When I was studying for my degree in psychology I remember learning about the principle of charity. This principle in philosophy is the basis of being charitable in the opinions and arguments of others. Just like “charity” and giving in our daily lives, the principle of charity is about not biting someone’s head off because you don’t agree with what they are arguing or discussing. It is also about providing a generous consideration to other ideas that might not be in the same belief as your own. The principle of charity does not stop others in the attack of opposing views, but it allows an open mind to sit, listen and perhaps digest another opinion without immediately disagreeing with it.
The reality is that the principle of charity allows my beliefs and position to be heard without being judged immediately…that is if the other person understands this principle as well. As I watch, read and hear the political craziness going on lately I take into account this principle. It always takes a shift in consciousness and what’s important in life to join together in humanitarian compassion. This week is the passing storm in Mexico…the continuous fighting in the Middle East…the remnants of world issues. All you have to do is turn on the news and you are bombarded by something extravagant that is OUT THERE. But, weathering the storm and the aftermath is much more relevant right now as opposed to who will be running our country in just a few months. Why is it that we, as the human race, forget the simplicity of connecting to one another? Why is it that we have to have mass destruction (or the possibility of disasters) to stop and remember about what’s important…our interconnections and survival? We are living in giant bubbles of chaos running around in separated ant colonies getting from point A to point B…and what for?
I don’t agree or disagree with politics. I don’t care who is gay or straight. I don’t give a thought to the hatred that religions create all in the name of God against each other. What I do care about is unity, love and peace. I care that our neighbors in other states might not have warmth, electricity, homes or safety in days to come. I care about the animals outside in the cold, crops and farmers who will lose substantially. I care about those things that make us human not monsters of intolerance and disassociating behaviors. I care about the homeless man sitting on the side of the road with a sign that breaks me for having food in my house. I care about the disabled souls trying to find comfort in a world not created to support them and their needs. I care that tonight while the wind is blowing up here in the mountains I am thankful for heat and a roof over our heads. I care that I might not make a difference anywhere else but in the lives of my children and husband. I am not here to win any prizes. I am here surviving, existing and moving through the ant colony but with the awareness that I need to keep my heart wide opened to the principles of love and charity. I am consciously evolving in the understanding that there is work to be done and one person can’t change the earth but many hands working together can sure create miracles.
The principle of charity should also include “charity” in the literal way. Being generous, caring, compassionate, and having brotherly love is why we are here. May you remember this simple principle in philosophy that is not only for agreeing (or disagreeing) in discussions, but in extending your heart and touching another who is in need of support! God bless…love and light.