For thousands of years, people from different parts of the world have coexisted peacefully and traded with each other. They exchanged not only material objects as trade, (like silk, gems and the like, thus, bringing growth to the economy) but also exchanged ideas, language, lifestyle and culture.
The once nomadic hunter gatherers now settled, small hamlets became large villages, which in turn became larger cities and finally a booming civilization. As hunters, human conflict would arise only when other groups would want the same prize of hunt. But, man in his true nature also knew that it is better to share so that everyone survives rather than everyone die in a fight. This is the way nature behaves in other sectors as well. When there is a chance of different species surviving by sharing (and there is always many ways of survival by sharing) no clashes occur. There are those few and rare times when clashes (without fatalities) and even rarer clashes with fatalities that have occurred.
Humans, as we evolved, slowly began to lose that connection with nature and their own true selves. We have at some point of time thought or more appropriately assumed we can separate from the web of life because our brain is bigger and our “intelligence” exceeds the rest of the living world. This very point of thought in time has been our downfall. In thinking too much of our “bigger and more intelligent” brains we have not realized that we have lost out on many of our true qualities that keep us connected to nature and to the earth and finally to each other.
Now one must be wondering why I am talking so much about the true self so much and what does it actually mean. Well, I could give you a classic example of classification – biological classification to be exact. In biological classification, one merely puts living beings into broader groups based on their similarities and while narrowing down to an individual / species one bases the beings on their differences.
So, if we take modern man –Homo sapiens as a species, we can find both similarities and differences to other ape species, as the classification becomes broader, we find more differences (but the similarities are not lost). Modern man still shows connections to other animals like having a back bone or by being sensitive to light, sound amongst others.
What we fail to see here is that the similarities are what is keeping us connected to other living beings. It is the body make up (organic and inorganic molecules in our bodies) that keep us connected to the earth. It is energy flow from the galaxies to the atom (both of which we are a constituent of) that connects us to the cosmos, things that are too big or too small to comprehend. This is our true nature – we are connected to the comprehendible and the in-comprehendible equally irrespective of bigger brain capacity or more intelligence. So our assumption that we can separate ourselves from the rest of the web of the cosmos is quite ridiculous and grossly wrong.
Some of us reading this may think, “that’s not true, I am quite connected to nature, I am sensitive to other beings. What are you talking about?” While it is true that many of us are still connected and are sensitive that others are, we also grossly underestimate our connections too! At a superficial level many of us think we are helping people or animals. But on the other hand, we also silently support war and other clashes.
Intolerance – The treat to Humanity!!!
There are many reasons for wars to take place. One major factor nowadays is intolerance. Others can include jealousy, greed and the like. For example- the neighbour has more resources while I have little, the neighbour is from a different region across the world – he is not like us here, hence an outsider, so I don’t like him. Hence, people go out of their way to remove that “threat” or “fear” by waging wars. Here we can say that the insensitive humans wage the wars not the sensitive ones. It’s the insensitive ones who “want it all” rather than “share and survive”.
If we see the above as if true, we are missing a key element here. The sensitive ones are not doing anything to stop the wars either. They are silent spectators to the whole war and conflict. Therefore, by staying silent the sensitive humans are also a part of the conflict. In this too we are all connected. We cannot separate the sensitive and the insensitive humans.
What happened to that much of tolerance?
People many a times have very small and negligible issues to wage wars with others. It could range from personal beliefs, caste and community and further on. We wage wars with these “reasons” and during the same war, while injured; we do not know who gives us their blood to save our precious life. With simple things like personal beliefs why is it that we have clashes and wars? Why even after knowing that someone unknown has given you blood to save your life, do you get up and get back into the war?
Who is the animal now?
Humanity was coined to describe the sensitivity humans have “in contrast to the brutality” seen in animals. But nowadays, divided by the differences rather than united by the similarities we are more brutal than the animals. Humans have almost lost the humanity while years of research shows the animals are not as brutal as we think they are!
As humans became more of settlers, they formed something so wonderful with many wonderful things incorporated in it that it would be remembered and followed for years and for thousands of generations. What they formed is called culture. This culture included visual and performing art, a discipline or a sustainable way of living (living in deep connection with nature and yet developing as a species), knowledge about the lives of plants and animals ( helped in medicine, animal husbandry, architecture and the like) and most important of all as a species – the practice of humanity!
Our ancestors taught us through this culture, respect, tolerance, and coexistence and sustainable way of life with respect to the earth and the living world. Following it all these years, we have put ourselves and this culture behind and put our ego, jealousy and greed in the front. We are successfully degrading the physical nature and our very own core mental nature, losing the humanity, tolerance for the rest of the planet.
At this rate like anonymous quote said – “support bacteria, they are the only culture we have left!”
We will not last very long as a species if humanity and tolerance is not restored to balance.