590: Respect for Humans

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I love you.

You are another human bean, sprouting,

growing into the best human you can be – being.

You are completely, totally, irrevocably unique among the billions of other beans that exist, breathe, scream, laugh, sorrow, rejoice, live….just like every other bean….totally unique.

This sense of you being the only one (which you ARE) works only so long as you remember that you are the ONE among all the other ONES.

They (ALL) deserve exactly the same high regard that you do, since they are also totally unique ONES, with all their advantages, disadvantages, successes, failures, flaws and strengths. Totally unique.

You cannot MAKE more of yourself, than another – for to do so lessens us all. You can have what you earn, what you are given, not what you take – that cost of taking is high in this life and in the next, and payment will be exacted upon you, and upon us, for what you take that you have not earned nor been given.

Live your life, and let others live their lives.

Do no harm. Try to live and do no harm.

For us all.

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515: Abhor

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To be disgusted with; to strongly dislike; to regard with extreme repugnance or aversion; detest utterly; loathe; abominate. Pretty strong words.

I abhor people who do not have consideration for other people. Their words, their opinions, their beliefs, even their EXISTENCE. The conundrum to that is that people who take that lack of consideration for others to the point of killing others need themselves to be killed (to stop them from doing what they have demonstrated they are willing and able to do), forcing those of us who do not wish to harm others to commit harm to them.

I abhor irony.

376: Following Your Inner Muse

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OK, I get it. People are different. It doesn’t take all kinds, we just HAVE all kinds. We all get to learn to live with not only the few people we can stand for short periods of time, but also the other people who are genuine jerk-offs.  I get it. Just because I don’t like you, the way you look, your ideologies and beliefs, your political, racial or sexual orientation, or fill-in-the-blank, I don’t get to wipe your existence off the face of the Earth just so I can feel better. Neither, BTW, do YOU get to do that to ME. Nyah, nyah, na pooh pooh. Tough titty – suck it up.

I have my own goals and dreams. You have yours. Yours are not any more legitimate than mine, even if yours are currently working, might work in the future, or worked in the past at least at one time, and mine never did. If they are my dreams, they are mine, and I can pursue them as long as I don’t hurt others in the process. That is ethical behavior, and there are too many people breathing good air right now that other people could be using, who don’t get that. You don’t crap on others to get what you want – whatever it is that you want. Why do you think I never went into politics? It is nearly impossible to make any decision that affects large groups of people without crapping on at least some of them. That is the nature of the dirty, slimy, filthy business of politics. It takes big cajones (male or female) and a very thick skin to do it, even when you are mostly an ethical, moral person with genuine, humane values. You are still going to make enemies, because some people are going to be harmed by your decisions and actions, and that is that.

It is like being a parent – to several hundred thousand children at once. Boggles the mind. I had only two and I am batting .500. My daughter is human, and my son….well, my daughter is human. If you can’t even do a perfect job of caring for and making parental decisions for one or two humans, how the hell do you think politicians and others in positions of authority can do a perfect job? You just hope they don’t screw up too often or in a big way, and that is the best you can do, dude.

Our current crop of politicians have one impeding factor in their way, however. They have completely forgotten the ethical part of making decisions that affect others: do as little harm as humanly possible. These guys, far too often in this current time, are focused on their own inner muse, and damn the goals, dreams, values and aspirations of anybody else, regardless of how many anybody elses there are that disagree with their personal, internal view of the rightness of the universe. That is the number one problem: the current politicians earnestly and stubbornly and BLINDLY believe that they know best for everybody else, and they are determined to force their view of utopia on all the rest of us, who are pretty much blowing razzberries at the view.

I don’t like your world view, I don’t think you are correct in your vision of the future, and I am furious that you are making decisions that are screwing me over…and over….and over. Modern politicians, hear this: It is not that I don’t like anal sex, but I prefer to choose my own partners.

352: Murderer

I am a murderer, responsible for the death (an agonizing one, not clean and quick) of a creature I loved very, very much. The prickle of tears is starting again as I confess this unpardonable sin, and it is only right that I should flagellate myself this way….my babies depend on me to care for them, and I let Fluff-man down in the most awful way.

I had to leave Panama to renew my tourist visa, because document thieves stole my FBI Criminal Background Check document in Miami, and this document is required to begin the months-long process of getting my work visa. Without it I cannot apply, and replacing it has been a nightmare of delays and waiting.  So, I booked Costa Rica to renew my visa over our school’s Christmas break. Because I have been robbed here in Panama twice already (once in my home and once in the street) I was not willing to give a key to my house to the next door neighbor who agreed to care for the cats while I was gone. Instead, I fixed a place in the screened metal security door where the cats could come and go, and I placed a large metal crate over this opening, so they could exit the house (into the crate) to access their potty, and the neighbor could tend it without actually entering the house. Belongings safe, right? No dogs have access to the cats, either, right?

Then, I took all six kitchen table chairs and placed one heavy chair in front of each and every door inside my house, so that the wind (which occasionally is pretty strong) could not possibly blow any inside door shut, which might trap a cat. Then, I filled each and every pan and bowl I owned with kibble or water, and placed them all around: kitchen, living room, both bathrooms. I even put one bowl in the bathroom sink and left the tap dripping into it, and filled both sides of the kitchen sink for good measure.  Secure in the knowledge that there was super-abundant water and food available, and access for the kitty potty, I headed off on my visit to Costa Rica to renew my six-month tourist visa.

