“From each according to his ability, to each according to his need” is a slogan attributed to Karl Marx in Critique of the Gotha Program, which I have not read. I actually stumbled across the phrase when it was used cynically in dialogue form in a short fiction I liked. It struck me as one of those phrases that sounds good, but doesn’t actually work. Like trickle-down economics. It sounds good, but doesn’t work. My problem with the “from each…to each” spiel is that humans need more than they can give. And if anything in this post thus far has offended you, jump over the the apology page.
Actually, thinking that humanity needs more than the individual can give helps me get through the day. I work primarily in customer service so going in with the mind set that it’s a losing battle helps me stay sane.
I’m the Buddhist equivalent of that Christian who hasn’t been to church in twenty years. Buddhism has the “three jewels” which are the Buddha (the enlightened), Dharma (the teachings), and Sangha (the community). The last one is difficult because there isn’t a me-friendly Buddhist community I can reach out to locally. I would probably have to travel 80 miles to the next largest city and while not impossible, it’s very impractical.
What does this have to with “from each…to each…”? Well, basically I’ve accepted that I will never be perfect. I’ve accepted that while I think other expect me to be perfect or even “normal”, I’m not going to be. And I’ve accepted that’s not my fault.
Thinking like that makes it so much easier to get through the day. Best of all I can turn it around and assume that since I’m never going to be perfect, neither is anyone else. I also think it’s important to give myself permission to feel less than perfect emotions like anger or frustration as long as I remember that those emotions are situational and temporary.
I need to be accepted for who I am -asexual, aromanic, agender, ect…- but it’s not always within other people’s ability to give that. Believing that I feel part resigned, but I also feel lighter. Now instead of expecting to be understood or accepted I’m pleasantly surprised when I am.