May Respect Prevail

I believe in a world free from repression. I know this can exist. Throughout our troubles of our pasts, and still today–we face them all together. And we all have fought for our own freedoms with our own beliefs through our own ways. None of this is inherently incorrect or negative if we can address today–and leave the past behind. In order to exist in harmony, we have to all forgive each other, and ourselves. Many have done great wrongs, yet what really matters is what we do now and into our futures. Can we face our demons and admit our mistakes? Can we ask for forgiveness and learn our lessons? These are fundamental precepts in order to successfully remove all overt and unnecessary repression from our Earth.

This does not mean we should forget transgressions, and certainly not ignore them. Counter to this, we must face them now, and address them fairly and objectively. This is the dream of many types of government and social visualizations over our ages, especially in the last few hundred years. Yet we still fail to reach the goal, a collective environment where we all agree to respect each other.

This does not mean we have to live by each others rules and social structures. Counter to this, we can and should all live in the subgroups we choose to live, which are best for our own personal being. So if some here want to do something different than those over there, so be it. But, and this is important, only if it does not repress the other group, community, country–or whatever we want to call it. Of course this begs the question: at what point are we repressing others?

Simply put, we are repressing others if we are negatively effecting their own ability to live in the ways they choose. This becomes complicated quickly because we might, and often do, have radically different viewpoints than others. And we often feel so strong about them we can not contain our own rage or other transgressions. But luckily we are in a modern age where communication is instant, and widespread, making transgression quickly known to all. Eventually we will all be unstoppably connected one way or the other. This is vital as in order to balance this delicate equation of respect, we have to be able to communicate effectively & freely, without censorship.

It is common sense, and well known, that many of us are involved in habits and activities that blatantly & negatively effect others well being. In other words, we are repressing their natural state of being. Here is an easy example: taking children and making them perform sexual activities for money. We call this sexual slavery, and child abuse. Most everyone can agree, that this is a form of repression of their well being, and unacceptable. Here is a harder one: going to the store, and buying whatever we want, without putting any thought and intention into it. We may have just bought something that comes from a source of slavery. We may have just contributed to global environmental catastrophe. Most of us, can agree this is wrong. So you see, our issue is complicated.

However, we have been succeeding, and continue to succeed in solving complex problems. Yet only together as a collective with similar objectives and motivations. Even those horrible manifestations of sickness, such as slavery or genocide, only succeed because of like minded individuals. We are in an interesting time where we are butting heads with each other over fundamental and vital issues. Slavery for example, is not an element you can point a finger at, and objectify into categories or label. Anything that is slavery, is slavery. If you force African Americans to do your work, that is slavery. If you force a woman to have sex with others, that is slavery. If you force an animal to constantly reproduce and produce milk for others, that is slavery. If you lie to your citizens outright, seduce them with luxuries, and direct them to waste their energy and time on negative enterprises, that is slavery. It just is slavery. Yet this is still an issue that exists, denying the truth of our actions, although progress has been made over time to mend this. We are conscious, logical beings, if we enable ourselves, and others to be. We can learn from our mistakes, and admit we have wronged. We can choose to evolve into a society that does not lie to ourselves.

Ideas are the seeds of our labor, which bear our fruits. In this way we have brought forth great and worthwhile change. I am ever grateful to all those pioneers who have paved the way for our futures, and those who continue to do so. They show us that we can change, and not through the same means taught by those who choose to repress. They found a realistic and effective way of changing others minds, by changing their mind, and sticking to it, through everything–even death. That does not mean they simply go and run up to and shoot people that do others or themselves wrong. Nor does it mean they let others run up to and shoot themselves or others. It just means we set ourselves into stone, we know and choose to be different, to know different–unconditionally.

To be different today, I declare the most important quality is to choose not to repress others–unconditionally. This does not mean we can’t be “weird”, “wrong”, or “bad” to others or ourselves, and still continue if we choose. To some extent a lack of respect is our choice. If we want to disrespect our bodies; fine, just don’t disrespect my body. If we want to be disrespected by our husbands; fine, but don’t force these ideas on my family & community–and if our wives decide they want to leave their abusers, don’t be surprised when others support the decision. If we choose to eat too many animals; for now, regrettably OK, just don’t eat my animals–in addition, don’t eat so many animals that my current home, Earth, is sick because of it–and certainly don’t abuse them. If we want to live in a society that misleads its citizens, encourages blatant materialism, and an ego-central mindset; sadly OK, but only if it does not cause worldwide environmental disaster, social-economical imbalances, and a subversive back stabbing methodology within the worldwide populace.

