Conditions of life anywhere on earth are today deeply affected by international interactions of many kinds and by the rules that shape such interactions. In the modern world, the traffic of international and even intranational economic transactions is profoundly influenced by an elaborate system of treaties and conventions about trade, investments, loans, patents, copyrights, trademarks, double taxation, labor standards, environmental protection, use of seabed resources, and much else. Insofar as we participate in this system and share some responsibility for its design, we are morally implicated in any contribution it makes to ever-increasing global economic inequality and to the consequent persistence of severe poverty.
Very poor people - often physically and mentally stunted due to malnutrition in infancy, illiterate due to lack of schooling, and much preoccupied with their family’s survival - can cause little harm or benefit to the politicians and officials who rule them. Such rulers have far greater incentive to attend to the interests of agents more capable of reciprocation: the interests of affluent compatriots and foreigners, of domestic and multinational corporations, and of foreign governments.Thomas Pogge and Keith Horton in Global Ethics: Seminal Essays
Global market forces provide incentives for every nation to put on what Thomas Friedman has called ‘a Golden Straitjacket,’ a set of policies that involves freeing up the private sector of the economy, shrinking the bureacracy, keeping inflation low, and removing restrictions on foreign investment. If a country refuses to wear the Golden Straitjacket, or tries to take it off, then the electronic herd - the currency traders, stock and bond traders, and those who make investment decisions for multinational corporations - could gallop off in a different direction, taking with it the investment capital that countries want to keep their economy growing. When capital is internationally mobile, to raise your tax rates is to risk triggering a flight of capital to other countries with comparable investment prospects and lower taxation. The upshot is that as the economy grows and average income rise, the scope of politics may shrink - at least as long as no political party is prepared to challenge the assumption that global capitalism is the best economic system. When neither the government nor the opposition is prepared to take the risk of removing the Golden Straitjacket, the differences between the major political parties shrink to differences over minor ways in which the Straitjacket might be adjusted.Peter Singer in One World: The Ethics of Globalization
Today I affirm that there is nothing in me but love. This love comes from total acceptance of myself and the understanding that I am a perfectly imperfect human being. I will walk through today and allow myself to fully express my perfection. I realize that all my ‘faults’ are actually the Universe’s unique way of expressing itself through me. I let go of self judgment and any projected judgments of others that I have chosen to believe and finally allow myself to just be what I truly am: infinite. As this is true for me, so it is true for all other beings on the planet. I will choose to accept everyone in my life with the same radical acceptance I have for myself knowing that we are all perfectly imperfect human beings simply doing the best we can. And so it is.
"Love is the absence of judgment."
Spiritual practice will not eliminate negative emotions. Emotions are part of the palette of life, part of the way consciousness moves. Not only can’t you get rid of them, but you’d feel empty and impoverished if you did. Practice can change your relationship to emotions, so that instead of being swamped by certain feeling states, you can hold them, contain them, see into their essence, and ultimately, use emotions in the service of your liberation.Sally Kempton
- Receptionist: Don't you feel like your generation is just lazy?
- Me: Lazy? I'd say apathetic.
- Receptionist: Isn't it the same?
- Me: No. My generation is criticized and toiled with, and I don't see why not - just turn on the TV and watch what they're feeding us. But my generation is not lazy. My generation fought in Iraq and Afghanistan. My generation fought for womens rights in a fury that hadn't been seen since the 19th Amendment. My generation got our first black President elected. My generation fought for Gay rights for the first time in American history. And with all that, we are apathetic, and that's because things aren't going to be better for us down the road. We are the first generation expected to make less than our parents. We are the first generation to see America lose its status as a super power. We've lived through the worst economic times since the Great Depression, and are forced to take out thousands of dollars in student loans at the same time, all while our college degrees slowly turn into a highschool diploma. We've done plenty, and expect nothing. So no, I wouldn't say we're lazy, just apathetic.
It doesn’t interest me what you do for a living. I want to know what you ache for, and if you dare to dream of meeting your heart’s longing.
It doesn’t interest me how old you are. I want to know if you will risk looking like a fool for love, for your dream, for the adventure of being alive.
It doesn’t interest me what planets are squaring your moon. I want to know if you have touched the center of your own sorrow, if you have been opened by life’s betrayals or have become shriveled and closed from fear of further pain. I want to know if you can sit with pain, mine or your own, without moving to hide it or fade it or fix it.
I want to know if you can be with joy, mine or your own, if you can dance with wildness and let the ecstasy fill you to the tips of your fingers and toes without cautioning us to be careful, to be realistic, to remember the limitations of being human.
It doesn’t interest me if the story you are telling is true. I want to know if you can disappoint another to be true to yourself; if you can bear the accusation of betrayal and not betray your own soul; if you can be faithless and therefore trustworthy.
I want to know if you can see beauty, even when it is not pretty, and if you can source your own life from its presence.
I want to know if you can live with failure, yours and mine, and still stand on the edge of the lake and shout to the silver of the full moon, ‘Yes!’
It doesn’t interest me to know where you live or how much money you have. I want to know if you can get up, after the night of grief and despair, weary and bruised to the bone, and do what needs to be done to feed the children.
It doesn’t interest me who you know or how you came to be here. I want to know if you will stand in the center of the fire with me and not shrink back.
It doesn’t interest me where or what or with whom you have studied. I want to know what sustains you, from the inside, when all else falls away.
I want to know if you can be alone with yourself and if you truly like the company you keep in the empty moments.Oriah