The Duty to Act
Tzhar wrote: With so much violence, corruption and suffering in the world, one of the questions that I often ask myself is, "How do I know when to act, and how?"
I find the original question to be needing of a tad more focus. It acknowledges many instances of the issues that bother you when you state "...so much violence, corruption and suffering...", but the question presumes that an action can address any or all of those alone, when that is not the case.
If you look at the question of violence itself in the world, it manifests itself in innumerable forms. One cannot simply act against violence as a whole and expect the desired result. In order to take any action that would be meaningful, you would have to narrow the instances of violence which most bother you, and act upon those.
Let's say domestic violence specifically is the question that bothers you. Ok. So now you have to find a specific case of domestic violence upon which to act. Then another, then another, then another...and after millions of actions you may have impacted the question of domestic violence.
Do you catch my drift?
Look at corruption. It pervades all levels of government, corporations, and even family and friend circles. So lets say corruption in government is your biggest concern. Still to broad. Do we mean federal, state, or local government? Is there a specific office in question? Perhaps your local school board? Then a single individual in a single instance on that board? So you act upon that specific issue. Then another, then another, then another...
I cannot even touch "suffering" here because it is far too large of a blanket term as suffering can be felt in any number of ways with any number of activating agents across any number of people to be an easily definable term.
My point is, there is no single unifying act that I can point to which would be effective against broad generalizations. There is no war to end all wars, no anti-corruption law to end all corruption, and no economic policy or health care platform which could address all suffering.
Moreover, even if we can come up with a remedy we feel would nullify one of these areas, in specific case by case situations, or even on the larger whole, how can we be so certain that it would be accepted as a universal answer agreeable to all sides of any issue? The actions we perceive to be most just may be disagreeable to another, and thusly incite new violence, corruption, or suffering where it did not previously exist.
What we can do is start with ourselves. Control what is within your control, and express our control outwardly. Not in a forceful sense where we presume to push what we deem as control upon someone who does not appear to us to have control, but in the transcendent sense of being in control for the sake of being in control.
The notion that an individual can effectuate change of any sort upon the entirety of all other individuals is a never-ending quest and quite the moving target of literally gazillions (or whatever 8 billion squared is) of interconnections across the world. As an individual being we simply lack the physical capability of effectuating any lasting mitigating qualities at every single possible interaction to prevent violence, corruption, or suffering across the world.
Yet we can ensure that those things are not present in our own immediate interactions, or in interactions we may have a direct or indirect influence over, and call them out where we find them to exist that others may also take action to remove those issues from plaguing us.
I remember once I think I failed terribly in not trusting the Force, back in about 1988 as a young teenager sitting in the backseat of the family car on the way home from a holiday, a long drive ahead and all in energy conservation mode LOL, waiting to turn at an intersection and a motorbike flew past. I 'felt' like it was going to have trouble, but it shot out of sight down the road seemingly ok....
It was a bit humid and had rained, being a tropical location sometimes things just get 'wet'. We turned the same way, but going the speed limit meant it was about ten minutes later that we arrived at a T intersection, where you either go left or right. Sugar cane straight ahead. I wondered if the bike had been able to stop in time..... and it was not until going around the corner (being in the back seat) that I saw a line carved in the sugar cane straight along where a bike would have over-run. For some reason I didn't say anything, too tired, too hot, too many snakes in there, private property, a slowing bike probably just rolled in rather then 'flew' in, etc, she'll be right. I said/did nothing though?
I feel terrible about it now imagining that a person might have been in real trouble.
Better to be wrong and have good intentions if it does no harm to get more information. I think information gathering is a vital first step in effective action. Action itself can be disastrous, so effective action is what is required to better align with whatever ethical or moral system is doing the compelling. I'd even say its worse to do the wrong thing then to do nothing!?
