The little drowning boy
An e-mail to my father. November 29, 2016
So the question as you have posed it is, if I understand correctly, if there is a little drowning boy in the middle of the lake, are we not all morally obligated to try to save him, as long as of course it's no skin off our nose, right? And this question is then extended out to being charitable, philanthropic, right? Like giving money to those in need? And whether or not to tax said money they way we tax, let's say, furniture from Crate & Barrel or cigarettes or hamburgers, right? The for idea being if we tax one type of consumption we should tax all types of consumption because charity is, according to this argument a type of consumption, right? and the against idea being that charitable giving is not equatable with consumption because it is a gift and should not be taxed, right? It is not like we are giving Crate & Barrel a gift when we buy their goods, if anything we are buying ourselves a gift and maybe this is why we get taxed? Well, here's what I have to say about it, and I don't know jack about taxes and I might know barely a little more about humans, but here's what I know about what's in my heart on this one.
For or against doesn’t result in the kind of movement, the kind of evolution, the kind of conclusion or resolution that I feel is so desperately being called for in the time on this planet that is now. I know, this does not seem like an answer to your question but go with me, it’s an altitude thing that’s being called for. It’s beyond right and wrong, for or against, better than or less than. It’s a rising above that and seeing a different world for ourselves as brothers and sisters of this earth. This is what I believe.
I believe in human nature, I truly do. I believe that if each of us as humans knew, not believed, but knew our inherent value and worth we would not experience insecurity, we would not be threatened by each other, we would not want to hoard money, we would not want to make ourselves feel superior by making the other feel inferior. Nor would we use the other to affirm our own inferiority/superiority. If we each really inherently knew ourselves as worthy as we are, things like skin, gender, sexual preference, body size, religious affiliation, bank accounts, etc etc would not matter. they would not define us, they would not become things that we need to use to feel better or worse about ourselves. They would just be. they would just be parts of who we are. They would be parts of who we individually and uniquely are but they would not make any of us better or worse than anyone else. Because if we knew our worth we would not need to feel better or worse about ourselves. Our worth and value would not lie in the hands of another persons opinion or action.
Further, if we each and every one of us knew we were inherently worthy and lovable, if we each and every one of us knew that not only we were deserving of the love we seek but that we ARE in fact the love that we seek, that that love is what we are in fact each of us made up from, we wouldn't be seeking it from others. Then we couldn't blame others for not loving us. They may not like us but that becomes less relevant because they will recognize us as love because they recognize themselves as love. And in not needing others to love us and in owning the love that we inherently come into this place with, all there is left to do is treat each other kindly.
But see, now you got me thinking.
Here is the Merriam-Webster's definition of charity
benevolent goodwill toward or love of humanity
a:generosity and helpfulness especially toward the needy or suffering; also a aid given to those in need
b: an institution engaged in relief of the poor
c: public provision for the relief of the needy
a : a gift for public benevolent purposes
b : an institution (as a hospital) founded by such a gift
lenient judgment of others
See, for all intents and purposes, my belief is that when we all know ourselves as the love, we will all naturally exist in the number one definition of this word. We will be generous and kind without needing recognition and yet due to the fact that we all know each other as love we will be instantly recognized.
But here is where is gets interesting to me, I was not taught to look at the words “needy or suffering” without placing a judgement on those people as being “less” fortunate than me. And what happens to their value if I am deeming them “less” fortunate? For some, in this day and age, it has made them more valuable for their suffering. For some, it makes them less valuable because it must mean that they have not worked as hard. If someone is poor, then are they not poor? In my history on this planet there has been so much pity associated with that word on one side of life and so much shame on another. And it all exists in a paradox where there is always more or always less. And it seems to me to always run into a dead end.
