The year 2011 finds the world in the midst of a multidimensional crisis that has been “brewing” for many years, but has only recently materialized in our awareness. We are witnessing an ecological crisis alongside an expansive financial breaking point that are threatening our very existence, humanitarian emergencies, escalating crises in education, science and family relations, an alarming rise in drug abuse, and a worldwide increase in terrorism.
One approach to crisis management proposes local and discrete solutions to each of the areas affected, such as the economy, politics, ecology, education, and so forth. We wish to offer a different and broader approach: we are faced with a global crisis, which therefore requires a global solution. But to suggest such a solution, we first need to analyze and comprehend the causes that have brought about this global crisis.
From Local Existence to Global Existence
From the dawn of history, humanity’s propelling force has been the perpetual evolution of egoism. In the past, our built-in self-centeredness allowed humanity to survive, to grow, and eventually to thrive. The greater that our desire to satisfy our needs was, the more sophisticated were the ways we invented to satisfy them.
At first, we lived in secluded clans. Then the clans grew and struggles over people and territory resulted. At the same time, we developed agriculture, which yielded more elaborate trade and commercial ties among us. Later still, social, cultural, and educational revolutions appeared on the scene, further strengthening the ties among us.
The understanding that we could draw greater good from combining efforts and joining forces produced the industrial era (as well as the education system), followed by the modern era, and finally, the information revolution, which has raised connections among humans up to a whole new and sophisticated level. After tens of thousands of years, the world has become a global village, in which we are all connected socially, politically, and economically.
And at this very point in time, the fundamental change that began in the 21st century has been exposed: the power that has propelled individuals thus far has been inverted from personal ego to global ego, and has tied us all in a vicious circle. This, in turn, induced a series of world-changing events:
- Humanity has become an integral, global system in which all are interdependent.
- From the moment humanity turned into an integral, global system, the rules that apply to any such system in nature have begun to apply even more importantly to humanity as well. Because nature’s system always seeks balance, the survival of any system depends upon the extent to which each of its elements receives what is necessary for its existence, and uses the rest of its efforts to benefit the system as a whole.
- As long as we continue to relate to each other egoistically (despite the fact that the world has become integrated), we are acting against the laws which apply to any closed system in Nature. In this sense, we are like self-consuming cells in an organism. In the case of a human body, the result is a cancerous tumor. In the case of humanity, the result is a crisis in every realm of modern life.
- Solution to the crisis: We must elevate our network of connections into a truly global level. Each person must recognize the nature of the world we live in, and realize that in the 21st century, one’s fate depends on one’s attitude toward other people.
From this perspective, it becomes clear that the new world appearing before us at the onset of the 21st century is not o.ne that requires material, financial, or political solutions.
Rather, first and foremost, it requires an educational solution.