The small choices are what create big choices!
To accept the idea that wonderful things we associate as miracles and the destructive, horrific acts we associate as being tyrannical cannot happen without making huge choices seems to be common place in many societies considered to be first world. This is the logic behind so many people whom accept government as being a necessary evil in order to prevent unnecessary tyranny. It is also the logic employed to create large infrastructure projects and massive regional defense networks. Yet there is a flaw in this thinking for so many.
When it is pointed out that such achievements are possible by alternative methods which do not require the implementation of taxation and government as we know it, these same advocates insist that it is just the way things are. Essentially they take the attitude of, ‘if I can’t beat ‘em, then I might as well join ‘em.’ And that is not an attitude they employ for those big choices alone.
In fact it is a rather common attitude that is used in an evolved form to gain at the expense of others through subtle and flamboyant acts of coercion and deception. Of course this is done while scapegoating the actions of others also doing this at the expense of their intellectual responsibility and quality of character. In short this is about philosophical consistency. I know that is a big idea. So let me break that down with a personal event that has recently happened to me.
I’m employed part time currently as a warehouse associate for a global company. For the month of December I was asked to take on responsibilities beyond my pay grade. I gladly stepped up to show them I know how to do more on the chance that it would help me rise in pay and responsibility within the ranks of this company. So for stepping up and taking more responsibility for this company I was awarded privileged parking.
This parking is labeled as V.I.P. parking with fancy road signs and all. The parking situation for this company is less than desirable as there are as many as 450 people employed in this building at any given time. The company grew faster and required more associates than they anticipated eight years ago when they opened up this warehouse. So they now have to rent parking lot space from multiple other businesses on the same section of street, which do not utilize their entire lots. This means that if we are not able to get a parking space in the lot around the building we are employed in, we must walk in the weather, favorable or not, as much as half of a mile. So after a tough shift loading trucks by hand with boxes weighing as much as 50 pounds or more, it’s a welcomed fact to know the walk to one’s car is not that far. And this is why being awarded a V.I.P. parking spot across from the front door of this warehouse is valuable prize.
So when I was awarded employee of the month for December, I was granted a V.I.P. parking space for January. Unfortunately it is difficult to monitor 400 plus associates sometimes. And as it turns out, otherwise good people end up being equally as much a part of the problem as others we openly identify as simply not caring at all or being opportunists at the expense of someone else’s loss.
Since I work five days a week for this company, I utilize a V.I.P. parking space for five or six hours a day five days a week. Sadly I have been denied usage of this privilege several times due to other associates parking there without the proper tags designating their permission to do so. One particular associate just happens to be someone I have gotten to be good work friends with over the years.
One day I was pulling into the lot and noticed he had parked in a V.I.P. space. I was surprised that he was awarded employee of the month a second time in four months, or so I thought he had been. So I asked him about it. He said he wasn’t. He was just parking there because the leadership wasn’t enforcing it. Basically he told me that he would start abiding by the rules when leadership enforced them for other people. Until then, “why should I be put out because others don’t follow the rules,” he asked me?
I was a little upset about that. In response I told him I was awarded a pass for January after being recognized for employee of the month for December. I proceeded to ask him if he would be willing to move his car if I needed that space if no one else was around. “Good luck getting me to do that,” he confrontationally retorted.
I was seriously shocked by that. I hadn’t expected someone I thought was a good man to tell me that he doesn’t care about my success as I did his two months earlier about his. I had plenty of opportunities to park in the V.I.P. spaces leaving him with none. I did not. Yet he didn’t show me the same respect in return. However to be clear, I don’t think he is a bad man either. He is just philosophically inconsistent.
I worked hard to earn that privilege. I understand that other people have been parking in those spaces too without permission. I also understand that these people will give a similar story. However, this does not mean that the individual I considered to be my friend gets any kind of special pass. Absolutely not!
When he wished me good luck getting him to move for me, what he really was saying was:
‘Your efforts don’t mean anything to me since I can get the same reward for simply hiding in the crowd of choices made by others due to leadership’s negligence in enforcing their own rules.’
“But it’s just a parking space, Jim! Who cares?” so many will say.
Well, I care. I care because peace is my goal. And that peace starts by respecting the value others have for themselves. And this value is in part respected by the maintenance of principles. Principles are not principles if they are not recognized and abided by. To be denied the privilege of parking there does not actually hurt me. It does however make the statement of telling me that they do not respect my time, intellect, and labor I refined to earn such a privilege. In short it is stealing.
And even if leadership is not enforcing the rules, it doesn’t mean the rules can be violated. What this comes down to is not that people entirely do not care. What this is about is whether or not the people cheating others fully understand the importance of such rules. Why are the rules put into place? This also isn’t about the semantics of people not actually cheating if they don’t understand the rules. This has everything to do with people understanding there are rules in place and their choices to violate them.
In fact rules are not in implemented to replace morality, critical thinking, or personal responsibility. Rules are implemented to help set boundaries and points worth noting to help guide critically thinking minds to ask, “Why is this rule implemented?”
In relation to the parking spaces, it is a show of gratitude from the company to the employee for their dedication and accomplishments that stood out from other employees. And when other employees respect the rules crafted by the designated signage, they are also recognizing the hard work of their fellow associates whom were awarded such a privilege. How many people will immediately make this conclusion without it first being laid out for them?
I argue that many will not because they themselves do not understand the importance of why rules are invoked in the first place. Ultimately the recognition of rules has everything to do with understanding the importance of why they are implemented in the first place. Notice I didn’t state why they are imposed. I stated why they are implemented because the relationship between employee and employer where I work in the United States currently is voluntary. For rules to be imposed would likely dictate some form of attempting to subdue or control others out of self defense or aggression. That is not the case in a voluntary environment.
