We are the most selfish society, ever, and I am among their ranks. We are at the point where our conscious does not even recognize when we are being selfish. We do things because we can, never asking ourselves if we should. Even when we know we shouldn't, we still do because everyone else is and what is one more...
I just read this article about a 2 month old that dies while in daycare and for whatever reason the day care provider did not call 911 right away. It occurred to me best case scenario the baby had died of SIDS and she was to busy worrying about loosing her license (and maybe even her income and home) instead of just picking up the phone to try to save a life. She was possibly more worried about her own materials possessions because our society places more value on them, then life itself. She didn't think, it's okay if they close me down for the baby's death, they will forgive me and know I did my best, and maybe society will help me feed my family and pay my mortgage.
Interesting enough the fact that we pay interest on money we barrow is a crime in the eyes of the Qu'ran. In some societies (tribes) even ownership is wrong.
I think our first step as mothers is running our households like we wish the world to run. At home we try to teach our children sharing and teamwork for the betterment of the household. We try to teach them not to waste, to return things to their original state, be considerate of others. Sadly, I hear so many mothers not even teaching these basic principles so much.
On a board I sometimes frequent there was a mother asking for input. Her son (about 4 years old) got a candy for a reward from school and the father asked the son to share it with him. The mother said, no it is his reward, he earned it. Surprisingly 75% or more agreed with the mother. Now when this boy grows up and has a family what will he think if this continues to be reinforces. "It is my reward I earned it. I don't have to share." When the same mother is left homeless in her old age or dropped off in a retirement center because it is his money and his time and he earned it, she may rethink the choices she made, but it will be too late.
I don't blame the mother for not seeing the error in her way. I am sure she was raised the same way. I know I was also raised that way. It is the American dream/promise. Spend your time working hard and live like a king or queen enjoying your rewards.
Personally I am slowly learning that the rewards are in the (doing of the) work and the rewards are in the happiness you feel when you help someone who can't or doesn't know how to help themselves.
You have food, water, clothing, shelter, medical and a way to obtain and sustain those then it is your duty to help others with what you have left. (Education is included because it is learning how to obtain and/or sustain the above mentioned things and in some cases parents use the time the child is in daycare of school to work to obtain/sustain.)
Since life is also about balance I am going to make a new goal for myself. For every dollar I spend on something that is not part of the above I will give in equal portion to a person in need or an organization that helps others.
This means. I normally spend $10 on food for a nice dinner at home and we go out to eat and spend $50, then I must donate $40 to a cause or person. If I make a trip to Target to buy the kids a new Wii game then I must donate the cost of the extra gas plus the cost of the game. This will also hold true for things like family pictures. If I spend $200 on unneeded clothes plus $200 hiring the photographer then that is $400 I must donate somewhere. Family vacations same thing. If I can't afford to spend $2000 on a family vacation and $2000 in a cause then I will just have to scale things down. My weakness is chocolate/sugar and really it is not a necessity. So I will include this for my own benefit.
I know this wont change all my selfish ways but maybe it will help me awaken my consciousness and help some people along the way.
It probably sounds like I am just throwing money on the problem. However, anyone in my situation who has young children understands that taking children to do volunteer work is negating the part where I get work done. (Yes, it did take me 2 hours just to type this up with various interruptions.)