Voluntarism, Love and Ultimatums

Voluntarism is the philosophy of voluntary interaction. It really needs no definition. The word says it all. Of course, there are exceptions to voluntarism. One that comes to mind is when someone violates the rights of someone else. In that case, remedy may be enforced.

Voluntarism recognizes that we are all different. We have different goals, different expectations, different preferences, to name a few. It requires that we accept these differences and either choose to associate or not.

An ultimatum is a demand on another that breaches voluntary associations. It requires the other to bend to our will. Ultimatums are proper in a contractual setting. As an employer demanding an employee show up on time or risk termination. But when an ultimatum is issued to a family member or loved one, the person making the demand will loose every time.

Love is acceptance and forgiveness. If we can not accept something about another it is usually about past transgressions by another or it may simply be that we can not condone a certain behavior or lifestyle. In either case we must ask ourselves, “Do I love this person enough to accept that which I do not like and cannot change?” It is never the other person that must make a choice, it is always us. In fact, we put ourselves in the unenviable position of making painful choices all because we cannot accept and forgive.

If we cannot accept and forgive then there is no love. Of course, the exception to this is when another harms us. It is then a breach of voluntary association on the part of the other and remedy is in order.

Voluntarism and ultimatums cannot co-exist. They are mutually exclusive.

We see ultimatums being issued right and left these days and seldom do we see people making an effort to accept differences between themselves and others. This can only lead to conflict. And conflict can escalate into war. We have only one avenue to peace. And that is voluntarism. Acceptance and forgiveness. Can you think of another way that insures peace without violence, intimidation and fear? I can’t.


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