This text is taken out of my recent book, “Back to Ourselves”:
People who believe humans are naturally bad will find evidence everywhere, just as someone who believes everyone is good will find as much proof. When the two extremes of a philosophical argument are proven to be true, we can conclude that the reality is somewhere in the middle. What, then, is the solution for our question of human nature? To start, we can conclude that we don’t possess a common nature to the point of generalizing humanity. We all share some traits which are beyond our control, but those traits also exist in other mammals, which makes them a natural behavior of mammals and not humans.
We can also safely assume that the majority of the humans have some common traits that guide them. Humans build their beliefs mainly based on their education, societies, and personal perspective. The use of terms like ‘human nature’ is dangerous and misleading as it fixes a set of beliefs in the individual’s mind that represents a segment of reality. Moreover, this categorization of humanity creates an assumption that impose ignorance on individuals when looking in on themselves, their neighbors, and the world.
Throughout history, we can find acts that stem selfishness and self-interest. The interesting thing about those cases is that they normally refer to a minority of individuals and not society as a whole. Humans are unpredictable and don’t have the capacity to predict the behavior others. A moment of self-reflection will reveal moments and actions in an individual’s life that surprise them, and moments in which their closest friends’ actions surprise them. This doesn’t mean that we don’t possess general guidelines in our lives. It just means that sometimes, we act based on different values. In the end, life is very dynamic and constantly changing.
There will always be a minority who act against the “common good.” These people hold a different set of beliefs, and should be always considered as such. As we are entering a new “global era,” it’s important to understand that we are as similar as we are different. As we’ll see in this chapter, the unification of humanity under one sets of values isn’t required for the creation a better world. Instead, we must accept humans regardless of their differences and similarities, their belief in the majority of humans create a better future, and their willingness to oppress and ignore the minorities that try to separate us with violence and fear.
We’re all part of this planet, and we’re all sometimes good and sometimes bad. The majority of people on this planet prefer to live peacefully in their homes and raise families while belonging to a constructive society, knowing they’re part of something bigger than themselves. We are all indeed part of something bigger than ourselves; it is called humanity. For better or worse, this is what we have. We can choose to actively be part of it or ignore it, living in our small isolated islands that we call our life. Doing so won’t change the fact that we’re all in it together, and only together will we manage to create a better future for ourselves, our kids, and our planet.
Share you thought with me in the comment section and express your opinion. Awareness and open conversation are the key for the creation of a better future.
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