Op-Ed

Seeking Anne Answer

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Seeking Anne Answer

by Anne Thompson

Somebody wrote

“Way back when, I was taught by my family that there was “them” and “us” and “them” were crooks who stole “us” blind and sacrificed us in wars for their gains.  We are taught that we live in a democracy and all is well.  No – we live in an oligarchic system and all is definitely not well,” with a quote from Thomas Hobbes: “All men are at war with all other men all of the time – everywhere”.  So – how do you live?  What does one need to get through life, i.e. school, relatives, family, work, etc.?

My response

I really do not know who was Thomas Hobbes.  This fact does not prevent me from saying he’s incorrect because of the imprecision of this statement.  Were this person still alive I would discuss creating a more precise one.  Most H. sapiens (meaning modern humans) struggle to survive and appear to be in competition with all other H. sapiens not only for this survival, for more ease in this struggle as well (meaning relief from the struggle), if only temporarily.

Somewhere in my memory is a statement I attribute to Voltaire that goes something like, “Neither abstinence nor excess ever renders one happy; in all things, moderation.”  If we are to be in a state of constant struggle, or of war per Thomas Hobbes, then I say, ‘let the targets be not nearly so extreme and be more clearly spelt-out’.

There’re a lot of damaged people out there, that’s for sure.  Boiling it down to a simple “us” and “them” binary point of view in this way is not helpful once a human begins to understand shades, shading, and nuance.  I find it more helpful, especially to a child’s survival, to teach people first to learn where to find the safe places, because danger really is everywhere.

Right now, there are a lot of misguided people believing some H. sapiens are of more inherent value than are others.  This is a philosophy promoted by several religious sects, coming out of probably all of the religions on Earth.  I have a problem with followers of this philosophy because I do not believe I would be in receipt of true reciprocity from their members or adherents.  When a human believes in the de-valuation of another human a number of consequences occur.  Excessive self-pleasuring occurs concurrently with abuse of whatever type or style the abuse manifests itself, and especially and usually financial abuse.  And this financial abuse deprives humans of means to access, to acquire and to maintain the necessities to thrive, leading to limiting the potential of humans, meaning a life-sentence of poverty and pain.  In truth, this specific belief shackles all of humanity.

Here’s an assertion I like to submit to start a conversation:  A billionaire is an abomination before Nature and God.  I like this statement because the individual can begin to wonder why I would say so.  When ready, I nudge them into thinking about what behaviour would be necessary to accumulate such a trove, and then also to consider what kind of thinking is necessary to not share with others once all their own necessities to thrive have been met?  I can only surmise the answer lies somewhere in the area where incorrect life philosophy and some sort of mental health issue converge.

Okay, so before I finish my response, back to the ‘there’s a lot of damaged people out there’.  People get damaged at different times of their life from a whole range of reasons, and there are a whole lot of different types of damage that can come, and damage can also compile from all of that, on top of all of that.  People can be healed as best as they can be even though there may be residual scars, limitations in capability, limitations in capacity, and residual chronic pain, all of which can be mental, physical, intellectual or spiritual.  So, please, try to remember that you are dealing with damaged people so that you can, please, interact with them with loving kindness.  And please remember that you, too, are human and therefore prone to err, and yet deserving of the same loving kindness both from others and from yourself.

All I can offer to you in answer is the guidance I have found in my own personal search for answers to the same sort of questions you have posed me.  These are the targets upon which I strongly urge all H. sapiens to decide to expend their energies during what I’ve heard called the Age of the Aquarius Enlightenment (this time period):

I believe it is righteous and good to struggle against

  • Ignorance of the masses – This is self-explanatory, I think.  Could you imagine if the whole world population realized that the best way forward for humanity were to educate the hands that rock the cradle how wonderful things would be?  I mean, statistics have shown that fewer babies are born to educated women, and these babies’ lifestyles are improved over that of their previous generation’s standard of living once they themselves are adults.
  • Discords of families – Scientists released information that humans all share a common mitochondrial DNA.  Well, somebody else figured that the most distantly related any two people on Earth can be is a 32nd cousin.  So, whether we’re talking about the nuclear family or the human family, figuring out what causes discords in their relationships is a good and righteous thing to do. 
  • Maladies of living systems – An ocean, a forest, a stream, soil, a human body: these are all examples of living systems.  Battling against the causes of any type of malady in any living system is a righteous target to take on.
  • Self-pleasuring excesses – This is an introspective monitoring behaviour.  For example, eating sweet things tastes good and this releases chemicals into the body that eludes a pleasure sensation to the consumer.  However, excessive consumption of sugary foods simply for self-centred pleasuring leads to corrosion of major internal organs and teeth.  So, humans need to ‘wage war on the battle of the bulge’ against themselves, for instance.
  • Misplaced complacency – This is like knowing that I am safe in my house, but I lock my door at night; or, although I eat properly and stay active, I still attend to yearly physical exams with my doctor and my dentist.  It’s also kinda like journalists are supposed to keep an eye on things of concern to society, and sorta why the Constitution of the United States of America has something specifically mentioning the press (so that neither the electorate nor the politicians become complacent and ‘let things slide’ while engaged in their respective roles).
I hope this helps guide you along your life’s path.
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