Some things are hard and difficult. Choices to be wholesome or avoid harm goes by another name Ethics. Not a comfortable topic. Often I find people dodge and weave or leave the room when it comes up.
Why is that? Maybe it is due to our childhood and current experience of how debased the work ethics and morality has become. We see and hear religious leaders talk about and don’t abide by it. They also say things like no contraception and no masturbation, we know that is crap. We hear them say ‘Act in kindness cause no harm’ and then see them do the opposite. So we see much hypocrisy we throw the concept away.
I suggested to a guy advertising life stage training for men that he should include work on ethics. He replied that ‘ we don’t do abstract and intellectual things’. I felt like saying ‘ Well how about an uncle holding down his nine-year old niece and raping her, is that abstract ?’ Sounds over the top, but I work as a counsellor and prison chaplain, and often hear stories like this. It is very real for me and it happens.
So we need the courage of the eagle, the truth of the fire and to stand up straight like the truth sticks. In my work with groups of men and some women around violence prevention ( domestic violence ) I realised that for many some sense of core value or ethics was missing from their life – missing from society in a way. Without an appropriate core value around not doing harm, how could anyone learn to change? So I read and researched and reflected on something useful to use in my work. I came up with the following. It’s not really new or rocket science, perhaps a new way of saying and packaging it.
Chose to be wholesome as a foundation for living!
- I have a choices.
- I am responsible for my choices.
- I can choose to act in a positive and loving way.
- I can choose not to cause harm.
- I can choose to be aware of the effect of my thoughts and actions on myself and others.
So this statement became the foundation of my courses on violence prevention. I would present, explain and discuss this, invite questions, first up. A choice would then be offered.
- If you can accept this, then you can learn something from this course.
- If you can’t accept this, then you are wasting your time here and may as well leave.
No one ever left and there was some positive learning for us all. So I offer this to you and invite you to always ask me if I am following this in what I do. It applies to small and big things. In particular those wearing religious robes or claiming to teach ways of better living, who can’t follow this, should consider both buying new clothes and changing occupations.
The wedge tail eagles of the Morton National Park, endorse this and it is part of the local dreaming – Lyrebird Dreaming.