Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Refocusing Responsibility

It is the core of society for humans to have responsibilities - for us to know our place in the world and to act upon it, so that the world continues to move forward.

However, those of us in the most civilized countries are trained to believe our responsibilities in life are to governments, corporations, religions, society and the big business of charity.

We are responsible to pay taxes, responsible to buy things and work, responsible to tithe, responsible to shower, dress nicely and put our best face forward for the benefit of societie's comfort, responsible to donate - to corporations whose business is charity.

These responsibilities are misplaced. Most of them also do harm to the planet which is needless. Money itself, made from paper and ink or metals, is unneccessary. Much of what we are paying the government to do causes additional burden on the planet - paving roads in and of itself is a drain on resources and you can add to that the effect that asphault has on temperature both in the surrounding areas and globally. Paying a tithe to a physical building of a church allows it to grow and possibly build more, and pays for it's owner to have vehicles and buy things. You could get all the information and more from the internet that you can get in a church - and you could have a communal group meeting outside in a park for a more true group worship. Some churches meet in the auditoriums of existing buildings, using the space temporarily when the facility itself is serving another purpose.

As for showering, wearing makeup, dressing in new (and varied) clothing, spraying scents and chemicals on yourself, getting new shoes every week or two, and the like, all of this is absolutely unneccessary human preening that serves no purpose other than to try and make other people like and appreciate you. I am not saying that bathing is unneccessary - but a weekly or so dip or swim in natural water is better for both you and the environment.

Charity, donating and helping out mankind and the planet are all true responsibilities - however we've been fooled into thinking that the money we donate to massive organizations goes mostly to those who need it. Think about it - these organizations have employees, advertise, have travel and office expenses and occasionally are not for profit rather than non profit - the difference being that a not for profit can keep profit should it make it's way into their hands.

If you really want to do the most amount of good, donate to a smaller local organization, or find a way to donate directly to the afflicted people you are trying to help. Even organizations that help animals have much smaller counterparts to which donations are even more pressing - local no-kill shelters. Do you want to donate to the big animal helpers who ultimately might use it to put down perfectly healthy animals that no one wants? Instead you can give that money to a no kill shelter who will instead would use it to feed those animals rather than pay for their death.

We have a set of true responsibilities in life - which often go ignored.

We are responsible to do no harm - to ourselves, to others, to animals, to the planet.

We are responsible to further our spiritual growth in our lives.

We are responsible to help those in need.

We are responsible to act with kindness in all things.

We are responsible to forgive those around us, and any who cause us harm.

We are responsible to create beauty through art, music, storytelling and performance.

We are responsible to seek out the truth in all things - history, religion, life.

We are responsible for our every action and every inaction. Every miniscule thing we do, especially those things we do from habit and take for granted has an impact and we must carefully consider every step, every breath, to ensure that we are not causing any harm.

In a seperate but related issue, the city of Orlando has arrested members of Food not Bombs for feeding the homeless. The reason? Not having a permit for vending.

I am speechless over this.

Fortunately, there are those among us who take exception to the senseless overrunning of government and corporation, and aren't afraid to do something it about it.

To them, I just want to say thank you for giving the masses a voice when we thought it had been completely silenced.

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