Thursday, January 20, 2011

Wikileaks, Injustice and Peace

I have said this before and I will keep saying it till the day I die – injustice is the cause of most of the human induced misery on this planet we call Earth. Injustice is the most important factor in most of the troubles we have in the world at this time.

This is true of those who are trying to prevent details of their questionable activities being disclosed by Wikileaks; it is true of the Chinese authorities imprisoning a man (a Nobel Peace award winner) for daring to expose corruption and human rights abuse in China; it is true of any corrupt and dictatorial government or regime anywhere in the world; it is true of any organisation or company that has a “money at all costs and damn the consequences” culture; it is true of any family suffering from the ministrations of an abusive adult; it is true of any gang or group that consider themselves “different” or “better” or “exclusive”; it is true of any individual who harbours the notion that others owe him (or her) a living and that they are somehow privileged above all others.

There is no way of avoiding it – injustice in THE problem. There is also no avoiding the fact that we – collectively – have created the social and economic conditions we – collectively - find ourselves in. We have done it – there is no one else!

It is evident, everywhere, that despite the centuries of moral and ethical teachings, people have only imperfectly learned that it is in their own interests to consider the needs of their ‘neighbour’ and to treat others as they, themselves, would like to be treated. To fail to do so and to fail to recognise the needs of the society to which they belong, is to invite disaster – both individually and collectively.

I am going to quote from an old book by Carl Gustav Jung, the great Swiss Psychologist, the 1916 publication “Psychology of the Unconscious”. It is a bit long winded and the language used may be unfamiliar to modern ears, but what he says is true none-the-less. I quote from the introduction to the work:

“Life itself has needs and imperiously demands expression through the forms created. All nature answers to this freely and simply, except man. His failure to recognise himself as an instrument through which the life energy is coursing and the demands of which must be obeyed, is the cause of his misery. Despite his possession of intellect and self consciousness, he cannot without disaster to himself refuse the tasks of life and the fulfilment of his own needs. Man’s great task is the adaption of himself to reality and the recognition of himself as an instrument for the expression of life according to his individual possibilities.”

This is so true. While we are part of Humanity and share many common characteristics, none-the-less, we need to express our selves each in our own unique way. While we are about it why not aim for the highest form of contribution we can make – the highest ‘common denominator’ not the lowest?

By helping others reach their full potential we help ourselves to reach our own potential. This is just the way it is. Imprisoning, torturing and generally being less than generous to others not only diminishes the perpetrators but also diminishes us as human beings – because we are all members of the human race. By trying to diminish others and trying to ‘prove’ that we are better than those ‘others’ we are contributing to the unhappiness in the world and reducing the likelihood of peace.

No comments: