happiness is finding the place where being yourself is exactly what's needed

Sunday, May 1, 2011

questions i ask myself from time to time

(04.18.10)

where do i draw the line between selfishness and kindness?

my passion in life is helping people, but if i buy myself a lunch at the coffee shop, i'm using enough money on my own personal comfort to feed someone for a week.

i could say that i'm helping support the business of the worker-owned coffee shop i adore and the lovely people who work there.

i could say that such luxuries are little bits of personal motivation to keep me doing whatever it is i'm hoping to do in this life.

we all draw the line somewhere different, and some people never take the time to draw it at all, because our only real responsibilities are to ourselves.

caring for others will never be a responsibility, but most of us just do it anyway. because we have varying degress of generosity required for our own personal fullfillment.

so, in a sense, every action is a selfish one. if more of us found personal fullfillment in helping others, there'd be enough of everything to go around that we could all have a nice bit of personal comfort.

i don't mean to sound like a socialist. i don't want the government to be in charge of people being human. part of human nature is rebelling against authority. i stay completely out of politics for this reason. there will always be arguments about what to do, what rights people should have, and differing of opinions based on so many personal and group feelings about how we should live. and in most matters, it's difficult to tell if there's a right or wrong side and, if so, which one's which.

i just wish we could find a way for people not to be so afraid anymore.

the health care bill is a good example. all sorts of people wanted it to pass, and all sorts hated the idea. there are very rich people afraid of losing the money they wanted to buy that fourth mansion. there are very rich people who would gladly give up some of their conveniences for a better world. but most of us aren't rich.

most of the people i've talked to were very against the health care bill. and it's not because they're rich or selfish. it's because they're lower to middle class people who know that any changes we might make will effect them the most. it's people who want to make sure they can pay the bills and continue having roofs over their heads and the ability to keep themselves and their families fed.

of course they don't want even more money taken out of their paychecks. why should we pay for health care? we're used to living without health care and would rather continue to do so than pay for it, hence the reason we're not using it now. we make a certain amount and get used to supporting ourselves on that amount, and we haven't seen a doctor in years.

yes, it would be nice to know i could go to the doctor if i really needed to. but, in the meantime, am i going to be able to live somewhere, or will i be living on the streets because i don't get enough money from my paycheck to survive?

i'm not for or against any particular forms of taxation changes may imply. like i said, i stay out of politics. because it's so difficult to guess what will be best for our society as a whole in the long run.

this is why i have to work with people on a more individual level. i have no illusions of making any kind of huge differences in the world, but if i can help a few people here and there i'll feel like my life has purpose.

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