Award-winning psychologist Linda Myers proposed a cultural revolution yesterday. More than 50 students, faculty and staff members at the W.E.B. DuBois College House attended Myer's speech, which discussed everything from race relations to sexual relations. As a solution to the nation's social crisis, she proposed her "optimal theory," an Afro-centric psychological approach which uses an ancient African belief system to solve modern problems. In this view of life, people are simply an extension of the universe around them, she said. "Optimal theory is not just something that I speak of, it is something that I live," Myers added. According to Myers, many of the country's problems can be attributed to the Western "sub-optimal" social system. She associated this system with a "fragmented," materialistic approach to life, and an over-reliance on the information gathered with "the five senses." She stressed that this dependence on empirical knowledge prevents people from gaining self-knowledge. "Self-knowledge and self-love are the basis of all knowledge and all love," Myers said. Self-esteem can only be gained by looking inward and rejecting the sub-optimal system, she added. Myers said that people of African descent suffer more under the sub-optimal system than those of European descent, since their own culture was based on optimal concepts. But she added that people of all races would be better off if they observed optimal teachings. "As human beings, what's really different between us is not how we look, but how we think," she said. She noted that W.E.B. DuBois himself left the United States toward the end of his life, claiming that America was hopelessly racist. Myers said she agreed with DuBois' view, and advocated the creation of separate institutions to offer alternatives to the Western system. Myers is a professor at Ohio State University and holds a Ph.D. in clinical psychology. She was invited to campus by the Undergraduate African Studies Advisory Board.
Please note All comments are eligible for publication in The Daily Pennsylvanian.