The news seems to be as bleak as ever, … but the outlook is worse.
There have always been stories of blood, death, corruption and pollution but now the consequences are more global and terminal. There is even a rationale argument that we are past tipping point, but I choose to believe that there is still time to change.
Humans are clearly amazing. Just look around you to see the conveniences and contrivances that make life easy and enjoyable. You’re probably reading this on a computer or phone. Isn’t that fantastic?!
And we’re lovely, especially when we’ve had enough to eat and we’re in a good mood. We’re creative – art, music, dance – and innovative.
So how come the systems for peace and justice don’t seem to work? How come the food we buy is poisoned with chemicals? How come the clothes we wear are made by slaves? How come we’re on top and others are below?
Because we’ve stopped being human. We’ve stopped thinking and regressed to primitive instinct and are prodded by rules and advertising to lie and steal. That is a black and white caricature, but it is closer to the truth than we admit.
And how did we get this way?
We looked at our neighbour’s stuff and wanted more. We didn’t care they are the same as us. Or that we’ve pretty much got the same. Or that in order to get the stuff you have to give up really living. We were duped in to thinking that sitting on a throne is more enjoyable than hanging out with friends.
How did that happen? Fear and greed. That’s OK, because it’s natural. At the beginning instinct and survival rule. That model is fine at the beginning, when the beast is starting to develop language and tools. That time has passed. Now it’s about civilisation. We have moved beyond survival, egocentric, controlling, strategic, even tested consensus models. But all of our systems have been exclusive. About US and THEM. And now it’s about more than US or THEM, it’s about more than US and THEM. It’s about everything.
Everything is connected from politics to environment, from work to play, from business to family. So we must use all we know and move beyond exclusive thinking to inclusive thinking.
This starts with putting yourself in the other person’s shoes.
If you don’t want to be … hit, bombed, starved, underpaid, overworked, abused, cheated or lied to, stolen from, … then don’t do those things. And that means all people, and animals too. And realise that plants are the foundation of life so treat them well.
There are responsibilities too. About compassion and generosity to others, about working when you’re getting paid to work, about openness and disclosure, about care for other’s stuff.
It all sounds so simple. Do the right thing the right way. It’s actually not that hard. It even feels good sometimes.
But we don’t all behave that way. We don’t because of ignorance or complacency. Sometimes it’s peer pressure. But when we’re at the top, there’s no excuse. Then we’re just choosing to be corrupt and corrupt the system.
It’s quite clear that we do have the means and understanding to give people the minimum resources and guidance to lead fulfilled lives. But we don’t do that. Half the world starves, a few million (say 30 million people, or less than half a percent (< 0.5%)) have more than that bottom half. You can see that we’ve chosen that because the evidence is all around. We all get to choose the way we live, the stuff we buy, the talk we talk, the jobs we do and when you add it all up, … you get what we’ve got. That’s common sense right?!
We can change. We can do things differently. We could grow up. We could do the things we’re supposed to. We could give more, take less. Be more open, honest. Stop consuming when you’ve had enough. Understand the connection between your choice to buy … food, clothes, furniture, toys, transport, holidays, homes, cars, votes … and the consequences for other people and for the life of earth.
People don’t want to blow themselves up. They might do it out of desperation or ignorance. But they’d rather have a decent life. So deliver resource to live, work and play, deliver education and technology and the freedom to choose. Choose to share.