NO MORE BS: Sacrifice and Selfishness – Understanding Begets Power

Personally, I do not care what you believe for religion, nor do I care about your bedroom choices, your skin color, your culture, heritage, or even your clothing or hairstyle.  What you do is more important.  What I do is more important.  How we form a free-thinking society, responsible people who love freedom and liberty under the “Rule of Law” is more important.  I have been called a bigot, a racist, a sexist, and so much more, primarily by ignorant byzantines who projected their own inadequacies, and I happened to call them out.  I have thick skin and big shoulders; you want to accuse me of stupid stuff; that is your choice; thankfully, you will also enjoy the consequences.

What is Sacrifice?

Webster provides multiple definitions for sacrifice; only those contained below are we considering:

      • An act of giving up something valued for the sake of something else regarded as more important or worthy.”
      • A bid made in the belief that it will be less costly to be defeated in the contract than to allow the opponents to make a contract.”
      • Give up (something important or valued) for the sake of other considerations.”

Gary Hamel is quoted as saying, “A noble purpose inspires sacrifice, stimulates innovation, and encourages perseverance.”  Herein lies the importance of understanding sacrifice as a principle of power, a tool for constructing a life, and a mode of understanding the world.  People will always sacrifice for that which they desire; understanding this principle explains many human behaviors and the resulting consequences.

Consider our current (fraudulent) president, Biden.  He has sacrificed dignity, potential, life, and much more to attain in his senility the president’s chair.  I long to ask him if it was worth the sacrifice.  Except, the consequences of the president’s actions have ripped holes in the fabric of America, monumentally increased distrust in government at all levels, and is actively working to ruin America during his remaining days as president.  Hence, we must ask America, was the candidate worth the consequences?

As a principle, sacrifice must be understood as a double-edged sword; it cuts both ways.  Selfishly sacrifice, and you get harmed, selflessly sacrifice, and you gain even as you lose.  Like the double-edged sword, there is no safe spot to stand; you either slide one way or another, and danger lies on the edge of decision making.

What is Selfishness?

Interestingly, selfishness is being selfish, and being selfish is all about “lacking consideration for others; concerned chiefly with personal profit or pleasure,” according to Webster.  More specifically, selfishness is also self-centeredness and realizes that one is only concerned excessively or exclusively for oneself or one’s own advantage, pleasure, or welfare, regardless of others.

James Altucher is quoted saying, “Your competition is not other people but the time you kill, the ill-will you create, the knowledge you neglect to learn, the connections you fail to build, the health you sacrifice along your path, your inability to generate ideas, the people around you who don’t support and love your efforts, and whatever god you curse for your bad luck.”  The perfect summation of a life lived as selfish and self-centered.  Thereby presenting a person with some interesting questions, especially for juries deciding guilt or innocence, managers of people in employment, and parents of children.  Do we understand that selfishness is an empty hole that can never be filled?  Do we appreciate that sacrifices made selflessly are many times lost in the selfishness of others?  Will we choose to learn, connect, build, generate, and support?

Speaker Pelosi (D) is the most selfish person it has been my displeasure to know.  Blind to other people’s struggles, refusing to represent her district properly, continuously thinking she is the keystone in American Government and an institution in her own mind who refuses to act in any manner worthy of anything higher than utter contempt.  Unfortunately, Speaker Pelosi (D) is not alone in her attitude, actions, or refusal to represent those who elected them to a seat of American power.  If Speaker Pelosi had an ounce of humanity, she would have retired many years ago; instead, she bitterly clings to power and projects her insecurities and ineptitude onto others in her vile and detestable manner and methods.

Why is this topic important?

Sacrifice and selfishness are two sides of the same coin.  The extremes of a decision matrix line, where the person must choose, and cannot long remain neutral.  However, like all things, selfishness and sacrifice can be taken to the extremes, and in the extreme’s bondage, chaos, and trouble lie.  Do we, the lovers of liberty, understand that the extremes of anything bring problems, sickness, death, and disease?