Is my action preventing an individual from being harmed or their actual rights ( not what I consider just or fair ) from being denied
Is the person mentally or physically incapable of defending themselves or righting the injustice themselves
Will my action do more good than harm
Does the person appear to welcome help
Do I have the skills or knowledge to render help safely
JLSpinner wrote: In my experience you will always ask that question. You can't always act. People have to learn to handle things themselves but at some point inaction makes you just as guilty as those who are doing the act. Usually I can feel something inside me that says "that's enough of that shit" and I do something.
If you can do something about it and no one else can or will, it might be your time to shine. Unfortunately its up to our individual judgement. I can only advise you to weigh your options well.
I have to disagree. Inaction might seem distasteful to you but it NEVER puts those that do not act on the same level of those that are acting.
I encourage you think on this. Secondly, Who is to say it's your duty to act? It kind of reminds me of a police officer, superman, "It's my duty to act!" or something like that and I am not poking fun at you. You must do what you think is right in the situation.
Wisdom is like a chain. Each link connects to others, and usually two, so that each link has two directions. By the time wisdom is complete, you should have chainlink armor.
So, lets add a link.
Each action has an equal an opposite reaction. There are two consequences to consider. Neither necessarily good or bad.
What are the consequences of acting, and what of NOT acting?
Every action or non action has consequences.
Bear in mind, we are building a piece of armor made of wisdom. Each time we come to an answer step, there are at least two more flowing from it.
Brother Jedi, follow the chain.
If the act is an organization, get involved, be the change you wish.
If the situation is an immediate thing, more of a reaction to an event that is happening in the moment, be careful not to make the issue worse by stepping up and being added to the situation. For example running into a burning building to save someone only to become another person needing saving.
Safety is something that should be considered. Stepping in to act, without regard to safety, for yourself or others, may create a worse situation. Be mindful of this.
If you have time to prepare your "act(ion)", plan it out. Sit down and consider the situation.
I usually use the following steps to make a plan for action. (This is rather lengthy and I could get into more detail if someone wishes it.)
- Step 1. Identify hazards - identify the hazards that may be encountered in executing your act. A hazard is an actual or potential condition where the following can occur due to
exposure to the hazard: Injury, illness, or death of personnel, Damage to or loss of equipment and property, goal of action degradation
Take into consideration, environment, weather, bystanders, location, time etc....
- Step 2. Assess hazards to determine risk - determine the direct impact of each hazard of the act. Prioritize the risks. This provides for enhanced situational awareness. This
awareness builds confidence and allows you to take timely, efficient, and effective protective measures. This step examines each hazard in terms of probability and severity to determine the risk level of one or more hazardous incidents that can result from exposure to the hazard. The hazard must be credible in that it must have a reasonable expectation of happening. The end result is an estimate of risk from each hazard and an estimate of the overall risk of the action.
· Step 3. Develop controls and make risk decisions - Step 3 is accomplished in two sub steps: develop controls and make risk decisions.
After assessing each hazard, develop one or more controls that either eliminate the hazard or reduce the probability and/or severity of a hazardous incident. When developing controls, consider the reason for the hazard not just the hazard itself.
Types of Controls. Controls can take many forms, but they fall into three basic categories: educational controls, physical controls, and avoidance.
- Educational controls. These controls are based on the knowledge and skills needed or available. Effective control may be getting the training needed for your success.
· Physical controls. These controls may take the form of protective equipment, more manpower/helpers, signs to warn individuals of hazards.
· Avoidance. These controls are applied to prevent contact with an identified hazard.
Criteria for Controls. To be effective, each control developed must meet the following criteria:
· Suitability. It must remove the hazard or mitigate (reduce) the residual risk to an acceptable level.
· Feasibility. The unit must have the capability to implement the control.
· Acceptability. The benefit gained by implementing the control must justify the cost in resources and time.
Residual Risk. Once you develop and accept controls, you determine the residual risk associated with each hazard and the overall residual risk for the act(ion).
