Sage advice from an elderly gentleman perched atop a lonely mountain.
Hello friends! Today our question comes from Zach Rumsten of Arcata, California.
“Dear Banaba,” Zach writes, “Can’t we all just get along?”
To my new friend Zach, I say simply, “No.”
But of course, that is me kidding with you. If I’m being totally honest, the best answer I can give is a solid maybe.
You see, we have always had the skills and abilities to get along, and by we, I’m going to guess that Zach means all of us on this planet. But, despite our infinite skills and abilities, it seems we cannot all just get along. To take it one step further, it seems we are not all that interested in making it happen. So, it is not that we can’t. It is more likely that we don’t or won’t.
While that sounds bad, understand that the situation is not entirely hopeless, but our history shows there is little motivation within the human species to work for and achieve global harmony, so until the proper motivation comes, we sit in this tenuous middle ground.
Humans are animals. Despite the work we have done over the span of our evolution to grow beyond our base programing, what is in us exists and continues to prove difficult to overcome with any real permanence or global vision.
Humans have ongoing and eternal base needs like satisfying hunger and thirst, the need for shelter, the need for a sense of safety, the need for companionship, family, community, accomplishment, self-expression and so on.
On the plus side, humans generally have within them the ability to display compassion, understanding, fortitude, love, empathy, charity, a willingness to learn and grow, imagination, creativity, endurance and so on.
However, in direct conflict with those traits, we are also wired for greed and envy, pettiness, ignorance, ego, bigotry, fear, selfishness, laziness, a hunger for power or dominance, ruthlessness, revenge, hatred and so on.
The reason we cannot all get along is that we cannot reconcile, or adequately balance our positive traits with our negative traits while in the pursuit of satisfying our base needs.
It has been proven over and over that the world we live on, despite the lack of care we show for it, has the resources to adequately provide for the needs of its people, but the use, control and distribution of those resources is based on economy, not charity. So, while we could live in a world where everyone has what they need, instead, we live in a world where there is great disparity between us. You can get what you need, if you have the money or other resources to do so. If you do not have the resources…sad for you, your struggles will be great.
In this case, size and situation matters little. You can see that there are people in the world who have sought power and dominance over others by any means possible for selfish returns. And while those examples very clearly illustrate the negatives of the human animal, those same shortcomings are easily found throughout the chain of human existence from governments, to corporations, to smaller businesses and organizations, to towns and villages, to churches, to neighborhoods, to families, to individuals.
We serve ourselves first. We help others if we can, as we can, if we remember, as long as it does not diminish our position in anyway or is in anyway inconvenient. We adhere to our biases, we contort our religious doctrines to suit our purposes, we forget to forgive and forget. We fail to recognize that we often do ourselves what we curse others for. We ridicule what we don’t understand and we bully those who seem less than we are and so many things.
There are exceptions of course, and that is where hope lies. There are people who wish to, and work to, serve the greater good and put the needs of others before themselves, but there are not enough. And the ones we have cannot do all that needs to be done on their own. They need help.
It starts with simple questions like Zach’s. Can’t we all just get along? Perhaps. Maybe.
When you get to the point where you are ready to ask the question, you should also be at the point where you decide how you can answer the question in your own world. How do you live? What do you do to bring hope and harmony to your existence? What are you willing to change? Are you able to grow beyond who you think you are today?
Not easy questions and not the only questions, but if you have opened yourself up to a broader vision of a greater world, asking the questions is not enough.
Peace to you – Banaba
To read other “Something to Ponder” entries, search for Banaba at the top of the page.
Copyright © 2018 – The JEFFWORKS