Only A Full Social Change Will Save The World
(This article first appeared at inspirationfeed.com on 10 Jul 2013)
Social change can happen when one person does something to initiate change that others follow in sufficient numbers that a critical mass is reached, at which point enough momentum is gathered for the movement to be self-propelling.
That’s the ideal, natural, democratic way that change occurs in human society. Historically the change is long lived and contributes to what is universally deemed to be the continually evolving concept of ‘progress’.
Most people, no matter what their circumstance, will concede that the world needs change in many forms. You could say, we need ‘saving’, be it from tyranny, socialism, capitalism, environmental degradation, moral degradation, suppression of free will etc, etc, – the list is long and the problems very real but is also full of diametrically opposed world views. In a world that is clearly troubled, how can we possibly bring about the necessary changes, ‘save the world’, when we have so many opposing view-points?
Well here’s a thought. Consider for a moment the obvious truth that all these issues are human issues, they certainly don’t trouble other species. In evolutionary terms we are the newest kid on the block. Look back several million years and the biggest change by far (apart from the extinction of species) has been the advent of modern humans and the spectacular growth in our brain size. Forget dolphins, chimps and dogs.
We are the only animal with a fully conscious brain. So, it’s a fair bet that these issues come down to us, more specifically our psychology. Therefore perhaps we need to look beyond the symptoms of the world’s problems and our different views that only serve to divide us and lead us on futile attempts to save the world and start looking at the cause, which I’m suggesting is ourselves.
Be we black, brown or white, Muslim or Christian, male or female, young or old, Democrat or Republican, we all live in the same troubled brain space—feeling the need for love and reassurance, striving to prove ourselves, to do the ‘right thing’, to be a ‘good’ and ‘worthwhile’ human—knowing somehow in our periphery how we should be behaving, but also knowing that somehow, for some reason, we simply can’t.
This I suggest is the human condition, the question of good and evil in our make-up, and in fact is the question of questions that is really needing to be answered to make a real dent in all the problems currently facing us.
What I am suggesting is this; Our human nature is not immutable or unchangeable. Humans can change, our psychologically troubled selves that cause and create so much destruction can now be understood—compassionately. Yes, I suggest (incredibly) that author and biologist Jeremy Griffith has pieced together the answer to our human condition that explains why we are the way we are.
Indeed, it turns out that there is an extremely good reason for all our less-than-ideal, destructive and divisive behavior. This biological explanation can put an end to the terrible guilt and insecurity we carry and therefore the destructive behavior that results. Our world can be transformed.
But don’t take my word for it, have a look at Griffith’s biological synthesis here, and make up your own mind. If what I am saying is true, it means that we, and our planet can be ‘saved’! However, there is a catch. It involves us admitting that we are the problem and requires that we face and understand our ‘psychologically troubled selves’. Given the enormity of the pain and dysfunction that now exists in all humans this is a hugely confronting prospect.
Griffith says that this affliction, our human condition, arose some two million years ago when humans became fully conscious, so we’ve spent a long time out in the wilderness trying to understand ourselves. But, from a person who has read, understood, verified and applied these explanations to their life and the world around them, the relief, optimism and excitement about the change now available far outweighs the necessary confrontation that comes with truly understanding ourselves. And the world needs saving, fast.