Means and Ends

Mahatma Gandhi“I am Hindu. I am also a Christian,

a Muslim, a Buddhist and a Jew.”

_Mahatma Gandhi

 

Do you have a label?

Whether we know it or not, we all have a common label and that is “I AM.”  Once we accept this concept, as did Gandhi, that we are all connected to the great I AM Source of All and to one another we will be peace, love, joy and abundance. What more could a planet  need if it existed with all of these blessings? The religious and/or metaphysical world  would recognize that as heaven on Earth. Anyone else might see it as Shangri-La. Either way it all translates into what we all seek in our lives: Happiness!

I have sought guidance in addressing my concerns for our country and the tumultuous conditions seemingly prevalent in all countries around the globe.  Technology  brings news to us through  many sources, even our cell phones. None of us can pretend we are not a part of these terrible events. Throwing out the TV or failing to click on a “negatively” presented post or blog will not insulate us from the effects of what is happening. Saying it is all an “illusion” does not work for me and so when I saw this graphic posted on Facebook, I looked more carefully behind the motivations of this man who seems to have the respect of the world community for the non-violent actions he took to bring freedom and self rule to his nation.

Mahatma Gandhi’s actions were led by his basic belief that in politics as in all spheres of human action we “reap exactly what we sow.” Another way to view this is through the relationship between means and ends, the ends being causally dependent upon the means. Unfortunately, I find it popular in many intellectual circles of academia to justify actions for social “justice” with the psychology of “the end justifies the means.” Not so with Gandhi. In his philosophy of life he only needed to know the means and believed that means are after all everything. As to his goal for India he said, “We have always control over the means but not over the end. I feel that our progress towards the goal will be in exact proportion to the purity of our means; as the means so the end.” I agree with Gandhi that impure means will result in impure ends.

So how can I apply this to what is happening in our country concerning the immigration crisis? Let’s look at the means in as honest a way as possible what with the lack of trust in our government and the media these days. We know several things that are impure about the influx of illegal children and adults flooding across our borders. Many of the children are un-escorted by family members or trustworthy adults and are suffering horrible abuse in many cases, especially the more vulnerable women and children. It is reported that many are suffering from disease and parasites. After traveling atop rail cars through Central America and Mexico, they are transported across the U.S. to centers in cities where they are ill cared for and in many cases unwelcome. I have seen pictures of many of the so called male children who are teenagers with bodies and faces covered with gang related tattoos. There are reports that drug pushers and terrorist minded individuals are among the illegal immigrants.

Our country formed its independence based on a set of unalienable rights. Established as a representative republic we have enacted laws that millions of people now occupying this great nation swore to abide by in order to qualify as citizens with rights to pursue happiness. That was a pure and orderly means to an end; which was becoming a productive, law abiding citizen living in a country of opportunity for all.

Now we have this impure system of occupation outside the law and outside the moral and safe standards of the American way of family life. We as American voters share a responsibility to place in power representatives who respect the laws and intents this nation was founded upon. Our votes can replace a government that wields force with no regard for the means and imagines this will make no difference to the end it desires. Gandhi rejected the doctrine that the end justifies the means,and believed that a moral means was almost an end in itself because virtue is its own reward. I Am in agreement with this great man of faith and integrity. Perhaps those grieving from social conditions in their own country should emulate the actions of Gandhi. History reveals that peaceful gatherings or courageous individual protests have been successful in bringing social injustice to an end. I remember the days of Gandhi and Martin Luther King and the sight of a single young man in China standing in front of a tank.

There is a more pure means of helping those wanting out of Central American countries and it is not through allowing unlawful invasions through our border states. It is not through encouraging parents to place their own children into traumatic and dangerous situations. We can find a means that will assure a good ending for all if we demand it from our elected Representatives, our Senators and our President. Fortunately in a democracy we can vote out those who will not listen to our voices and replace them with those who will. Let’s not waste a right that few nations have, but if necessary let us emulate the proven ways and means of Mahatma Gandhi and other peaceful warriors.

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