I dislike being asked to narrow things down to one thing, such as a favorite color. I’ve always had favorite colorsss. So, when someone asked me. “what is man’s worst trait” I said, “Let me count the ways.”
But there is one trait that is more on my mind recently and that is the human ability to abandon reason and adjust to insanity. Sometimes the insanity is a slow drip wearing down a rock. Other times it is an explosion with immediate after effects. We make personal adjustments like staying in harmful relationships, or a global adjustment to the thousands of children dying every day for lack of food.
Reason (not reasoning) tells me:
- no child, or adult, should go to bed without having eaten that day
- human beings purposely harming other human beings diminishes us
- no one should be reduced to a monetary target at their place of employment
- etc. etc. etc.
We can choose to live with compassion and reason, reason being that faculty we posses that knows what is sane or not. Yet even reason does not render life’s decisions in black and white.
I have been reduced to a monetary target where I work* – a non-profit created to help others help themselves. But changes in our state budget have slashed a gash in the ship. The stress can be crushing but I go and adjust myself to it every work day. Reason tells me to get in a lifeboat and start rowing but . . . then there is that part of me the work fulfills.
Individuals and countries, we all have our own dilemmas. What I hope the “global we” do more of is not give future generations, or ourselves, crappy or insane things to adjust to. In the duet of reason and compassion, making decisions with consideration for the welfare of future generations is not a debate.
*a consequence of circumstances beyond the non-profit’s control
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