We Are All Connected

I posted the following on Maureen Downey’s Atlanta Journal-Constitution blog, “Get Schooled,” on March 1, 2015:

“To Those who do not see the issue confronting teachers in Georgia with the same eyes as I do:

This issue finally comes down to philosophy, not economics, not education, and not legalities.  It comes down to the question of whether we see ourselves, and see all other human beings on Earth, as equal to ourselves or whether we see some human beings as superior and others as inferior.

Like Ghandi, Martin Luther King, Jr.,  and Jesus Christ, I believe that we are all equal in the sight of God, and, therefore, we are our brothers’ keepers.  I do not believe that we were meant to be isolated from one another on a planet in which “survival of the fittest” rules pragmatically and its mantra of  “Every man and woman for him/herself” becomes the philosophy of all living beings.  We are spiritually better souls, and smarter human beings in terms of sustaining human survival, if we pool our resources and if we understand that together, under God, we can change the trajectory of the world’s course from narrow self-interests to love of humanity, as a whole.”

 

Link: http://getschooled.blog.ajc.com/2015/02/27/extraordinary-teacher-offers-extraordinary-look-at-her-job-we-need-to-support-rather-than-undermine-her-efforts/

 

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10 Responses to We Are All Connected

  1. It is important to avoid a collectivized view of things and to remember the supreme importance of the individual. The problem is not self-interest, but that many people do not understand where their self-interest lies. Ayn Rand has clarified this in her book, The Virtue of Selfishness, which I highly recommend. As a brief clue, productiveness is an important virtue, and the rationally self-interested approach to others is that of the trader who seeks to exchange value for value, neither seeking nor making sacrifices. The trader approach applies to both economic and personal relationships, although in different ways.

  2. Do you know how Ayn Rand’s life ended? She is not a Goddess with all the answers. I would rather seek compassion for others than seek “The Virtue of Selfishness.” Sometimes that means self-sacrifice. Jesus was our model.

  3. As far as smoking goes, it is the responsibility of each individual to decide for himself or herself whether the benefits outweigh the drawbacks and risks, and to take whatever consequences follow. I don’t know when Ayn Rand started smoking or how much was known then about the dangers of smoking, but it was probably less than when she died. But all this is a minor quibble, like accusing Jay Bookman of being a militarist because his father was a career sergeant and because we can find some statement he made that was at least partially supportive of some war (taking out the Taliban? World War II? The Civil War? The American Revolution?).
    What, exactly, do you mean by “a Goddess with all the answers” and how is it relevant here?
    Ayn Rand has the fundamental answers we need.
    Selfishness does NOT imply not having compassion for others. It DOES imply not letting compassion get out of hand and it DOES imply resisting attempts to use government force to enforce compassion.
    By “sacrifice” I mean giving up a greater value for a lesser value or a value for a non-value. Such an action never makes sense.
    Putting Jesus forward as a model begs the question.

    • I should have said Al Qaeda, not the Taliban.

    • Ayn Rand is looked upon by many people as a “Goddess with all the answers,” which your post, also, appears to imply. I believe we assess the “fundamental answers we need” not simply by the words of the philosopher, but by how he or she lived his/her life as a model to us all. I was not referring to Ayn Rand’s smoking habits when I asked you if you knew how she had died. I was referring to the fact that Ayn Rand had applied for, and had received, both Social Security benefits and Medicare benefits in her last years, the doing of which was antithetical to her beliefs and philosophy. I do not judge her for that, as she evidently needed that source of income and medical care from the “collectivism” of our governmental funds (paid by our common taxes). However, I do recognize that she made that choice to receive both Medicare and Social Security, which was not consistent with her espoused philosophy. Jesus, on the other hand, lived out his final hours on Earth in complete harmony with his words of love, compassion, and in harmony with his teachings and philosophy.

      • dbm1fromjaybookmansblog says:

        Accepting what the government offers is not antithetical to Ayn Rand’s philosophy. What would be antithetical to her philosophy is advocating or voting for such programs. Much earlier in her life, in her essay “The Question of Scholarships”, she made clear that someone who is leading a basically productive life, as she did, and who does not sell their soul by voting or advocating for what they know is wrong, is entitled to take whatever the government offers, as partial restitution for all the government takes away.

  4. I’m not impressed with that kind of rationalization given by Rand. I am not impressed by Ayn Rand for all of the reasons I have already stated. To each his own, in America, however.

  5. Pingback: Competition vs. Cooperation | maryelizabethsings

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