185 – State of Humankind …

The troubling state humankind has reached after millions of years of evolution and ‘progress’ disheartens me. We are technologically advanced yet ignorant about what we are doing to our world. Our institutions of commerce, governance, religion, and education are dominated by such levels of greed for power and control that they are blind – are they? – to the obscenity of what they stubbornly perpetuate. They are the creators, the promoters, the instigators of a greedy and divisive economic system so destructive that it is overwhelming the planet’s natural resources.

The warning signs of the impending catastrophe this economic system is bringing upon us are loud and clear, yet the increasing levels of consumption and population growth it demands continue their devastating march without a hint of introspection from those leading the parade.

What is it about us, a species threatened by a catastrophe of our own making, that the profits of corporations seem to be more important than the survival of Humanity? Have we lost our minds, we, supposedly the smartest creatures on Earth?

I believe that the dominance of greed in human nature began to take a hold on us during the called Agricultural Revolution, a time in our evolution when early humans were congregating in increasing numbers, which pressed them to transition from hunting and roaming to agriculture and communal settlements. This transition permitted the buildup and storage of goods, which then became not only a source of relative stability and security but also of profit and, ultimately, greed.

A degree of greed is necessary for survival. Still, it has become so abnormally dominant in our cultures that we accept it as essential to what we deem is ‘economic progress.’ The normalization of greed has made us blind to its consequences and the recognition that it is the root of the exploitation of the vulnerable and the obscene levels of inequality that throw millions of human lives into displacement, poverty, and despair.

How to even begin to think about a way to reverse the virulence of greed among us? How, when we are so prone to avoid reflection upon our own history?

To re-orient human nature toward a different path seems a monumental if not impossible task … a miracle! … yet science can do it with a swoop of its accumulated knowledge. In the same way scientists are using the advancements in communications to spread the warning signs of an environment in crisis, they can spread 1 – the fact that like atoms, or cells, or planetary systems, we are parts of Nature, and as such, those beautiful theories they devise to describe Nature also describe us; like atoms, or cells, or planetary systems, we are organizations of myriad components predetermined by environments yet endowed with a degree of freedom in adaptation, and 2 – the fact that most of us do not want a world dominated by greed, a world that threatens our survival, a world without peace, without compassion, perhaps even without us!

Revised January 2021   

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