Sunday, July 09, 2006

Right Livelihood

"I believe in equality for everyone, except reporters and photographers." ~ Gandhi.

I'm not sure what the context of this quote is, but it's starting to get under my skin. The fifth step of the Eightfold Path is "Right Livelihood." I've been trying to figure out what this means for a long time. It's hard for me to determine is my work fits the category. It depends on the day.

There's a Right Livelihood Award. In 2005, the recipients were these folks:
Maude Barlow and Tony Clarke (Canada) Honorary Award
“ ... for their exemplary and longstanding worldwide work for trade justice and the recognition of the fundamental human right to water. ”.
First People Of The Kalahari / Roy Sesana (Botswana)
“ ... for resolute resistance against eviction from their ancestral lands, and for upholding the right to their traditional way of life. ”.

Francisco Toledo (Mexico)
“ ... for devoting himself and his art to the protection, enhancement and renewal of the architectural and cultural heritage, natural environment and community life of his native Oaxaca. ”.

Irene Fernandez (Malaysia)
“ ... for her outstanding and courageous work to stop violence against women and abuses of migrant and poor workers. ”
One way I have for solving my ethical dilemmas is to imagine the entire world posed with the same decision. Some answers are easy. If we all threw our garbage out the window, the world would be a mess. Other answers are hard, like the right way to make a living. I guess if we were all still subsistence farmers I'd have fewer philosophical quandries, or time to devote to those that may remain.

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