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20 April 2007 @ 03:55 pm
Declaration of the Spirit: A Manifesto  
If the definition of a manifesto is a statement of intent, then these are my intentions:

I intend to live my life with a deep respect for the rights and well-being of others. I extend that respect to the animal kingdom while at the same time acknowledging that other humans are not obligated to share my view on vegetarianism. When I fail to live up to this ideal, I intend to make amends wherever and whenever possible, so long as doing so will not cause further harm. I recognize that it may not always be possible to avoid causing harm to others where the needs of one or more people conflict. I intend to use my best judgment to find a course of action that will benefit the most people and cause the least harm.

I will view those who choose violence with sadness and compassion while still holding them accountable for their behavior. I see no reason why we cannot both hold violent criminals accountable and simultaneously acknowledge their mental illness, past history of being victimized, or other factors. We have the right to remove them from society for the protection of others. We do not have the right to mistreat them or house them in substandard conditions.

I intend to spend my time here trying to do something to make this world a better place in whatever ways I can. I may not make a huge impact, but I can give back to my community and try to ease my impact upon the Earth in this time of global ecological crisis. I can remember my roots of poverty and give my money, my voice and my vote where it will do poor people the most good. I can work to inspire others to pick a cause and do the same thing. I can teach my grandsons about their responsibility to their community, their nation, and their planet. In that way my legacy of working to improve conditions here will continue.

I intend to resist the forces of depression or despair that tell me to give up and give in to illness, mental or physical. I will continue to find ways to be a productive citizen, wife, friend, mother and grandmother. I will manage my limitations as I find new ways to accomplish the goals that are important to me.

I will not hide who and what I am, whether that refers to my bisexuality, my eclectic spirituality, my depression, my heart disease or migraines, or any other factor deemed socially unacceptable or judged as a fault or failing. I intend to live by my own carefully thought out standards, not those of some nebulous thought police of an all too often conformist society.

I intend to use force only to defend myself or others. However, that means that I will use force to defend myself or others! I will not cower in the corner and hide from bullets. I will pick up the nearest objects and fiercely defend myself and others in the event of mass shooting. I will vigorously fight against attempted rape or murder. Attack me or mine at your own risk! My compassion for an attacker as a fellow human being does not override my right or my will to defend myself.

I intend to spend this precious currency of life as thoughtfully as I can, knowing that my time here is limited. I will show my love as often as possible to the many wonderful people in my life and always be open to loving more. I will open myself up to the love they give me in return and know that I am worthy of it. I am learning to ask for and accept help when needed.

I intend to die as consciously as I live, and if there is nothing after this life I am at peace knowing I have done my best while I was here. If my spiritual convictions hold true (and I acknowledge that I have no proof) I will spend my time between lives preparing for a new life where I will continue to learn and grow spiritually.

I intend to revise my Manifesto as life experience and conscience may dictate.
labrys6 on April 21st, 2007 12:31 am (UTC)
Dear Woman! You hang in there, but you do know you can have my vegetables and fruits, right? ;-) Since the vegetable kingdom seems to hate me, I shall take your share of animal flesh with thanks to better nourish me so I can live up to my own less-defined manifesto.

All any of us can do, really, is the best we can by what lights illuminate our personal nights. If we can do in consciously, with knowledge and admission of our successes AND failures, well then, it is as well done as any Being could expect.
Tapatitapati on April 21st, 2007 01:13 am (UTC)
I was inspired by the Virginia Tech news to create a manifesto since I don't think that mass killers should have a corner on such things. I didn't really expect to create a long one, but it's still not quite the extravaganza that Cho wrote/filmed/photographed. Perhaps I should go multimedia?

Yes, you can have my share of meat--it agreed with me about like the vegetable kingdom agrees with you. :)
labrys6 on April 21st, 2007 01:35 am (UTC)
No, mass killers shouldn't be the only ones with manifesto writing credentials. Nor should violent bombers co-opt favorite poems of mine! (McVey and the poem "Invictus")---maybe this is really why there should be vegitarians and carnivore people? Because some of us are not suited to one or the other!