I hadn't heard of the 10 Non-Negotiables, but I spotted a post about it on New Age Hipster's blog, so I thought I'd have a go. ...Then I got stuck. What are my non-negotiables? Hmm.
Maybe I'm too old for a non-negotiable list that includes items about footwear and hair colour, because all of mine are pretty serious. But they are certainly non-negotiable.
1. I'm sticking with my husband until the end. That's that. People get together and they make romantic statements about growing old together, but until you actually start doing it, you don't know what it means. It comes as a shock when you begin to notice the slow deterioration of the flesh. Trust me. You want someone to grow old with. We take care of each other now and we will take care of each other to the end. And that's non-negotiable.
2. There is no ideology that is worth killing or dying for. Not one, not ever, I will never change my mind about this. It is non-negotiable.
3. It is wrong to label a child a 'Christian child, 'Muslim child' or 'Jewish child'. I realise this having had my consciousness raised by Richard Dawkins in his book 'The God Delusion'. These are children incapable of making choices about these ideologies. If you do not see the sense of this, imagine hearing a child called a 'Marxist child', a 'Libertarian child' or an 'Anarchist child' and you will see that the truth is you are referring to the ideologies of the parents. The proper term is 'child of Christian parents', 'child of Muslim parents', 'child of Jewish parents.' The same repugnance you feel for having a child labelled 'Capitalist' should be felt when you hear one called 'Buddhist'. This is the kind of consciousness raising we all have experienced in making the shift from 'mankind' to 'humankind'. I will call people out on this and I will never use such terminology again in my lifetime. This is non-negotiable.
4. The world cannot sustain its population on a Standard Western Diet, so high in animal products and processed foods. The Standard Western Diet is aspirational for many nations, but it cannot happen. Already 1/3 of the earth's arable land is taken up producing grains to feed the animals being consumed at present. We must reduce our consumption of animal products and feed the world. For this and other reasons I have been a strict vegetarian/vegan for the last ten years. This is non-negotiable.
5. There is mystery and beauty in the universe and in our lives and religion has absolutely nothing to do with it. In fact, religion distracts us from it. Religion is a source of much suffering in the world, we'd better off without it. I will never take part in an organised religion. It is non-negotiable.
6. Expensive things are silly. I have visited homes that are like palaces and come back to my own flat and the only difference I can see in what some have and what I've got is that they have a more expensive version. I have a roof, a floor, windows and walls, a bed, a place to cook food and food to cook, running water, taps, a toilet. I've got a car. They own more expensive versions of these things. So what? I have all I need. Why should I worry or strain or strive or compete to earn more money, just to buy more expensive versions of the things I already have? This is silly, I won't do it, I will never need to keep up with the Joneses, and that's non-negotiable.
7. If what you do doesn't harm anyone or anything else, it's nobody else's business. No one has the right to dictate how other people live. Everyone has the right to seek happiness in the way that is pleasing to them, because seriously, what difference does it make? None! Leave people alone, live and let live, keep your opinions about other people's lives to yourself. That is how I feel about it, and that is non-negotiable.
8. In the words of Patrick Swayze in 'Road House' -- be nice. Until it's time to not be nice. This is non-negotiable.
9. We are not put on this earth for any reason. We're just alive because we are alive, and that means we have complete freedom to explore this world, to breathe the air, to enjoy our bodies, to feel the sun, to love each other and to slip quietly out of existence again. This is the most freeing realisation I have yet had, and my firm belief in it is non-negotiable.
10. Having said all that, I strongly believe that we have the freedom to change our minds about absolutely anything and that nothing is or should be truly 'non-negotiable'. And that, dear ones, is non-negotiable.
Blessed be. x