’.”
As per the evidence from Common Factors Research, the consistent condition, the essential ingredient, the KEY is the relationship, the connection.
We started with connection. It birthed and defined us. We’ve “lost that lovin’ feelin’…now it’s gone, gone, gone. (whoa, woe woe).” Can SJP bring us - and it - back?
The Joy of SJP is non-competitive, collaborative achievement advancing toward a common goal, synergistic problem solving, and the “love” of connecting with “someone” and something greater than one-self. It is mystical, magical. For a true scientist (a seeker of knowledge) the experience is like your most awesome moment - the caress of a cool mountain breeze filled with the scent of pine, the first taste of chocolate, cuddling closely with your first baby. It is even more so because of the knowledge; your sense not only of the experience itself, but also the insight into the how and the why (the primary unanswerable question). SJP goes way beyond the monolithic, self-contradictory (even self-defeating), short-sighted (even blind) approaches to undoing authoritarianism, racism, sexism, and every other -ism.
Humbling is necessary (better self, but other is also required because of unconscious bias and unawareness). “I know something you don’t know” (CP) can be petty and mean. It is also true. I know something(s) you don’t AND (not BUT) you know something(s) I don’t (and perhaps can’t). Together We know (SJP) not only more, BUT MUCH MORE (not just, merely, simply the product but the process, the how of the experience, and—most meta of all possible knowledge—how to recapitulate [not replicate] it.)
I can offer examples—and experiences—if/when you’re ready to learn (cognitively and emotionally), that is to be transformed. BEaWARE, however, “no pain, no gain.” No one can teach you anything, but they can help you learn.
Looking forward to this year with some energy, hope, and a fair amount of trepidation,
Rory Remer, Ph.D.
Note: An MSWord file on Praxis is being polished and will be available for those who desire an explicit, more detailed discussion of the concept and its intended application. Most likely more than you’ll want and less than you’ll need. In any case, anyone wishing it, please backchannel me at RRemer@uky.edu and I’ll send.