Diplomacy vs. Decency
For what will it profit a man, if he gains the whole world, and forfeits his own soul?
Truths that are written, like this, have survived through the ages because, as ultimate truths, they are true from one age to the next and stand the test of time.
I have pondered this truth many times over my life span, in the same way that I have with other truths and as I believe we all should in an effort to not only understand our own life but life in the larger sense, life in all of its layers, the total experience that is life.
I believe that the core or essence of a truth does not change but as life changes, so will our understanding and use of that truth.
I was taught once that the understanding of truth can be appreciated or understood better by using the story of how Jesus Christ turned water into wine at a wedding feast.
Basically it goes like this, the stone jars represent the first level of truth; rigid and with a definite shape, the water represents the second level which is truth as a fluid that takes the shape of the jar but remains fluid to take the shape of any vessel in which it is poured. The wine represents the third level which is truth maturing and becoming a truth to its full potential.
Like most of us I struggle, almost daily, to make some sense of all that is going on around us in our world. Every day there seems to be yet another absurdity to deal with, another atrocity to try and comprehend, another tragedy to try and make some sense of.
I try very hard not to judge but is that possible? I try very hard not moralise but is that realistic?
I am sometimes wracked with anxiety and pain over not being able to solve the ills and pains of my fellow man; over my inadequacy to solve the problems of the world.
Is this what we all have to deal with? Is this the way it is meant to be?
No! It isn’t! None of us can save the world from pain.
None of us can feed the starving millions. None of us can solve the problems of the world.
Why? Because we are not meant to! It is not our responsibility. It is not our role.
I believe our role, if you like, is to live our life in the best way we can and if that means caring for or about our fellow man, then so be it.
If it means being troubled about the injustice of man towards his own, then so be it.
If it means realising that we can only do so much to relieve some ones suffering, then so be it.
I firmly believe that we are meant to care for our fellow man but at the same time know that ultimately it is not our responsibility to be responsible for his welfare.
I believe that we should do what we can to help relieve his suffering but at the same time know that in the doing of that we are really working on ourselves and that the benefit derived is as much for ourselves as it is for him.
By ‘him’ I mean fellow man and/or woman, of course.
‘Man’ from here on will be my way of referring to the species recognised as man, not man the gender, we wouldn’t want to upset the inanely politically correct now would we?
I’m outraged, offended and angered at the Indonesian occupation of the western half of Papua. They call it Irian Jaya. They commit atrocities against the people that are the original inhabitants. There are reliable reports that while the world looks the other way genocide of those people is taking place.
I can’t change that but I will do what little I can to make my voice heard in protest at what is clearly a crime against humanity.
In China people guilty of no more than practising a meditative form of exercise known as Falun Gong are arrested, imprisoned and tortured, even to death.
Men, women and children are taken and in most cases never seen or heard from again.
Ultimately behind these and many other disgusting practices you will find some political gain or another is at play, in other words politics is behind most of the worlds suffering…politics and money.
I have long thought that much of the pain and angst that our young are experiencing, our older folk too, is a direct result of us all feeling the pain but being left with the feeling that there is little we can do about it. This feeling of helplessness turns to sadness and when that sadness is not addressed or cannot be soothed that very same sadness and the ensuing feeling of frustration quickly turns into anger.
It seems that our world is awash with anger.
I have wrestled with these issues for most of my life, the search for truth, the sadness of the plight of our race, the contradiction between what most of us know is right and the reality that what we know is wrong seems to pollute our daily lives on so many levels.
I will follow and support, where ever and how ever I can, those who go into foreign countries and open orphanages or build houses or dig wells or perform surgery, those wonderful people who realise that their efforts will not ease all the suffering but will ease some of it. They know that to change one person’s life is as valuable as changing a million lives.
I have found a truth that eases my pain, which brings me some measure of peace and comfort.
I did not arrive at this conclusion in an effort to absolve myself of my responsibility to my fellow man but it has made my role in the drama more tolerable.
The simple truth is that I am not responsible for mankind’s suffering so I should feel no guilt; I am not the cause of anyone’s pain but my own. The powers that cause the chaos have not been of my making.
Faceless men and women plot and scheme to bring about that which we all see as evil, they are driven by and are slaves to the lust for power and the greed to have more.
Those things are not my master.
What I have found and what I now accept,which has and does bring me some level of comfort, is just this; my personal belief is that we are not meant to solve all these problems our role , if you will, is to grapple with these things daily in our lives in an effort to be part of the solution not part of the problem.
Personal growth is our goal but more on that later. Take comfort in the age old wisdom that we change nothing until we change ourselves, once we change ourselves we change every thing.
Hopefully we will talk again. Until then I remain your friend, Angry.
by Angry Anderson