I dream of a world, where people acknowledge each other as equals. And not just equals, but as naturally good, and worthy of good things.
A world where people love their neighbours as themselves. And not in word, or tongue, but in deeds and in truth.
A world where people are tolerant of insignificant matters, and pay attention to the truly important things.
Where no one is taking what belongs to another, whether through direct violence, the threat of violence, or trickery guarded by violence. And where if anyone does take something, many seekers of justice quietly take it back.
A world where no one claims to own another’s life, nor a period of their life, nor the means to their life.
A world where people do not use violence to settle their problems or fulfill their desires. Where each human is recognised as an end in themself, and not as merely the means to another’s ends.
A world where truth is known and sought after. Where people speak reasonably and listen to determine the truth on any matter. Where people have the humility to accept the truth, because they know it is more than their own selfish desires.
Where things are not determined by violence, but by freedom and consensus. And if consensus can’t be reached, then they are free to break away and do things differently, or submit to the will of the majority. And if people refuse to accept reasonable decisions at first, they will be convinced eventually by reasonable friends arguments and attitudes towards them.
A world without a proud and pompous above and an angry and miserable below. Where people delight in helping each other, and seeing each other happy.
A world where people are not stressed by the prospect of losing their home, or paying for their next meal. Where they seek truth, justice, and love over security, and so produce a greater security.
A world where we no longer learn how to kill. Where the tools to slaughter millions of innocent children [nukes] aren’t kept, just in case they’re one day needed (to, you know, protect our children from bad men with guns).
Much of this vision is neatly summed up in the word, ‘Anarchism’. The rejection of rulership. But not necessarily all of it. It proceeds largely from Christian ideas of love and justice.
I’m a Christian, so would this dream world ideally be Christian? Maybe… but I would rather non-Christians live this way than Christians fail to live this way. Of course, it’s a very Christianity inspired vision, so I would hope it would come most naturally to Christians (though it seems many Christian groups are far further from these ideas than many non-Christian). It would be a world with religious tolerance.
How to start
First of all I must start with myself. As Leo Tolstoy said,
‘Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself.’
Talking has its uses, but no one will listen to someone who refuses to listen to themselves. The problem isn’t simply outside of me, it’s also within.
Secondly, it must start with the least. They are the ones that need it most, and who I’m most likely to have inadvertently supported the exploitation of.
And thirdly, it must spread to others. Most people aren’t yet capable of living in such a world. Too few of us are good enough so that if all exploiters gave up tomorrow, the world would become good. As we stand, many would try to take their places.
These three are nicely unified, in that I cannot help others without changing myself, I can’t improve myself without helping those in need, and I can’t convince anyone without action in accordance.
God bless you.
It’s good to know what I must do, but it sure does look tough. I’m not very comfortable around strangers, but I don’t know many people in need. Of course, I’m sure many of those I know have their own very real needs, but there are fewer people I know anyway, so the majority of my duty will involve strangers.
Thinking over the parable of the Good Samaritan earlier today, I realised that I’m far more like the Levite or the Priest who walk by on the other side than the Samaritan who helps a stranger in need. I desperately need to correct this.