COLLEGE PARK, MD –
It all resides in alignment of principles. If we believe our benefit lies in money, power, respect – a belief many of our elders have been all too willing to push – our selfishness will be of much detriment to ourselves and those around us.
If, on the other hand, we believe our benefit lies in gift, empowerment, success – that success for us lies in the metaphysical process of empowering others to be their best through giving of our privilege – our selfishness will be of much benefit to ourselves and others.
In that framework, the good one wants for him or herself is tied directly to the good of others.
Stating the obvious
This all may sound obvious, but it seems worth noting the concept, nonetheless.
It is a concrete way to internalize the humanitarian ideal that more for you is more for me and the Prophetic principle that we do not believe until we love for our brother or sister what we love for ourselves.
By aligning our values properly we take those ideas out of the realm of slogans into the realm of lived belief.
When our concept of good for ourselves is tied to the good of others, do we not automatically want for our siblings in creation what we want for ourselves? I say we do.
We want good for them and for ourselves, and the more good they gain the more good we gain. That line of thinking puts us, in theory, within the Prophetic principle.
Theory vs. reality
In practice, we will no doubt be deficient as the humans we are, but being clear on this point theoretically, and acting on it as much as we can is important.