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Dec 24

On Greed and Selfishness

Posted on Thursday, December 24, 2009 in Theories

I was talking to my doctor the other day and the issue of human greed came up.  Are humans inherently greedy?  I personally believe the answer to the question is “No.”  My doctor tried to used the example of how the world is today but what my doctor was forgetting is that the sample population being looked at was only 1% of all humans who ever lived on this planet.  It is my argument that it’s the way it currently is in the world is because of how we teach people to be.  That greed and selfishness isn’t human nature as society likes to preach.

The problem in society is based in the foundation.  That foundation is capitalism.  Capitalism teaches us to be greedy and selfish.  The winners in capitalism are those who exploit, legally rob, and cheat the most people.  Success isn’t measured by how many smiles you bring into the world but by how much money one makes.

Things have only been “this way” for the last 10,000 years.  Before that, humans and the planet were getting along just fine.  The problem started when man decided that the earth belong to him instead of the fact that man belongs to the earth.  I am not saying civilization is inherently bad – the Greeks and the Romans did just fine without causing the destruction on the planet we are now.  Man needs to learn to have the damage done to the planet and the planet’s ability to replenish itself  in sync.

I argue if we were to have a system based on community, sharing, and brotherhood – we would have a different world.  If parents didn’t raise their children to put “me” first.  If we taught that treating others with respect, compassion, and kindness instead of being taught that everything is a commodity.

Even the way we relate to people in retail and service reflects how capitalism has brainwashed society.  We do not see the salespeople as humans who have a family at home and their own problems.  If we did, people wouldn’t get half as mean, nasty, or upset.  We’re so conditioned that we don’t even see having the right to chose what to eat, where to shop, and what to wear as having a privilege.  Most retail stores remove all human aspects from their presentation – with each store, no matter where you are in the world – having the exact same service and the exact same product.  Cookie cutter products for cookie cutter people who like to believe they are “unique.”  It’s all a lie.

A few stores, like Costco have policies that none of their products can come from sweatshop labor.  But, we as consumers are so far removed from the way things are produced that we allow inhumane treatment for our mass produce goods.  Most of the time, people’s clothes are more well traveled than the wearer.  Most people don’t even think about the person who made it – how they have families, problems, and poverty.  We need to focus on having a human community were everyone gets their share.  Global wealth created global poverty.

I think this is one of the harder concepts I have to get people to wrap their heads around.  For every action, there is a reaction.  The reaction of having rich is that we have the poor.  In other countries, there is a limit to how much a CEO can earn.  It makes the gap between the rich and poor less so people are more level.  Not that there isn’t rich and poor, but really, how many yachts do you need?  And how many children die of hunger a day?  Think about it.

One of the main problems is that we are conditioned to not think about it and accept the motto, “This is the way things have always been.”  This is false.  We can change the world and make it a beautiful place for everyone if we just cared a little and put some thought into what we consume.

Dec 10

Peace Needs To Be The Foundation of Our Society

Posted on Thursday, December 10, 2009 in Theories

In order for there to be peace, the whole foundation of our society needs to change.  We live in a society based on violence.  If we are to have peace, we need to have a society based on peace.

Everything from entertainment to what we put in our bellies to what games we play as a child are centered around violence.  We have the “good verses evil” scenario drilled into our heads.  We are taught separation, “us and them.”

Most people are addicted to violence.  Their life revolved around it and they aren’t even aware of it.  If we really valued peace, why would we murder animals for food?  Why would we watch superheroes fighting supervillains for “truth, justice, and doing things our way?”  Why would we teach our children to play with weapons?  Why would we later send our children to war?

Having violence in news, television, and video games are made to desensitize us.  It trains us to even find violence to be entertaining and unquestionably accept it as another part of life.  It makes it so when we hear of war people praise it instead of abhor it.

If we built a society based on peace, the current establishment would collapse.  Our youth wouldn’t want to fight wars.  We wouldn’t murder animals for pleasure.  We would detest the taking of life and value tranquility.

Instead of viewing the world as a conflict; dog eat dog or us verses them, we’d start building community.  Instead of seeing differences as a threat which is the hostile violent reaction to have – we would cherish our differences and embrace them.  If we taught kindness and compassion in place of conformity and unquestioning obedience to authority – we’d have a nurturing and caring world instead of the hostile environment we have.

News flash: The world is the way it is because of us.  Humans make the world the way it is.  The only way the world is going to change is if the people change.  The only way the people are going to change is with education.  The way we’ve been educated: from pre-school to college is inept.  There are so many problems in this world because people weren’t taught properly.  Humans aren’t born knowing how to be human and most people forget that.  The current system doesn’t teach people brotherhood, solidarity, or sharing.  We need to focus on unity regardless of what limits our meat suit proscribes us.  The current school system isn’t focused on building the best people it can.  It’s more focus on building the best worker it can.

The quality of people today is terrible.  It’s just messed up people having messed up children, teaching their kids the same mistake they were taught.  No wonder why the world’s a mess.  The cycle needs to end somewhere.  It can start with you by learning to be a kind, compassionate, and loving human being.  Philosophers, religions, and thinkers across the ages have all been trying to communicate the same idea: That we need to love each other and get along.  That we are all human.  We are all one.

We need to teach ourselves that fighting amongst ourselves is not okay.  That violence is not acceptable.  We need to find a way to tolerate each other and not hate.  There’s so much hate in this world when the foundation should be love.  I was told once by a friend’s mom that “People only act out of pain.”  I thought about it, and she was wrong.  People act out of love too, not just pain.  If we all learned to love a little and have our actions be based in love – the world would be an amazing place.