Never allow your wanton desires to interfere with the basic needs and interests of others and live simply so others may simply live
Saturday, December 21, 2013
From Greg Webb: A Certain Type of Thinkng
By Greg Webb
A certain type of thinking has opposed the American Revolution, the Emancipation Proclamation, women’s suffrage, child labor laws, the Social Security Act, the Civil Right’s Act, Medicare, and now Equal Protection Under the Law. In my opinion it is primarily rooted, the longer I live and learn and let go, less in democrat vs. republican, or conservative vs. liberal, or even 'social priorities' vs. 'economic priorities' -- and more in a deeply ingrained notion of exceptionalism. Per the list above, "But royalty is exceptional", "but whites are exceptional", "but men are exceptional", "but grown ups are exceptional", "but those with means are exceptional", "but the healthy are exceptional", and last but not least, "but straight people are exceptional". In each of these examples, those holding to such notions (and I have been guilty of holding a version of them all at one time or another, in some form or fashion) buttress this tribal need to belong and believe and be right and be better-than by being able to point to some sacred text used to instil or inspire or ingrain this tribal truth - i.e. - "Because my bible tells me so!" - And maybe it does (cherry-picked parts of it, anyway). But when we step back, and see the myth of our exceptionalism for what it is, we come to understand that it's simply one more fear-based projection, the latest attempt to insist that we can't possibly all be in this together, because that would mean that my first calling is to enrich and serve others rather than myself, which can't possibly succeed in ensuring my (and my tribe's) own survival…Yet haven't we lived long enough to notice -- counterintuitive as it may seem -- that, when we finally get together, the opposite occurs? That society flourishes? That Mandela, for example, doesn't incite or exact revenge? That the arc of history does in fact start to bend toward justice? In this season of more consciously celebrating the dawning of new light and selfless love, let us yield to our better angels, and realize a compassion -- for self and for other -- that recognizes our oneness. Such a realization...would indeed...be truly exceptional.
The progress of social justice is slow and measured. Its growth depends on an increasing number of us becoming aware of the truth and consequences of our actions.
I believe that it is morally wrong to allow our wanton desires to interfere with the basic needs and interests of other sentient beings.
I believe the physical and psychological abuse – confinement, social deprivation, mutilation, genetic and reproductive manipulation, and profit exploitation – imposed by us on other animals is morally wrong.
I believe the suggestion that the exploitation of other sentient beings by humans can be achieved without cruelty, violence, or injustice is false and misleading.
As an advocate for all life, committed to compassion and justice, I refuse to take part in the exploitation of other sentient beings or to collaborate with those caught up in such injustice.
I pledge to do my best to live a life that conveys a clear, sincere and uncompromised message that is free of resentment, fear, exploitation, anger, cynicism, and manipulation.
Furthermore, I pledge to continue to support a broad range of nonviolent initiatives and programs that will hopefully one day eliminate the needless pain and suffering we inflict upon all the many wonderful creatures with whom we share this planet.