Tag: philosophy

Thoughts on Hate

Thoughts on Hate

They say that anger is what pain and fear look like when they show themselves in public. An animal threatened, lashing out to intimidate and diffuse the threat. A preemptive strike. Protecting self, covering insecurities that whisper “they will win, we will lose.” Coming from a mindset of scarcity. This country belongs to me and the people like me. But I believe that all people are like me. I believe that when we broaden the sphere of community, we become stronger, we gain talents and allies we could not previously imagine. I believe that when I help you rise, I don’t sink. Instead, we can both reach new heights we couldn’t achieve alone.

 

It’s easy now to hate. Whether you are hiding behind a computer screen, a campaign podium, or your identity- religion, nationality, gender- it’s all too easy to forget that the other person is a human being. It’s easy when you don’t have to see the frown lines etched onto the human face, the tears pouring down cheeks from downcast eyes that see just like yours. When you don’t have to see the widow shrieking in grief, and struggling to provide for her children for years to come. When you don’t have to see the child struggling to breathe, bleeding in the street. But just because your head is buried beneath grains of sand, just because you squeeze your eyes shut, willing yourself not to see, doesn’t mean the world disappears, doesn’t change the truth. We all share the same DNA, the same earth. We all have eyes, if they are a different shape. We all have skin, if it is a different color. We all think, if we have different ideas. We all love those we feel are close to us. We are all cousins, we are all humans. It’s time we start acting like it.

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Live

Live

 

Give friendship, give trust freely and without cause-

Make fast friends, slow enemies.

If others hurt you, take advantage of you, persevere:

Succeed even when they stack all odds against you.

Forgive others who harm you, but remember to protect yourself in the future.

Keep your expectations low and be prepared to do it all yourself

Let kindness from others amaze you as the wonderful gift it is.

Help others, go above an beyond expectations

Not with any expectation of benefit, but because you want to.

Take joy in raising others up and raise yourself up even when others push you down.

Realize that this is your own personal truth, not the same as anyone else’s

Not better, not worse,

And that the only universal wrong is the intentional harm of others.

Live this life. You may not always be happy. You may not always succeed.

But I truly hope that you will always find peace.

 

Beliefs

Beliefs

I believe in passion and determination above talent.
I believe in effort above absolute success.
I believe in health above aesthetics, above weight.
I believe in meaning above happiness, above comfort.
I believe in experience above material goods.
I believe in collaboration above adversarial competition.
I believe in the value an action provides others above what advantage it lends me.
Above all these things, above wealth, above power,
I believe in love.

Thoughts on Morality

Thoughts on Morality

The guiding tenets of my moral beliefs to a large extent can be distilled into two well known ideas. The first is the golden rule: treat others the way you wish to be treated. The next is, when considering an action, even if insignificant, ponder if the world would be better or worse if everyone did this regularly.

One important aspect of this is that if you wish to be treated with respect and kindness, and to be helped when in need, you should treat others in the same way. Part of this can be extended to tolerance. It is all too easy to deride others for mistakes, but all humans make mistakes, including ourselves. We have a ready excuse as to why our mistake was understandable or forgivable, and crave understanding and leniency. This comes from a knowledge of our personal circumstances, everything that has made us believe, think, and act the way we do, the misconceptions we may hold. Strive to see that others similarly have circumstances that have caused them to act or think the way they do, and that if we want leniency, we must extend it to others. But when our flaws are pointed out it is important to consider them, and work to change them for the better, if we wish to see the same in others.

We would like others to listen to our opinions without automatically declaring them false because they conflict with others’ already held perceptions. So why are we so eager to dismiss other’s beliefs? Personal beliefs are just that- personal. They are affected by the myriad circumstances in which we grew up. We must follow our own creed and let others follow theirs, as long as they do not harm others. They will have to answer to the universe in their own way, and we in ours.

If we want people to help us when we are in need, we must go out of our way to help others. If we do not want others to take advantage of us when we are weak, we must help others in the same situation. Always remember that if you try to use others to make the world better for yourself, the mass of humanity sinks under the weight of your ego. If we all work together to make the world a better place, however, we all rise to new heights and everyone benefits in ways that were unimaginable before.

Obviously we should not take advantage of others if we do not wish to be taken advantage of. But in cases that may seem insignificant on a personal level, it is easy to say “I am not hurting anyone.” In this case, the second tenet reveals its value. The first is a rule that is important for individual interactions and group interactions of a relatively small scale. The second is a tenet vital to the existence of large societies. Should I throw that plastic bottle in the trash instead of the recycling? It is only one bottle and there is only a small probability it will be released into the environment on its way to the landfill. But multiply the problem by the 25 times you do it a year and the 7 billion people in the world, and it becomes a problem. If we choose these actions, we either neglect to care for the world that sustains us or believe that we are entitled to take the easy route and it is the rest of the world’s job to recycle or refrain from the use of plastic. This can be applied to shoplifting, fudging numbers on work reports or data, or an innumerable number of societal problems as well as numerous environmental problems such as the depletion of tropical rainforests for wood, palm oil, or subpar farmland. This practice saves us from problems that only become an issue in the aggregate of a worldwide human society.

These tenets are based upon the belief that man is a social animal. It is based on the belief that we should all act this way for the betterment of mankind. We can only act in good faith that others will do the same. I cannot claim to be perfect on these issues, I am human and mess up more often than not. But I like to believe that as I grow older and wiser, I consistently move in the right direction and become a better human and a better citizen of planet earth. I hope we can all do the same together.

(Picture found here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/locosteve/5546134597/in/pool-creative_commons-_free_pictures/)