Issues and answers: Part 12
Written by: Lee Sonogan
“When we speak of man, we have a conception of humanity as a whole, and before applying scientific methods to the investigation of his movement we must accept this as a physical fact. But can anyone doubt to-day that all the millions of individuals and all the innumerable types and characters constitute an entity, a unit? Though free to think and act, we are held together, like the stars in the firmament, with ties inseparable. These ties cannot be seen, but we can feel them. I cut myself in the finger, and it pains me: this finger is a part of me. I see a friend hurt, and it hurts me, too: my friend and I are one. And now I see stricken down an enemy, a lump of matter which, of all the lumps of matter in the universe, I care least for, and it still grieves me. Does this not prove that each of us is only part of a whole?
For ages this idea has been proclaimed in the consummately wise teachings of religion, probably not alone as a means of insuring peace and harmony among men, but as a deeply founded truth. The Buddhist expresses it in one way, the Christian in another, but both say the same: We are all one. Metaphysical proofs are, however, not the only ones which we are able to bring forth in support of this idea. Science, too, recognizes this connectedness of separate individuals, though not quite in the same sense as it admits that the suns, planets, and moons of a constellation are one body, and there can be no doubt that it will be experimentally confirmed in times to come, when our means and methods for investigating psychical and other states and phenomena shall have been brought to great perfection. Still more: this one human being lives on and on. The individual is ephemeral, races and nations come and pass away, but man remains. Therein lies the profound difference between the individual and the whole.”
― Nikola Tesla
Cooperation, team work, collaboration, harmony and connectedness can all fall under the category of unity. As some already do good work in the community and volunteering, some avoid collaboration all together. If we had a balanced harmony between people, we could achieve great things and one of the key ways to make positive change. We need less private businesses and more investment in the community, and methods of empowering the individual and every culture. In this part I will break down what unity is and what is involved to achieve it.
Of the many barriers to positive change towards unity is communication. Language has evolved over centuries through ages of scarcity, superstition, and social insufficiency, and it is continuing to evolve. However, language often contains ambiguity and uncertainty when important issues are at stake, and fails to use a precise and universally means of conveying knowledge. It is difficult for the average person, or even those considered above average, including leaders of nations, to share ideas with others whose worldview may be at considerable variance with their own.
Also, because of semantic differences and different experiences, words have various shades of meaning. We haven’t yet learned to resolve international differences by peaceful methods, so peace is simply a pause between wars. Even in the United States, supposedly the most technologically advanced country in the world, they lack unified direction. There policies and goals are fragmented and contradictory. Everywhere there is interracial and interpersonal disharmony, an inability of husbands and wives to communicate with each other or their children, labor and management issues, and everyone is differing with capitalists.
Most world leaders seek to achieve greater communication and understanding among the nations of the world. Unfortunately, their efforts have met with little success. One reason is that each comes to the table determined to achieve the advantage for their own nation. We talk a lot about global development and global cooperation. But the global in each case reflects the individual nation’s interests and not those of all people. In addition, we are trapped within old ways of looking at our world. While most agree change is necessary, many limit change if it threatens their advantage, just as on a personal basis they seek change in others, but not in themselves.
Many of us lack the skills to communicate logically when we are emotionally invested in an outcome. If a person or group has difficulty in communicating a point in question, rather than seek clarification they will raise their voices. If this doesn’t work, they may resort to physical violence, punishment, or deprivation as a means of achieving the desired behaviour. These tactics have never produced a heightened level of understanding. In fact, many of these attempts to control behaviour actually increased violence and drove the parties farther apart.
If communication is to improve, we need a language that aligns well with the environment and human needs. We already have such a language in scientific and technological communities and it’s easily understood by many. In other words, it is already possible to use a coherent means of communication without ambivalence. If we apply the same methods used in the physical sciences to psychology, sociology, and the humanities, a lot of unnecessary conflict could be resolved. In engineering, mathematics, chemistry, and other technical fields, we have the nearest thing to a universal descriptive language that requires little in the way of individual interpretation.
When we examine human behaviour in the same manner as any other physical phenomena, we will better understand the physical factors responsible for shaping our values and behaviour. Human behaviour in all areas is just as subject to natural laws and the actions of external forces: it is generated by the many interacting variables in one’s environment.
One of the greatest limiting factors in human systems is our inability to grasp the significance of forces and the extent to which that environment shapes our thinking, values, and/or behaviour. When we speak of environment, we mean all of the interacting variables which are the prime contributors to our mindset. You need to take into consideration that the physical sciences is that one must identify all of the physical factors responsible for certain outcomes.
“Our ability to reach unity in diversity will be the beauty and the test of our civilisation.”
