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Feminism … I think the simplest explanation, and one that captures the idea, is a song that Marlo Thomas sang, ‘Free to be You and Me.’ Free to be, if you were a girl—doctor, lawyer, Indian chief. Anything you want to be. And if you’re a boy, and you like teaching, you like nursing, you would like to have a doll, that’s OK too. That notion that we should each be free to develop our own talents, whatever they may be, and not be held back by artificial barriers—manmade barriers, certainly not heaven sent.
Some of the first human beings in whom the new consciousness emerged fully became the great teachers of humanity, such as Buddha, Lao Tzu, or Jesus, although their teachings were greatly misunderstood, especially when they turned into organized religion. They were the first manifestations of the flowering of human consciousness.
One of the bigger mistakes of our time, I suppose, was preaching the demonization of all judgment without teaching how to judge righteously. We now live in an age where, apart from the inability to bear even good judgment when it so passes by, still everyone, inevitably, has a viral opinion (judgment) about everything and everyone, but little skill in good judgment as its verification or harness.
It is my fundamental conviction that compassion – the natural capacity of the human heart to feel concern for and connection with another human being – constitutes a basic aspect of our nature shared by all human beings, as well as being the foundation of our happiness. All ethical teachings, whether religious or nonreligious, aim to nurture this innate and precious quality, to develop it and to perfect it.