We Should All Contribute to Raising All Children

“Man with 25 kids with 15 different women refuses to pay child support” accuses the New York Daily News‘ headline last week. http://goo.gl/9ufQGT

In this story are pathetic vignettes from two or more of this man’s sexual partners who became pregnant with and claimed to have had children with him, all the while ignorant of his other …. 20, 21, 22, 23, 24 children….? Even though this man’s problems with not paying child support had made him Tennessee’s statewide largest “deadbeat dad” in 2012, he still found willing partners and impregnated at least three more women since that public designation.

This scofflaw was known for “driving flashy cars and throwing cash around,” since he apparently owns several nightclubs, then “dressing in rags and claiming poverty” when brought in front of judges whose prosecuting attorneys are apparently too incompetent to do proper research on this man’s net worth.

All I can think about are these 25 children, probably growing up without sufficient resources, continuing the downward cycle, ad infinitum. Multiplied by thousands, hundreds of thousands, millions world-wide, imagine all these children inadequately provided for, however that occurs.

UNACCEPTABLE.

Crying4.jpg

image from http://reason.com

My conclusions and recommendations:

  1. We humans are unable to sustain this system successfully. We will not survive as a species.
  2. We apparently are too stupid, incompetent, ignorant, selfish, misguided, unlucky and/or unable to make intelligent choices and raise children with sufficient support.
  3. We as a species must make it mandatory for ALL humans to contribute to the well-being and support of ALL minors.

Boom.

better children

image from http://jokeallucan.blogspot.com

  • Forget going after individual bio parents, grandparents, foster parents or adoptive parents who have reneged on their parenting duties and/or financial responsibilities.
  • Stop trying to collect “child support” from the uncollectible.
  • Admit that it’s hopeless: we can’t instill parenting skills or knowledge via “parent education” into the addicted, severely mentally disabled, recalcitrant, unwilling or arrogant.
  • Stop relegating youth to the “luck of the draw” for the parenting lottery.
  • End these philosophies that govern current legal and cultural practices: “Oh, your mom is a meth addict? Too bad.” “Oh, your dad is in prison? Tough break.” “Oh, your parents are dead? Oh, well.” “Oh, your parents are mentally ill? We’ll put you in foster care.”

No.

We as humans must figure out a way to reproduce more responsibly AND to raise and educate children more fairly and competently.

In addition, we have to make it impossible for any child to go without basic amenities, food, clothing, education, nurturing and appropriate discipline and structure due to the deficiencies of their birth circumstances.

No government should be allowed to continue to be in power, even to exist, which does not ensure that all young people are well-fed, clothed, housed and educated.

If we continue to assign children to their “fates” based on their bio parents and other environmental circumstances, the caste- and class-based failure we call “society” will continue to populate (privatized, for-profit) prisons with inmates. We will continue sending addicts to rehabilitation centers, keeping them stocked with recurring “patients” that fill the coffers of insurance companies but cure almost no one.

What happens when millions go without sufficient food, medicine or clothing? Earth produces hundreds of millions, probably billions by the end of 2025, with bellies filled mostly with rage.

What fuels terrorism and crime? Dissatisfaction and alienation.

What creates affiliation to community? Fairness and caring.

It costs almost eight times as much to imprison an individual as it does to educate him/her all the way through high school.

costs prison v education CA

image from http://www.safeandjust.org

You do the math.

Let the corralling of the incapable into parenting end now.

The “nuclear” family is, by and large, unsustainable, a failure, with circumstances getting worse for children every decade.

Model childraising on the Kibbutzim, the collective childraising communities in Israel.

  • Put competent, caring, educated, healthy, trained and willing adults in charge of children.
  • Allow all minors to have contact with any safe adults, but not solely to rely on their bio or legal guardians/parents for their upbringing.

biloy-em-hahorim

image from http://www.judaica-hamsa-jewish-star-symbols-and-meanings.com

Let’s level the “playing field” for all young people. Give them all truly equal opportunities.

Comments/questions? Movements? Ideas?

Anyone already have a charity or nonprofit devoted to supporting ALL children?

Tell me about it. I might be able to help start, organize, or publicize these efforts.

SOMETHING major has got to change. For the children. For the species.