Consider for a moment a friend of mine.  He sacrificed a lot of credit card debt to fund projects that were supposed to help other people.  But in the end, he had to file bankruptcy, he lost his house, he lost his spouse, and too many people thought his “sacrifice” was for selfish ends and hated him for his “gifts,” all while being “grateful for the gift” to his face.  Can a selfish act be a sacrifice worthy of the name; no!  We see this pattern explained in the New Testament when Jesus Christ is teaching the sermon on the mount; he talks about a man who fasts to be seen of men and has his reward not from God, but man.  He speaks of a man who prays on street corners to be seen of men and has his reward.  What is a sacrifice-minded person to do; enter into your closet and petition God in secret, and He who sees in secret rewards openly.

The connection between sacrifice and selfishness is clear, but also the extremes of action in selfishness and sacrifice are also apparent.  We have examples all around us of selfishness taken to extremes and the danger that lies on that path.  We also have examples around us of those who sacrifice selfishly and struggle.  The answer is to balance sacrifice and err on the side of selfless sacrifice; essentially, not running faster than we have strength.

Selfless sacrifice is not a new principle, tool, mode of living, or human capability, but selfless sacrifice requires discernment in making decisions.  Selfless sacrifice requires education, knowledge, and experience and includes failure!  Selfless sacrifice does not have a media cheering section but does come with genuine gratitude by those who know, and the reward is always greater than the sacrifice, law of the harvest.  Selfless sacrifice includes action, trust, hope, faith, and joy.  Paradoxically speaking, one would not involve joy in the activities of sacrifice.  Still, selfless sacrifice does include feelings of joy, hope and can be considered an extension of a person’s commitment to charitably living with others.

Best of all, selfless sacrifice is not a “religious” anything!  I know many great, and good people from all walks of life, and every religious flavor possible, and of them can be said, “They walk as an example of charity, hope, and faith embodied in human frailty.”  Hence, to all the irreligious and atheistic people, you can walk in like manner and have honor without affecting your choice of religiousness.  Selfless sacrifice contains the power to connect with other people, animals, and even plants in a more profound, more full manner than currently enjoyed.

I offer these thoughts for your consideration, hoping that by choosing differently, we can create a truly better world and not just a surface polish.  We, the humans on this planet, can live differently, without ruining our economies, without destroying each other, and without sacrificing freedom and liberty for the chains of government, and bondage to politically powered people.  All I ask is that you think about these principles and take action.  Thank you!

© 2021 M. Dave Salisbury
All Rights Reserved
The images used herein were obtained in the public domain; this author holds no copyright to the images displayed.

NO MORE BS: Revisiting Unity – A Further Discussion

LiberationRegardless of your personal beliefs, religious flavor, or political party, America and most Democratic Societies worldwide face a problem.  The problem is summed in a single word, unity.  Except, and unfortunately, unity has been hijacked to mean all sorts of things, plasticized into describing what it is not, and abused until the term unity itself is becoming repugnant.  Since the inauguration of the fraudulent president, the term unity has been used and abused until most people I know are ready to scream every time unity is mentioned.

Life ValuedAccording to Webster: Unity – is “the state of being united or joined as a whole; the state of forming a complete and pleasing whole; forming a complex whole.”  Aristotle provided an excellent discussion on three unities when describing a dramatic representation for a stage, theater, or book.  However, I find these three unities powerful as reminders of living unity.  The three unities are:

Unity of time:

Unity of time, for me, is all about understanding that I am an eternal being experiencing a temporal existence.  Hence, I have a purpose for living, I have an obligation to respect the time provided to me, and I owe a debt for that time to a power greater than myself, for having given me that time.  Unity of time also refers, my mind, to the fact that I live each day minute-to-minute and day-to-day.  Hence, procrastination being an enemy of the unity of time is a challenge to be overcome.  Unity of time also refers to what is occurring right now in the world today, where leaders are wasting time as a precious resource to deter taking action.

