~ PERSONAL MANIFEST ~
[Sept. 2014 update: just joined Quakers at Jesus Lane Meeting House in Cambridge UK, in order to extend into my day-to-day the ministry in this page. Also started meditation at Cambridge Buddhist Centre, and sing in their choir that mixes in the secular.]
CAMBRIDGE, UK, 17 FEBRUARY 2008: Issues debated in the US presidential electoral process. The Russian leader's recent speech raising the specter of renewed arm's race. And church leaders' speeches taken out of context an vilified (recently the Archbishop of Canterbury on a current view of Islam, and earlier Pope Benedict on a 16th c. view of Islam). Are we not inundated by distresses on very important issues? Like how we relate to each other as humans in charge of our communities and our Earth?
Re-evaluation Counseling (RC) offers a rational framework:
a) to help us discharge on what this brings up (cry, shake etc.),
b) gain some clarity in our daily decisions big and small,
c) discharge some more (always with an ally present),
d) improve our clarity some more, and so on, and so on.
We have a community that helps break our isolation, which the rest of the world takes great pains to box us into. We have evolved tools to break through those boxes and build doors to solidarity. Are we not in fact doing, in small ways and big, the same thing as above?
Yes, but the huge difference is that we commit to operate outside our distress. The lawyer in the Australian film Breaker Morant stated something like: horrible acts are not committed by horrible people, but by normal people in horrible conditions. We may or may not be able to act on our conditions, but we certainly can speak to the world the fact that we are all good people, facing challenges the best we can with what information we have at that time.
Let me propose that we have this manifest at hand or in our heart, whichever works best for each of us, to helps us contradict what surrounds us; only thus can I see us spreading peace, by stopping aggression at the very atomic level (of each individual I/we can affect):
1) I am good and my worth does not depend on how others see me
2) others are as good and I commit overcome barriers that hide that
3) I will not resort to force and impose my view on others
4) I will be forceful in resisting others' imposition of such force
5) I will commit to my community and discharge on all this
This is very much a work in progress I test at home with my family near and far, at my church and workplace. And I gain support and clarity through my esteemed RC allies. Weaving these into my daily life fabric is a challenge, but is the only way I can see NOT to spread distress and violence at the atomic level. I believe that if I start here, that will spread out among my family and friends inevitably. And this is a manifest I can commit to and act on reasonably.