By choosing to ignore such a seemingly small rule as to not park in a specialized parking space, one begins the justification of ignoring other rules. In a way this is akin to justifying larger transgressions against others. This isn’t like the idea of gateway drugs where small desires to get high lead to cravings for harder drugs. (If that is actually legit science at all!) This is the logic of people who understand how to haphazardly implement moral codes but without understanding why morality is invoked in the first place.
What that means is that people who follow a moral code may have set certain parameters with which to abide by, yet they don’t understand the purpose of why such a code is invoked to begin with. It is also a symptom of simply ‘knowing (or better to be understood as simply feeling) what the right thing to do is,’ without actually having a clear set of parameters or guidelines to abide by. Nowhere is this more apparent than with the claiming of ‘government is a necessary evil.’
If evil is necessary then who or what decides who gets hurt and when without first being the victim of an unwarranted act of aggression?!
Again, the invocation of all moral codes employed by various societies and groups are founded upon the defense against destruction and hostilities through peaceful communication and intellectual exchanges. The common denominator is the avoidance and rejection of destruction by the hands of others capable of peaceful communication and reasoning. This all starts with the recognition of value we each place upon ourselves.
When we recognize that others have placed value upon themselves we show them we recognize that value they have upon themselves through simple acts we take for granted as polite behavior. This includes showing appreciation for the acts others perform such as holding doors for us, letting us cross the street if we are in such a situation, and the adherence to rules which highlight an individual’s achievements and recognition within an organization.
And then there are the adherence to rules concerning safety and the wellbeing of others. These safety rules are mostly obvious. If a road sign has a speed limit posted in a neighborhood for twenty miles an hour, it stands to reason for most people that they should probably travel in their automobiles no faster than about twenty miles an hour. There could be children roaming about and blind driveways that pose potentially serious destructive encounters.
Of course the alternative to this is for everyone to be mindful of their surroundings. And with that sentiment, I cannot agree less than 100%! Everyone should be. Yet people make mistakes. It is important to recognize that fact. It doesn’t hurt to make rules that people are willing to abide by before they enter an area or accept employment. These rules are designed to help people respect others. And rules are put in place because the comprehension of what morality is meant to be used for is still relatively primitive on a large societal scale.
However, this doesn’t mean that people should be subjected to or imposed with rules by others through violent force outside of the realm of self defense or purely voluntary interactions. It is generally accepted in the majority of cultures comprising Humanity that self defense is an idea not limited to race, gender, age, and any naturally / genetically occurring event. What stops this is the invocation of some non-universally applicable moral or social construct which designates power through destructive negative consequence for noncompliance.
In the case of some religious groups, women must be subservient to their husbands or men in general. In many, if not most religions, children must be obedient without question to their parents. But beneath every nation is the same idea. The governed populace must obey the governing officials.
This is why understanding the invocation of morality is so important. Morality must be understood as more than just a reason to hurt others when others hurt you unprovoked. Morality also must be understood as an idea that is the creation of reason capable minds to create boundaries others can recognize in order to prevent unnecessary destruction and death of reason capable beings. Morality must be understood as a neutral code designed to set parameters for behavior that are universally applicable to all reason capable sentiment beings able to coherently communicate with one another.
Most importantly, morality is not something that is limited to what ‘feels right or wrong.’ Morality has a clear objective, a clear goal. And because this is not recognized beyond individual wants and desires, people invoke moral codes and parameters that are contradictory in nature. When this happens more frequently than not, the idea of evil being necessary is accepted; thus it is okay to call a group stealing money for the majority taxation while claiming an individual stealing for the same reason is called theft. In other words, actions are often hypocritical because the parameters to judge them are muddled and far less than transparent.
So now the idea of government for so many of its supporters is one which wards off complete and total destruction of Humanity and their proclaimed way of life. While it is arguable that the ‘way of life’ for those whom live off the various governments of the world is not a bad thing to make end, for most people there are far more lucrative means which do not involve intervening into the lives of others without their consent.
What is important to recognize is the need for a set of parameters to abide by. Morality is a social construct of reason capable minds. This construct is a defense mechanism to set boundaries in order to prevent destruction of Human life and its property. The idea is that the more minds not worried about other reason capable beings hurting them or negating their abilities to prosper, let alone survive, means they have greater peace of mind.
So when we make these small seemingly harmless decisions to violate a rule such as in a parking lot, we are telling others that we don’t care enough about the value they have placed upon their lives. For those who’ve never considered this, it means they are nescient and simply don’t understand yet. For those who have considered this, it absolutely means they do not care.
So when does the compassion start? When does showing compassion begin to make a difference?
Peace of mind requires compassion. Compassion show respect for value of life and property, which creates trust. Continual trust building constructs loyalty. And the preservation of this loyalty is what reputations and quality of character are built upon. Peace of mind is what is ultimately created and maintained.
So when we do the opposite and tell someone they are not worth the time to show respect to on a regular basis what happens?
The result is the creating of distrust and hostility and fear of far worse choices that will rob us of what we create for ourselves. This fellow I work with has started such. He only further compounded his situation by mocking me. And if he will do that for something so small, then what might he escalate such actions to after that?
This is the mindset of people who advocate political parties. If they understood the purpose of invoking morality as a means to prevent hostilities instead of justify them, Humanity’s existence would be one where people create so much wealth of compassion and financial that there might not be a reason to ever steal or cheat beyond the younger years of self discovery!
This is not a pipedream. This is merely the opposite of what we currently live with beneath government. The naysayers will ultimately say, “This is just Human nature, the way we currently live.”
And to them I will say, “It might be your nature, but mine is to understand how to be more patient with myself so I maybe more compassionate with you for both our sakes!”
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