Religious ThoughtConsider how angry the population was in the Summer of 2020, where the politicians refused to honor, uphold, and sustain the laws of the land for political profit.  In this example, we can see how time was wasted, as a tool to create divisions, separate populations, and elect a fraudulent president.  When this is understood, the same principles can be overlaid on today’s news, and similar conclusions are drawn.  Unity of time is being abused for personal and political gain, and too often the time wasted, was ours, not theirs!

Unity of Place:

America is a Republic, not a democracy, so what I discuss in the unity of place is geared explicitly towards The United States of America but can be applied to any democratic society with a little tweaking for local circumstances.  The founding fathers disagreed, vociferously and violently, on many topics.  The founding fathers also agreed on many issues.  Between the two extremes of belief, a consensus was formed.  The foundation for America was laid down and written into the founding legal documents, the US Bill of Rights, and the US Constitution, among others.  Hence, disagreement is not a bad thing, and disagreement is simply the launch point to finding consensus under US Constitutional Law.

President AdamsThe founding fathers were Judaeo-Christian in their knowledge and understanding, and one of the most compelling voices for the unity of place is Jesus Christ, who is recorded in Matthew 5:43-44, as saying:

Ye have heard that is hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbor, and hate thine enemy.  But, I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you.”

Jesus Christ added a second action to the unity of place, from Luke 20:25:

“… Render therefore unto Caesar the things which be Caesar’s, and unto God the things which be God’s.”

Unity of place is honoring and obeying the laws of the land, which in America means the US Constitution.  Loving our enemies does not mean laying down and losing our liberties in the name of love and peace.  It means unifying under the laws of the land, using the laws of the land to peacefully exist with those who choose to be our enemy, and finding consensus without violence, theft, property destruction, and creating enmity over an issue that is not eternally significant.

Religion Quote 2Honor and respect for civil authority, even when we are petitioning for redress from government abuse, is the first duty we owe to each other in American Society.  Every person refusing civil authority, disturbing the peace, interrupting commerce, or restricting the free flow of ideas is acting in a manner that is both objectionable and illegal under the First Amendment to the US Constitution.  President Abraham Lincoln said, “There is no grievance that is a fit object of redress by mob law.”  Unity of place is living the law, peacefully petitioning for redress when needed, and respecting civil authority.

Unity of Action:

Image result for image, lady justiceReverend Theresa A. Dear is affiliated with the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), and wrote, “America’s Tipping Point: 7 Ways to Dismantle Racism,” stating: “… racism thrives on hatred, oppression, collusion, passivity, indifference, and silence.”  Notice something remarkable, while one person may possess hatred, the remaining food feeding racism requires more than two people acting together.  Hence, unity of action is represented by a double-edged sword.  Unity of action can build and destroy in the same stroke of the arm.  Unity of action requires many people acting in concert, swinging in the same motion, working together to bring about the desired end-goal.

Any worthy goal will require more than one or two people acting in concert to establish and create the desired goal.  Hence, unity of action is a call, not for words, platitudes, and ambiguity, but explicit, concise, and applied action!  Unity of action takes all the elements of the unity of time and the unity of place, and puts them to work towards the desired vision.  However, the desired vision could be for good or ill, based upon those doing the work.  This is where America and the fraudulent president are currently residing when he calls for “unity.”  The calls for unity do not include a purpose, a reason, logic, or even an intentional statement, thus abusing and plasticizing the calls for unity!

Where do we go from here?

Scared Eyes!Would you believe me if I said, “I do not know?”  Not knowing the intention behind the calls for unity means the three unities cannot work together, be understood, or even be applied.  We have a complex country needing the three unities.  Except, the person calling for unity is confused and derelict, leaving each person with some modicum of power to enact calumny, abuse the political opponent, and wreak havoc among the citizenry.  We can discern the damage being made, we can observe and witness the harm, but to counteract and empower a population using the three unities is impossible.

