Day 7: Ethical
It seems to me that most periods of deep divisiveness within our country stem from competing ideas about ethics, morality and values. From our own deeply personal and internalized "rules" and expectations of behavior stem our worldviews. Perhaps no cognitive feat announces the arrival of true adulthood more than the stunning realization that the deeply ingrained ideas that we have about what renders an action right or wrong is not shared by the rest of the world, and perhaps not even by most of the rest of the world. To recognize the variance in humanity about what constitutes decent and appropriate or moral conduct is to truly appreciate the diversity of the human experience. Those things condoned as criminal by some societies are celebrated by others, and vice versa. Further, even among communities that generally share our views of ethics, difficulties arise constantly and in every facet of society: healthcare, business, law, politics, and even personal relationships. How should we live?
Today, I celebrate the inner compass that guides my actions for my highest good and that of humanity. I celebrate my ability to choose virtues that celebrate the best traits of humanity, while diminishing those that would do harm to myself or others. I celebrate my ability to recognize in all others the basic struggles inherent to the human condition, such as greed, jealousy, insecurity, anger, resentment, lust and irrational self interest. I forgive not only myself but all of humanity for its damaging traits, realizing that what we all experience personally also manifests globally in the form of struggle, war, displacement, destruction and harm. I vow to act in ways that promote love over hate, prosperity for all over prosperity for only few, freedom over confinement, respect for all living things over respect for only humans, education or ignorance, literacy over illiteracy, and true and authentic sight over voluntary blindness. I will strive to recognize the impact of my decisions on not only my immediate surroundings, but on my community, state, nation and world. I release myself from any idea that others must "lose" for me to "win," and instead turn my heart toward the discovery or development of mutually acceptable solutions. I release myself from the idea that others are inferior or less deserving of prosperity, happiness and peace than I because of their life circumstances, spiritual beliefs or ethical codes. Where my ethical beliefs clash with those of others, I ask of the Universe that the most authentic and loving belief emerge as the most valid.
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I was inspired to create this page in memory of a dear friend I lost to suicide. She inspired me all of the time with her writing, which she shared with the world as one of the earliest recognizable "bloggers." I'm saving this page for thirty-one days of little pick me ups, in the hope that they might help someone else somewhere lift themselves up when they are feeling low.