Lots of rhetoric in the previous post—almost like I was running for office. I’m not. I am interested in all of us being well. And I’m interested in that for very selfish reasons—I literally function better when all of us are happy. Want to know why we are so much better at enduring misery rather than beauty? It is not entirely about living in misery and getting use to it, it is also about trying to be happy when others are not—a tough gig. We can build our bubbles, but when we look out from the “security” of our place and see others floundering, we are not so secure, even though we may not acknowledge it. It is one thing to watch nature work when we are not threatened by it, but there is no bubble of ours that can protect us from threat when we see the despair of others. And that folks, is the Great Flaw in our economic and political strategy of ownership and buying low and selling high.
No, I’m not talking about saving the world or even forcing people to be helped across a road they don’t even want to cross. This thought is not about redistributing the wealth, removing ownership, or institutionalizing the bulk of human organizations. This thought is about the well-being of all of us. And here’s an apparently novel thought—human well being is not well-served by a static view of a dynamic process. There is no one-size political or economic philosophy that fits all for all time.
Yes, we like our peaceful, somewhat-static bubbles of existence in the middle of chaos, but one cannot just get in a car and drive down the road as though there is no context, only the inside of one’s car and the blissful delusion that cruise control, air conditioning or heat, loud music, and/or a cell phone will allow us to let our minds wander or to take care of “business” regardless of what is transpiring on or around the road.
Nope, I’m thinking that we can and need to be peaceful even if there are those that cannot or do not want to share that. But we certainly don’t add to our peace when we’ve raped the village to stock the castle. I think a little look at history will verify that statement.
There will always be those we cannot help and there will always be ideas that shine better or get dimmer under the hindsight microscope. What I am saying is that when we look out for others, we look out for ourselves. (Warning—look out, because what comes next is likely to disturb many.) Any view “grounded” in the delusion of exclusivity that decrees there is a doorway through which some can pass and other poor souls cannot, and climbing over those poor souls and regulating them to lesser status is a just and moral endeavor, is a psychotic view.
Consider this: It is not required of Paradisians to band together and wave Paradisian flags and smirk at other “lesser” beings. As I said of a lawyer I had business with, when there is nothing beneath you, just how elevated can you be? And such a statement is not ascribing status, it is describing it—a very different take on the nature of others that is not regulatory.
So let’s help. Let’s not gloat. Let’s not wave the flags of exclusivity or work to be better than others. Let’s work to be our better selves. After all, one can “take pride in our ride” without taking the pride of another’s ride.
Now all of this calls for a wrap-up thought: This watching out for others is not to say that we should not have the backbone to call others on their crap. One can stand up and ask questions that may cut like a sword, without taking a sword to another’s life. There is a difference. In fact, watching out for others often calls for questioning them about their doings. That is a fair and courageous stand, much different than either letting others do whatever in the name of freedom or to lop off their heads for any trespass. In either of those instances we’ve got a lot of cleaning up to do. And in case you haven’t noticed, we’ve got a big enough mess as it is.