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 Blooming Stars

Non-exploitative Relationships

            Non-exploitative human relationships that is mutual and infinitely respectful of the other person/s. is very important for human living. We live in a world of exploitation of humans and nature. The Me Generation typically asks: “What’s in it for me?” Gratification of immediate needs and is what really matters. Humans live in societies, and are bound by relationships. These relationships to be healthy need to be mutual and respectful of others. Any relationship that exploits another human being is toxic and harmful to all parties involved. Humanity came thus far through many toxic and destructive arrangements (relationships). These arrangements, to name a few, can be king/queen-subject, master-slave, master/boss-servant, employer-employee relationships. Parties to these relationships are all unequal. Humanity has not yet gotten out of the woods with regards to these arrangements.

            Historically, communism with good intentions has unfortunately taken an authoritarian path and failed miserably. Current communism where it is prevalent has not gotten rid of authoritarian and oppressive ways. A major task for humanity is to devise ingenious ways to eliminate toxicity in any relationship. A form of humanistic communism or socialism could be an answer. A socialistic pattern of society envisaged by those who formulated the Indian Constitution taking the best from the constitutions of the west (especially USA and UK) has not so far succeeded. My experiment with commune living in the USA also failed. New forms of commune living needs to be experimented with, until we arrive at one that is practical and beneficial for all. Selfishness, greed, and vested interests that do not consider the common good are the major blocks.

            True enlightenment and consciousness-raising measures (conscientization) are the real needs of the time. In the present economy, employer-employee relationships, though not ideal, needs to be constantly refined. Years ago when I was working for children’ psychiatric hospital operated by the Missouri Department of Mental Health in the USA, a colleague of mine pointing to the executive director of the hospital said to me: “Your boss is coming”. And my response to my colleague at the time was: “She is not my boss; the people of Missouri who pay my wage are”. Conscientious and aware living is not easy. In this imperfect world temporary, time-limited subordination in practical living is unavoidable. But it is important to make our relationships as mutual and respectful as possible.

            The most desirable relationship is the I-Thou relationship proposed by Martin Buber. In this kind of relationship all are sovereign subjects; no one is an object. No one is used by another as an object for his/her pleasure or advantage. Truly spiritual persons are characterized by non-exploitative, mutual, and respectful relationships.


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