The Value Of Life

It seems that it is a rare notion these days that life is worth something very precious. Or maybe, it is our leaders that make us feel that way. We have allowed them to make us feel that way by accepting their lies and manipulations. They have no value for the lives of our sons or fathers, and now our daughters also, that they have and continue to send them to war in the guise of some grand idea of a greater good. Having said that, this is not intended to be a rant against our broken government.
There seems to be a general lack of compassion and decency towards our fellow man. You can find many examples anywhere you look. It is in the work place that this seems more pronounced, but maybe not in the sense you might think. Employers, that have some degree of common sense, know that their greatest asset is the people that are working for them. Time invested in training is well spent if their training includes a greater purpose that is respectful and open. Open and truthful enough to state the reasons that they’re to follow certain courses of action to the benefit of all. Whether these actions apply to rules or general job duties, it can inspire a unity when others understand the “why”. We can empower others to make human decisions instead of thinking in terms of absolutes. Rules are for the betterment but can be too constricting when not necessary. Rules, or commands, are not about the letter of the law, but the spirit of their intent. Sometimes allowances should be made for the sake of common sense. For example, when a action does not apply for all situations. Here knowing the “why” helps to understand when it’s relevant and when it should be applied. Frustration happens for customers and employees alike when the rules seem like they should not apply to certain situations. In a family setting this communication, as to why, is even more important if we want to be properly understood and convince other members of the family that what we are prescribing is the best course of action.
There seems to be confusion how to keep ourselves or our fellow humans happy. That may refer to the people we give our services to or those we have any sort of interactions with… family, friends or otherwise. For example, lateral people in an organization, namely our peers, expect a certain amount of cooperation between others when it comes to dividing the work load or requiring assistance from other people with different skill levels. In a family environment we expect this cooperation even more. We all seem to get easily frustrated with one another at times and tensions rise. Without this effort of well articulated reasoning, our purpose can easily be misconstrued. I know that many can feel like they are being used when this extra effort is not given and assumed that we must follow such directions blindly. To not be open and honest with one another seems to be the largest part of our problem. Obviously it is not our only problem. However, if our intentions would be faithful to the prosperity and well being to all others, it would solve the rest of the equation that seems to be so unbalanced.
To avoid mentioning so many examples that stare us in the face everywhere we turn, I’ll stop beating this issue to death and just get to where I’m going with this. I think it’s plain to see that we all need to step back and gain some perspective in our own situations. There is a very simple idea in the form of a principle that will be of tremendous help in overcoming our own obstacles.
I found that when I finally decided to stop smoking there was two things that had to happen. The war that was going on inside my thinking had to stop. I could not smoke without thinking that it was bad for me, yet I craved it. I wanted to stop but I wanted to smoke. This dilemma left me with only one logical choice if I was going to stop fighting within. If I continued to smoke I would still feel guilty. That would not give me peace of mind. So naturally, it dawns on me that quitting is the only choice.
Introducing the struggle. After making the decision to quit, the cravings are back in full swing. I was not going to allow this war to continue. Before, when I wanted that cigarette, I would usually just go outside and have one. What made it easier for me to quit, was realizing that if I didn’t want to go on with this habit , I would have to give myself a different habit to take the place of this one. So, instead of going outside for my cigarette break,  the next few days, I found something else to do to keep myself busy during that time. It did not matter what it was that kept me busy.  I found stuff that I needed to take care of and focused on that. Three days of this and the hold on me was gone. No more cravings and no more smoking. In fact it has been more than 15 years since I quit and probably longer. I have stopped counting the years. It’s not even worth thinking about it anymore.
Any system, large or small, in order to grow and prosper cannot be against itself. Whether that system is an organism, person, family unit, company, country or planet, it has to be true to it’s self. Simply stated elsewhere, ‘a house divided against itself cannot stand’. The system may seem to continue to grow, but it will eat itself from the inside just as a cancer does. This is not a sermon, it is a truth to be taken to heart.
We being divided against one another by borders, ethnicity, classes, religions, jobs or titles, needs to come to an end to prevent this cancer from infecting us further. The war needs to come to an end. We can see how we care for ourselves and our loved ones and extend that understanding beyond these borders, across cultures, across belief systems, beyond job ranks or titles. There is no reason why we should continue to support a failing system that is clearly detrimental to us all. We have the technology to have another golden age, but in order to use what we know in a manner that will not harm ourselves or our fellow man, we need to stop struggling against one another and step up to helping one another. Let’s look at our own actions and see where our hope has faltered and strengthen our understanding and resolve to not be divided against ourselves. Our lives depend on it!


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