Our Rights and Our Responsibilities

We are entering a new decade for humanity.  You probably can feel it in your gut; nothing is exactly like it was. Nothing can be definitively planned for the coming year.  Its ingredients are whirling in the ethers of our Earth and will be impacted by the choices that we make – personal choices, relationship choices, community choices, state and country choices.  Does that seem odd to you?  After all, some in authority tell us that our vote, our actions don’t count; just let their idea of how a country should function take over.  We have been taught that we are alone in making our life work; that each of us must ‘pull ourselves up by  our own bootstraps”.  That the poor are responsible for their economic plight.  That there is no one to help us but ourselves. Isn’t that depressing!

There are other sayings that, to me, reflect more of what is true for our human world – ‘no man is an island’; ‘it takes a community to raise a child’.  The truth is that we are all part of one whole; One Soul that is all of us together.  Just like the cells of a human body, they all hold different functions for the body and how well each cell functions impacts the wellbeing of the body; what the other cells and organs do impact each cell’s wellbeing and the choices that we make as to food and exercise impact the health of each cell in our bodies. In the same way, what each of us does impacts the capabilities and capacities of the whole Soul.  This is a one-for-all, all-for-one world.  If we are divided, separated, and think that we have no impact on the whole, then the magnificent human Soul will wither and be so much less that our specie’s and our Soul’s possibilities.

 That is why the choices that each of us make really do impact the whole world.  The butterfly in Africa impacts the weather in the United States.  That’s quantum physics. It’s also a fact that we are one interrelated whole.  We are connected to everyone else and everyone else is connected to us.  It’s a living breathing matrix of life where we pulse together creating a world that our children’s children will live in. We are matrixed together with all other life on earth and with the earth herself.  As part of this interrelated, interactive and interdependent matrix, we have both rights and responsibilities. 

We choose our future and humanities future thru our present-day choices and actions.  Choices that seem individual but in their impact are so much more.  They impact our own lives, our body, our family, our community, our state, our nation and the world.  All life on earth is interactive, interdependent and inter-related.  We can’t get away from that and we don’t want to get away from it, because without that interdependence, interrelatedness and interactivity, we would not have the capabilities and capacities that our species has.  It’s takes interaction to move, to create.  It’s takes acknowledged interdependence for us to make the best choices for ourselves, our families and our communities.  We have to make many of those choices together, listening to what we each crave most for our society and our culture.

 A lot of ideas in our societies have been set up on the premise that we are singular and that individuals are not impacted by what happens to another.  We insulate ourselves within our homes, our housing developments, our religions, our politics and we pretend that someone else is at responsible for the state of our communities, our nations and the world. That is never true.  We are responsible and we can choose the kind of family, community, nation and earth that we crave.

How do we make choices that will support all of humanity to be more of what our species was created to be?  By paying attention at the individual, family, community, state, nation and earth levels.  This summer you saw people stepping back and looking at the Black Lives Matter movement and seeing a human problem that impacted all of us – white, brown, black, yellow.  If one is not safe, then no one is safe.  You see it when people fight against the food conglomerates and chemical conglomerates who de-vitalize our food supply and then blame us for our health problems.  You see people step up against their local, state and national governments when those governments do not protect its citizens in water and air pollution issues.  You see it when people choose to buy local fresh produce and leave behind the processed food that holds so little nutrients for us. You see it when a parent won’t allow bullying or violence in their home.  You see it when an individual stops their negative self-talk. 

In the United States, we are choosing our President for the coming four years.  I have heard people talk on behalf of their preferred candidate.  I have heard educated people say that they don’t think that they will vote because it’s a toss-up for what each will bring to our future.  I think this is a cop out.  I agree that there there is so much that has to change in how the US government and our political system functions. Many people are discouraged that so much has to change to create a better society.   It can feel like an intractable system and our one small vote can’t shift it. All of our small votes together can shift the present situation. We can stand for what we hope will be the future of our country and our peoples.

Yet, we are here now. Just like with your GPS, you have to enter your present location and your desired future location.  We are not where we want to be as species or as a nation, and this is not the time to give up.  This is the time to define your version of paradise for the United States.  Is there universal health care?  Is our maternal death rate the lowest in the world?  Is our food supply revitalized and healthy?  Do all people, regardless of race, age, religion or sexual orientation, have equal rights under the law and within our communities?  Those are elements of what I crave for the US.  What are yours?  Which party is the most likely to move you toward your paradise for the United States and for the earth?  Not voting is a choice.  It hands over to others what is both your responsibility and your right to decide what is the most desirable future for the US.

You cannot hope to enjoy paradise unless you take the responsibility for dreaming it and living it in your individual life, your community life, your life as a citizen of your state and your country and as a member of the Earth’s children.  To use your rights later, you must act responsibly now.