Everyone deserves a fair share

We won't get where we want to go by doing things the way we're doing them now. There's too much inequity and imbalance in the world today. We need a new system, and we need to advocate for new ways of doing things. Most ways of doing things are really old ways that are deeply embedded in our consciousness. Fairness is part of our basic value system -- hard-wired into our brains. So we have to live as if fairness matters, or we'll never be happy.

I woke up this morning, very early, and I couldn’t sleep.

So I decided to start a movement.

So far, I’m the only participant in this movement. Perhaps no-one else will join in. Or perhaps everyone will. That’s for you to decide.

So this is the start of the Fair Share Movement.

There are movements like it, in one form or another, all over the world. They all spring out of the same place in our consciousness: a desire for ourselves, and everyone and every living being – to be contented and happy and respected and safe and loved, not just for a day, but for all of our/their lives.

Why does every spiritual tradition in the world – every single one – have the same bedrock principle in its core: “do to others what you would like them to do to you”?

It’s because there is a sense of fairness, of honest give and take, in every single one of us. (It has now been proven, through very detailed and careful research, that this sense of fundamental fairness is present in newborn babies, long before they have words, long before they’ve been taught any rules of behaviour. It’s just there, hard-wired into us.)

We can be taught to be selfish, and to look down on (or up to) others, but our innate programming tells us everyone, bar none, deserves a fair shake.

I couldn’t sleep this morning because things were floating around in my mind.

One of them was an interview a day or two ago on CBC Radio’sThe Current with a gynaecologist who was saying a particular birth control pill -- recently suspected to have caused the deaths of 23 young women -- was just fine, thank you. Then I found out that the company that makes the pill gives lavish financial support to that gynecologist’s university department. Yuck.

Another was a new bill (Bill 65) introduced by the Conservatives to make it almost impossible to set up a new “safe injection site” for people addicted to heroin – like the Insite clinic in Vancouver – because the PM and others don’t like the idea (even though science shows it works better than anything else), and they don’t think addicts deserve this kind of service. He seems to think they’re bad people and they’ll never get better. I’m a doctor, and I know some people caught up in addiction. They’re all good people, with very bad habits.

Yuck again.

And in my mind too were YouTube images of the people in Turkey – freaked out that a favourite park in their largest city, Istanbul was going to be turned into a shopping mall, and that their government was listening less and less to what they, the Turkish people, really wanted.

And I tossed and turned about the Occupy movement, and the Idle No More movement, and the Arab Spring movement, and the Quebec students’ movement.

On and on and on.

But not one of these stories would have mattered to me if I hadn’t been touched and brought down to earth by another very personal story, about my grand-nephew. 

Yesterday this little five-year old boy was off with his dad and other family members to play in the last hockey game of the season. They got to the rink, a long way from home, and he realized he didn’t have his helmet, so he couldn’t play. He told his dad, and everyone was upset.

So his dad got into his car, drove to a nearby store, and bought him another helmet.

My grand-nephew got the helmet, put it on, and went out to play in the third period. And he scored a goal.

Afterwards, when he got home, his mother asked him why he thought his dad had gone and bought him the new helmet so he could play.

And he answered: “Because he loves me.”

That story brought tears to my eyes.

Every little boy and little girl should know that he, she or it is loved. Not just in theory, and not in just a sentimental way, but in practical, real-time ways. They should have what my grand-nephew has.

Every little boy and little girl should be safe, and secure, and nurtured. Every one of these should be surrounded by enough material support – money and goods and services and of course most importantly people – to be free of fear, and doubt about themselves, so that they are able to grow and flourish and express themselves in all their inherent natural wisdom and joy.

That isn’t happening today, because not everyone has his or her fair share.

That isn’t happening because a small number of people have way more than their fair share, and aren’t sharing with others, and they’ve forgotten that those “others” are really themselves in another body.

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