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Rebel with a cause -

 

How To Be A Moral Radical

Updated 08/13/2013

We are going to list personal attributes, which if followed, may turn you into a radical of sorts and lead into you making a positive difference in the world.

Be warned, however. By following the guidelines in this article you will not always find yourself sticking safely with the crowd.

Like trusting sheep, "the crowd" just tends to follow along with things, not question much, not find out things for themselves, or come to their own informed decisions.

If you follow these guidelines what you will be is a moral radical—and in the same category with some notable people over the ages that have made a positive difference in the world—people whose names you find in history books.

Can you think of a single individual—Jesus Christ included—that have made a major difference in history that have simply followed the crowd—who didn't make waves or challenge the status quo when it needed to be challenged?

We are going to be using the word transpersonal, mostly because that one word will save a lot of other words.  By transpersonal we are referring to habitually thinking beyond the self or the "I."

1. To move to a transpersonal perspective you must dissolve

  • limited "us" and "them" perspectives
  • animosity toward other races, religions, and cultures. 

We recommend that you spend time each day working toward a transpersonal view.

A good place to start would be to view some highly-rated films such as Welcome to Sarajevo with Woody Harrelson, Beyond Borders with Angelina Jolie, or documentaries on these topics. There are many more, of course, but these come immediately to mind.


2. A transpersonal view includes a concern for

  • global events and conditions rather than strictly local or nationalistic interests
  • conditions that cause strife, bloodshed, and war
  • the health and wellbeing of people in general
  • a more equitable distribution of food and wealth in the world
  • a healthier environment
  • better education for more people
  • health care for people in need 

People that consider themselves Christian might seriously ask themselves, "What would Jesus do?"  Avoid these issues?  Try not to think about them?  Go about His business as if nothing were wrong?  

As the bumper sticker says, "Question Authority." Whose best interests do our authorities really have in mind?  Are they truly transpersonal, or are they primarily servicing their own interests and ungenerous party or organization affiliations?

Although religion should be the great healer, it often ends up being the great divider. 

Question religious beliefs that don't allow free and open discussions, that preach blind obedience, or that can't explain major moral inconsistencies in their beliefs. Such things have resulted in—and are continuing to result in—some of history's greatest atrocities.

Do you know how other countries view happenings in the United States?

You might be surprised.

Don't automatically assume that because their views differ from yours that they are wrong or that their sources of information are distorted or incorrect.

They may be; they may not be.

3. Work for change within the system. You might be amazed at how many people are just waiting to join with you to make a positive difference.

Participate in non-violent protests to bring public attention to social and economic injustice wherever it exists. This may mean that you will try to see that people are put ahead of corporate profits.

All this is much easier, of course, when you have the force of unfettered morality on your side.

4. Support people—especially leaders—that demonstrate transpersonal views and actions.

This includes politicians who work for (and not just talk about) positive social change, a cleaner environment, good health care, better education, alternative forms of energy and energy conservation, and making trade agreements that are fair to other countries and not just designed to inflate short-term corporate profits.

This support includes writing letters, sending e-mail, or even making telephone calls. It may include protesting self-serving policies that are contrary to these things.

5. Join with people and groups that share these goals. Discuss; share ideas; look at films such as the ones above and agree on action.

Finally, it's important to keep in mind these levels of moral development, which lead to a transpersonal view.


 We'll mention another film last because, although highly rated, is very hard to watch. It's raw, it's real, it contains bloody scenes, it's full of tragedy, and it includes profanity. The title is, Living in Emergency: Stories of Doctors Without Borders. It's available on Netflix.

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