I kept up with their courses because I liked the principles in the Landmarks training (which corresponds with a lot of my personal philosophy), but I just found out that this has some serious real-world applications. It seems that two things that have come out of their programs are the Hunger Project and the recent Northern Ireland peace accords. Apparently, on the last, they were brought in as part of a unit that provides more major services in training on tolerance and connectedness and negociation. I'm beginning to understand why Ghandi comes up a lot in their training sessions. It seems like I've been hearing their philosophy and terminology come up in a number of places, lately, and now I'm wondering if that's because there really is some of their message spreading influence in the background. For too long, I've been hearing the philosophy of "polarize and conquer" rather than looking for grounds of relatedness and common interests like they emphasize. And nothing ever gets done when it's all us/them, and everyone is on a high horse.
I can see how their philosophy of "First, you have to give up being right, even if you are" can influence things like peace talks. It was one of the things I learned early on in dealing with my father, and sure made my life a lot easier. I didn't say pleasant, but definitely much easier.
Of course, in my case, I think the major reason I like them is simply this: for the first time in 32 years, I didn't get morose, morbid, or depressed on Mother's Day. Here's to letting loose of pedestals, self-blame, rationalizations, coulda/shoulda, and idolizations, and self-blame. In return, I accept better understanding of a remarkable but troubled woman.