There is little point in discussing how each of us should change since everyone is shaped by one’s immediate environment—family, school, and society. If, however, we begin to act as if we are playing a fun game called “altruism,” it will become the most engaging game we have ever played, a life-changing one. It will be so much fun that we will gladly dedicate all our free time to building a good environment, founded on mutual responsibility. Our egos will gladly join the game because all the ego cares about is feeling good.
Indeed, it is easy to change when motivated by each other’s support. We need only agree to mutual responsibility. This is our “red carpet” to the future we all desire, a life of balance, peace, prosperity, and security. Responsibility is an ability to choose how we respond to our egoism, and at this stage in our individual and collective evolution, we are required to start using it to serve our common interest.
A question may arise: If it is so easy, why haven’t we done this before? The truth is that our egoism has been evolving, and until now, we couldn’t recognize its magnitude and how far it is willing to push us in pursuit of pleasure. We convinced ourselves that the ego helps us advance through competition and winning, and that it drives progress, both personal and collective. We did not regard it as destructive.
Yet, look at how we’ve grown apart. We are separated, alienated, and engrossed in self-entitlement. We never dreamed that this would lead us to the devastating destruction that we are witnessing today. Only now are we beginning to realize the treacherous path we have been treading, the perilous condition we are in. Therefore, now is the time to understand that the only way to reform ourselves is to build a new society.
Like an incubator or a greenhouse, this mutually responsible society can make us able and willing to rise above personal interests for the sake of common good. And the amazing part about it is that with everybody’s support and participation, even our egos will get their pleasures since society will value the unique input of each and everyone of us, for our unique contributions are both crucial and desired.
Imagine how incredible our future will be if all of humanity begins to apply egoism in positive, benevolent ways, so when a person connects with others, he or she will feel affinity and affection toward them, as if we are all family, or a single organism. We will be able to feel and understand every person and the entire world.
Once we begin this process, we will be able to experience humanity within us. We will realize that Nature has brought us to this remarkable stage in our evolution in order for us to feel that we are an integrated collective made of all and every one. When we can feel it, we will be able to utilize the main driving force of our lives correctly—our egoism, which distinguishes us from and lifts us above the animal level. Using it constructively, we will transform ourselves and rise above the human level in which we were born, and into the humane level of existence.
In the pictures: Dr. Patch Adams, MD