Humans are naturally inwardly focused. We want to survive and take care of ourselves. Once we have that covered, we might take care of others if there is a foreseeable benefit to us. Sometimes we will even take care of other if it doesn't seem to benefit us, but this is natural programming and it makes sense. We evolve altruistic traits because it helps us live in a society and even be more attractive to the opposite sex (sometimes being careless is more attractive though). We operate ultimately for our own end...
Or do we?
There is something inside some of us that cares more. It allows us to rise above the callous of the world, and to truly work towards something better—even if we know that we won't be around to feel the change.
The expansion of the understanding of self to encompass others makes selfishness and pride good for the group.
Half steps in expansion of self wage problems in our world. Nationalism, religion and nearly any sort of “ist” or “ism” other than humanism causes a division. So long as there is division, a person can demonize another (because that other is separate from their sense of self) and feel free to harm or kill that person.
Humanism is humanity's only hope for something better.
You want to save the world? Stop being part of the problem. Realize that every last person in the world is a part of your self. Every injustice is an injustice to you, your people and your world. When one dies unjustly, don't ask “for whom the bell tolls” because I assure you, “it tolls for thee.” We rely on each other more today than yesterday and will rely on each other more tomorrow. We have no choice but to realize this or risk annihilation.
So what do you do? Change the way you think. Understand that the world is a part of you and that injustice a thousand miles away might as well be on your doorstep. Don't vote with your wallet in mind. Respect people for the positive influence that they have on the world. Realize that, no mater what another person looks like or how different they seem from you, you both have a mind and can think and feel. You are both trying to do what is best. There is no battle between good and evil, only battles between two ideas of different goods.
Because if one person can change, maybe we all can.
This won't get any better while you and I are still alive. In fact, the effects might not even be noticeable to our children. That doesn't matter to me and it shouldn't matter to you.
© DO NOT EAT 2006