Dreamers of the Day

"All men dream, but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find that all was vanity; but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dream with open eyes, and make it possible." -T.E. Lawrence, "The Seven Pillars of Wisdom"

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Space IX

Most choices are determined by the society one lives in. However, there are some choices that supercede societies. Regardless of your race, sex or nationality, certain choices will always be determined as “good” or “bad.” Let us label the “good” ones as morality and the “bad” ones as crime. Murder, stealing and dishonesty seem to be found in every culture as “bad.” Murder is defined as the killing of a person without the consent of the person or the society in which that person lives. Human sacrifice has been and continues to be a practice of some cultures, but is not labeled “murder” by them. Yet, in the exact same culture, murder does take place and is punishable by death. In more humane, if you will, cultures, any killing without the persons consent is deemed murdered unless by accident. This can surpass all societies because life surpasses all societies. Life is considered valuable—to some extent—in every culture. Each culture determines its value by rules surround the premature death of a person. The Aztec Indians placed a high value on life which is why they would sacrifice humans to their god(s). Certain African tribes were cannibalistic in that they believed they would become gods, or like gods, if they ate another person and the spirit of the eaten would indwell in their body. My goal is not to prove which civilization was more humane or not, but to prove how every civilization placed a value on life within its own society. Whether a society killed because life was or is valuable, or protects because life was or is valuable seems to reveal something: murder is wrong because life is valuable.

Another “bad” decision that seems to be evident in many societies is thievery. Whether it is a car, a hut or a woman, stealing is seldom viewed as good. Stories of explorers in remote parts of South America or Africa relay that even apart from materialism, ownership is important. Humans seem to grow attached to their belongings and the absence of them reveals this. Some of the greatest wars in the world were (and still are) fought over something taken. The patriotism of a country can be stolen by the invasion of a nation. The invading nation can still face opposition hundreds of years later because the atrocity has not been forgotten. In our local world, good employees are quickly fired when thievery is discovered. The situation only grows worse as it continues in relationships. A man who steals another man’s lady had better kill the man because there is no doubt the man whom the lady was taken from will kill him. Regardless of race, income level or nationality, each individual can possess something. Life itself is one of those things and is the reason why life is so valuable. But, the person who steals whatever is not his must remember the reaction of the action. Why is stealing universally bad? Because it destroys something within the human and makes him something he was never meant to be. The thief is whom I am talking about. The thief becomes something that all humans know is not true: greater than the person he is stealing from. Even a king stealing from a pauper is an atrocity because both are seen equally in humanity, but it is the king (or shall we say, “thief”) who has forgotten who he is. The thief is the insane person and this insanity will come out in the retaliation of the person whom he stole from. The thief has only deceived himself that he will become greater with the thing he steals only to forget that he has completely destroyed himself in the action. He is no longer a human, but an animal.

Now we come to our last of the bad decisions—dishonesty. There are many other atrocities such as rape, mutiny, torture, anger and the like that seem more horrible than lying. In a modern culture, it is easy to dismiss lying because it is so prevalent. If one makes a mistake at work and this mistake is revealed, a lie is usually pursued. If one is trying to gain the love of a romantic interest—or simply a friend—lying helps us portray a “better” image. The lie itself is not the problem, but the thing in which the lie was meant to hide. The human does not lie because it can accept who it is. The human lies because it cannot accept himself. The past as well as the future is riddle with great stories of lies people have told that created greater problems. Our mother’s words have become numb to our incessant desire to become something we are not. The reason why dishonesty surpasses many culture and societies is the root of the action. A human is becoming something that it was never meant to be.


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