What do you figure is humanity’s biggest problem? Would you say climate change, clean water, war and violence, greed and hate, destruction of many living species including the Amazon Rain Forest, poverty, or food? Or maybe you have another choice. Well, in trying to decide what I feel is the biggest problem I have to get to root causes. Is there an underlying cause to all of the above? Yes, I believe there is. It is the growing spread and acceptance of the long held belief of our separateness.
Separation is and has long been spread by those who expound upon our differences in race, religion, nationality, gender, economic classes, organizations, politics, education, even age and more. Emphasizing our differences leads to fear, greed, power struggles, hate, alienation, and short-sighted solutions to just about any challenge doesn’t it?
The opposite of separatism is that we are one, all together sharing this planet. Our differences pale in comparison to our commonalities. In fact, science has now determined that our commonalities extend to more than each other, but virtually everything as the human body contains almost all the elements of an exploding star. Previous civilizations seemed to realize this, but with the industrial age we began to separate and classify everything. Kings and chiefs used separation to gain control. Ever since, we’ve been on a crusade to highlight our differences with modern media, politics, other organizations, and advertising all highlighting our differences 24/7. They are interwoven into most all parts of society. Would we really govern or treat one another the same if we genuinely acknowledged our commonality with each other and everything else on earth? Would we hoard water, pollute streams, exclude, hurt, and hate people, over-consume, etc., if we realized that we are all one and eventually totally interdependent?
It is this separatist outlook that fragments life for us — man against man, community against community, race against race, and country against country. If only we throw away this fragmented instrument of observation, we shall see all life as an indivisible whole. It’s akin to viewing earth on a map and seeing it from outer space where there are no boundaries, no separation.
As a once-trained economist and still a continuing observer of what’s possible, I believe that many of the resulting big problems could be better managed and perhaps even eradicated if we stopped the emphasis and celebration on our separateness and individuality, and refocused on our commonalities and interdependence. And a reminder to you (and also to me) that in spite of our desire to stay neutral and inactive, we are still each either part of the problem or part of the solution to any human circumstances. So if you agree with me, what might we do right now in our daily lives to fix things? How can we begin to see and celebrate the sameness in everything and everyone?