Selfishness – The Biggest Problem With Humanity Today?


In my travels in the world of twitter, I came across this tweet from the Wall Street Journal, asking a simple question of their followers (and presumably, readers). A look down the list of peoples reply tweets, shows most people answering the question honestly, using both options listed.

But when I read this, it struck me that there is a 3ed option that seems to have been missed by all of the above, and an option that seems quite important.

Basically, your being asked if you base your college choices around your passion, or your monetary goals. Which both are centered around the individual. Option #3, is a path  that benefits the species (humanity) as a whole.

Though its hardly surprising that most people would not realize this, it seems important that they do. The reason that people in modern society’s can for the most part, pick and choose their careers based on their personal passions and characteristics, is because all the variables of personal survival were largely removed by the advent of agriculture. When you do not have to worry about where your next meal is coming from, how your going to heat your house etc, then you can concentrate your energy in other areas. Which has been great for science, the arts (of all kinds), and any number of other subjects.

But in todays world, it is becoming more and more apparent, that the world that we have thrived in right from past generations to today, is changing. Whether you see it as a natural event, or a mankind driven event, is irrelevent to the fact that, the change is happening. Though climate change is the first to come to mind (and arguably one of the most dangerous), it is certainly not the only factor.
The various resources that blanket and make our modern world possible, are drying up. These are resources that most now are heavily reliant on for survival, and also resources that have no known replacements. Oil is the one that comes to mind first, in this case.
A large part of the conundrum lies with figureheads from decades past putting all their eggs in the basket of petroleum. Even though literally every other aspect of life was changing, the combustion engine was not to be one of those things. The same could be said for almost anything associated with the fossil fuel industry. Why would you want to change, at the expense of your profits?

And so, you have the world we live in today.

The greed of the petrol industry has largely squashed research into sources of post-petroleum energy, leaving us nearly at the bottom of the tank, 25,000 miles from the nearest station. The affects of the combustion of all those fossil fuels, becomes more and more evident with each passing week, assuming you choose to see it for what it is. And on top of that, we keep on chugging along with our rampant resource consumption, even though those are also drying up.

Some people see the iceberg, but choose to deny it, or to look away. Some see it, and think “Fuck it. Whats done is done” (me, I admit).

But the vast majority, are blissfully unaware. Their parents, and the society around them, has taught them that self preservation and fulfillment trumps all else, and so they go about their daily lives as such. Since the resources keep flowing into the cities, its easy to see why someone can become so immersed in the life. A holographic life, if I use a term once used by a respected online friend of mine. Though mother nature gives those city folk a kick in the ass and makes the changes come to life every so often, for the most part, the delusion is unbroken. I see it in the media, online, even in my own family (dwellers in Manitoba‘s capital).

Which is a scary thought. When one considers that the only thing that may break the delusion, is the whole system gradually unraveling before all our eyes. Which is a day late and a dollar short, or put in simpler terms, to late.

Though the problems that face us all (whether you agree or acknowledge them or not does not change there status  as facts) are seemingly gargantuan, all problem resolution begins with small steps. The first being with the collective attitude of humanity. Though personal growth and fulfillment was possible in past years and decades, it is no longer so.

Its time to become less of a city full of individuals, and more of a community. The first step is looking out for one another. Then you can work on ways of being self sufficient, and on building networks of communities to purchase/trade/barter for items that can not be procured in your area.

Selfishness is not good for anyone. And collectively crashing and burning, is certainly not going to do anyone any good. So why not start now?

The change is on the way, whether you like it or not.