Monday, June 1, 2009

My Vote For More Peace and Harmony

Every aspect of our lives is, in a sense, a vote for the kind of world we want to live in --Frances Moore Lappe.

My brother Tim and I have been having some interesting conversations lately. Tim is a philosopher of ethics...not surprisingly our discussions have lead me to lots of great questions! We've been talking mostly about doing what we should or ought to do versus living from our wants...is this a question of morality? Now I am wondering, what is the goal of morality? Hmmmm, this brings me to another question, which is the one I want to discuss most:

What is the most effective way to stimulate change so that everyone lives in peace and harmony?

Coming from an happiness lifestyle, I am all about living from my wants versus doing what I should do. 'Shoulds' are based on judgments which create resistance and separation versus unity. Living according to my wants is liberating and a loving way to choose my actions.

Has my self-awareness and emotional freedom replaced my use for morality or have they become my own internalized sense of morality? Would this work on a societal level?

My brother pointed out that living in a society focused on materialism and consumption, we are taught to simply satisfy our desires (particularly material desires: e.g. drink coke and be happy, buy a new car and be free and cool, etc.) without thinking much about why we want what we want or about the consequences of fulfilling our desires.

Perhaps people need to buy, buy, buy, until THEY realize that buying things will not make them happy?

Does happiness matter when it comes to morality? People are driven towards feeling good and away from feeling bad. Therefore, talking about happiness is an effective way of creating a more peaceful world. I am not referring to stimulus-dependent happiness. I am talking about that which is underneath the happy feelings (our beliefs) related to drinking coke or driving a new car. Happiness is our natural state of allowance, freedom and love which is in each moment available to us for free....so how best to relay this message?

To be the most effective inspiration for peace and harmony, I am reminded to be the change I want to see in the world (Mahatma Gandhi). When living by example, 'shoulds' are redundant--actions speak louder than words. I am not saying we shouldn't should people, that would be silly! I am questioning the effectiveness of shoulds...do they transfer into change? Is it long lasting change?

I feel a greater sense of conviction behind my actions of looking within, making my own changes, and sharing these changes with others as a way to create more love in this world.

Thank you for reading!

3 comments:

  1. To me this business of 'should'ing is like blaming. Effectiveness of Shoulds?

    Its like avoidance of acceptance, that we always do as we choose. It serves chastisingly distract one from the object of getting over it, forgiving one for not knowing of another choice, and trusting one can simply react to similar situations differently as an option,if one wants to, as a free choice, not a chastising sort of unforgiving "should."

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  2. Nice post, ty for sharing!

    --timzc1

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  3. On the old Option message boards, I once had an interesting conversation about 'should', and Beverly explained it this way: "you should" = "you're bad if you don't". And ever since then, I've been so done with that word. In fact, I keep an extremely sensitive antenna up for it, and tend to challenge people on what exactly they mean when they use 'should' in conversation, especially around my kids. It usually indicates belief-selling of the highest order.

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