It seems to me, what our society needs, is not more government, regulations or law, but kindness, love, and understanding. While the political establishments try to separate us and pit us against each other, it is up to us to come together, recognizing that the guy next door is as human as you and I. Yes we have flaws but the reality is we are at heart good people. The vast majority of us want to make the World a better place. There are very few of us that wouldn’t like to be recognized as a hero. We only lack the opportunity… or do we?
The media is full of horror stories about how evil your next door neighbor is. Murder, rape and terrorism fill the airwaves. This has the effect of separating us and making us fearful of each other. We try to find some common ground, and so we gravitate to those who look like us, act like us or have the same political view. We turn to an overly powerful government to protect us from each other… But to do these things leads us into a pitfall. Those who are evil are very, very few, while those of us who are good, hard working people… are many. To recognize this fact is the start of wisdom.
We don’t see the good in our fellow man, because he or she is at work, out of sight and quietly promoting the good of Mankind. We work diligently at our jobs, yes to make money, but also to get a sense of satisfaction, to feel like we are accomplishing something and to make a difference. I know this to be true, because the biggest complaint people give about their work is not money, but that it is not satisfying, we don’t get a sense of accomplishment or that we are not making a difference. That is simply the World fooling us into unhappiness.
I suspect most cases of depression in people is based on the messages the World, through the media, program into us about ourselves and our fellows. If we are bombarded by negative messages, we incorporate them, and it becomes nearly impossible to be happy. How can we be happy… when the World is so bad? But the World isn’t that bad. Yes there are murders, rapes, and human trafficking, but there is far more good going on in the World than bad. We have confirmation bias because of all the negative messages we are fed by the media. Therefore, those who consume news and culture the most are the most effected.
Mencius said the congenital nature of Mankind is good, because, “There is not one among us who is not distressed at seeing a child fall into a well.” Sage words from that ancient sage. While there are some very few psychopaths among us the vast majority of us are good and caring. That is why we can be so easily manipulated by psychopaths into damaging our own self interests, and the interests of Mankind, because at heart we are good and we want goodness in the World. Those who are sinister understand this, and use our goodness to control us, to enhance their power over us.
The answer is not to turn away from the World, it is to open up to the good in it, putting the bad into context. We would love to make the World a safer place for everyone, we would like to have everyone prosperous, no matter how each of us defines prosperity, and yes we must work together to make these things happen, but the means must align with the ends. The answer is in ourselves, not in some external force that purports to save the world through laws, regulations and taxes. We ourselves are the means to making the World a better place.
Our law books are filled with false idols but our holy books are filled with answers… love thy neighbor, do unto others as you would have them do unto you, and forgive so that you can be forgiven. Those are answers that work and have worked every time they have been tried. It is not out of our hands, the way to change the World is not through empowering a few to force their view of what is good on the rest of us, but to change our own hearts, be good people both on the inside and the outside, smile at strangers, act out our goodness through courtesy, and most of all, practice the one rule that cuts across every religion, the Golden Rule. The rest will follow naturally.