Our society favors limit-setting when children are deviant and when adults who are labeled mentally ill, retarded, or brain impaired engage in anti-social behavior; not so with “normal” adults. We “forgive” those we assume lack intentionality and offer them our concern. Yet, adults who deviate from society’s norms are perceived as bad, evil, and deserving of punishment. However, on closer inspection, we find that the unacceptable behavior is the outcome of what has been taught and the appropriate skills that were never taught. Education in the missed skills would seem more appropriate than punishment. Yet individuals and classes of people identified as “not our kind” by religion, ethnicity, skin color, sex, finances, geography, and so on are often dehumanized and judged to be deserving of whatever wrath is dispensed.
For millions of years, the animal brain has been the indisputable master dictator on earth. It is pre-programmed to advocate survival of the fittest through fight or flight. Our human brain distinguishes us from all other life on earth by the degree we use symbols to manipulate ideas, concepts, and imagination to initiate phenomena new to what nature provides. With the introduction of scientific method we have increased our gradual growth of knowledge of cause-and-effect relationships to quantum speed. Virtually anything that yesterday we believed was impossible is being accomplished today. Suddenly a few individuals and soon most tribes will have the power of destruction that most persons cannot even imagine. While other species passively churn through the life cycle according to a predetermined script that advocates punishment, we have received a gift of opportunity to decide what we make of ourselves. Our constructive and destructive power is accelerating so rapidly that we suddenly have assumed responsibility for the fate of humanity and the state of the world that is our home.
Knowledge of the universal cause-and-effect rules of the creative force that got us this far provides us power but does not provide the wisdom we require to consistently direct power for our benefit. However, it does provide the opportunity to acquire wisdom. Recognizing the wisdom of limit-setting instead of punishment, of forgiveness and love instead of domination by intimidation and punishment, has become one of our most urgent lessons.
Nature’s established, relatively automatic action pathways are a wonder to behold, as anyone who is familiar with the mechanics of the human body will conclude. Our creative tampering with nature’s ways also initiate troublesome issues such as pollution, global warming, depletion of the seas, and now the most urgent threat to our well-being – proliferation of weapons with ultimate destructive power. We must now ask, are nature’s ways, proven to work in the past, still effective with humankind’s newly created modifications?
Our most informed citizens answer “no.” E=mc2 has suddenly changed the rules for survival which were effective in a primitive society. When all sides in a conflict acquire weapons of ultimate destruction, the survival of the physically fittest rule is suddenly changed to destruction of the fittest. As the weak become as powerful as the strong, we can anticipate mutual destruction. The country recognized as the strongest is the preferred target of destructive aggression because it poses the biggest threat to the cultures of the weakest. Guess who that might be? Nature prepares us to have allegiance to our local tribe. As our technology shrinks the world into a global community, we must teach ourselves to act for our mutual benefit.
- Category: The Maxi Course
- Written by Don Pet
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