This post was inspired by a class I took with Human Venture. I am inspired as I process the idea of "horizons of care", the spheres of community (Self, Immediate Family, Neighbourhood, City, Humankind, Galaxy.. etc) we belong to but often ignore or deny responsibility to. I am wondering how we can learn in a way that could actually positively impact the collective Existence. I am considering it must matter what, how, and why we learn things, and that some learning is actually maladaptive for our species and our World. I am inspired to explore how we learn adaptive behaviours such as cooperation, caring, sustainability.
Altruism can be difficult.
Many say it's impossible.
Are all humans wretched rascals, self-serving and incapable of true giving? Perhaps you have personal evidence that people are "bad". Perhaps you have been abused, deceived, betrayed, hated. Almost certainly you have witnessed violence and injustice. You have learned that the world is dark, ugly, cold and unforgiving. Perhaps this has made you want to protect yourself. It has led you to primarily protect and have concern for yourself: your own money, possessions, relationships, future.
But what taught you? Which school did you ascribe to, that had these lessons on the menu? What if there were some other place to learn from?
What if you learned from staring into a toddler's eyes?
What if you learned from satyagraha + from the fighters who resolved conflict w peace?
What if you learned from the downtrodden who chose generosity?
What if you learned from the Freedom Fighters, the Resistors, the Doers?
What if you learned from quieting your own mind, through disciplined meditation?
What if you looked for new teachers? Teachers of cooperation, of peace, sustainability, and goodness? Those teachers are out there, and the schools exist. But it's up to us to decide to enroll. It's up to us to believe altruism is worth learning.