General Question

mammal's avatar

Have you noticed that in order to fight for a more humane and just world, you now have to conduct yourself in the manner of Gandhi or Christ?

Asked by mammal (9431points) May 11th, 2009

like, you have to fulfill some obscure, impossibally abstract and whimsical notion of saintliness in order to qualify

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19 Answers

The_Compassionate_Heretic's avatar

The path to peace won’t be paved by war.

arturodiaz's avatar

I dont think you gotta be like Dalai dama, Gandhi or Christ to make this a better world. Im also not sure if we want to make this world more “humane” but that is a topic for another discussion. Still violence, nationalism and genocide is not longer as accepted as a some decades ago.

SeventhSense's avatar

Yes it’s definitely something that crosses my mind frequently.
Gandhi was enormously succesful in ridding India of the British colonialists but still some people had to willingly give themselves to the lions. I think overly pondering the sacrifice though, can be the work of the ego-self which wants to get control of everything including the renunciation of itself! Which of course is a subtle back door attempt at the short circuiting of the process.

The evening before Jesus went to the cross it is said he sweat blood in the Garden at Gethsemane. Under extreme stress the body can in fact sweat blood. And this is someone whose entire life’s mission was leading towards this aim.
It would seem in in order to make a difference there needs to be a cost which entails emotion and great fortitude in almost any endeavor. And I believe the highest aspiration is that one in which the individual makes a decision to be the solution. “Greater love has no man that he lay down his life for his friends”
I think to truly make a difference there needs to be a renunciation but in my experience it’s often moment to moment.

I think when there is the real focus of doing what needs to be done it’s just about process. If sacrifice or “superhuman” virtue do become necessary it’s just about doing(or not doing) what needs to be done according to circumstance. But the focus on the sacrifice can often be a self focus. The ego’s flip side of renunciation of self is attachment to self.
Drop the selflessness/selfishness and just be the solution as necessary. The sacrifice may in fact be a sacrifice that we are not aware that we’re even attached to like suffering itself.
Why would one not want to make the world more humane?

arturodiaz's avatar

@SeventhSense humans are not perfect or even perctible(not sure if it is the correct word, my english is not native) creatures. We are inefficient and we are irrational, why would we want to make the world more human. I think we should follow a different path in order to evolve.

SeventhSense's avatar

Yes, I think it may be a wording issue

Pronunciation: \hyü-ˈmān, yü-\
Function: adjective
Etymology: Middle English humain
Date: circa 1500
1 : marked by compassion, sympathy, or consideration for humans or animals

Pronunciation: \ˈhyü-mən, ˈyü-\
Function: adjective
Etymology: Middle English humain, from Anglo-French, from Latin humanus; akin to Latin homo human being — more at homage
Date: 14th century
1: of, relating to, or characteristic of humans

DarkScribe's avatar

In the manner of Christ?

You mean like walk on water?

No, that’s only for people who can’t swim.

hearkat's avatar

@arturodiaz: violence, nationalism, tribalism, and genocide are happening at this very moment. In fact, the majority of conflicts currently happening in the world are between tribes or religions. In Africa, genocide happened recently in Rwanda and is currently happening in Darfur.

arturodiaz's avatar

@hearkat I know, but it is not so acepted now a days. For example, if you say right now a black person is a pig people will feel really ofended, not so much in the 1800s. You can say mexicans are pigs and a lot of people will feel offended too, not at much as they should though.

hearkat's avatar

@arturodiaz: Those statements may not be tolerated in Western societies, but in other parts of the world it is far worse than name-calling. So I still say that the fact that the media isn’t giving these issues the attention they deserve suggests that it is being ‘accepted’ to a degree.

augustlan's avatar

I’m not sure I’m accurately understanding your question, so may I rephrase it and see if my understanding is correct? Are you saying: “In order to be accepted as a reformer, one must be saint-like” ? If that is what you are implying, I would say it is incorrect. People make mistakes and are not perfect… most people can accept that and still respect your efforts towards a better world.

