Self Improvement

Edward

For many years now I have been constantly trying to improve myself as a person. To take people’s criticisms, suggestions, and try and work on it. If someone says “you talk too much” I’ll question myself and if I agree with it I will then try to talk a little less – at least to that person anyway.

But in this constant chase for perfection I have achieved things that others can’t quite even comprehend. It’s like trying to explain to a 1 month old baby what “inconspicuous” means, when it doesn’t even know what “apple” means.

Or in another example, try to tell a 5 year old child to sit up straight. You can say it over and over and the child simply never learns…

The fact is that the child can’t understand the benefits of sitting up. He simply isn’t “ready” to understand the benefits of sitting up. And even if you explain to them about the damage it may cause to their backs, it will be beyond their mental capacity to fully understand it so they keep on doing it.

Now, just as some people will play a video game and quickly go through all the levels and become master level 47 in 3 days. Some will play that same game for weeks and not get past the first few levels and still be a master 5 after all that time.

Similarly, as an adult, you encounter all sorts of people of all ages with all sorts of different master skills and different levels in their life game. Each of them also have different ambitions and different levels of determination for self-improvement. Some care whether they move through levels quickly, others are happy to quit the game and never get past the first levels.

So, looking at the child scenario from that more negative perspective… let’s say the child is now old enough to understand the benefits of sitting up straight but simply chooses not to do so because he just cannot be bothered and feels more comfortable slouching. He knows it’ll fuck up his back in the future but he’s inconsequential. He doesn’t care enough about himself or his “self-improvement” as others may do. How would you look upon that child? Would you be proud of him?

I can try and “change” people, I can try and make them “better” in certain aspects of their lives, but it’s ultimately their choice. And they’ll either change when they are ready, or they’ll be stubborn all their lives and just keep on doing things that are indisputably wrong.

But the only thing I wish everyone could learn right from the start of their lives, which is indisputably right is “cause no harm to others and have compassion for all“.

If they don’t sit up straight they are mainly only affecting themselves. If they want to pierce their own skins until there’s no skin left to be pierced then it’s up to them, the pain is theirs. Even if they want to kill themselves it’s them who are dying. But the moment a person starts affecting someone else’s life for their own benefit is the moment that I go, wooooooooah! Surely you should know that better by now! Don’t do to others what you don’t want done to yourself! See yourself in others! Love each other! And most people apply that rule to each other only somehow leave animals out of the picture…

And that is why I feel so frustrated by meat-eaters. It’s like I’m surrounded by people who are either rebels or idiots who don’t follow a principle that is so basic to me. It’s like “level 1″ skill.

I just know I personally couldn’t sleep at night if I knew that in order to keep me alive I was causing pain and death to anyone else. I truly don’t understand how most others don’t share the same guilt. It is as beyond me as child labour, abuse and murder is to most of us.

Because the same principle applies between parent and child. It is precisely because parents are superior and more powerful than the child that they should not harm them. Parents who harm their children are called cowards and are heavily condemned exactly because they break that basic rule of not taking advantage of their superiority. Yet people who harm (or support the harm) of an inferior yet equally sentient being as a child are considered normal and walk about unashamedly around in the street. Many somehow oblivious to their wrong doing. But what’s worse, many fully aware yet indifferent to it.

Recently when 1 baby died abused by his carers, millions mourned and cried. Yet millions of animals die abused by their carers every year and not 1 tear is shed for them. And although it is obvious that they are different species, they are both equally incapable of reasoning, yet equally capable of feeling pain. So surely consequently deserve the same amount of respect, consideration and mourning as each other!?

And even much like how we’d mourn if our cat or dog got brutally killed, how’s a pig any different? You might not want to cuddle a pig like you do to your pet. But that certainly doesn’t make it any more deserving of being mistreated and murdered just so you can have a sandwich! They are animals and have feelings just the same. In fact we are all animals and have feelings just the same. We don’t need to eat them to survive and killing them is therefore a selfish act. Nobody can argue with that. And even a 5 year old can comprehend that!

So, if I could make one wish for Christmas it would be for you to make one improvement to your life:

Don’t be selfish, be selfless. Don’t take advantage of your superiority, be kind to your inferiors. Have compassion for all sentient creatures. Treat all others like you want to be treated. And since that shouldn’t only apply to us almighty humans, in essence that means, become a vegetarian – no matter how hard it may sound or may actually be – the sacrifice you’ll have to make doesn’t even compare to the sacrifice the animals make for you to keep your meaty diet – it is without a trace of a doubt the right thing to do so just do it!

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10 Responses to “Self Improvement”

  • David Says:

    Brilliant read, Edward. I enjoyed it very much and you make some excellent points. I like the analogies used.

    Just some things that ran through my mind whilst reading:

    1. In the paragraph about the people who wanted to pierce their bodies or kill themselves, you said that they are only affecting themselves. This isn’t entirely true. You’re aware of the piercing I got, yes? Why did I hide it? Why do I still hide that scar today? Because I’m ashamed of it? No. I hide it because I’m afraid of what my parents would think of me, if they thought I was doing this to myself they would worry themselves sick. Same with the people who want to kill themselves. Doing so would affect others around him. The people who loved him etc.

    2. You say that people don’t shed a tear for the death of animals. Which again, isn’t entirely true. There are many people out there like yourself who show just as much compassion for animals. And although I don’t worry as much as you do, I don’t like it, and I don’t condone it. If I could stop people from eating animals then I would. But I can’t.

    I like what you’re doing Edward, and I understand where you’re coming from more than you might think.

    Keep it up.

    [Reply]

  • admin Says:

    Thanks David!

    I did consider both those points when writing those paragraphs… but withdrew from mentioning them as I think they were kind of a given.
    Obviously people always affect other people when harming themselves. If a mother kills herself her child will be left traumatised. So the mother is affecting the child.
    But she is still not beating the child up or killing him – which would be a lot worse.

    [Reply]

  • Edward W Says:

    Good post, but then I’ve been a vegetarian for god knows how long for pretty much the reasons you state. Would be interesting to see if a non-vegetarian could argue against it on moral grounds or not, I suspect the latter.

    [Reply]

  • admin Says:

    There’s no argument. Just like there’s no argument that racism is good, and that murder of innocent is good, or that freedom of speech is good.

    [Reply]

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