The Welfare of Others

100-0084_IMGsmallerI was born in early 1949 which makes me part of the Baby Boomer generation.  Yes, we were the ones who wallowed in free-love and various drugs all the while revolting against anything and everything which society and our parents told us we needed to comply.  We were convinced that WE knew better and there had never been a generation so knowledgeable and daring!  A fresh news poll asked college-aged people to rate themselves and for the first time the results showed the participants had a far too rosy view of themselves, their abilities and their place in the world!  In short they seemed to feel they were who the world has been eagerly awaiting all of these eons!  This mistaken perception of kids who could be my grandchildren (were I not a monk) I blame on my generation!

There is a cartoon on my bulletin board which shows a dog chained to his doghouse and baying at the moon. In the foreground are two cats, one of whom is saying to the other, “How come the most ignorant among us are always the loudest?” jack-ziegler-how-come-the-most-ignorant-among-us-are-always-the-loudest-new-yorker-cartoonThis year I turned 64 and now I can appreciate both the humor and the sadness of this observation!  Oscar Wilde once said, “To love oneself is the beginning of a lifelong romance.”  Humorous but also terrifyingly true! Such a narcissistic worldview separates us from the welfare of others and in the end leaves us isolated and without a clue as to how we got there!  Shame on those of us who have taught this to these kids!

200-0021_IMGsmallerWe have raised children who in many instances were left to decide for themselves whether or not they worship the Divine, to obey society’s rules-of-the-road, or even wait to eat supper until the whole family gets home!  Our self-centered children have produced self-centered children thinking they are the center of the universe, as the recent poll so clearly portrays.  I have to wonder if we horrified our parents as deeply as this bothers me?

Kahu Kimo

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4 Responses to The Welfare of Others

  1. kimana13 says:

    “The Welfare of Others” reminded me of what Zig Ziglar said, “You can have everything in life you want, if you will just help enough people get what they want.” How can we help our neighbor?

    • Helping our neighbor doesn’t have to be a big production or a complicated affair. All it requires is that we take our gaze off of ourselves, watch for whatever small thing might be of help to others and inconvenience ourselves a bit in their regard. Most of us will never face a big grand moment of martyrdom but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t opportunities for self-sacrifice present within each ordinary day! Thank-you so much, Ama, for asking this important question!
      Kahuna-pule Kimo

  2. We don’t live until we look outside of ourselves and give unselfishly. Life has a tendency to take us there – some sooner than later.

    • The direction of life is ‘out and away from the self’. It is when we refuse to let go of our self-concern that we suffer. I am grateful for your clear and keen comment to this post!
      Kahuna-pule Kimo

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