Way too long for some, but hey, I warned ya.
I’ve been hanging out on the internet for the past week or so, trying to keep myself amused through this flu. But the amusement factor has been offset by a feeling of being dragged into a direction I find attractive, but I don’t think is a great place for me.
All of my life I have tried to be a “good” person. I have studied and thought about so many angles of “morality” and “goodness”, and I would love to be the person I envision in my head. But I find it almost impossible to get there. Looking at the “Charter for Compassion” ( http://charterforcompassion.org/ ) that a friend led me to reminded me that I have been straying farther and farther from my goals. I have become a person I do not like.
I am seeking to fix what I see broken; in my spirit, mindset and actions, but it is difficult. Although I know that only I can put myself on the right path, I do know it is more difficult for me to find that path when everything else seems to lead in a different direction.
Examples: I read stories of people taking the easy way out, of mocking another’s misfortunes, of winning to another’s detriment – and it is far too easy to let those decisions influence my own actions. I see that the folks who yell loudest and the most rudely often “win”, and I fear that reason, discourse and compassion are useless. I find my own rage bubbling up much too often and much too quickly to keep in check. Standing up for what I believe is a moral position is too much work.
It would be so easy to join the ranks of folks who are just angry for the sake of being angry. I believe that anger can be a driving force for social change, but that it can not and should not be directed at non-responsible individuals – but this, too is eroding. I am surrounded by people who issue threats of violence as naturally as they breathe – and that I no longer find it upsetting upsets me.
So, I need to clarify to myself and to the world (so I can’t back out!) what my goals are.
[li]I want to attempt to see every situation from all points of view. This includes from the non-human standpoint.[/li]
[li]I want to give the benefit of the doubt whenever I can find a way. [/li]
[li]If I find that anger is my first response, I need to not give into that anger. I will try to leave the situation behind and revisit it fresh.[/li]
[li]Winning does not mean that somebody loses.[/li]
[li]If it is possible to make one being’s existence better without a true detriment to another, and I have the means, I have an obligation to try. There is no good excuse not to.[/li]
[li]I do not need to feel apologetic for these beliefs, or to pretend that they are not my values.[/li]
[li]Laws, amendments, rules and public opinion do not matter as much as human dignity and compassion.[/li][/ul]
To these ends, I will be spending less time on the internet (consequently here)(I will check e-mails, though!) It is time to re-evaluate my place in this world and re-connect with the truly important parts of it. If you want me, you know where to look – somewhere with plants, dogs and birds.