― Mahatma Gandhi
Even in everyday life, evidence supports the connectivity of influential events all around us. But we often fail to apply the same methods of evaluation used in the physical sciences to human behaviour. In many instances our collective values are influenced by an existing social structure or subculture within society. For ill or well, social systems generally tend to perpetuate themselves and all of their strengths and shortcomings. In our era of mass communication, the media controllers and established institutions influence the national agenda, which in turn influences much of our behaviour, expectations, and values
One must watch with great scepticism. Our beliefs are influenced by books, motion pictures, television, religions, role models, and the environment we live in. Even notions of good and evil and concepts of morality are part of our cultural heritage and experiences. This method of control does not use physical force and has been so successful that we no longer recognize or feel the manipulation. The dominant values of any social system rarely come from people. Rather, the views of the dominant control group such as the church, the military, the banks, the corporations, the power elite, or nay combination thereof. These people in power determine the public agenda, the courts, taxes, etc., all of which serve their own interests and perpetuate the illusion that society’s values are determined from the ground up. Governments suppress or explain away any deviations that may threaten them.
Many people today use genes as a scapegoat for aberrant behaviour, when the major influences have been shown to be environmental. Genetic make-up alone cannot fully explain or illuminate human behaviour. The science of human behaviour is a complex algorithm of genes, environmental conditions (food, shelter, family dynamics, education, religious, training, personal experiences), and the interpretation and decisions people make about the world and their place in it.
When we come into the world, we arrive with a clean slate as far as our relationships with others are concerned. Any judgment about undesirable human behaviour serves no purpose absent an attempt to alter the environment that creates it. In a society that provides for most human needs, constructive behaviour would be reinforced, and people who have difficulty interacting in the community could be helped rather than imprisoned. Aspiring to a particular ethical behaviour has to do with human aspirations and ideals. Functional morality is the ability to provide a process which achieves a sustainable environment for all people. By this we mean providing clean air and water, goods and services, and a healthy and innovative environment that is emotionally and intellectually fulfilling.
Some people claim the free-enterprise system and its competition create incentive. This is only partially true. It also creates greed, embezzlement, corruption, crime, stress, economic hardship, and insecurity. Most major developments in science and technology resulted from the efforts of very few individuals, working independently and often against great opposition; Goddard, Galileo, Darwin, Tesla, Edison, Einstein, etc. These individuals were genuinely concerned with solving problems and improving process, rather than with financial gain. Despite our belief that money creates incentive, we struggle to trust those whose sole motivation is monetary gain. This can be said about doctors, lawyers, entertainers, and those in just about any field.
If basic necessities are available, what will motivate us? Quite simply, the things we care about. Children taught in affluent environments in which food, clothing, shelter, nutrition, education, and much more are provided still demonstrate incentive and initiative. On the other hand, overwhelming evidence supports the idea that malnutrition, unemployment, minimum wages, poor health, lack of direction, lack of education, homelessness, no appreciation of one’s efforts, poor role models, poverty, and bleak prospects for the future can and do destroy incentive and the drive to achieve.
“Cooperation, which is the thing we must strive for today, begins where competition leaves off.”
― Franklin D. Roosevelt
Each phase of social evolution creates its own incentive system. In primitive times, an incentive to hunt for food was generated by hunger the incentive to create a javelin or a bow and arrow evolved as a process to support the hunt. With the advent of the agrarian revolution, the motivation for hunting was reduced, and incentives changed to the cultivation of crops with supporting implements, the domestication of animals, and protection of personal property. In a civilization where people receive food, medical care, education, and housing, incentive will again change appropriately. People will be free to explore other possibilities and lifestyles that were not anticipated. The nature of incentive and motivation depends on many factors. For example, that an individual’s physical and mental health directly relate to their level of motivation and productivity.
Some people overcome the shortcoming of their environment despite a lack of positive reinforcements. They provide their own self-reinforcement able to see improvement in whatever they are engaged in, and achieve a sense of accomplishment. Their self-reinforcement does not depend on the approval of others. Children who do require the approval of a group tend to have low self-esteem. Children who do not depend on group approval acquire a sense of self-esteem by improving their performance. Throughout history many innovators, artists, and inventors have been ruthlessly exploited, ridicule, and abused while receiving very little financial incentive. Yet they endured such hardship because they were motivated to learn and to discover new ways of doing things.
It has been found that a major shift may be occurring in the basis of human thought and discourse. On an individual level for example, around 20% of Europeans have been found to deeply care about ecology and saving the planet, about relationships, peace, social justice, self-actualization, spirituality and self-expression. It has even been said that there is an explosion in empathetic behaviour. A symptom of the change may be seen in the growing appetite for plant-based diets; around 10% of the population of Israel, Sweden, Italy, and Germany, are now vegetarian or vegan.
“You’re an interesting species. An interesting mix. You’re capable of such beautiful dreams, and such horrible nightmares. You feel so lost, so cut off, so alone, only you’re not. See, in all our searching, the only thing we’ve found that makes the emptiness bearable, is each other.”
― Carl Sagan, Contact
Does this make any sense to you? We are divided by to many factors to count, deep down you gotta belive in people and how we are connected somehow? Depending on your definition of the how the universe works, love can achieve so much between us. Too bad our love can be easily twisted and manipulated. So, still do not belive we can live as a team and create such a peaceful world? In the next part I will talk about how we will find order and why peace and sustainability is important.
“We need more light about each other. Light creates understanding, understanding creates love, love creates patience, and patience creates unity.”
― Malcolm X