By Adityavikram Pathak
Disclaimer: Before you decide to read this blog, here is my disclaimer – its not for those looking for a ‘feel-good’ use of their precious time. Its for those who are open to learning the ground realities of the world and take an action.
“Is man essentially good or evil?”
“An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind.” - Mahatma Gandhi. What's interesting to me is that these words are uttered repeatedly daily and read just as much, but no one truly understands or imbibes the meaning of these words. Now you may have a counterargument saying people know exactly what it means, punishing your oppressors only makes things worse, yet no one implements this into their lives. How do I know? Let’s see...
This problem begins with the formation of factions. Factions are groups formed by humans who have similar interests and support each other's views and endeavors. These groups go all the way from government groups to friend groups. Somehow, these groups cause people to desensitize with people outside of their circle. For example, a genocide of your “own”, always hurts more than hearing about another religious genocide. Why is that? This causes a huge problem for society as people only stand up for people they “care” about and stay relatively oblivious to the sufferings of ‘others’.
Innumerable movies are made every year that portray people from certain religion or nationality as the villains based on the previous terrorist or antisocial acts. This gradually causes a rift, a divide between people as some say its time to ‘assert oneself’ against certain religion or nation so they can stop being bullied while others said it was a direct attack on ‘their’ religion. I can only say that fundamentally, both groups are wrong. Villains do not belong to any race, religion, or nationality; they are a faction of their own, they are just plain and simple - villains.
Factions can be seen in the two biggest controlling departments in our world the most, government and business.
“If all men were angels, no government would be necessary.” - James Madison in federalist 51.
In this quote, Madison explains that the government, an institution created to protect people from other PEOPLE, is only necessary because men are not essentially good. The very legacy that the founding fathers created was because every man had an element of evil in them, and it was something that they didn't even wish was necessary. Even in the American government, we see the formation of factions between the politicians, especially the democratic and republican parties. These are basically the only parties in the government at this point and each just battles all day trying to get what they want, which is usually what the other party doesn't want. This causes the parties to almost just undo what the other party did and it really gets us nowhere.
Then we have democracy vs. Communism, two very different forms of government. Both of these battles are on the global level and each side tells their disciples the other is wrong and shows the reasons as to why. There are many other forms of government that separate humans from other humans and create “countries” with borders.
The very foundation of business is capitalism, that started 500 years back with a promise to ‘increase the size of pie’ for everyone – to prosper everyone. And to a great extent, it did. However, over the course it morphed more into a tool of competition motivating humans to do better than others because then they can grab ‘bigger piece of pie’. What people don't realize is that its not a zero-sum game we are playing on the planet earth. To win, we don’t have to necessarily defeat others. In fact, to win means to do more for the people, planet, and prosperity of the world.
Bullying and harassment
The formation of factions, as I said before, causes people to desensitize against the people not in their circles. This is also why bullying and harassment occur even at an early stage because proving yourself to be at the top is what everyone wants. “Flexing” and “popularity” are terms used to hurt other children in school by proving the speaker to be at a higher level than the listener. The division in this popularity also causes factions to form between even young children, causing the more popular groups to become egotistical and the less popular to become depressed from the feeling of being obsolete.
This negativity comes from a very simple word, insecurity. Insecurity causes two things: sadness/depression and jealousy.
Insecurity directly causes these emotions in people as it causes them to see how they are not perfect people and where they have their defects. Everyone is told that they have defects and that no one is perfect, yet people still dwell on their problems because they're not directly addressed by society. This causes even more bullying from different groups who are more “normal” than them because they have more attributes to the common group of people.
The second stage of insecurity is jealousy. Jealousy is the feeling of wanting something somebody else possesses, but you yourself cannot have. This feeling not only makes you hate yourself but also the person who possesses it. This causes another division between people.
These two roots of insecurity cause even more negative feelings in our society and the factions divide humanity. For these reasons, we have created almost destructive humanity in which we have devolved instead of advanced.
There was a time, may be millions of years ago, when every creature lived peacefully together. Earth was a pristine planet in which the beauty of nature was never sacrificed because its constituents treated everyone else equally. Of course, there was a food chain and some were sacrificed, but that was off the basis of needing to survive. The very word “want” was nonexistent in their vocabularies because everything was treated equally and with respect.
Each day while scrolling through social media I see various posts claiming that a new species of animals is going extinct. What people don’t realize is that their everyday acts, including even driving, are what are killing the other organisms in the world.
Our recent movements have been clouding our judgments. We have created this industrialized world in which the destruction of our planet and its habitats occurs to simply make our lives easier. Were people not living 1000 years ago?
The answer to the question, “is man good or evil?” is simple. Each individual shows up into this world with a chance to go either way, yet most yield to the evil within them. Every single day thousands of people walk by a homeless person, and it takes almost a miracle for someone to spare even a couple of cents. Every single day animals are brought up only so they can be slaughtered for our party. Every single day soldiers die or veterans commit suicide from either dying on the battlefield or suffering from PTSD from something our own species caused. Every single day another habitat is stolen from a species of animals, and they die. Every single day the non-privileged are forced into hard labor because they cannot even afford to pursue their dreams. Every single day our governments fight to undo what the predecessor did. Every single day children are harassed because of their differences and are too insecure about it themselves to fight back. Every single day people from minority races, religions, or countries are harassed for their origins. And finally, every single day, humanity dies a little more.
Coming to the argument about wars between the nations. I can only say one thing. If for millions of years, millions of species inhabited the earth and thrived, how come one species devotes its time to constantly fighting each other and destroying the lives of every other species in this world? Is this really the kind of world we want to live in, where anger consumes our judgment causing life to be nothing but meaningless?
Life only counts as a blessing if we make it one. There is only one thing that differentiates a god from a devil: morals.
There are various solutions to these problems, most of which may sound futuristic today, like making countries destroy borders, moving our industries to a destructed planet like mars and restoring the earth, raising everyone out of poverty. These are very huge solutions that, like Lil Baby said, cant change overnight.
A place we can start though is teaching children from elementary school the subject of humanities. This class should teach students morals, focus on helping their insecurities and also teach children about how each religion, race, and country has contributed to humankind because all of them at least a couple of times have.
All I ask of the people who read this article is just imagine a world without this kind of hatred, where everyone is truly valued and respected. We are living almost in hell. What I just explained is heaven.