BY DON NELSON
Remember As the World Turns? Ozzie and Harriet? How about Green Acres?
They are no longer part of our everyday viewing. They have long been removed from the realm of entertainment. Their time ran out. Something new and exciting was thought necessary.
That seems to be how it goes within American culture. Something new and exciting comes along and soon becomes something old and dull. Ratings fall and sponsors fall away and the creation of something new is initiated.
The same is true for certain principles of social interaction. There is always something new being recommended as the better way to live a successful life.
Albert Einstein has been quoted as saying, “How strange is the lot of us mortals! Each of us is here for a brief sojourn; for what purpose he knows not, though he senses it. But without deeper reflection one knows from daily life that one exists for other people.”
In my day, long ago, one would read those words and make a connection with certain religious principles, might even have attributed the quote to a certain specific religious doctrine.
A bit later, still in my day but not quite so long ago, the emphasis might have been placed on “for other people” – a reference to altruism as a human quality. For it was a time when many in the human community understood compassion and mercy. A time when to be genuinely human meant to care for others.
Today the World has Turned and the Green Acres are not nearly as green. The world of Ozzie and Harriet has become something more akin to the Animal Farm.
Human compassion has been judged to be a weakness. Selfishness is the supreme human virtue and if you cannot compete – well, you cannot compete and are judged to be useless.
Altruism or selflessness is the principle or practice of concern for the welfare of others. It is a traditional virtue in many cultures and a core aspect of various religious traditions and secular worldviews, though the concept of “others” toward whom concern should be directed can vary among cultures and religions. Altruism or selflessness is the opposite of selfishness.
One cannot follow along doing the bidding of corporate masters and be altruistic. To be a corporatist is to be the antithesis of altruism.
Greed and selfishness are the enemy of society – not altruistic concern for others.
Ayn Rand’s view says that “there is no rational ground for asserting that sacrificing yourself in order to serve others is morally superior to pursuing your own [long-term, rational] self-interest.
In the words of a fellow traveler:
“There is nothing ‘objective’ about the glorification of selfishness, because it selectively rejects large swathes of human psychology, anthropology, and, frankly, evolution, and sees nothing aside from pursuing whatever is perceived as being self-interest, and often, regardless of any potential cost.”
The current regressive cabal in our state Capitol, as well as in our nation’s Capitol, have begun the task of removing altruism from our social experience. Divide and conquer, pit the least able among us against the most able, deny civil rights to those that most need them.
It is time – right now – this very minute – to begin the revolution.
The pen is mightier than the sword. The ballot is better than the bullet.
We the People have the power – we just need to believe it. Weaponize your wallet. Use your money in a way that makes a difference. Shop with the intention to withhold from those that are withholding from you.
There is a truism about social change and it goes something like this: People will finally demand change when the pain becomes unbearable.
Just how much does it have to hurt before you finally say enough and join the resistence.
– Don Nelson lives in Lawton, OK and is a frequent contributor to The Oklahoma Observer