Well. The best laid plans of mice, men and kitty mommies aft gang agly. The chair I placed in front of one bedroom door did blow shut. The wind just pushed the heavy chair aside, and when the door shut, Fluff-man was inside. The food and water bowls, so many of them, were all in other rooms. The neighbor heard Fluff meowing after some days, and they took out the window glass to get him out of the room. However, because he’d had no water, he was dehydrated…and when you are seriously dehydrated, you lose the desire to drink. They did not know to force-feed him water, and they did not know to take him to the veterinarian, and Fluff died the next day.

I loved that cat, and would not have harmed him for the world – and I harmed him to death. I’d rather they had robbed everything left in my house than to have hurt that kitty boy, but hurt him I did. I am so awfully sorry that he paid for my mistake with his life, and it has been a horribly hard lesson for me, too, even if I am still living.

294: Demands of Religion

Religions have been causing problems in the world since they were first organized. They have been responsible for a lot of the misery of mankind. They have also been a tremendous personal source of comfort to millions, and dedicated religious-based workers, because of their religious beliefs, have contributed a great deal of good to the world in a huge variety of ways.

So – how can religion be at the same time such a good and such a bad influence? This is not particularly hard to figure out. Separate the good things that happen due to the motivational force of religions and the bad things that happen due to the motivational force of religions, and you can pretty quickly see a clear divide in motivation of the believer.

Good things happen as a result of people who are genuinely seeking to please their God, and who are doing what they can do to help other people as a service to that God they, themselves, revere. There are people of ALL faiths (with the possible exception of Satanism) who are living their lives in this way, doing no harm and a great deal of good.  

Where the trouble comes in is when a person of faith is convinced that their path to God is the ONLY path to God, and that everyone else MUST FOLLOW THIS SAME PATH, or die. Therein lies the rub. I believe, no- I KNOW that God is big enough to lead a sincere seeker in the paths he wants them to follow, regardless of where that person began their journey to God. God accepts people as followers regardless of where they are, or what they have done. Then He begins to make changes in that person’s life to mold that individual in the way He wants them to go. And God NEVER, EVER advocates that His followers harm others except to preserve their own lives due to other’s hostile actions.

I would shoot an intruder who broke into my home without a second’s additional thought beyond being sure my first shot was a killing one. At the same time, I would never use a weapon on another human being just because they had something to say about me, my family, my country, or my religion. They have opinions of their own, and they can express them, even if I disagree with them. But threaten me with harm? All bets are off – you chose this course of action, buddy, on your own head fall the consequences.

NO faith that advocates violence to other humans over religious doctrine is a genuine faith, particularly if its adherents actively pursue that order. No human has the right to force a belief on another. That does not mean you, as a believer, cannot tell someone else about your own faith, and persuade them that your faith is the right path to God. It also does not mean that they cannot discuss with you their own faith, and try to persuade you that their faith is the better path.  God is big enough to help people decide which path to Him is the better path, and His timing is not our own. And if your faith is, indeed, the best path to God, why are you not assured that all people will see the light and convert on their own – why are you so threatened by other religions that you advocate violence against them? Sounds like your religion has a LLLOOOOOONNNNNNNNGGGGGggggggg way to go before you can claim it’s the best path to God, huh?

250: What to do

How does somebody know what to do? In any given situation, how do people know what to do? Animals have instincts. They know what to do most of the time, except when they come into contact with one of us, and then their instincts let them down, because we are manipulative creatures, and we don’t follow the laws of Mother Nature (for the most part). We cheat, a lot.

Animals know if they are far enough away from another animal that they can get a pretty good running start if threatened that the other animal can’t usually hurt them. That law does not apply to a human, though, and lots of animals learn that one the hard way – as their last lesson. The only way to be safe around a human is if they don’t know you are there, or they cannot see you, and even then sometimes…….

At any rate, how do people make decisions about how to behave and what to do? Culture accounts for a lot of it, and upbringing accounts for even more. Still, all of us know individuals who “buck the system,” choosing ways to behave that, quite frankly, don’t make a whole lot of sense to everybody else.  I rather think that if everybody else is wondering why I am doing something, perhaps I should reconsider and think about it a little more, but just because everybody else thinks I am doing strange things is CERTAINLY not a legitimate reason to stop doing them. So, then, what IS a legitimate reason to stop doing something? Or, sometimes, not to begin doing something? What are the standards or “proper” behavior?

Well. After some consideration (not too much, mind you) here is what I have come up with.

1. DO NO HARM. This one is a toughie sometimes, because each one of us is interconnected with a great many others of us, and sometimes doing no harm is pretty difficult. As an example, I waited until my children were old enough to begin college before I accepted a job teaching overseas. My daughter handled it fine, my son imploded. This is not to say that he would not have had significant problems even had I been there and more easily accessible,  but being mom, I feel somewhat accountable because my son is not coping with being grown up well at all. Still, he’s making his own decisions, something he told me repeatedly his last year of high school he was waiting impatiently to do……….

2. Align the behavior with your Supreme Being. If you don’t have a Supreme Being, refer to number 1. If you do, make sure your behavior is compatible with what your scriptures (NOT YOUR RELIGIOUS LEADERS) have to say about ethical behavior.

3. That’s about it. The rest can go hang.