Posted by: jahfrey | December 15, 2012

What should we be talking about?

This morning I noticed a posting on Facebook. It was well-intended and I don’t disagree with the sentiment or intention.
The post itself was about all the acts of kindness and goodness that humans have performed in the last year. The author commented “Perfect for today….”
Not a bad thing to remember, however, in the aftermath of the events in Connecticut and most of this year, that just did not ring true. Here’s my reply:

“With all due respect and thanks, Marianne, there is no “perfect” post for today. I don’t need to be reminded that humanity is capable of good, I believe that humanity is basically “good”. Are we basically good or bad? I’d say we are basically good, the ever more conscious we become, except when illness is encouraged and accepted.

There are several basic illnesses or dysfunctions in play here, from derangement to obsession to greed. Instead of reassuring ourselves, we need to be asking why we continue to tolerate this type of thing, and why the national conversation on it is dominated by obsessives, enabled by the greedy and selfish. This fosters a society where the deranged are lethal.

It’s easier for a deranged person to buy a weapon of mass destruction (“gun”) than it is for that person to get mental health treatment. We ignore the mentally ill at our peril. It’s tragic.
However, the question is not about guns, nor is it just about mental health services.

The real question here is how do we manifest humanity’s inherent good and transform our society from a war-mongering, ruthless, fragmented wasteland culture to a place that nurtures all to the betterment of all, and deals with its hurting members appropriately.

A society that encourages creativity and individuality in harmony with a healthy community, that focuses on support and nurturing rather than denial and harm. Some will be more creative and contribute more than others, and they should be rewarded. Some may be a drag on the community, willfully or not.

However, no one should be denied the basics, in part because denial of one ultimately is denial of all and results in a negative community. Not a liberal pipe dream – it can be done. I’m not being an idealist, I’m pragmatic. Humans do good when their basic needs are met. Greed is a harmful illness which we encourage and glorify. It’s time to address it.”


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