What we CAN do!

Because I am an American (A(h)-ME-I-CAN), I am not willing to sit still and merely observe the destruction of America.  I refuse to allow the US Constitution to die on my watch and deprive my posterity of the heritage of faith, courage, and liberty I was blessed with upon birth.  Using the three unities, we can choose how, when, and where we swing the sword of the unity of action.  We can study, learn, teach, and collect supporters who understand the tools we have, and desire to participate.  We can encourage others to investigate the problems and issues we see.  We can act locally to improve the results on State and National levels of government.  We can become more unified in purpose, knowing the three unities and using them to improve ourselves.

LookNever forget, the greatest enemy to any tyrant is the population being abused, and the first tool that the abused population needs to fight back is literacy.  Literacy breeds freedom and liberty.  This cannot be stressed enough; let’s unify around local action through self-education and improved literacy.  Then we will see the tyrants run like cockroaches in a kitchen when the lights come on.

© 2021 M. Dave Salisbury
All Rights Reserved
The images used herein were obtained in the public domain; this author holds no copyright to the images displayed.

A Contradiction – ‘Or, An Exercise in Restoration.’

Shifting the business paradigm is comparable to shifting the December-placed holiday of Christmas to its rightful place in April.  The enlightenment is a bit distorted at first because of tradition, familial activities, and misguided Christian beliefs.  The enlightenment of shifting the business paradigm is a bit distorted at first because of similar reasons of tradition, company decisions and procedures, Federal and State Government intervention, the de-humanization of business organizations, and misguided employer/employee beliefs.

The history of Christmas is a complex accumulation of events over time originally precipitated by early religious leaders to direct the energies of early Christians away from holidays previously celebrated, specifically, the Roman Holiday of Saturnalia and the Scandinavian holiday, Yuletide.  Thus, a new holiday was created.  The history of business is a complex accumulation of events over time originally precipitated by financial leaders to direct individual craftsmen into organized activities for power with government and other business organizations.  Thus, modern business organizations were created.  Just as the symbols of Christmas stem from the holidays mentioned and were given an acceptable ‘Christ-like’ connection, so did business practices stem from corrupt political practices and were given an acceptable name of democratic enterprise.

Just as Christmas has become a secular as well as Christian potpourri of love, family, religion, greed, frustration, envy, strife, even violence, and other desirable and undesirable characteristics, business practices have evolved into similar characteristics.  Just as craftsmen worked initially because of their love of family, to provide for them in adequate provision, and for their love for their craft, business organizations have morphed into a desire for gain and greed and control.  While de-humanizing, this morph is not bad, simply misguided and easily corrected by returning the ‘Right to Control’ back to the individual employee.

Through the charitable feelings of a person’s heart to “Give good gifts,” the current celebration of Christmas often loses the main component of the professed holiday, Christ.  Well-intentioned people have vainly fought for the rights of the worker with the energies of their hearts only to result in further captivity, the fundamental flaw in the unrecognized logic being not ‘rights’ but individual freedom.  Rights cannot be given by man to man; rights come from a supreme being to man.  Individual freedom can be given from man to man, from business to man, and from government to man.  Since the mid-1600’s, professors of religion and well-intentioned people have been trying to “Put Christ in Christmas” or “Keep Christ in Christmas.”  The problem is a fundamental flaw in the logic of the holiday; Christ does not belong in Christmas.  By celebrating Christmas in a time and season where Christ does not belong, we perpetuate a myth, a sham, and a lie.  Does this mean we should not celebrate Christ’s birth date?  The answer is unequivocally NO!  Labor unions are a lot like Christmas celebrations.  Should we abolish labor unions?  The answer is NO!  Should we condone the violence unleashed when unions are angry, the constant theft of resources, the preparations for something good which ends with legal battles?  NO!  Mixed logic, moral decay, and those who preach ‘Power to the worker,’ and steal that power for personal gain are enemies of individual freedom.

