Last week, we considered Gandhi’s seven blunders of the world which lead to violence, and also purposelessness hence despair. Here they are: wealth without work, pleasure without conscience, knowledge without character, commerce without morality, science without humanity, worship without sacrifice, and politics without principle.
So now let’s reverse those “withouts” and change them to “withins,” and see what happens.
Seeking to be purposeful, to know your reason for being, causes skillful doing, and abundant having, so try on these ideas and see how they fit you.
Work within wealth
No matter how much money you have or don’t have, wealth is always a possibility depending upon how you think of it. Did you know that? When you got up this morning, was there heat or cooling? Food? Clothing? Shelter? You’re already way ahead of a lot of the world on the wealth front. Do you think of it that way? Got work that’s expecting you? A dream to fulfill? You’re wealthy.
Conscience within pleasure
No matter what you consider your pleasure, conscience actually enhances enjoyment. Knowing that whatever you’re doing is consensual, responsible, and kind gives pleasure a conscience. Conscience is your friend, my friend. It is what allows civilization to thrive. Please yourself and your consorts all you want, but harm no one in the process. That’s what conscience says.
Character within knowledge
No matter what you know, and there are plenty of smarty pants reading these words, using that knowledge with character, namely for the good of all, rather than the few, gives value to knowledge. Knowledge for its own sake is fun, but knowledge applied for the good of the planet gives character, and good character, to what we know. If it isn’t good for everyone, whatever it is, it, ultimately, isn’t good for anyone.
Morality within commerce
No matter what kind of business you have, commerce is part of the way we do business. We exchange goods and services and networks for value. Good enough, as far as it goes. Add morality to commerce though, and you get the social business movement: doing well by doing good. Morality—a true inner compass—makes sure everyone is benefited by commerce. Fair trade, anyone?
Humanity within science
No matter how awesome our scientific discoveries, they need to consider humane treatment for all beings—animal, vegetable, and mineral. Science for science’s sake is pure inquiry, and lovely as a practice, but science practiced without humanity is how we’ve gotten in as much medical/ big pharma/insurance/healthcare mess as we have. Humane treatment of all creatures makes science applied a magical realm of goodness.
Sacrifice within worship
No matter how praise-filled our worship lives are, we must remember there is a cost to true worship, and that cost is sacrifice. Not in the sense of ritual sacrifice, but in the true sense of the word: making sacred. Very little is sacred is our world these days. We must make sure that where and whatever we worship has the sacred about it. Otherwise, rite becomes rote with the flip of a vowel.
Principle without politics
Oh my, here we go. No matter what our politics, principle MUST triumph over partisanship. Look at the ridiculous political gridlock our legislative branch has created—over politics. There’s not a principle in sight! Principle must trump politics every time because there is a right and good way to govern our society. We need to find that way again. Ken Burns’ The Roosevelts, anyone?
The most important thing about all of these provisos is this: how we do what we do matters, beloved. From shopping to working to cleaning to speaking to dying.
Dedicate some of your valuable time to think about how you’re doing what you’re doing. Your being will thank you for it, and so will your bank account.