There was a time when our ancestors roamed in hunter-gatherer bands who lived on the frayed edges of existence. Outsiders were seen as a threat, a valid one indeed. Our survival was insured by this protective, cloistered behavior. We as many other species thrive in a group, a pack or tribe. This us vs. them is a part of us. It is inborn and innate and it starts early.
At one time this tribal mentality worked to our advantage, but as global populations swelled and competition for resources increased, our survival depended not only on the cooperation of a small group but on the greater one at large. It truly does take a a village to survive for most of us. We are not only connected in this village but we are dependent on each other. At the very least, what I do effects my neighbor and vice versa.
This is not a choice. It is a fact.
Another fact: the earth is changing. Regardless of why, it is and we as a species must adapt. This requires cooperation and understanding. This at least requires an honest and constructive discourse with each other and ourselves.
Circumstances and surroundings change faster than we do. It is our ability to adapt paired with luck that has gotten us this far.
There is no room for us vs them. This way of thinking leads to the inclusion of some at the exclusion of others. It is a childish attitude that must be eradicated. We need to grow beyond all this. We all belong to each other on this beautiful planet we share. We are beyond boundary lines and colored shapes on a map.
We as a species have always seemed to thrive on war. Is it even possible for the human race not to have war? Will fate allow us the time it takes to evolve past this ultimately self-destructive inclination?
Is it even possible for us to evolve past this? Is it within the capabilities of humankind to not only see humanity as a whole but as a connected and thriving whole capable of almost limitless potential?
Can we even entertain this as a realistic outcome to our present manic state?
“Non-violence leads to the highest ethics, which is the goal of all evolution. Until we stop harming all other living beings, we are still savages.”
― Thomas A. Edison
I am reminded of the story of the Scorpion and the frog.
One fine spring morning a scorpion spied a frog at the edge of a stream. “Hello friend frog.” said the scorpion with a smile. “Could you please ferry me across to the other side of the stream?” At first the frog refused; bringing up the valid point that it feared the scorpion would sting it. After much sweet talk the scorpion convinces the frog it will not. “After all…” said the scorpion to the frog: “I cannot swim therefore if I sting you we shall surely both perish.” The frog finally consents and allows the scorpion to climb on its back. It proceeds to make the swim across the stream. Suddenly the scorpions stings the frog. “Why did you do that?!” asks the frog as they both sink below the surface. “It is my nature”. The scorpion explains.
Isn’t it fortunate we are human beings and not scorpions or frogs? It is possible to evolve past our violent and self-destructive nature into something wondrous and incredible. We are a thinking, reasoning species and we do have the advantage over other animals because we can and do play a a major role in guiding our evolution.
We as a species are about to embark on a great challenge and opportunity. It can be an opportunity if we see it that way.
“In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity”
― Albert Einstein
Wishing you a fantastic and peaceful day!
Dream the impossible dream by JIM NABORS (Gomer Pyle)
Is War Inevitable? (discovermagazine.com)
The Evolution of Human Aggression (LiveScience.com)