“A man is truly ethical only when he obeys the compulsion to help all life which he is able to assist, and shrinks from injuring anything that lives.” Albert Schweitzer
“The true worth of a man is not to be found in man himself, but in the colours and textures that come alive in others.” Albert Schweitzer
“Being religious means asking passionately the question of the meaning of our existence and being willing to receive answers, even if the answers hurt.” Paul Tillich
What a profound question. I am not sure about the answer. Actually my answer is no. I don’t see it even in myself. Reviewing history makes anyone realize that we appear to be making similar mistakes. I want to change for the better as much as anyone but I’d like to do it my way and without disruptions to my life. That of course means placing my needs and wants first and worrying about self. I am not looking at the big picture of how much I might be infringing on others in my pursuit of happiness.I am not trying to be a negative person here. I’d like to find out ways to make me, my family, community and world better. If I, like all of us continue to make the same mistakes then nothing changes for the better. We must review those mistakes, confront them, work on them and at the least attempt to improve our ways. I suppose we could ignore any attempts and let all of life slip away.
The stone age people threw rocks at each other. As the weapons improved and were more advanced people killed with knives, swords, and guns. We improved our weapons but not ourselves or attitudes. The truth is we wear suits and ties and dresses but we still hurt each other. How do we consider ourselves civilized. Perhaps because we can better define our reasons for hurting others, we assume we have the right to behave the way we do.
Our knowledge only alleviates our conscience allowing us to continue the pain and hurt in the name of religion or whatever cause we choose to call it. How did we ever come to believing that our cause might be a better one so it gives us the right to do as we please in the name of justice. How ridiculous that is if we think long and hard about it. believe me it is scary to me. I am the same as anyone else. I believe in my family community and country as others believe in theirs. I just feel like we hate to admit we are like stone age people. We laugh at references to this being true yet the only difference I see is the clothes and the weapons of choice.
Our thought processes have only improved our deductive reasoning, permitting us to continue with our agenda. I want to improve my mindset. Truly evolving necessitates change at the inner core. Adjustments, even good ones are painful. There is comfort in the known which is why we hold on to old beliefs. I am not criticizing our previous ascendants in all of this. They strove to live in the open under dire conditions. I just believe it is okay for us to admit that modifications are needed, and sometimes q good thing.
Family units fail when they refuse to see their mistakes and amend them. Rather than cave and make necessary changes We hold on to our own ideas without bending. We break commitments rather than compromise. Communities want their own agendas. Bring this to the government level and one can understand how easy it is to come to fighting. We are likely more savage than civil. Such pride and boastfulness can be a person’s downfall.
I never considered myself in this light but the more I investigate the more the shoe fits. The entire world is guilty of savagery. The key to stopping it on a global level is to stop it in our own hearts and families. We have the power to do that. I love it when people think they need to go to the ends of the world to fix other people and things. We simply need to change it in ourselves. Altering what is within our ability is huge.
We are familiar with words like aggressive, strong, mighty, bold, fearless, pushy and many other similar words denoting strength. How many of us use the words loving, kind, caring, sympathetic, empathetic, and altruistic. Again ask ourselves what we value. Never mind what we admire, how about how we act and model behavior for our kids. How can we be surprised at what we see if that is what parents and society at large is demonstrating. The vigilance at home, to teach values and virtue, suffers from the bombardment of the glamorous world. This epidemic is world wide. It is not confined to any country or community or family.
Respect means we won’t deliberately hurt another. Tolerance insures acceptance of all. Humility accepts all people including ourselves. Empathy calls for mindfulness of others and being aware of their needs. Caring pours out refuge for all. Sympathy fosters emotional connectedness to others. Altruism promotes placing others before ourselves. How honored can anyone be if everyone would place each other before themselves.
The big question is will our generation transform or continue to reproduce what mankind has been professing. I am not suggesting we get rid of the army. I realize they give us freedom. i am suggesting we take those baby-steps towards civilizing us so that perhaps future generations may actually consider themselves evolved. It would be refreshing if they could look back on history and say that we were the generation that began the leap forward for mankind’s evolving of their humanity. There are breakthroughs in science, math medicine, media and entertainment. Probably now is a decent time to focus on our humanness.
“The first step in the evolution of ethics is a sense of solidarity with other human beings.” Albert Schweitzer
“Man must cease attributing his problems to his environment, and learn again to exercise his will – his personal responsibility in the realm of faith and morals.” Albert Schweitzer
Conscience is the sentinel of virtue.” Johann Kasper Lavater
“I hope for the day when everyone can speak again of God without embarrassment.” Paul Tillich