Michael Laitman
Founder and president of Bnei Baruch Kabbalah Education & Research Institute

Mutual Responsibility – the Foundation of Society

Today’s society worships the ego. Everyone who is “someone” shows himself in the most egocentric way. This is true of social media icons as it is true of sports stars, pop stars, politicians, and even money moguls. However, a society that worships selfishness undermines the very meaning of the term “society.” For a society to exist, it must focus on the social rather than on the individual. If it focuses on the latter, it will disintegrate, which is what we are seeing around the world today.

Social relations can exist only when all the parties recognize that they have a mutual benefit from each other that they cannot achieve on their own. The benefit must be big enough for them to relinquish some of their independence in return for greater rewards, such as greater chances of survival, better child rearing, or solidified economic prosperity.

For this reason, a society whose idols are those who contribute to the cohesion of society strengthens itself and the well-being of its members. Conversely, a society that idolizes people who focus on themselves and often act against the interests of society pulls the rug out from under itself. Such a society will collapse sooner or later since it fails to meet the most basic requirement of a society: mutual responsibility.

Once a group of people has established a basic level of mutual responsibility, it can begin to build more complex structures such as clans, cities, and nations. The higher the level of mutual responsibility in society, the more it can grow and expand.

Nevertheless, it is a challenge to maintain mutual responsibility because human egoism is not static, but is constantly evolving. Therefore, cultivating mutual responsibility must be a constant task for society. Otherwise, it will collapse. Since we have neglected this for many decades now, we are witnessing an increasing degree of disintegration and dissolution in society.

Humanity has reached a crossroads: It can continue to avoid cultivating mutual responsibility in order to rise above the growing ego, or it can return to cultivating it until it becomes stronger than the current level of egoism. If it chooses the latter, it will achieve such a level of cohesion that people will stop feeling separated from each other. They will reach a new level of closeness, as if they were inseparable in their hearts, in their souls.

Once they achieve that level, the struggles among people that we see today will become internal struggles, where people grapple with their own egoism, which separates them from society. People will attain a completely different level of perception; they will experience oneness on levels they never thought existed.

This is where the current struggle between egoism and mutual responsibility is leading, and it will end in one of two ways: unity or war.

About the Author
Michael Laitman is a PhD in Philosophy and Kabbalah. MSc in Medical Bio-Cybernetics. Founder and president of Bnei Baruch Kabbalah Education & Research Institute. Author of over 40 books on spiritual, social and global transformation. His new book, The Jewish Choice: Unity or Anti-Semitism, is available on Amazon: