Day 344 - Noblesse Oblige
Yep. I feel this.
What is it?
Noblesse Oblige - the obligation of honorable, generous, and responsible behavior associated with high rank or birth.
Let’s be clear...I do not have high rank, I mean at all. However, I do believe that I was born into this precious human life and that is a high birth. We all have been. Born into this human form...after perhaps lifetimes trying to sort out all of the karmic shit that happens.
But I do feel like I have this Noblesse Oblige towards how I live my life. I feel compelled to do the right thing, even when I do not want to. Even when I would prefer to do what I see others doing. There have been many, many times where I have wished that I could just drink the drink, take the drug, eat the animal, take the thing. But it feels awful. How do I know? Because I did all of the above repeatedly until I could no longer do any of it.
At some point in time, I became committed (mostly over my own objection) to living this spiritual existence. I have not done it perfectly and have strayed more often than I would like to admit. I have fucked it up a lot on the path. But on the path I have remained. Even when there was something or someone bright and shiny off the path that I really, really wanted.
My life seems to demand of me to work through my shit to bleed me off so that I can get to the honorable, generous and responsible behavior that comes from being born a spiritual being having this human experience. Let me be the four millionth person to say that this is often a downer and has left me feeling a little left out on more than one occasion.
For the most part, I have accepted that when I engage in conduct that is less than honorable, generous and responsible, I get immediate and swift results that leave me grappling with pride, esteem and feeling like shit about myself. It doesn’t even take a minute. I am there...BAM!
I believe that I have this one precious human life. I have been given it and I have to do all that I can to make it meaningful...for others and by so doing, the side benefit is that I get an amazing life. For me, however, if the goal is for me to get a good life, I miss the mark and end up in the weeds. Clearly selfish or self seeking motives have to be kept in check, moment to moment because at my core, I think about myself a lot. Not necessarily always in high regard...just that my self involvement has to be constantly addressed lest I slip into a self driven quest for more and better, you and your needs be damned.
I am not sure about rank. I am pretty sure that we all rank. We are all human, with our issues and pain and grief. We are all trying to do the best with what we have. So I think that rank is pretty equal across the board. The highest we go is human...all of us, everyone.
We are all born and here and doing the best we can to live this life, to be the best version of ourselves. We all get lost from time to time. But it is the common experience of birth that gives us all a level playing field. We are all here...trying to sort it all out and glean some meaning and purpose and love along the way.
Noblesse Oblige, seems to me like a good reminder that because of our life in the world of humans is close to the pivot point of happiness and suffering, humans have a unique capacity for moral choices with long-term significance. If we are lucky, we have a long life and a long the way we are given many, many choices of who we are and how we are going to be. Perhaps the best use of this precious existence is to ensure that we move toward the honorable, the generous and the responsible behavior that comports with our being given this most amazing gift of life.