Sub step B: Make Risk Decision:
A key element of the risk decision is determining if the risk is justified. Then you must compare and balance the risk against your goal expectations. You alone decide if controls are sufficient and acceptable and whether to accept the resulting residual risk. If you determine the risk level is too high, develop additional controls or alternate controls, or modify, change, or reject the course of action. Simply put risk vs reward. Is the risk worth the end result.
· Step 4. Implement controls - This step is simply purring the control in place that you identified to minimize the risks/hazards. The critical check for this step is to ensure that controls are converted into clear, simple explanation that is understood by everyone involved in the act. Implementing controls includes coordination and communication with civilian agencies that may be involved in the act(ion),
· Step 5. Supervise and evaluate - Supervision is needed if there are multiple people involved in the act(ion). Evaluation is needed to adjust your act(ion) to improve the end result or repeated act(ion)s.
After an act(ion), evaluate how well the risk management process was executed.
- Determine how to ensure that successes are continued in future act(ion)s.
- Develop lessons learned so that others may benefit from the experience.
- Consider the effectiveness of the risk assessment in identifying and accurately assessing the probability and severity of hazards that resulted in poor act(ion)s.
- Determine whether the level of residual risk of each hazard, and of the overall outcome were accurately estimated.
- Evaluate the effectiveness of each control in reducing or removing risk, including weather controls were effectively communicated, implemented and utilized.
Tzhar wrote: With so much violence, corruption and suffering in the world, one of the questions that I often ask myself is, "How do I know when to act, and how?"[/quo
Jedi get so paused un needfully at this question. You and only you can answer hat for yourself. Only I can answer that same question , for me. My answer comes from study of my souroundings and from the study of myself. You see, I am Carlos Martinez and I know me better than any one here . ( as u know u the same ) my focus and focus s as well as character I have found and made will have the answer when these type of situations happen. Now, I'm an old army boy nurse and a old rescue swimmer so how we react is GUNNa be different but the question is,
How do you want to act?
My goal is to leave a drop of grace in every footprint i leave and pass a touch of joy to those who don't .... see where I'm going? I already know what's up with the what's up.
The one of many focus in this place is to free and en power the individual , you! Would you let nothing happen and continue to live your life , I have at times but it was my choice already set and in motion. Think ... yes !!! Think ...but at the same time try not to let the think turn to worry. Diffrent wrinkles in my opinion !
May the Force be with you as you seek it! Pm anytime you like
I'm 54 as of the 18th. I have grandchildren. I was taught to pass on what I have learned.
I'm starting fresh with The Temple of the Jedi Order, learning new things. But what I have learned in my past is also valuable.
The Jedi live. We have lives. Ordinary, every day lives just like anyone else. I was talking to my grandson before school early this morning, and we were talking about the Force. He asked how we are to act every day, and I told him that we act the same every day, in ordinary things as well as in emergencies.
Our lives are links in the chain of life. Each day a link, connected to two other links, yesterday and tomorrow. Together, they build a fabric of action, and of wisdom. Each action, good or bad, has consequences...some good, some bad, based on our choices.
Every action, no matter how large or small, is a piece of the fabric. Even chewing gum has consequences that we can be aware of if we are mindful of the living Force.
You chew gum, and as you do, the gum has flavor. You can enjoy it for a while, but there are consequences for you, and for the gum. You enjoy it, but over time, the gum loses flavor...so, you spit it out at some point.
How you treat people has consequences. If you are kind, brave, helpful, mean, take advantage, etc...all have consequences.
If we're faithful to our beliefs, follow them in small ways, we train ourselves to follow them in big ways, when important times or emergencies come. Always look ahead, be mindful of the consequences, but also be mindful of the living Force...the here and now.
He's a good boy. But he also is a child, and needs, not just instruction, but example...so by being a good Jedi (formerly a Knight and Master in another group), I live my life, my actions, my refraining from action, so that the fabric remains whole and intact.