Sunday, April 18, 2010

Whats yer mission?

I often hear (particularly when it concerns 'politics') "We all want the same thing in the end". At times, I've said this myself. It is useful as a concept to oppose the divisive nature of politics, but at the heart, I don't think it holds true.
Yes, we all want the same things that drive our human existence. Safety, security, nourishment, and for most of us, happiness/contentment for ourselves and others. What we perceive will fulfill these needs is often very different, but, thank heavens & earth we at least have this bit of shared humanity. I have been thinking a lot lately about the driving forces in my own life. I think these forces are often what shape our various approaches and perceptions.
I find "what we want" is basically driven by what I would call our 'missions' or 'purposes', which differ radically from person to person, party to party, group to group. If you do not share a philosophy or underlying belief system, you are not likely to share a 'mission', or therefore, a vision.
To make this a little less abstract...
Here are some examples (from my subjective experience) of other (awesome) people's visions/missions:
I have been cared for by someone who places the most value on autonomy, responsibility to loved ones, self betterment, contentment, and comfort.
I have met others whose vision includes self-sacrifice, dedication, responsibility to truth & the global community.
Others value adventure, extreme zest for life, presence, and a deep commitment to community and interpersonal relationships.
People are made of all combinations of these and (of course) other visions.
Maybe some are nobler than others, and you can at least in part choose what drives you. But there is really no convincing somebody else what should drive them, and I'm honestly grateful for that.
People are driven by passion. By addiction. By distraction. By love. By fear. By hope. By resentment. By means of escape. Etc.
It is no curiousity to me that we all disagree so often, so it really doesn't frustrate me all that much.
What does frustrate me is when the extremism of some people's visions end up disregarding respect for the rest of humanity. How do we successfully speak out about this? How do we find balance and peace with our individual natures, while still seeking justice in the world?
I shoooorazhelll don't know how to answer these questions.
I do believe that unless there is some recognition of these seperate visions/missions/filters we all have of the world, the head butting, polarizing, and name calling will endlessly continue with little progress made in regards to respect and acceptance of our fellow humans, or furtherance of our work for justice.

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