Roger Bianco Dave Carpenter Oren Schmidt
Steve DiRose Becky Hawkins Robin Wise
Jimmy Heinbaugh Irene Josey Bill Shriver
Cathy Miller Sperry Redd
By Don Beezley
It’s common to try and motivate folks by urging them to “have a vision greater than self” i.e., to place something else above the value of the individual. It sounds appealing—we all want our lives to have meaning, be a part of great causes, make a difference and leave the world a better place. All of that is possible and desirable. However, there is a catch in this “something greater than self” thinking.
As soon as you believe that the individual is not the primary value, you accept the possibility that something else can be more important than the individual, and the individual can, therefore, reasonably be sacrificed to that cause or vision. This idea lies at the core of “altruism,” the belief that others are and should always be the primary value, while you never should be. Once accepted, a close corollary, the idea that “the ends justify the means” inevitably comes into play. If my vision is of greater value than your life as an individual, then, to paraphrase Josef Stalin, it’s okay to “crack a few eggs to make an omelet.“ Those “eggs” were tens of millions of human lives, but when the vision is more important than the self, this becomes one possible, logical alternative, and morality becomes impossible. You also see this principle at work in the acts of religious extremists who seek to kill others, or deny them equal rights, for believing differently than they do, and in democratic countries where people or groups seek to use the perceived validation of a vote to force their vision on to others. READ MORE....