Difference should be appreciated. As long as people live by the principle of no harm, non-violence and tolerance, there is no cause to censure different paths to a common goal.
There is no excuse for sadists, dictators, and slave masters. All of them care for their own families, but at the expense of others. Even the tyrant is insecure when the principle of no harm is betrayed.
If people do not wish harm done to them, they must not harm others. Harm includes any constraints that harm some more than others. Any constraint must be an equal constraint on everyone or be removed.
Growth is in diversity. When the principle of no harm is held in common all people experience their greatest growth contributing in their own ways, because all are free and secure to do so.
Individuals are in the best position to determine their own fulfilment according to their own situations. How they fulfil their responsibilities are their own decisions. As such there is an unlimited variety of community forms and family structures.
Marriage may be religiously sacrosanct, but the forms of family that fulfil the lives of all participants are best, and any relationship where one participant asserts control over another is harmful.
If dependants are harmed they should reside with whom their lives will be best fulfilled, even if that is not the natural parents. People in abusive homes are not safe. They need havens and sanctuaries to escape the structures of abuse and control that afflict their families.
Millions are wasted on prisons and mental health services that catch those damaged at the end of their breakdown. People need safe places where they can escape their homes, and advisors who can help them think what to do, before they break.
Extended families, uncles, aunts, grandparents, even friends can make a vital difference providing sanctuary for others. For children, indirect universal incomes – free childcare, healthcare and education – targeting them and not their parents can make a powerful difference.
Stress is a symptom of discord with the prevalent culture. It is a result of potential not being fulfilled in cultures of control and inequality, where opportunity is distributed unevenly and avenues of expression are limited.
When wealth is unshared people become desperate. This leads people to harm because they are harmed.
Homelessness is a symptom of the stress that comes with living in a culture where harm prevails and fulfilment is limited. Alcohol and drug abuse are self-medication for a lack of purpose and harm. Depression, anxiety and suicide are other symptoms.
Education on the harmful effects of drugs is not enough. People who use them addictively are using them to self-medicate or self-harm themselves in a bid to escape their own mental angst. If physical harm results it only reflects the harm they feel inside.
Alcohol, drug abuse and crime can be reduced when fulfilment without harm is paramount. If the fundamentals are right the rest can be resolved.
[Excerpt from The Common Purpose Manifesto]