Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Some Lingering Thoughts

    A few thoughts:
    I wonder what our responsibilities are as people--to each other, to the natural world, and to this earth. At what point are we justified in entertaining our own self-interest? What is the threshold at which we can no longer ignore suffering and devastation and greed and injustice? On a very fundamental level, when one is reduced to the point of honest and absolute personal reflection, do all people feel the twinge of guilt, the insurmountable pressures of an overwhelmingly troubled world? How can we cope with such personal and global issues? Can we consciously decide to do noting and still call ourselves moral, compassionate and worthy human beings? Do we rationalize and justify our responsibilities away? Do we pass the blame?

Doesn’t this world belong to all of us? Aren’t we all in this together?

    It seems that many in the history books have tried to make the world a better place. Whether for better or for worse, with horrific consequences or wonderful ones, many have tried to align the world with their own conception of rightness. And yet, history repeats itself--an endless cycle of heros and villains, the strong and the weak, the rise and fall of empires. Patriotism, they say, is a matter of dates; today’s traitor is tomorrows loyalist and vice versa. I wonder if it is the same with humanitarianism? With conservation? With activism? Today’s humanitarian, today’s conservationist, today’s activist is forgotten, wrong, or somehow demonized tomorrow. How the tides of history change.
    How does one stay upright? In a world of incomplete knowledge and pseudo-political swings in an accepted reality, is their anyway to be an honest human being? It seems a self-defeating task; every step forward, a step back. Are there absolutes? Can their possibly be rightness or wrongness in a world that changes its mind daily? If we divorce ourselves from society and its constructed paradox, one might achieve some notion of truth. However, once we have left the social realm, we have forsaken our brothers and sisters, indulging in a vice of personal harmony and peace. To me, it seems that such a decision is equally as selfish as a decision to live in opulence with no concern for one’s fellow man.

    Harmony through service. Peace through selflessness. Finding yourself by giving yourself entirely to others.

    Are we capable of such a sacrifice? Are we willing to walk such a path? Is it worth it, considering the cyclical course of unstoppable juggernaut that is history? I don’t mean to sound too , “Whooaa man, life... it’s just, like, so awesome”, you know, too ephemeral or weird. Its just hard to understand how one might fit into this picture or how I might act after experiencing certain things. Its hard to know if it will help, if it will make a difference. To see suffering and to be helpless to alleviate it--that weighs heavy on the heart. There are personal struggles and social struggles. But really, these are the same thing--they are human struggles and ones that we all must face.

peace and love from the Wild Coast,


  1. Don't get too discouraged. Rome wasn't built in a day. You need to do your part in this vast world to make it a better place. You have a lifetime to do that. Love MOM

  2. Grandma May marvels at how you are writing as you travel. Small steps eventually lead to a path. Create your own path. Love Grand mom May

  3. We have never met, but I am your Mom's cousin Ree on the May side. My Mom (Kita) is your Grandpa's youngest sister! I just thought I would write and tell you what a great job you are doing on the blog and in the world! You have the same way of looking at the world that I do! If everyone just took one person or one problem or one organization and took care of them, the entire world would be taken care of and people would learn how to care for each other and their families, we would have no war, no, no loneliness and a whole lot of Peace!! We'll chat again! Keep shining your light on the world!! Love Ree