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5.20.2007

WHERE IS THE SELFISHNESS / SIN IN MY LIFE?

Hmm. What is the big deal about selfishness? A fair amount is posted on this site regarding the subject, but for here: "Few people in the world chose war (WWII). They chose selfishness and the result was war," David Dellinger.

Germany was in agony after WWI and all we in the west could think to do was further exploit, "benignly" of course, through our U.S. corporations. In that most sacred of all essays by Rabbi Heschel in 1938: "Let modern dictatorship [Hitler pre WWII] not serve as an alibi for our conscience. We have failed to fight for right, for justice, for goodness; as a result we must fight against wrong, against injustice, against evil. We have failed to offer sacrifices on the altar of peace; thus we offered sacrifices on the altar of war."

Hmmm. What selfishnesses would we-the-people of the 1920's and 1930's needed to have sacrificed? What if, to avoid the carnage of WWII, and to avoid the heinous suffering of Germany post WWI it would have cost us almost every single one of our luxuries? Would it have been worth it?

Gandhi offers us these on the subject of finding the murderous selfishness in our lives:

"The golden rule is to steadfastly refuse to have what millions cannot have."

"I will give you a talisman. Whenever you are in doubt, or when the self becomes too much with you, apply the following test. Recall the face of the poorest and the weakest man [woman] whom you may have seen, and ask yourself, if the step you contemplate is going to be of any use to him [her]. Will he [she] gain anything by it? Will it restore him [her] to a control over his [her] own life and destiny? In other words, will it lead to swaraj [freedom] for the hungry and spiritually starving millions? Then you will find your doubts and your self melt away." - One of the last notes left behind by Gandhi in 1948, expressing his deepest social thought.

Or... there is always simply turning a blind eye and allowing WWIII or its equivalent to continue to unfold unopposed. Hey, who will point the finger at me? NO ONE; except me. I do not want to view myself as impotent, incapable, insignificant, irrelevant, helpless.... And, I am not.

[to be continued. SL]

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