For many reasons, most human cultures have adopted the attitude that the Earth belongs to them and that the Earth exists to serve them. This narcissistic belief system has caused endless suffering, death and the destruction of much of the Earth’s environment.
We must come to realize that because we are, among all Earth’s creatures, blessed with superior intellect, intelligence and self-awareness we must also accept greater responsibility for the protection and welfare of all life on this planet. Life does not belong to us, we belong to Life. Life does not exist to serve us. We have no innate right to exploit Life as if it existed solely for us.
Ultimately, we human beings are animals equal to all other creatures on this world. No one creature is more deserving of life than another. The Earth is not created for the benefit of only one species. All creatures and living beings feed on other life forms. Life feeds on life. This is the nature of life. Plants consume life to grow and thrive. Creatures consume plants and other creatures to grow and thrive. But all life is conscious. Some creatures are more self-aware than others. Many creatures are self-aware in dissimilar ways. But all life is made of and from Awareness, Consciousness, and therefore precious.
- With great intelligence comes great responsibility
- With great creativity comes great responsibility
- With great intellect comes great responsibility
- With great wealth comes great responsibility
- With great power comes great responsibility
- With self-awareness comes great responsibility
What are these responsibilities?
The responsibilities of being a human:
- We are responsible for being honestly self-aware
- We are responsible for being as authentic as possible in all that we do
- We are responsible to each other
- We are responsible for each other
- We are responsible to help those who are vulnerable when possible
- We are responsible for maintaining a clean, vibrant, diverse and healthy world
- We are responsible for treating all life with respect, caring, compassion and appreciation
We all have responsibilities and obligations to each other. We are all intimately connected to each other and responsible for each other. We are all part of one life, one nature, one world. Whether wealthy or powerful or not, we are responsible for the preservation and maintenance of this world. If we do not take on those responsibilities then humanity will eventually cease to exist.
With intelligence, wealth, creativity and other gifts come responsibilities. To others less fortunate, to society at large and to the natural world within which we live. No one gains wealth or power in a vacuum. No one creates wealth alone. There is no such thing as a totally ‘self-made’ millionaire.
It is not your obligation to give away all your wealth. It is not your obligation to help every individual on this planet. But it is your obligation to help those who you can help and those who come to you for help. Those who use their power, wealth, intelligence, creativity and good fortune only for their own personal benefit with no concern for the effects of their actions on others and on life are undeserving of those gifts.
What this means is that we humans have greater responsibility to protect, preserve and be more compassionate to all life on this planet. With greater intelligence comes greater responsibility.
It is absolutely essential that human beings come to realize this or the human race will cease to exist. Humanity is evolving, not just physically but emotionally and intellectually. Physical evolution can take hundreds of thousands of years but emotional and intellectual evolution can occur within a generation or two. A part of that evolutionary process is the recognition of our interdependence and responsibilities to all life and to each other. Imagine a world where all human beings realize their connectedness and responsibility to and for each other and nature.
It will probably take many more generations before the majority of humans realize and accept the reality of interdependence and responsibility. It may take great suffering or upheaval before humanity evolves but it will eventually occur or there will no longer be humanity. Those who refuse to evolve or fight the inevitable evolution of humanity will be left behind like the brontosaurus no matter how hard they fight or dig in their heels.
© 2018 Jon Shore
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