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A Moral Dilemma

Moth: “I gave you my life.

Flame: “I allowed you to kiss me.” ~ Hazrat Inayat Khan

There is always going to be suffering. It’s how you look at your suffering, how you deal with it, that will define you.

~ Mark Twain

We might sit in the privileged sector of the world looking aghast at the human cost of the pandemic. Is our life worth more than a single one of theirs? How can we and how do we deal with the harrowing realities of human tragedy unfolding across India?

Originally posted by backtothedrawingboardproductions.com

Blogger AussieEssays made the point that “many people today only imagine suffering as they have never truly experienced it and instead borrow the suffering of others to validate themselves. They punch holes in the air and scream in the wind as they follow a cause that simply doesn’t impact on their comfortable lives as they tell themselves that they have made a difference when they in reality have done little of any importance.

Does feeling temporarily shocked and appalled help anyone?

Does paying lip service assist us to process a tragedy on the scale of India’s Covid 19 pandemic and allow us to continue with our daily tasks at work; eating our cheese sandwich and speaking with friends or other mundane activities, so that our conscience runs clear and we might continue functioning productively?

John Fowles has some sobering words for us:

The human race is unimportant. It is the self that must not be betrayed.”

“I suppose one could say that Hitler didn’t betray his self.”

“You are right. He did not. But millions of Germans did betray their selves. That was the tragedy. Not that one man had the courage to be evil, but that millions had not the courage to be good.”

― John Fowles, The Magus

In the face of tragic circumstances be prepared to:

  • Allow feelings of grief and shock
  • Examine what can be learnt from the situation to better existence for all
  • Think about what each one of us can do with that information
  • Be proactive and follow through as your situation allows (ie. don’t be an armchair whiner)

I think Confucious has the final word:

Confucius

“When it is obvious that the goals cannot be reached, don’t adjust the goals, adjust the action steps”~Confucius

Community, Mental Health

Sunday Sayings – Differences and Reality TV

I find there to be profound wisdom in proverbs, sayings and quotes and I marvel at the way they are so succinct in communicating messages to the reader. Mostly anonymous, they come to us from past generations and from across cultures. They speak of the experiences of lives lived and lessons learned.

Quotes, like proverbs, can make us think about moral and ethical issues.

The preponderance of reality TV shows, of late, has me questioning just why it is so many find them fascinating. After all, they feature individuals that are quite different to the mainstream public, or focus on the more marginal sectors of society.

Why do we have a morbid curiosity for those who are dissimilar to us?

Yet we criticize, shy away or even distance ourselves completely from them if we were to meet them in real life?

Not only do many of us become addicted to watching such shows as ‘Married at First Sight‘, or ‘Teen Parents‘, but we might actively criticize or judge them, from the comforts of our living room.

Why do we do this?

Is the simple explanation, as some theorists might have it, that our neural circuits have evolved to pay more attention to things that are perceived to be a potential threat?

“I have no special talents. I am only passionately curious.”

-Albert Einstein

If we are simply curious, sometimes morbidly so, are reality shows such as ‘Botched Bodies‘, just another manifestation of staring at the ‘Bearded Lady’ in the Circus Freak Show of years gone by?

Is it natural to be curious? Or too inquisitive?

computer
CC0 Creative Commons

Do you consider the media might have a role in discouraging prejudice or judgemental behaviours in society, by limiting promotion of such voyeuristic programs such as “Bad Mothers” or “Swamp People?”

I wonder if proliferation of this type of show desensitizes us to differences between individuals or conversely, does it highlight and therefore, exacerbate prejudice?

Come and walk a mile in my moccasins, before you criticize who I am.

Kom och gå en mil i mina mockasiner innan du bedömer vem jag är.

Swedish Proverb

Is there a case for censorship of these shows on moral or ethical grounds?

If you favour censorship of some kind, would that censorship effectively remove an individual’s right to make a morally appropriate choice and thereby limit tolerance of marginal folk in the long run?

Do you consider the freedom of the individual so vital that only we can decide for ourselves, what each of us feels is and is not appropriate or socially acceptable?

Everyone’s opinion is important. What is yours?

Sunday Sayings invites you to join in the discussion by leaving a comment below.

Community

Personal faith versus Public Religion

Where is the boundary drawn?

Do the public institutions of religion enhance or restrict the evolution and development of personal faith?

If a person becomes ‘enlightened’, do they really need the guidance and advice of clergy who carry their own opinionated dogma and experience? Can the clergy really provide an impartial view?

The hypocrisy of a cleric extolling the virtue of living a simplistic life, and assisting the poor and needy, and deriding selfishness, whilst living himself in grandiose surroundings grates against my craw, especially when I see the wealth that exists in the churches of the old religions.

Tele-evangelists don’t always seem to have a ‘good grasp’ either. They encourage their congregations to pray for a new car or for money for this or that desired possession. Is that the true purpose of becoming a spiritual person?  So as you can attain more material wealth, and then by supposedly guaranteeing your place in the eternal hereafter? Should their guidance for us be more of a ‘spiritual’ kind?

Where does caring, compassion and trying to be a better person fit in the prayers of material wealth?

Finding one’s inner strength and using that to better the conditions of one’s life and those around us, sits better with my values and what I view religion or faith to be. The dogma of God first, others second and me last does not always seem to universally apply to public religion.

Perhaps St Francis had the right path, or the Dalai lama?

Something to ponder about…..