How a “Me First” Agenda Can No Longer Resolve Problems on Any Scale
Today, humanity finds itself in a situation where the combination of self-centered, isolated existence and an interdependent world leads to paralysis at every level of human life. To cope with our modern reality, we must take into consideration the global, connected nature of the world that now appears before us. Here is where science comes to our aid.
We learn from science that connected systems are nothing new, that the whole of Nature consists of such systems. The human body is a great example of a connected system. All the organs in the human body are connected and work in synchrony and reciprocity. Each cell and organ “knows” its role and hastens to perform it, thus benefiting the entire organism. For example: the heart, the lungs, and the liver all work to benefit the entire body—the heart by pumping blood, the lungs by delivering oxygen, and the liver by filtering impurities.
At the same time, each organ in our body is also a “consumer,” receiving from the body all that is needed for its existence, And yet, the nature of the organ’s existence is not self-centered—meaning for its own benefit; rather, the organ exists to benefit the whole organism as part of a collective that together forms a single, complete unit. Without the context of that complete unit, we would not be able to fully understand the function or purpose of each organ. The nutrients that each organ receives from the body enable it to function and realize the purpose of its existence, its unique role with respect to the rest of the organism, thereby realizing its full potential by “sharing” its product with the entire organism. This is the prime condition of life in a community.
When one of the systems in the body does not perform its function, the body deteriorates into a state called “illness.” If the state of illness is prolonged or acute, the result could be the collapse of the entire system and subsequent death of the organism.
Did You Know That All of Humanity Is an Interconnected System?
The global nature of today’s human society and the changes that have occurred in the world over the last few decades indicate that we have become an integrated and interconnected system—like all the rest of Nature’s systems. Therefore, the laws that define this system—the mutual connections among all elements in Nature—now also apply to us.
Until recently, we felt that each of us more or less was an independent unit. We built societies where everyone was allowed to succeed on their own even if that success came at the expense of others.
But, the network of connections that is now developing warns that this approach can no longer work. The old way has exhausted itself and is now in the process of being upgraded. To continue advancing, we must now work with the new functionality that has taken over, functionality that is in accord with globalization. And to do this, we must connect to one another and work together.
There are already numerous experts in many fields who explain that the old world is falling apart—right before our eyes—because it is based on a self-centered approach whose time has gone. The new world requires us to reconstruct all systems and processes based on a new approach of collaboration and mutual guarantee, where all are guarantors of each other’s well-being. In the coming years, we will all have to learn how to work together to ensure our survival. Each person, each society, each nation, and each state will have to learn how to do this.
The Lazy Man’s Guide to Social Protests
The solution to our present crises depends first and foremost on changing ourselves and adjusting to the new reality. It is for this reason that people throughout the world are beginning to change their behavior. Many are beginning to sense their government’s inability to function correctly, to provide solutions to their problems. Thus, many feel a need to go out to the streets and congregate with others of like mind.
Many reasons are given for such gatherings, depending on the country. In the Arab world, protests are based on a desire for democracy and freedom of speech. In Europe, the demands are for solutions to problems of unemployment and austerity measures; while in America, protests are often over the 1% who are wealthy versus the 99% who are not.
Once people come together in protest, they become aware of a new sense of empowerment. This happened, for example, in tent cities throughout Europe; in the Occupy Movement in the U.S.; and even in Egypt where the people there continually took to the streets because they felt that together they had the power to get what they wanted. Even when the reason for gathering could not quite be verbalized—such as in the early days of the Occupy Movement, it was clear that the protesters enjoyed the experience of a genuine democracy where all decisions were made in a group spirit, rather than through lobbying and political maneuverings.
The Key to Successful Social Protests in Today’s Globalized World
The togetherness of the above mentioned protesters aligns with the new laws of the globalized world. This congruence adds power to the protests, power to which governments cannot remain indifferent. However, for the protests to succeed, they must remain in harmony with the laws of globalization. Any solution that favors one sector or faction over another is no less self-centered than the current system, and is therefore bound to fail.
This means that today, any collective that seeks to benefit only itself at the expense of others will not only intensify the power struggles that already exist, but will also accelerate the decline of that country’s society and economy. The new state of the world necessitates that all of us, from ordinary citizens to decision-makers, resolve our problems through deliberation, consideration, and mutual guarantee.
The new world requires that we revolutionize our relations, not by force, but in our hearts. It must happen within each and every one of us. The purpose of this revolution in our perception is to expand our awareness from “me” to “we,” thereby pulling us out of our narrow, cube-like focus into that of a great, common sphere.
No doubt we are living in a special time, where mutual guarantee presents itself as the law of life in the new reality of our interconnected and interdependent world. Not only are we awakening to the fact that we are all connected, we are beginning to see how we and the whole of Nature form a single unit.
Written by Michael Laitman
Michael Laitman is a global thinker dedicated to generating a transformational shift in society through a new global education, which he views as the key to solving the most pressing issues of our time. He is the Founder of the ARI Institute, Professor of Ontology & Theory of Knowledge, PhD in Philosophy, MS in Medical Cybernetics. You can find him on Google+, YouTube and Twitter