Defenders of our digital rights

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

The New Mandate

I have found it helpful to develop my own simple philosophy of life. I call this philosophy The New Mandate. It is very short and sweet so read carefully in case you miss it:

  • I shall attempt to direct my efforts toward the betterment of those around me and to the benefit of humanity

  • I shall not disadvantage or otherwise cause harm to another

  • I shall take extraordinary steps to help those who are in need

The New Mandate is based on the concept that every human being has an innate understanding of what is right and what is wrong; and that this innate knowledge varies little despite the diversity of our races, cultures and societies.

As the word mandate implies, this simple philosophy gives power to the ubiquitous human desire to better ourselves by bettering the world around us; and stands in stark contrast to the "old mandate", where greed and selfish desires fashion the mechanisms of personal and social development.

There are scientific theories that underlie this deceptively simple philosophy; and it not only applies to individuals but could be equally effective when engaged by corporations, societies and even entire nations. Google's corporate philosophies are similar to those prescribed by this mandate; and are lighting the way for a new era of just and responsible corporate behavior.

That government is best which governs the least, because its people discipline themselves -- Thomas Jefferson

The advancement and diffusion of knowledge is the only guardian of true liberty -- James Madison

He that would make his own liberty secure, must guard even his enemy from oppression, for if he violates this duty, he establishes a precedent that will reach to himself -- Patrick Henry

Liberty not only means that the individual has both the opportunity and the burden of choice; it also means that he must bear the consequences of his actions... Liberty and responsibility are inseparable. -- Friedrich von Hayek (From "The Constitution of Liberty" (1960)

Absolute liberty is absence of restraint; responsibility is restraint; therefore, the ideally free individual is responsible to himself -- Adams, Henry Brooks

I was brought up to believe that the only thing worth doing was to add to the sum of accurate information in the world -- Margaret Mead

We have a hunger of the mind which asks for knowledge of all around us, and the more we gain, the more is our desire; the more we see, the more we are capable of seeing -- Maria Mitchell

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