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We Should All Contribute to Raising All Children

“Man with 25 kids with 15 different women refuses to pay child support” accuses the New York Daily News‘ headline last week. http://goo.gl/9ufQGT

In this story are pathetic vignettes from two or more of this man’s sexual partners who became pregnant with and claimed to have had children with him, all the while ignorant of his other …. 20, 21, 22, 23, 24 children….? Even though this man’s problems with not paying child support had made him Tennessee’s statewide largest “deadbeat dad” in 2012, he still found willing partners and impregnated at least three more women since that public designation.

This scofflaw was known for “driving flashy cars and throwing cash around,” since he apparently owns several nightclubs, then “dressing in rags and claiming poverty” when brought in front of judges whose prosecuting attorneys are apparently too incompetent to do proper research on this man’s net worth.

All I can think about are these 25 children, probably growing up without sufficient resources, continuing the downward cycle, ad infinitum. Multiplied by thousands, hundreds of thousands, millions world-wide, imagine all these children inadequately provided for, however that occurs.

UNACCEPTABLE.

Crying4.jpg

image from http://reason.com

My conclusions and recommendations:

  1. We humans are unable to sustain this system successfully. We will not survive as a species.
  2. We apparently are too stupid, incompetent, ignorant, selfish, misguided, unlucky and/or unable to make intelligent choices and raise children with sufficient support.
  3. We as a species must make it mandatory for ALL humans to contribute to the well-being and support of ALL minors.

Boom.

better children

image from http://jokeallucan.blogspot.com

  • Forget going after individual bio parents, grandparents, foster parents or adoptive parents who have reneged on their parenting duties and/or financial responsibilities.
  • Stop trying to collect “child support” from the uncollectible.
  • Admit that it’s hopeless: we can’t instill parenting skills or knowledge via “parent education” into the addicted, severely mentally disabled, recalcitrant, unwilling or arrogant.
  • Stop relegating youth to the “luck of the draw” for the parenting lottery.
  • End these philosophies that govern current legal and cultural practices: “Oh, your mom is a meth addict? Too bad.” “Oh, your dad is in prison? Tough break.” “Oh, your parents are dead? Oh, well.” “Oh, your parents are mentally ill? We’ll put you in foster care.”

No.

We as humans must figure out a way to reproduce more responsibly AND to raise and educate children more fairly and competently.

In addition, we have to make it impossible for any child to go without basic amenities, food, clothing, education, nurturing and appropriate discipline and structure due to the deficiencies of their birth circumstances.

No government should be allowed to continue to be in power, even to exist, which does not ensure that all young people are well-fed, clothed, housed and educated.

If we continue to assign children to their “fates” based on their bio parents and other environmental circumstances, the caste- and class-based failure we call “society” will continue to populate (privatized, for-profit) prisons with inmates. We will continue sending addicts to rehabilitation centers, keeping them stocked with recurring “patients” that fill the coffers of insurance companies but cure almost no one.

What happens when millions go without sufficient food, medicine or clothing? Earth produces hundreds of millions, probably billions by the end of 2025, with bellies filled mostly with rage.

What fuels terrorism and crime? Dissatisfaction and alienation.

What creates affiliation to community? Fairness and caring.

It costs almost eight times as much to imprison an individual as it does to educate him/her all the way through high school.

costs prison v education CA

image from http://www.safeandjust.org

You do the math.

Let the corralling of the incapable into parenting end now.

The “nuclear” family is, by and large, unsustainable, a failure, with circumstances getting worse for children every decade.

Model childraising on the Kibbutzim, the collective childraising communities in Israel.

  • Put competent, caring, educated, healthy, trained and willing adults in charge of children.
  • Allow all minors to have contact with any safe adults, but not solely to rely on their bio or legal guardians/parents for their upbringing.

biloy-em-hahorim

image from http://www.judaica-hamsa-jewish-star-symbols-and-meanings.com

Let’s level the “playing field” for all young people. Give them all truly equal opportunities.

Comments/questions? Movements? Ideas?

Anyone already have a charity or nonprofit devoted to supporting ALL children?

Tell me about it. I might be able to help start, organize, or publicize these efforts.

SOMETHING major has got to change. For the children. For the species.

Being a “next-thing” Junkie

Addictions are the topic of many blogs, research studies, journal entries, news reports and conversations. At this point in the Western lexicon, someone can be “addicted” to practically anything: drugs or alcohol, of course; shopping; gambling; sex; food, particularly sugar, caffeine or wheat; fame; books; porn; the internet; and, any of a million possessions, collections, hobbies or activities.

