How we lose and how we win: part 2
How we win
Despite what many say, humanity is not at its end though. Rather than treating the crisis as a reason to burn everything to the ground, it allows recognising the issues and working on them, both on the societal and on the individual scale. It is an opportunity not for a revival, but for a better way forward, to a freer, more compassionate, less lonely, but happier world. It’s hard to imagine it, at such a time, but it is at a time like this when we build the foundations for what comes after the crisis is gone. The present we live in right now, dominated by fear, sets grounds for the future in which today is just a memory. And there is a lot that we can do…a lot that we have to do, in order to become better. We need to fight what pushes us into the cage that we have put ourselves into.
It is easy to say that united we stand and divided we fall, what is harder to do is to find what divides us, what we mean by a union, and how to move past that. Everyone is different, we want different things, have different stories, goals, priorities, cultures, values, looks, and many more. But we find ourselves more interconnected than ever, and the current state of things illustrates it better than anything. Humans have to interact, whether it’s on the market, discourse, gaming, or memes. In-person or online, it is impossible to live a life without affecting or being affected by others. And this is what unites us all, we are all living in a global community. All divisions beyond that, that cause exclusions, conflicts, are in the end manmade. Of course, they can have grounds in real differences, but in the end, everything changes, and it is the individuals that affect who they are the most. Class, culture, religion, position in a company, language, all of these change over time, can be remodelled, adapted, can be looked past. It is easy to go with our instincts of tribalism, closing down to ones that are different, preferring what we know, that’s what helped us survive in the past. However, how we evolved into the civilisation that we are today, is by looking past these differences, not trusting your basic instinct, but going beyond that, experimenting, learning from your mistakes, not judging by the cover. At a time of crisis, it is easier than ever to close down and revert to our instincts. Blame the Chinese, blame the rich, blame the poor, blame the government, blame whoever but us. The crisis will go, but these convictions will remain. We need to go beyond, and rather than breaking our bonds, create new ones, stronger than ever, and more inclusive than ever. Not based on virtue signalling, but on real trust in others, creating a community both locally and globally, and becoming their better members.
Another thing that we have developed means for over time is the possibility of affecting the future, thinking beyond today, and having a real impact on our lives and lives of others. Before the second industrial revolution, the overwhelming majority of people were born, lived, and died in the same village or town, performing the same job that their parents did, and having very limited effect on not even the global level but even their closest proximity. In the past 200 years, that has changed, and more and more groups of people were introduced into the active part of the society that used to be reserved to the aristocracy and clergy. Nowadays, we hold more power in our hands than all the generations of our ancestors before us combined. But with such power comes responsibility. We are able to improve our lives, the lives of our children, and of others, and we need to keep that in mind whenever we act upon our capabilities. We no longer need to wait for the lord to spare some coins to build a business in our town. Either we can do it ourselves, invest in it, or just buy there showing that we support the establishment, and through that hold it accountable. We also don’t need to wait for someone else to help when we see that there is a need, we can do it ourselves or create momentum to gather enough of a crowd to get it done. Whether it is funding a treatment, restoring a park in the neighbourhood, or not depleting the storage of masks, for those who really need it, or donating to charity, we have the power to do it. And through taking action, we show the best part of ourselves and make the world better for everyone. We are focusing on future solutions, on sustainability, not on immediate outcomes. By reverting to immediate gratification, immediate solutions rather than long-term growth we become nothing more than an animal depleting their immediate resource and moving to another spot. Looking beyond into the future is what makes us better, and acting upon our capabilities to improve the situation is what makes our humanity worthwhile.
How we win this battle for humanity is by embracing what made us humans and what makes us special. Moving beyond our instincts, beyond tribalism, beyond our prejudices, beyond immediate gratification, and towards responsibility, towards long-term solutions, towards cooperation, towards taking initiative, towards a better future. Humanity is at a crossroad, but we will survive it, and grow better from it. We won’t let our animal side take over and leave others behind. We will do whatever is in the best mutual interest, not only of us now, but the ones that will come after us. It isn’t easy, but in the human history, it is the tough decisions that developed us into who we are now, and whether we like it or not we need to learn from our mistakes and strive forward. This doesn’t mean that we will eradicate all the things that make us lose. What it means is that despite losing battles from time to time, we will learn from them and keep on winning the wars for humanity.