Are you creating your own determined future, or are you chasing the red laser dot and find yourself totally distracted? This is an excerpt from The Simple Little Rule: The Golden Rule Rediscovered.
It seems no one speaks of responsibility anymore. It’s like we are left to our pathetic animal desires and “what will be, will be,” with little regard for future results. Unfortunately, that is a script designed for a disastrous ending. Historically, when societies have veered from the path of truth, the ending hasn’t usually gone well. If I have brought you to a place where you, too, perceive a place and purpose for our species, and if you agree with my individual-happiness-as-primary-goal philosophy that we can affect our outcomes, which inevitably affects the outcomes of those in our periphery, you must see that there is great responsibility associated with this process.
We have come to understand that certain actions provide the greatest returns in our lives, while others are self-defeating. With proper knowledge of our place in the realm of universal consciousness, we can act in a self-loving manner and still produce the greatest outcome for ourselves and others. This is something we can create through our free-will decisions as well as our positive mental attitude choices. Our duty is to protect and enhance these liberty systems. This also means we learn to overcome learned prejudices.
Krishna tells Arjuna,
Now pay attention while I explain a practical spiritual discipline called karma yoga for living a more effective, happier life in this vexing, ever changing world. This is the path of selfless, God-dedicated action. … By making this your path you can live a spiritual life and yet stay fully active in the world. You can remain a man of action, achieving your very best, and yet not be bound or caught by the worldly. (Hawley 2001, 18-19)
Because we create futures, we must accept that along with that ability comes—guess what?—more responsibility. This, too, is the Golden Rule. Each decision made creates a certain future, and the next decision makes another future, and the next another future, and so on. The combination of the decisions we make creates our determined future, a reflection of our past free-will choices. We alone are responsible for that future. If each one of us is striving for God-dedicated action with each self-enhancing decision we make moment by moment, the sum total becomes overwhelming harmony and prosperity for self and, by reflection, for the community.
Krishna says, “Engage in action, do your work, but with full control of your mind and senses. And be aware that the work you do should contribute in some way, directly or indirectly, to the higher good of humanity.” (Hawley 2001, 28) In other words, we must be self-loving without being selfish. The God-dedicated path is the one that develops self-guiding traits that enhance the harmony of self and contribute to the unity of the community. We cannot separate ourselves from this two-part responsibility.
In The Road Less Traveled, M. Scott Peck said, “Life is difficult.” We aren’t like the clouds of the sky, blowing around in the wind with no purpose or influence. We aren’t just mammals in simple survival mode anymore. At this point we are the purpose, we are the influencers, and we are creators of this world we call earth. We can create a chaotic death pit or a beautiful utopian oasis. In Golden Rule parlance, we realize a principled happiness within self and then find ourselves wanting to share that happiness with others. The more that works, the greater the happiness index becomes. There is confidence in our personal existence and support in our network.
Maybe some of us didn’t want this life, but that, too, is merely a mental attitude we can change. The more each of us realizes this reality, accepts our place on the path, and takes responsibility for our daily right-choice decisions, the greater our effect will be on our sphere of influence. That in turn brightens our spiritual lamp, eliminating the darkness within our periphery. We can make constant mental attitude decisions to be positive influencers, or we can choose to be negative influencers. Our decisions turn up the light or dim it. We are the accelerator for the engine, or we are the brakes. I’d rather accelerate the engine and try to establish growth, cooperation, compassion, and cohesion. And, within the process improve the lives of every individual on earth. It is our responsibility to set our determined future through out daily right actions.
We are limited only by our mental attitude and how well we take personal responsibility for holding up our part in this system of progress. We are either moving forward, or we are dead; there is no sitting still for long without someone else picking up the slack and providing for us. Our responsibility is to provide for self whenever and wherever possible, with our highest achievement as our end goal. When we are at full harmony within, we develop the capacity to live in a way that supports others. We arrive at the Golden Rule fulfilled.