Beneficence

I keep wondering how we can shift our society towards more oneness, empathy, and compassion. Where we make choices that are sustainable, ethical and loving. Where being humane, supportive, respectful and reverent drives our philosophy, governing and actions. Where we all work together in beneficent ways, for the best possible outcomes. Where no life is viewed as lesser or expendable. Why is it so difficult for us? What’s stopping us?

In my opinion, it is due to a system that has been founded on oppression, dominance, and exploitation. The groups at the top of the pyramid have an attitude of entitlement and superiority. They view the world as an object to be used for their gratification. As long as they’re winning, that’s all that matters.

The attitude of if others are suffering, it’s their own fault and too bad, who cares as long as I’ve got mine. The mindset of if they’re not like me, don’t think like me, don’t look like me, aren’t socioeconomically like me, don’t behave like me, they deserve to be mistreated and outcast, they’re subhuman, they’re objects, they’re not real, only I am real and worthy, bow down to me.

Or they view others who are disadvantaged as taking advantage of the system if they’re on welfare for example. If they don’t have health insurance it’s because they haven’t done what they’re supposed to, the perspective of why don’t they get a job with benefits, get an education? This is America, anyone can make it. And any across the board benefits that help people have the basics is viewed as a threat. We don’t care if people are homeless or starving, are dying. We don’t want to help each other.

Why?

I witness the “blame the victim” attitude. Manipulative and duplicitous ideas and behaviors. Rampant narcissism. All while the ones at the bottom of the pyramid pay the price, bear the brunt. Living paycheck to paycheck, barely making ends meet. They are taken for granted, treated with contempt, ignored, abused, dismissed. I don’t see how people can afford to pay rent, plus have a family, child care and pay for health care and education these days.

Many people aren’t able to see the bigger picture and how history and trauma impact us for generations. That there is fall out that is not easily overcome. That our actions or failures to act echo and ripple out in far-reaching ways that we can’t see from our limited human perspectives.

I’m certain that right about now most of us do see that we’re all interconnected and that it does matter that we care for one another, we’re all in the same boat, the virus doesn’t care how much money you have, what you look like, how you behave or where you live, everyone can easily be infected. And look at what it’s done so rapidly and efficiently.

With all of our resources and technology, are we no match for a virus? Looks like we’re not, it’s kicking our asses.

Why didn’t we care enough to make sure we were ready? We knew it was on the horizon, the inevitability of a pandemic, but we chose a government and health care system that worships the dollar and politics over the health and welfare of people and the environment.

In the past I’ve tried to convince myself to be grateful, that most of us have running water, roofs over our heads, electricity, food…we’re not living in makeshift shacks like in third world countries. I’d look at all of the thriving businesses as evidence, yet had my doubts about the impact on the environment, the actual level of meaning and life satisfaction each person might enjoy. Were people really living on purpose, in peace, with joy and meaning?

I’ve tried to rise above it and take a spiritual view, to change the things that I could and let go of what I can’t directly control.

It’s getting more difficult for me to ignore though. I feel complicit and I’ve struggled with my health and finances myself. I’ve had to declare bankruptcy in the recent past. I don’t have health insurance. I was furloughed due to the pandemic. I have a rare disease that has no cure yet.

It’s a catch 22 when you get sick if you do have insurance, but you can’t afford the copays or to take the time off for treatments, tests or MD visits and what if it makes you worse if they give you medications. It’s a gamble. Actually, you don’t want a diagnosis because you don’t want to be stuck with a pre-existing condition in case you have to switch insurance.

When you get sick you can’t work as much, or may not be able to work, may lose your job due to decreased performance from the illness and you can’t afford to see the doctor so you’re stuck until you’re so sick that you have no choice but to go to the hospital and then maybe start the process of applying for disability for your rare disease. In the meantime how do you pay for your treatment?

I am at a loss of how to use the power I have in the most effective manner. Voting hasn’t helped. Letting it go and surrendering spiritually helps for a little bit, then it feels like a cop-out.

What’s it gonna take?

Maybe that’s happening now?

I don’t know?

How stupid are we? Lol ?

Guess now’s as good a time as ever to get up on my soapbox. I’ve got strong opinions based on my life experiences as we all do. For me, the bottom line is what’s the most loving thing to be, to do, to stand up for. What’s the most beneficent? How can we work together to help us all make it? To create prosperity and peace for all?

Another thing…all of the healthcare workers who are risking themselves and receive scanty thanks and aren’t compensated nearly enough and are largely treated with a lack of compassion, are treated as a number, with authoritarian systems of management.

Nurses are sandwiched in the thick of it and aren’t treated with the respect and care that they deserve. It’s hugely disappointing.

The only thing that keeps most nurses going is the heart to heart connection with appreciative clients and respectful team members. When they see that what they’re doing is truly helping someone get better. When that stops happening, when you’re watching people suffering, and they’re not getting better, or it’s unsafe for you and/or the clients, where the doctors and facilities care more about making the most money…well…I for one couldn’t keep doing that anymore. Each one of us has a breaking point.

Has our way of doing things as a society reached its breaking point? I’d love to hear what others have to say. Let’s get up on our collective soapboxes and figure this out together ?

Love and hugs always ???

Michelle Miyagi
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