Writing

Responsibility

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            I have come to the realization my ‘awareness’ Three R’s are the keys to our growth on Earth. When I accepted these, I began to mature. This essay is about responsibility. Sometimes I feel like Galileo when he dared to announce planet Earth revolved around the Sun, contradicting the then popular and sacred theory Earth is the center of the universe. He was accused of heresy and sentenced to exile. Some people today also feel my ideas are on the fringe, so I hope we are open-minded enough that I will not be threaten to exile. In any case this is what I believe.
             Our values, our philosophies, are the key factors in the determination of the kind of lives we live. Nobel Prize recipient, Dr. Roger Sperry, claims people are not born with specific values. They learn them from the society they live in. For example, in Canada we are defined by our values that, though basically homogeneous with our American neighbors, vary enough in interpretation to give us a uniquely Canadian identity. Common, basic North American values, however, do not seem to be having the desired affect of creating a peaceful world. This, I believe is because our society does not emphasize the importance of personal responsibility.
            If we accepted the value of total responsibility for ourselves, we would realize what happens to us is always our own doing. If we win a million dollars, we are responsible. If we break our leg, it is our own burden. If we get involved in war, we precipitated it. There is no luck and there are no accidents.
            With acceptance of total responsibility, revenge would not exist. We would not be suing anyone, because we would attach no blame. We would soon learn what happens to our environment is of our own creation. We would learn from every decision we make, because we would observe the consequence of each action we take.
            Rather than being a handicap, being totally responsible means we are in control. We have self-determination. We have personal power. The natural process of reincarnation allows us to choose our parents, our environment, and our learning situations. No one else can or will do it for us. We are totally responsible for the circumstances we are born into. However, it appears to me our society freely gives away its responsibility and hence its personal power.
            We have given up most of our power to governments and other institutions. Insurance companies and lawyers are given the power to fix our mistakes. Schools are given the power to raise our children. Religions are a big factor in the control of our ethics and morals. We tend to blame the government whenever we have problems with jobs by demanding they compensate us in some manner. When it comes to the environment, instead of keeping our own backyard clean, we ‘pay’ other organizations, relying on them to ease our minds concerning endangered species, clear cutting, global warming, etc. We pay doctors to prescribe pills for our health instead of recognizing our own responsibility for proper food and exercise.
            We have allowed huge corporations to have the power to shape our values by telling us ‘things’ are important. They indoctrinate us with advertisements to tell us what things we need and want; then they convince us to buy those things we think we need and want, in order to make money for, you guessed it, the corporations. For example, distributors of alcohol, in the form of beer and liquor, promote their products on the premise people will enjoy a fun-loving lifestyle. Our society has certainly bought into it as evidence by the sale of the products, and the after-work recreation of many people drinking in bars. We tend to ignore the marriage breakups, the alcoholic addictions, and the deaths it causes in our streets. Since we are all conditioned at the same time, we buy into all of it because it seems normal. Once again, we have relinquished our power by not recognizing our own responsibility for our lives.
            The reason why we have so freely given our power to impersonal institutions is because we have been conditioned to think and feel it is a lot easier to let other people make decisions for us. We have bought into it because if something goes wrong, we think we can blame someone else. What a beautiful world we have created, imagining the lie that we will always be able to drift in carefree bliss and let institutions be responsible for everything.
            The institutions, however, are overjoyed to accept the responsibility we are relinquishing because they now have the power to control what we do. They can tell us what to think, what we will learn. They make the rules for us to obey. They become our slave masters. They are actually responsible, responsible for making themselves rich!
            This dependency, however, didn’t just manifest with corporations and big governments. The seed was planted in our values beginning with European society’s dominant religions. We are taught God is responsible for us being here.
             Judeo-Christians are given the illusion God will take responsibility for our negative actions because his son, Jesus, paid our debt by dying for us all. God will forgive us if we believe and worship him. He will grant good things if we pray to him. The Catholic Church teaches people to confess to priest in order to give up responsibility and guilt for our actions. We have been taught God has exempted our responsibility. Taken on the surface, what a gift! On the other hand, don’t we need failure and consequences to learn?
            I have discovered there is no god, out there, who causes illness, creates floods or controls our lives. No god gives us favors when asked, or punishes us for our perceived sins. Instead there is a Life-Energy, which we are all a part of. What we call god is collectively the energy within each of us. We have only created a fictitious entity; a god twisted in our own image, which asks to be worshipped in exchange for relieving us of our responsibility. We have created entire religions that use fear to enforce this false belief.
            So there it is. Having stated my case, knowing I have challenged norms and sacred beliefs of my society, I think this is my Galileo moment. There really is no god, out there, demanding our responsibility. We are totally responsible for all of our actions. We have complete free will.
            The reality is this. Individually, we create our own lives. Collectively we have created our own world. We are in control. We are totally responsible for the way we affect our world and ourselves. If our personal lives are happy or distressing, we are responsible. Together, we have also created the world of conflict we now live in. When we finally recognize we cannot give away our responsibility, but identify it as the central part of our values, we can and will have the power to change our world to one of beauty and peace.