Throughout human development, nature has always been giving while we have evolved egoistically, taking for ourselves. This is normal, since per nature’s plan, our evolution was meant to be self-centered for a certain period of time.
It is similar to children who grow up by taking what their parents provide. They are content with it. As the children mature, then the parents’ attitude changes toward them: “That’s it, you’re on your own now. Work, take charge of your life and face the consequences for any mistakes you make.”
We have grown up like children over millennia, but today’s world has undergone a significant shift in relation to us. Today’s world has become globally interconnected and interdependent, and it likewise demands adult-like behavior from us, i.e., that our attitudes to each other harmoniously adapt to the global interconnectedness and interdependence. Much like a person aged 20 to 25 starting to work, build a life and engage with the world on a new level, humanity has now entered adulthood.
While our nature is egoistic, prioritizing self-benefit over benefiting others and nature, we have reached a stage where we need to become independent from this nature—to choose to rise above it and construct a new society built on positive connections that we establish above our inborn egoistic ones.
We have selfishly evolved over thousands of years and today we need to connect on a new foundation, by exercising mutual support, responsibility and consideration in our relations. If we remain unwilling to adjust our attitudes according to nature’s new demands for us, then we will face the consequences: myriad forms of suffering entering our lives on personal, social, global and ecological scales.
We have transitioned into adulthood, but we resist this transition. As children, we had no obligations, but as adults, we face the burden of taking responsibility for our lives. However, we still wish to cling to the toys and games of our childhood, and make no progress in upgrading our attitudes to each other. It actually looks quite disturbing, as if we are adults still sitting in a sandbox, playing with toy trucks and dolls.
Also, it is not limited to ordinary folk; the world’s leading and esteemed figures are just as reluctant to outgrow this phase. They claim that there is enough to play with—stocks, money, cars, wine and movies, to name a few: “Why bother with mutual responsibility when we have enough toys to play with?”
This is a major problem. Due to our unwillingness to upgrade our attitudes to each other in order to match today’s new globally interconnected and interdependent conditions, we endure many blows that we would otherwise be able to alleviate. As we continue avoiding this transition, increasing suffering will act as a constant reminder that we will have to eventually get out of the sandbox. It is my hope that we manage to do so sooner rather than later.