It would seem that we measure the success of our societies by the cutting edge of gaining, by speeding up production processes and creating surpluses which will be distributed not by necessity but via the logic of a highest bid. So we are more advanced the faster we can take a raw thing from nature, transform it and sell it or use and discard it. Yet, you know that this is not how it was supposed to be, you feel it in your bones this is not sustainable and that it has nothing to do with reality, that the measure of a society should be the same as measure of a men that comprise it – how you treat those who can’t do anything for you, the compassion, empathy and altruism that made us raise from the mud in the first communities.
It is a biological fact that we cannot survive alone. You’re born helpless and need others to live, you are a node in network, and nothing works if the network doesn’t work. It wouldn’t have been possible for new generations to emerge and flourish if the community didn’t take care of the young ones of those who went to hunt, explore and gather or work. Without cooperation and altruism it wouldn’t have been possible to build things, from a mud hut to a robotic arm, a computer… This is our true nature – to work together on a common goal and not to be pitted against each other to compete for flickering bank statuses on screens, home locations or resources. This is not real, but has become the great equalizer, the thing that your life is stamped by as successful or unsuccessful.
When you peel of all the layers that are manmade, only compassion and love remain and their lack in the everyday interactions makes people feel alone surrounded by crowds. Sure (if we’re lucky to have people we love) we show love and compassion to them but then put up a wall when going out into the world because being altruistic in business, politics or culture is somehow deemed naive – and if you’re the only one that is applying the principle it really truly is by context naive. Mental illness is rampant as never before. Some of it may be attributed to better diagnostic tools but the majority is not. It is the dissolving of core values and purposes, where “serve in love” degenerated into getting, owning and manipulating. Depression, anxiety and addiction are not lacks of chemicals or substance dependance, they are a lack of connection. Trauma is defined by a symptom repeating itself in a loop and not being resolved. If all sides are just repeating the mantra of what they want and not listening to anyone else conflict is inevitable and if the means of resolving it is to scream your demands louder nothing gets solved. If there is no compassion and altruism there is no society. You were not built to hate, plunder and wall yourself into a personal bubble. You were built to expand, connect and make your life worthwhile by enhancing the whole you’re a part of.
We’ve all come here with some specific gift that can help – be it building things, being apt to philosophy, being able to tell stories and distill the truth, the ability to assemble or manage things… It can be leveraged for good. The tool is only as valuable as the thing you use it for. It might be hard when the incentive governs the action and usage, when you are rewarded for selfishness and are tilted towards personal gain, but it doesn’t matter. You’re not a conditioned beast, you’re a human being and just looking around your closest surroundings you can immediately see spaces that can be changed by you shifting your perspective to encompass the whole. Try it, just ask the question who or what you can help – but you need to want to hear the answer that will come flooding into the consciousness. There is no more noble purpose than to serve without expecting reciprocity, to serve because that is your calling and embedded into your being. If that is the universal imperative there si no lack, you will be taken care of for the basic needs. So just today, take a moment, step out of yourself and ask someone “How can I help?”. Because you can.