Monday, January 18, 2021

Respectism and the Kinder Community











"Whereas the peoples of the United Nations have in the Charter reaffirmed their faith in fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person and in the equal rights of men and women and have determined to promote social progress and better standards of life in larger freedom, Whereas Member States have pledged themselves to achieve, in co-operation with the United Nations, the promotion of universal respect for and observance of human rights and fundamental freedoms..." Universal Declaration of Human Rights (United Nations, 1948

 I refuse to accept the cynical notion that nation after nation must spiral down a militaristic stairway into the hell of thermonuclear destruction. I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word in reality. This is why right temporarily defeated is stronger than evil triumphant. Martin Luther King (Nobel Peace Prize Acceptance Speech, 1964

 When historians pick up their pens to write the story of the 21st century, let them say that it was your generation who laid down the heavy burdens of hate at last and that peace finally triumphed over violence, aggression and war. So I say to you, walk with the wind, brothers and sisters, and let the spirit of peace and the power of everlasting love be your guide. John Lewis (Farewell Essay, 2020

There is a community that believes in community. There is a community that believes in mutual respect for all and for our delicate life sphere. There is a community that believes in the common good for all. There is a kinder community that has always opposed cruelty and neglect and degradation of the natural. Our kinder community has always been here, part of the human community. It is time for this community to focus. 

This is like no other time in human history. 

We all live in a tiny bubble of air inside a very narrow strip of life. We are threatening our only home with destruction. The engine of destruction has many parts including nuclear weapons, climate crisis, resource depletion and mass extinction. 

The fuel for the engine is any human culture based on hatred, greed and fear. It should be clear by now that technology alone cannot save us, but can destroy us. It should be equally clear that only rapid, kind, and mutually respectful change in our human culture can save us from disaster. 

Our kinder community may wish to focus on the following hypotheses of life affirming cultural change: 

1) Following and universally advertising a model of respect for others, self and place. 

2) Separating abusive leaders, large and small, from power as respectfully as possible. 

3) Promoting fair dealing, justice and accountability based on listening dialogue, honesty, and equality. 

4) Using a rigorous, scientific metric of decreased violence, detention and neglect to measure our success. 

5) Using the clearest and simplest language possible. 

We are on the brink of a vast cultural change. Either enough of us will work together to build a better culture based on kindness and mutual respect, or a new culture formed by immense shared disaster and trauma will adhere to those who survive. 

Respectism is the belief that a mutually respectful society is a pragmatic necessity for our survival. Mutual respect is respect for self, others and place. Love is the soul of respect, and respect is the language of love. 

 Image: A view of the plenary hall in the World Conference Center in Bonn during a meeting of the UNFCCC. (Photo: IISD) 2017 


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