Question 18.3

To be or not.... well, I am. To not, though, is part of being. Death is a natural part of life. In this way, our finite venture here has created a sense of urgency about our being. We only have so much time... what shall we do with it? For most, this time is spent selfishly, and this is not always a negative thing. It is your time to do with what you choose.

However, all those people doing what they choose require a code of ethics to govern behavior, so that one person's bliss does not create another's hell. In a loose sense, laws try to do this, but I think this question begs a deeper meaning, and while I cannot speak for others, I will do what I can to explain what that responsibility is and how it works in regard to our existence.

1. The golden rule is always a good one. But beyond kindness and respect, there should also be a withholding of judgement, and a deeper sense of empathy. Yes, that person can be a bully, but why do they behave that way? What is it inside of them that is hurt or broken that requires them to lash out in such a way? We are nothing so much as we are severely human. And we should consider, when acting with others, that pain is at the root of almost all negative behavior, and I believe we should all try to be more sympathetic to one another for that reason. We all have pain, and we are all capable of forgiveness. This simple concept could change the world.

Kindness, after all, is being nice to someone who doesn't deserve it. That moment of respect may be the thing to change the course of their day, or even their life. Our responsibility as humans is to be kind, respectful, honest, and fair, whenever possible.

2. I try to help whenever I can. I wish I did more, but my selfishness is great, and our culture makes it difficult to do more than work, sleep and consume. It really takes a concentrated effort to do your part to improve the world, and I truly respect those who do. Volunteering, protesting, recycling, using enviro friendly cleaners, whatever you can do, must be done.

3. We should take care of one another, and the planet. We spend so much time in social gridlock that we forget to take time to really connect to one another, and without that strength of connection, the relationship suffers. All relationships contain love, but many could be much deeper, fulfilling, forgiving, and powerful. One such powerful relationship can change your life and you should spend your time seeking these masterpieces of human interaction.

4. I believe we should Choose. Live with purpose. Do not waste the choices and opportunities given to you, but spend your time accumulating experiences, exploring who you are, seeking to understand the motivations and behaviors of others, and moving through life with our eyes up, on the prize, and not down, at our map.

5. Live forward. The past may have built us, and it may hurt, but learning to forgive yourself and others can be the most powerful thing we can learn. So get on it, and get help if you need it, but life should be experienced as unencumbered as possible. Live forward.

6. Support human rights. Abuse of power is rampant, and should be punishable by Guantanamo standards--especially when it comes to politics and foreign policy. Use your politics to make the world a better place. It isn't a perfect system, but it is all we have, an your voice should be heard-- unless you are a fundy or a republican. Then you don't count on the grounds that your IQ is lower than a carrot. These carrots can be executed in Texas. Case in point.