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Never look down on anybody unless you're helping them up.

– Rev. Jesse Jackson

Nature provided us with the built-in tools to hurt each other, to discriminate
against each other, to climb over each other to reach somewhere we want to go, to
ignore or even to kill those among us who are weak.

In the animal kingdom, the system in which these tools of character are used is
called the pecking order. The term comes from birds where the strongest or most
influential of the flock tends to get the food it wants before the others.

The tools are components of our most important instinct, survival. We humans have
proven that we can survive under the harshest and most severe conditions,
including the widest possible range of climates of any animal, climate changes and
natural tragedy.

We survive. And the ones among us who are most likely to survive when the going is
roughest are the ones who can find the best shelter, food and water.

We have also proven that we can use these tools--this instinct--to harm or destroy
each other, to keep others of us in slavery, to abuse each other

Some species of animal will eat their weakest in such circumstances. Some will
abandon them to be eaten by predators.

Are we that kind of species? Our degree of civilization is marked by how much or
how little we fit that description that nature gave us at birth. Are we the brutes
that nature designed us to be or are we able to ovrcome that character set to be
better?

We either teach our children that we and they are part of a global community and
that everyone in that community has a responsibility toward each other or we teach
them that some people (like themselves) are better than others.

There are no other choices, no middle ground, no gray areas. Either we believe we
should help each other or we believe we shouldn't. To pretend to help others by
making charitable contributions for which we receive tax writeoffs is a sham way,
a deception to make others believe that we care about those less fortunate. We
either help others or we allow others to be hurt.

Either we are brothers and sisters, all, or we are not. Despite the biblical
example of Cain killing Abel, brothers do not normally kill each other. They don't
allow each other to starve, to contract and die of AIDS, to struggle through
drought or earthquakes without help or to sink into depression or addiction where
they would remain until they die.

Some of us do those things. Some of us believe it's right. Some of us rise to the
top echelons of our spheres and destroy our enemies or defraud our shareholders.

To believe in peace means that we must believe that every other human is our
brother or sister. That we are all equal and the differences between us are
centred around education.

We must believe that it is our duty as citizens and as humans to help up those who
have fallen or who are weak enough they cannot get up by themselves.

If you believe in this kind of peace and want your way to be the way of the
majority, then you must teach your way to children. Teach all children, even those
who are not your own. Many children accept important life lessons from people who
are not their parents or teachers.

If you want a better world, then you must live the life that a citizen of a better
world would live. To do otherwise would be hypocrisy.

As the slogan for an important anti-bullying campaign says: Be the change.

Bill Allin
'Turning It Around: Causes and Cures for Today's Epidemic Social Problems,'
striving to make the world a more peaceful, healthier and more vibrant place.
Learn more at http://billallin.com

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