I am not proposing the elimination of Christmas but rather for placing it where it belongs in the month of April when Christ was born, just as I am not proposing the elimination of correct and right business practices but placing it where it belongs in the negotiable hands of free individuals to negotiate a win-win scenario where work is concerned. Moving Christmas does not destroy Christmas, but places the celebration into its proper place and leaves December open for a different holiday.  Mainly, we must choose to celebrate Santa Claus or Jesus Christ.  These are not one and the same; these two people are not and cannot exist in the same holiday without creating confusion, perpetuating lies and deceit.  Power for personal gain and individual freedom cannot exist at the same time without creating captivity, confusion, and the perpetuation of lies and deceit.  An old mentor constantly quoted this axiom, “If the solution is not ‘Win-Win,’ it is a straight loss.”

While St. Nicholas is reported to have been a person or monk who traveled around doing good, he never had a sleigh, reindeer, and magical abilities.  The man celebrated at Christmas as Santa Claus is a myth, and in the same breath as singing ‘Here Comes Santa Claus,’ we want to honor Jesus Christ as the “Reason for the Season.”  The duplicity is a struggle for the conscience and the heart. Just as we inherited and sustained this struggle from the captivity of our fathers, we inherited and sustain a mode of earning a living from our fathers that tries our conscience, our hearts, and wallets.  Consider the problems with being a customer, the dehumanizing influence of the business organization, labor unions, etc.  Many of the problems in business stem from inherited tradition that did not work in times past and continue to not work now, but remain supported simply due to fear of change or because, “That’s now how it is done.”  Holiday celebration and employment conditions are linked in a myopic cycle that is anathema to anything different.  Dauten (2003) talks about this problem extensively and his suggestion of “Killing the status Quo” is excellent.

Tolkien offers wisdom very applicable to our modern world.  “If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world.” Along with, “It’s no bad thing to celebrate a simple Life.”  Ask yourself some questions such as “Do I honor a “Simple Life?”  “Has my holiday celebrations become more about outdoing last year’s celebrations and gift giving for personal achievement?”  “What is the aim of my holidays?”  “Why am I celebrating, what am I celebrating, and/or do I enjoy celebrating?”  If you do not like these answers, change.  Shift the paradigm where holidays are concerned.  The same argument holds for working, ask, “Do I enjoy what I do?”  If yes, “Do I enjoy those I work for?”  If the answer remains yes, consider job security, personal/professional growth, and long-term prospects.  Yet, if at anytime the answer is no, shift the paradigm, consider becoming an independent contractor selling your knowledge and experience.

Just as the Roman calendar and Jewish calendar place the actual birth of Christ in April, the same calendars place the death of Christ in April.  The bible records Christ’s celebrating the Passover before His death.  The Passover was also recorded as occurring during His birth. We can certainly celebrate Christ on His actual birthday, celebrate His death and resurrection more circumspectly, and change how we worship the Savior of the world.  Just as these facts substantiate the birth of Christ, facts of business corruption and coercion substantiate the plight of the individual worker as a craftsman.  We can change that just as we can change when we celebrate the birth of Christ.

With the bustle of Christmas 2012 in the rear-view mirror, with 2013 fast approaching and before the “bills of Christmas” come due, consider the holiday paradigm.  Ponder the feelings of joy, life renewal, and hope that fills the breast in the early days of April.  With the bustle of day-to-day stress, tax seasons approaching, and bills for overextending finances, consider shifting the business paradigm.  Ponder the freedom of negotiating your business life and regaining the control that has been relinquished.

References

Dauten, D. (2003). The laughing warriors: How to enjoy killing the status quo. Richmond, CA: Lumina Media.

© 2012 M. Dave Salisbury

All Rights Reserved