But again, and listen I am no expert but I feel pretty strongly about this, I think if we all knew ourselves as love, all of these attachments to these words that I have experienced at least, would fall away because we wouldn’t be using anything other than the truth of who we were to define our value. Our lives wouldn’t need anything to define their value. Our government wouldn’t determine our value, our dead-beat dad’s wouldn’t determine our value, our alcoholic mother’s wouldn’t determine our value, our abusive partner’s wouldn’t determine our value, our weight on a scale, breast size, penis size, cooking abilities, singing abilities or even lack thereof, none of it would determine our value.
Note: none of those things would be likely to happen in my utopia because if we all knew ourselves as love we would not become alcoholics, we would not abandon our children, we would not have a government that did anything but set things up to support us in respecting one another and being kind to one another and recognizing in each other the love we recognize in ourselves. And my guess is the tax and worshiping money as god thing would work itself out too….
And it would not be boring because my goodness would we embrace our differences. We would support the discovery of each of our unique talents and insist that we all share and shine in them EVEN if we did not like each other. We would support it in principle and principles would always rise above personality. We do not have to like it but it would not disturb our peace and MOST importantly it would not do anything to decrease my value, it couldn’t, that is not how this works.
In my utopia, we would every single one of us know the love of a mother. We would know the unconditional all accepting love of a mother and we would know it to be who we are and we would share it with each other and the world in service to community, in service to the light that we own in us, in service to being together on this planet that exists for us only now, only right now…..
Nature is hard enough on us and we can not understand the reasons it does what it does, beyond scientifically anyway. We can not understand why hurricanes and earthquakes and fires and diseases we can’t name kill so many souls. We can’t even understand why diseases we can name take our lives. It is not because they lack value I can tell you that and to think it is would be pretending to be god, and we are not god. Can we just let nature be the thing that kills us from now on? And not each other?
Okay I might be getting carried away but as I write this on the New York City red circle number one train, I can not help but fall in love with every single one of these people. And we could not be more different. And we could not be more the same. A lot of us are angry, and most of us are scared, and sad, and lost, and confused and I would be willing to bet, well actually, my life that every single one of us is searching outside of ourselves on some level for love and/or validation and probably both. And I would bet the same amount that the majority of us do not want to admit that and will do anything to demonstrate that we are better than that because for some reason those feelings mean we are weak and we can not risk appearing weak because that results in the exact opposite of the thing we are seeking. That results in alone.
But NO I want to scream. NO you are not alone, I am not alone, we are all here together in this bizarre underground tunnel system and we all want the same thing, we all ARE the same thing. I want to scream it so bad as I peer into the faces of these incredible amazing people who I am falling more and more in love with in every moment. My heart is broken open as each one rushes by me to quickly to touch, to quickly to catch with my eyes to say hi, i love you, i see you. All of you amazing precious wonderful souls. And that’s just on this one damp, rain soaked train. I know there are millions of more of you when I get outside into the city, the state, the country, and billions in the world.
I can not help but wonder what would happen if we each and every one of us just dropped the act and all of a sudden woke up to the knowing of ourselves as love. I can not help but wonder what would happen if we all just let the bullshit go and knew ourselves and inherently worthy in all ways. Perfectly imperfect in all ways. Wonderful and alive in all ways. What do you think we would do then? How do you think we would be? I can feel the smile make its way across my face and I just caught a woman’s eye and she started smiling too. Is it a start? Could it be the beginning? And I know. I can’t talk about these things and then not step forward in them so I promise you Dad, I promise I will do my best to know myself as love in all moments. I will do my best to live in my ideal world.
We are a paradoxical creature, us humans, and evolutionarily we are still existing in right/wrong, good/bad, less/more and me/you. I believe though, no I know, we are moving towards a resolution here. I know we will find the higher ground and see a bigger picture. Where right and wrong become respectfully agree to disagree and less or more become opportunity to create a bigger pie. We will share in caring for our fellow earth mates. And where me and you become us, become we, become our and where every single one of us would without a doubt jump into that lake to save that drowning little boy.