the assumption of responsibility for the welfare of the world
ROLES IN THE STEWARDSHIP
The stewardship is above all a single, unitary phenomenon in the universe, the result of the transcendent ethic within consciousness, pervading consciousness and thus reflected in its judgement to the extent that it understands its own transcendence. But as consciousness is divided into minds, each having a different perspective on the universe, so the stewardship is divided into minds, each functioning from its own point, each realizing the ethic of stewardship in a unique way. Each steward, each mind within the stewardship, practices a different version of the basic role of the steward; each develops a different emphasis within the various subroles. But each steward also understands that to be a steward is to assume responsibility for the welfare of the universe, to hold accountable itself and others with regard to all things, and that in meeting that responsibility it will be called upon to act in many roles.
The steward as arbiter
The function of consciousness in the universe is to observe the universe from a particular perspective, and make and implement decisions based on conclusions which could only be reached through observation. The steward-arbiter recognizes that to make decisions is at the heart of its responsibility. It does not hesitate to exert its influence on the course of events. As a mind and a steward, it has both the authority and the obligation to do so.
The steward as advocate
Stewardship is inseparable from the service of truth. And strengthening the stewardship requires promoting the ideals of stewardship. Finally, holding others accountable is best done, if at all possible, by word alone, by praise and censure. The steward-advocate accepts each of these responsibilities, and speaks the truth and speaks of the ideals of stewardship whenever possible, in a clear voice, using the full force of its reason.
The steward as ministrant
Speaking is not enough; true stewardship is not simply belief, but action on that belief, and requires attention to the physical needs of the universe, and especially to those who are suffering. The steward-ministrant, taking personal, immediate responsibility for the world, gives its time and effort in direct service, taking on the tasks that need doing, working with its own body to help others and preserve the world.
The steward as guardian
To preserve the world, to defend those in it from harm, and to hold accountable those who would exercise dominion over the world or its inhabitants, it is often necessary to use force. This is not desirable, but the innocent must not suffer to preserve the purity of the stewards. The steward-guardian knows that peace, when breached, must be restored, and that this cannot always be done short of violence. Lives lost cannot be restored, and necessary resources wasted cannot always be replaced, and so the prevention of suffering requires immediate action. The steward-guardian embraces its function as arbiter, and is willing to make difficult decisions and act on them, when the consequences of inaction are too great.
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