Turns out I am genetically or personally lucky enough not to have an actual addiction, even by the above standards (unless you count obsessions as addictions, which is another discussion). However, I am about to confess what I discovered during my first six-week #Buddhist #meditation #retreat: I am a “next-thing” junkie. Whatever I am experiencing, regardless of how wonderful it is, how much I like it, I am always looking to the next phase.

When I am swimming, I fantasize about what I’ll do when I am finished. When I am writing, I consider when I will eat and what. When I am in the shower, I wonder about what I’ll write that day. During a meditation session, whatever practice or portion of the text we’re in, I want to be in the next part. When I’m silent, I want to talk. When I’m in conversation, I long for silence and solitude.

When I’m celibate, I daydream about sex. During sexual encounters, I want to have the aftermath, the closeness and intimacy of the more emotional kind, to be finished with the physical part. On and on.

This is my version of being a “Hungry Ghost,” a #Preta, one of the creatures doomed to exist for however long karma dictates who have extremely large bellies and very constricted throats: constantly starving and thirsty but never able to be satisfied. That is my dilemma: I am never satisfied, or not for very long.

Preta

I am not unique. I am not alone. In fact, I am in this way more mainstream, more ordinary than I am in almost any other component of my unusual life. When I brought this discover to my great #Tibetan #Buddhist teacher in the #Vajrayana #Nyingma #dzogchen lineage of #meditation, Lama Drimed, he talked to me about the known 51 “mental factors” that are considered part of the possible experience of sentient beings.

Want to know how many ways we can be caught up in experiences, thoughts, feelings? Fifty-one. Count ’em.

Here they are:

THE 5 OMNIPRESENT (EVER-RECURRING) MENTAL FACTORS
1. Feeling (the first aggregate)
2. Recognition / discrimination / distinguishing awareness (the second aggregate)
3. Intention / mental impulse – I will …
4. Concentration / attention / mental application – focused grasping of an object of awareness
5. Contact – the connection of an object with the mind, this may be pleasurable, painful or neutral as experienced by the aggregate of Feeling.

THE 5 DETERMINATIVE MENTAL FACTORS
6. Resolution / aspiration – directing effort to fulfil desired intention, basis for diligence and enthusiasm.
7. Interest / appreciation – holding on to a particular thing, not allowing distraction
8. Mindfulness / Recollection – repeatedly bringing objects back to mind, not forgetting
9. Concentration / Samadhi – one-pointed focus on an object, basis for increasing intelligence
10. Intelligence / Wisdom – “common-sense intelligence”, fine discrimination, examines characteristics of objects, stops doubt, maintains root of all wholesome qualities.

THE 4 VARIABLE (POSITIVE OR NEGATIVE) MENTAL FACTORS
11. Sleep – makes mind unclear, sense consciousness turns inwards
12. Regret – makes mind unhappy when regarding a previously done action as bad, prevents the mind from being at ease.
13. General examination / coarse discernment – depending on intelligence or intention, searches for rough idea about the object.
14. Precise analysis / subtle discernment – depending on intelligence or intention, examines the object in detail.

THE 11 VIRTUOUS MENTAL FACTORS
(Note that 18 and 19 are not necessary always virtuous. The first 3 are also known as roots of virtue.)
15. Faith / confidence / respectful belief – gives us positive attitude to virtue and objects that are worthy of respect. Three types are distinguished, with the last one being the preferred type:
a. uncritical faith: motivation is for no apparent reason
b. longing faith: motivation is by an emotionally unstable mind
c. conviction: motivated by sound reasons
16. Sense of Propriety / self-respect – usually the personal conscience to stop negative actions and perform positive actions
17. Considerateness / decency – avoids evil towards others, basis for unspoiled moral discipline.
18. Suppleness / thorough training / flexibility – enables the mind to engage in positive acts as wished, interrupting mental or physical rigidity.
19. Equanimity / clear-minded tranquility – peaceful mind, not being overpowered by delusions, no mental dullness or agitation
20. Conscientiousness / carefulness – causes avoiding negative acts & doing good; mind with detachment, non-hatred, non-ignorance and enthusiasm
21. Renunciation / detachment – no attachment to cyclic existence and objects
22. Non hatred / imperturbability – no animosity to others or conditions; rejoicing
23. Non-bewilderment / non ignorance / open-mindedness – usually understanding the meaning of things through clear discrimination, never unwilling to learn
24. Non violence / complete harmlessness – compassion without any hatred, pacifist
25. Enthusiasm / diligence – doing positive acts (specifically mental development and meditation) with delight

