If we are honest with ourselves, we must admit that we are regularly weak and selfish human beings. This pessimistic world view must be abandoned! It is true that we are collectively weak very often. It is also true that these moments of weakness are but choices in our daily lives. It is this consciousness that makes us aware of our decisions. It is our very conscience that tells us when we’ve made the wrong decisions.
The consciousness of our conscience informs our moral decisions. We must begin to believe that the choice of conspicuous consumption is something to be put-off by. Consumption is one of the most significant indicators of human weakness. This can also be defined as corruption.
We as a society have become morally bankrupt. And yet we continue to make the wrong choices over and over again. For example, how many of you have consumed fast food in the last week?
“But it’s so convenient and cheap!” you’ll say.
“I tell you, cheap food is dishonest food. Nothing comes cheap. Human labor and moral ignorance are the culprits for fast food.”
We must seriously begin to reexamine our interconnected web of human activity: The system. Conspicuous consumption a’la human weakness runs rampant and un-checked in every community in America. I was dating a conspicuous consumer for a bit. But it was okay, because I was one too. And that was okay because we are ALL, conspicuous consumers.
This human weakness must be cut out like a cancer. Unfortunately it is a product of the human mind, so it must take the product of another human mind to bring awareness to it. The “product” of my mind, in which I humbly offer to all of humanity, is the Revolt Against The Rich.
This idea will bring awareness to the conspicuous consumption of our day. It will enlighten us to the true value of human life. It is this value which must be most held dear to us: Trust. If we truly begin to trust one another (with money completely out of our system) then we will be able to mutually affirm one another’s Strength.
You may remember the old story of the pencils? Let me tell it to you.
Hank was a good baseball player. He had it all. He could hit and throw with the best of them, and he already had the running game down. In fact, Hank was such a good baseball player that he began to become overly confident. With every home run that he hit his cockiness grew twice. Eventually his ego began to go unchecked so his third base coach stepped in.
“Hank you’re a darn good ballplayer, nobody can deny.” Coach said.
“Sure thing coach.” Hank said.
“Now listen here Hank. You’re only one player on the team. You got eight other guys out there to back you up and you need to start backing them up.” Coach took a pencil out of his pocket and extended it to Hank. “Here boy, you think you’re pretty strong, let me see you break this pencil.”
“Ha!” Hank laughed and broke it between 2 fingers.
“Pretty good, player, now break these 9 pencils.” Coach handed Hank the pencils.
“Now we’re talking.” Hank said. He held the pencils in both hands and tried to break them. Hank’s face strained with effort. The pencils bent, and then one snapped. But the 8 remained unbroken.
“You see, Hank – you’re always stronger as a team.”
We all have our teams. Our teams are our communities. If we collectively began to be strong, and deny weakness, imagine what heights we might achieve as a civilization. We can bring this world, our island home, back from the brink if we all do it together. This is not hopeless idealism. This is true revolution.
The 16th century theologian, John Calvin had a systematic theology that high-lighted a concept of total depravity. Total depravity doesn’t allow for much human choice, and basically characterizes humanity as weak, ignorant and selfish. Now, you might agree with him, but I caution us against this pessimistic understanding of the interconnected web of human activity. Proof is that many historians, philosophers, and economists believe that Calvin’s systematic theology conceptualized, and thus actualized the most base form of capitalism: The Protestant Ethic. I’m here to tell you, Calvin had it wrong.
If you still disagree me with me, consider this: Money breeds human weakness. Previous “civilizations” have always had money as part of their system. Thus we have allowed it to become a cultural norm. During our cultural assimilation and acceptance of a financial system, greed began to grow.
But what if we were to do away with money completely? Total removal from the system. What if we simply all considered to decide that money was a bad idea to begin with and move on towards true civilization with the currency of trust. Money has poisoned the system for too long. If we all did it together, our trust would restore due to nature’s standard of reciprocity. What I do for you – you will do for me in a similar manner. This already holds true today, but we are on a money standard so there are incentives to cheat.
We must deny the weakness of cheating. We must affirm the Strength of Trust.
Yesterday at the MLK Jr parade and ceremony I heard Cecil Williams talk about tough mindedness. His word choice conjured up many feelings in me and I began to question how many people were really so tough minded. Indeed, tough mindedness is the very thing needed to crush human weakness. We must begin holding ourselves to a higher moral standard! If you’re compelled to label it – Optimistic Universalism.