As defined in meriam-webster.com, a manifesto is “a written statement declaring publicly the intentions, motives, or views of its issuer.” It has Italian roots, from manifestare to manifest, originating from the Latin manifestus.
Typically, a manifesto is presented in no particular order. It’s a laundry list of proclamations that portray what an organization, group or individual believes in no uncertain terms.
I think everyone has their own personal manifesto that we hold inside and don’t want to necessarily release to the public in fear of sounding overly self-righteous or of possibly being attacked by those who may vehemently disagree with our beliefs. Nonetheless, I think it’s a great exercise to write out your personal manifesto and add and subtract to it as you see fit primarily because it really gets you thinking about yourself and your relationship to the world around you.
I’ve been working on mine, and in the spirit of sharing, and hopefully not sounding too self-righteous, here it is (very much still a work in progress) below. (Please post your manifesto in the comments section if you care to; it would make for great reading, as well as possibly stir up some great discussions.)
- Many of society’s problems would be eliminated if every employer paid their employees a livable wage, and if decent education opportunities were more available to everyone for a low cost or for free.
- Develop a global mindset – think about the poverty-stricken that are so prevalent worldwide and how lucky you truly are.
- Don’t be afraid of being a nonconformist, and don’t be afraid of speaking your mind and sticking up for what you believe is right. You may not have a lot of close friends with this kind of mindset, but you will be true to yourself, which is more important than having a lot of superficial friends.
- If someone tells you that you can’t do something that you really want to do – and it does not harm anyone – do it with pride.
- I believe that the government has to intervene at times. While there is certainly bad government, there is also certainly good government.
- Politicians should have to pass some kind of intelligence test before being given the right to run for any office. They should also be required to sign some kind of contractual agreement or oath that would hold them more accountable to the promises they make during campaigns.
- Campaign contributions to any political race should be equal. In other words, no candidate should be allowed to have a larger war chest of campaign contributions than any of his or her opponents.
- Many need to tone down the constant drive toward having more and more and more.
- Many need to eradicate the exaggerated admiration of the wealthy.
- Let’s talk about what brings us together, not what divides us.
- I believe in the total separation of church and state. Bringing religion into politics will only further divide us.
- Look more closely at our religious commonalities and not the differences. All of the world’s major religions have more things in common than differences.
- Government assistance to the poor should be increased, not lessened. Sure, there will be abuses – those who are more fortunate, work harder, or are wealthy through birth are not perfect either. We are all equally human, and some need more help than others. We need more compassion for the poor and disenfranchised.
- My heart tells me that we should let anyone into our country who wants to enter, as long as they are law-abiding citizens. Isn’t that pretty much how our country started in the first place?
- False advertising has become rampant and needs to be obliterated.
- People need to be nicer – and not so quick to provide an opinion about something they really know nothing about. In other words, educate yourself as thoroughly as possible before speaking out.
- I don’t care about anyone’s sexuality, and I don’t believe anybody should define their self by their sexuality. Marriage should be a legal agreement between two consenting adults, regardless of sex. Sex should be a private matter.
- The corporate mindset of profits above all else, if not abated, could be the ruin of mankind.
- Parents, to their best ability, must be very actively involved in the moral and educational growth of their children. Being actively involved does not mean they will succeed, but it will certainly increase the odds for success.
- What you do to your mind and body is your concern and nobody else’s – as long as you are not harming or have the potential to harm anyone in the process. Anyone should also be allowed to end his or her life at his or her discretion. In other words, assisted suicide should be legalized.
- There are laws that must be obeyed, such as driving rules, no-smoking rules, you can’t physically or mentally harm someone intentionally, no stealing, respect others at all times, no fraudulent behavior, no bullying, no slandering, do not lie, honor and obey the golden rule, etc …
- As a society I believe we need to take a good, hard look at what the media is covering while still allowing it the freedom to publish whatever it wants to publish. In other words, we, as individuals, need to become more active in exposing and spreading the word about poor and dishonest media practices.
- Take care of the planet as best as you can. Keep working on becoming a greener person.
- Always challenge authority.
- Have a healthy skepticism, especially when someone professes belief in anything that cannot be proven.
- Form your own belief system based on your inner self. Pay close attention to what goes on inside your head and do not live in fear. Develop your individual educational pathway.
- Find joy in the sake of learning for its own sake.
- Many of today’s drugs that are illegal and/or need a prescription should be legalized and easy to obtain without a prescription for everyone who is 18 or older. Additionally, if you must register for the armed services and can then die for your country, you should also have the right to drink alcohol, although I do not condone taking drugs or drinking alcohol (in excess).