THE 6 NON-VIRTUOUS MENTAL FACTORS

THE 6 ROOT DELUSIONS (Delusion is defined as any secondary mental factor that, when developed, brings about suffering and uneasiness to self or others.)
26. Ignorance – not knowing karma, meaning and practice of 3 Jewels, includes closed-mindedness, lack of wisdom of emptiness.
27. Attachment / desire – definition: not wanting to be separated from someone or something. Grasping at aggregates in cyclic existence causes rebirth & suffering of existence
28. Anger – definition: wanting to be separated from someone or something, can lead to relentless desire to hurt others; causes unhappiness
29. Pride – inflated superiority, supported by one’s worldly views, which include disrespect of others
30. Doubt / deluded indecisive wavering – being in two minds about reality; usually leads to negative actions
31. Wrong views / speculative delusions – based on emotional afflictions. Distinguished in 5 types: belief in the self as permanent or non-existent (as opposite to the view of emptiness); denying karma, not understanding the value of the 3 Jewels; closed-mindedness (my view -which is wrong- is best); wrong conduct (not towards liberation)

THE 20 SECONDARY NON-VIRTUOUS MENTAL FACTORS
Derived from anger:
32. Wrath / hatred – by increased anger, malicious state wishing to cause immediate harm to others
33. Vengeance / malice / resentment – not forgetting harm done by a person, and seeking to return harm done to oneself
34. Rage / spite / outrage – intention to utter harsh speech in reply to unpleasant words, when wrath and malice become unbearable
35. Cruelty / vindictiveness / mercilessness – being devoid of compassion or kindness, seeking harm to others.

Derived from anger and attachment:
36. Envy / jealousy – internal anger caused by attachment; unbearable to bear good things others have

Derived from attachment:
37. Greed / avarice / miserliness – intense clinging to possessions and their increase
38. Vanity / self-satisfaction – seeing one’s good fortune giving one a false sense of confidence; being intoxicated with oneself
39. Excitement / wildness / mental agitation – distraction towards desire objects, not allowing the mind to rest on something wholesome; obstructs single pointed concentration.

Derived from ignorance:
40. Concealment – hiding one’s negative qualities when others with good intention refer to them this causes regret
41. Dullness / muddle-headedness – caused by fogginess which makes mind dark/heavy – like when going to sleep, coarse dullness is when the object is unclear, subtle dullness is when the object has no intense clarity
42. Faithlessness – no belief of that which is worthy of respect; it can be the idea that virtue is unnecessary, or a mistaken view of virtue; it forms the basis for laziness (43)
43. Laziness – being attached to temporary pleasure, not wanting to do virtue or only little; opposite to diligence [25])
44. Forgetfulness – causes to not clearly remember virtuous acts, inducing distraction to disturbing objects – not “just forgetting”, but negative tendency
45. Inattentiveness / lack of conscience – “distracted wisdom” after rough or no analysis, not fully aware of one’s conduct, careless indifference and moral failings; intentional seeking mental distraction like daydreaming

Derived from attachment and ignorance:
46. Hypocrisy / pretension – pretend non-existent qualities of oneself
47. Dishonesty / smugness – hiding one’s faults, giving no clear answers, no regret, snobbery & conceit, self-importance and finding faults with others

Derived from attachment, anger and ignorance
48. Shamelessness – consciously not avoiding evil, it supports all root and secondary delusions
49. Inconsiderateness – not avoiding evil, being inconsiderate of other’s practice, ingratitude
50. Unconscientiousness / carelessness- 3 delusions plus laziness; wanting to act unrestrained
51. Distraction / mental wandering – inability to focus on any virtuous object

from http://viewonbuddhism.org/mind.html

So, the next time you are trying to “control” your mind, or meditate, or refrain from a particular thought or emotion, consider this: another one is likely to arise in just a moment and you might prefer it.

#Impermanence can be our friend.