However, it is still true that one catches more flies with honey than with vinegar. People will be more receptive to your efforts – and more likely to rally behind your cause – if you are a decent and compassionate person while you go about trying to change the world. If you are an asshole while you go about it… not so much.

DarkScribe's avatar

Seriously, the only way to change the world is to influence people. Ghandi and Christ – unfortunately, are not likely to have as much influence in the modern world as a media magnate. That is where the real “world ordering” power lies. The Fourth Estate.

kevbo's avatar

What more did they do other than discover universal truths and wear them on their (metaphoric) sleeves?

mammal's avatar

i think what i am trying to ascertain is whether, anyone else notices, that a more robust approach towards transformation, for example, even just having an abrasive attitude, is dealt with by the liberal western class and their middle class cohorts as something wholly unhygienic….yet the material comfort they enjoy is secured with a good deal of bloodshed, so in short I find their attitude condescending and hypocritical.

kevbo's avatar

FWIW, yes. I think people in general balk at abrasiveness. People don’t want to be coerced into thinking differently. They have to be ready to learn and have someone to teach them. When we are made to take a defensive posture, learning new ways of thinking are less likely.

I think you might appreciate the information in two videos that may help you figure out part of the balance in the equation that is bothering you. Think of them as shortcuts, which may get you to the other side faster or not be of much use. Anyway, they’re yours to peruse if that interests you.

The first one starts out a little corny, but if you just set that aside and listen to the message, it’s pretty profound. Jessica part 1 of 4

The second is a talk given by Bill Ayers, who among other things took part in the bombing of public buildings in the U.S. to protest Vietnam. I can’t find the full video, but here’s a snippet. If you get Free Speech TV you might catch the whole thing. He also tells this anecdote in the course of his talk. You might find the second clip just as applicable to the bourgeoisie who are giving you such ire.

@mammal, your anger and criticism is certainly warranted. If you don’t mind me posing as an advisor who has thought about and struggled with these issues for maybe 15 years, recognize that your anger is useful in cluing you in on a direction to take and perhaps useful in pushing you to move in that direction, but that ultimately the realm of love and compassion (even for the middle class sheep) wins the day. In other words, don’t make “being angry” the end purpose of your effort. Use it to fuel your impulse and set your compass, but recognize that the next step is taking action: 1. by making changes within yourself, 2. by helping others realize certain truths, and 3. by actively reassessing, improving, and refining your methods to make them more impactful and purposeful. And, do them in that order.

Okay, I know I’m going on and on, but one more thing. Take a look at this guy. He lives on about $3,000 a year so that he doesn’t have to pay taxes for war. He doesn’t ride or drive in a car. He has a ton of free time to protest injustices (and to educate himself and others about the problems of the world.) And, he’s happy.

Don’t stay angry for the sake of being angry. Keep mining the truth, create a solution that works for you, and let that harmony radiate to other people.

edit:: “here’s a snippet” new link

SeventhSense's avatar

Preach it girl. Gandhi and Christ were monumental pains in the asses to the status quo. And that’s the only thing that gets anything done. Passive resistance is anything but timid or passive.

SeventhSense's avatar

I would not say that William Ayers methods in the 1960’s with the Weathermen was anyhing close to productive activism though.

I would liken his approach to pouring gasoline on a raging fire while King’s methods were a dousing with water.

kevbo's avatar

Not what I’m claiming. Just explaining who he is. Mammal is younger and from the UK, so I was giving some context.

mammal's avatar

@kevbo lol, i’m not that young, and i’m not that angry (honest guv) what i am trying to tease out from this thread is the pious manner in which people turn their noses up at what they perceive to be crude, uncivilised or barbaric, methods of redressing a regime, that is clearly intolerable to anyone except Western observers, without the imagination or experience to comprehend it, i suspect a lot of their sanctimonious doctrine of non violent response, would quickly evaporate, were they or their family, subjected to even a fraction of what others had to endure…...non-violence has become a platitude, that actually cheapens the miracle of the truly tolerant human, (which is as truly admirable, as it is rare)....but also alienates those who resort to more human political methods, who’s aspirations are equally as high.

kevbo's avatar

Fair enough. I misread. And I agree with you on all points.

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