In most every instance, we have to consider if our actions are disrespecting others well beings outside of our sphere of influence. Clearly we can’t step on each others toes in every instance, there is room for leeway, yet not always–as with the slavery, rape, torture, and murder. If some choose disrespect, OK, but you can’t force or trick others into choosing disrespect. That is slavery of action, rape of personal values, torture of well being, and murder of individual self. But if the disrespect is personally accepted & acknowledged, OK, but only if it does not damage my life & community–and my planet etc.–of which I personally choose to base on truth, compassion, and skillful means.

Truth, while seemingly straight forward, requires a personal honesty. We have to be able and willing to admit when we are wrong. Especially in today’s world, where everything we thought was true can change overnight. Obviously if we thought something was true and later learn it is not, it is false. It was never true, we just thought it was. But changing our minds can be hard, and something many still fail to be able to do. Just because many people define something as correct, when it is in fact incorrect, does not make it a truth. While today we rely so heavily on technology such as the Internet to help us find truth, we often instead end up putting away with our own ability to discern and discover the truth for ourselves. In this way, if we can not spend the personal time and energy to test truths on a personal level, we will fail in creating respect because we are disrespecting the truth. This is far from compassionate, it is instead ego-centered and ignorant.

Compassion is essential for any successful world model. It does not matter what you decide to use to regulate and balance our complex planet, you must have compassion. Say you use Artificial Intelligence, which has its own wondrous potential to contribute to humanities liberation from many types of suffering. If we do so, and fail to imbue AI with a prioritized ability to express and choose compassion, it will create something we would prefer not to imagine. In the same way, if we go about our lives without a central philosophy of compassion, we will create and live lives we would rather not imagine. Or we will not be able to see the horrors of which we live. This is not skillful, this is ignorant, dark and can lead us quickly into evil terrain.

For respect to prevail on a worldwide scale, we will also require skillful means. For example, forcing people into inflexible boundaries and forcing unmovable limits to our borders, societies, communities and so forth, is not skillful. We all are different, enjoy different quantifications of acceptable actions and so forth, different sizes of communities, and different laws or general lack thereof. So it is arguably not skillful to force people into preconformed areas and systems, one could say this is slavery. One possible solution to this riddle: allow everyone to have the right to go to whatever area they feel to be most holistic for their well being, as long as it does not disrespect the new areas well being. The organic nature of life, Earth, and humans themselves, combined with our technological and logic based evolutions, could solve this problem. Yet this sort of problem goes on and on–except there are almost always obvious or relatively straight forward solutions, using skillful means. I intent to show that we can figure our problems out, in a respectful way, if we choose to.

For respect to prevail, personally acknowledged suppression or repression, is at the same time required by all. This sounds contradictory, but it is simply a form of compromise. Regardless of the fact that it is unhealthy, even if I want to eat meat constantly, I still have to repress my urge to do so, or I will repress others well beings. Similarly, if I want to go shopping all the time, even if I have the “money”, I have to suppress that urge, or others will suffer. I might want to blast my music all night long, but that is quite disrespectful to my neighbors. There are endless examples, obvious and not, but essentially, we must all be willing to suppress our desires and urges. Otherwise all we have is a world full of disrespect and uncertainty of future.

For one, I choose to solve this issue of disrespect, stabilize our species long term future, and bring about a predominance of worldwide respect, through the full hearted pursuit of truth, compassion, and skillful means. To be realistic, I do not, nor can anyone expect this to happen on a worldwide scale instantaneously. Yet it has to happen, it must happen, and quickly if we are to survive as a species, and as a planet. And for a start, I humbly put forth the core components of a creed of respect–all of which are interdependent:

  • We all are unconditionally entitled the inherent right of freedom from repression, as long as we are not repressing another’s well being or inherent nature.
  • We all are unconditionally entitled the inherent right to favor truth, compassion, and skillful means, without negative repercussions.
  • We all are unconditionally entitled the inherent right to find and pursue ones life purpose or passions, and exist as we individually choose.
  • We all are unconditionally entitled the inherent right of the peaceful & harmonious co-existence of all forms of life.
  • We all are unconditionally entitled the inherent right to resist any and all repressions of our own selves, families, communities, planets, and/or any other ecosystems or subsystems we exist as a part of.

May respect prevail!

Max Dykstra 2018 Version 1

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