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  • Writer's pictureD. Randall Faro

Pick Something

In November’s Past by A.E. Howe one of the characters states: “Mom and Dad taught me to look at life the way it is, but to try and make it the way it should be.” In the story, the protagonist, Larry Macklin does just that.

Try to make life the way it should be. A daunting task in anybody’s world. But to not try is a tacit affirmation of the status quo . . . which is all too often anything BUT the way life should be.

Should is a weighty concept. An ethical one; the thought arena that deals with moral principles. Thick books – in fact, whole series of them – have been written on the subject, which manifests the fact that there are varieties of ethical philosophies from which to choose. Discerning what is right or wrong, good or bad, has been an arduous enterprise since day one, although most moral philosophies have some common basic tenets. Problems arise when individuals – or groups – make decisions resulting in actions that are contrary to universally accepted (mostly) principles.

Fairness and justice are two moral standards affirmed by virtually all philosophies and religions. Yet there is so much misery in the world because of one action and one inaction. The action is when people throw fairness and justice out of the window because of a quest for personal gain and/or a warped ideology. Example: owning human beings like livestock has been justified on both economic and theological grounds. The inaction is when unfairness and injustice exist, and one does nothing to right the wrong.

The French philosopher Albert Camus wrote: “Against injustice, people must assert justice.” To be a human being is to care for one another, and not just those of our own tribe or family. Of course, no one can begin to work to right all the wrongs, to work for justice wherever there is injustice. But every person can choose some area of injustice or unfairness and contribute time, energy, and money into an effort to bring about change. Efforts might be directed toward the next-door neighbor or an embattled tribe overseas or both. The key: pick SOMETHING wrong and work to make it right. There is a plethora of opportunities, and Jack will pick something different from Jill. If all the Jacks and Jills pick SOMETHING, the bases will get covered. At least to a significantly greater degree.

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