Good and evil?

War does not determine who is right – only who is left.

Probably not Bertrand Russell

“Don’t eat all the strawberries! “That was my seat.” “Don’t talk to my girlfriend.” “You are too noisy.” “You took my wallet!” “You’re talking bullshit.” “No one likes your music…” Sounds familiar at a party, and happens all the time, doesn’t it? The simple things in life cause trouble and anger all the time.

Even less understandable is, when the affiliation to a certain sports club, or a brand, or even the location relative to one or the other side of a river, is reason for rivalry. There is of course a fine line between just making fun, and handicapping someone. I hope you agree that holding for different teams in a match cannot be a reason to even hurt someone. Still it happens everywhere in the world, right?

So how could the world be a peaceful place, when we all have different values, different opinions? Who defines good and evil? And who is right? We obviously can’t agree on the one truth. And too many people have no concept of how to deal with different opinions. There are over 400.000 cases of homicide each year globally!

When you zoom out, you might see a solution. This helicopter view helps you to see the big picture, and at the same time grounds you.

We all are the same living beings, we have the same basic human needs. If we could make ourselves free from the acquired, taught, or self-developed wishes and beliefs, and not only allow, but enable every being on earth to have its very basic needs fulfilled, this planet would be so much better. It is all thought through so many times, it is all there, but the majority does not follow the smartest people, but the loudest. Our leaders are unfortunately not the neutral, smart people above everything. Some are selfish, following own interests. Someone who can win a campaign might not have the potential to deal with the massive challenges we have on a planet with 7.9 billion people. Maybe they won’t even be good leaders for their team. They are maybe just good enough to convince people to vote for them. Even a talented artist or athlete, will need very good marketing to become rich and famous. And we know how much good marketing can even trick us into signing poor contracts. Hopefully we find a better way of sorting out our leaders one day!

That’s why we have all these conflicts. We as individuals, and our leaders, are not focusing on the wealth of us all. We are focusing on our own wealth, following self made rules and trends, and we are masters of ignorance. Wikipedia has this list of current conflicts, in 2020 over 120.000 people died, counting only the “17 deadliest conflicts”. The war in Ukraine already counts over 10.000 deaths, according to the Ukrainian government.

Can you imagine that 25.000 people die from starvation each day? That adds up to 9 million per year. Keep that in mind next time you overeat, when you throw food away, or when you try again to lose some weight. We already produce enough food, and it could be even more if we would eat less animals. Our leaders simply can’t agree to share. It has no priority. Some of the leaders are elected in democratic nations.

Hard to believe, a very similar number of people died from cancer in 2018, 9.5 million. The trend goes up. This has to do with our increasing live span, but also with overweight, pollution, alcohol, and smoking. Even without politics and war we have more than enough issues to deal with.

Maslow’s hierarchy of needs says no word about fighting, dominating, embarrassing, or conquering. We don’t need that. Our basic needs are simply a safe, warm place to find rest and enough (and not too much!) food and water. Sounds so easy. When you have the luck to live in a place where these basic needs go without saying, then, believe me, you are of the luckiest people on earth! The understanding of these factors is for sure subjective. We all felt unsafe after a nightmare, felt hungry or thirsty or cold, probably only for a very short time. Think back to those moments. Wasn’t suddenly everything else blown away? Would you care about a piece of plastic in the shrubs, when you are followed by bad people in a dark street? Are you able to do homework or declare taxes when you haven’t gotten anything to drink or eat for two days? So how could the world be a perfect place when the majority of us live in poverty? How could you stop people from hunting almost extinct animals, when this is their only source for income and food? At our current level, “good” would already be to have these basic needs fulfilled for all almost 8 billion humans. “Evil” is to sit in a rich country, and wait for the rest to solve their major issues. Evil is to do nothing, and expect peace. Evil is to fly to Mars, while some children can’t even see the sky, because they work all day in a mine in Africa.

Linking that idea to the party:

We, who are living in rich countries, have to keep in mind that there are people, who are at the same party as we are. but in rooms far away from the buffet. Can you imagine yourself at a party, hungry, with no food in sight, and then after hours you hear or see the finest food, unreachable for you? And it’s not that you weren’t invited to eat, we are all invited since birth, to the same party. But some other guests tell you not to go there?

What if some areas of the party house have no heating? How much can you enjoy yourself when it is freezing cold? Other areas are under the control of people who are on the totally wrong trip, what if you are in such a place, while a few doors further live is a party for everyone? Can we all agree that the atmosphere at a party is damped when we all know that there are people suffering from hunger, fear, or cold?

And don’t we see that it would be manageable to solve these issues all together easily, and then enjoy the party even more, altogether? How could we stop the climate change, oppression, corruption, if we wouldn’t all pull in the same direction?

How could anyone possibly accept that? How can hungry, miserable people live in peace, protecting the environment, while they see us overflowing with wealth? I believe that we can ignore facts, but I also believe that we all suffer under the surface from a guilty consciousness. That’s why we feel so good once we did a tiny good thing. The shear amount of problems in the world is so overwhelming, that we hardly dare to start somewhere.

So what is good, and what is evil?

It is evil not to share what we have, may it be knowledge, food or energy. It is evil not to accept different opinions, it is evil to let people suffer because we don’t want to tolerate having a little less.

It would be good to have all basic needs fulfilled, for all humans without any exception. And I think nothing else is important enough to justify the current situation. No territorial rights, no skin color, no religion, no tradition, no money, nothing. So doing good means to work for those basic human rights, because everything else depends on it. All people need education to understand coherences, we all need food to have the chance to learn, we all need safety and warmth to be able to care about others.

I believe if we were all targeting to fulfil these basic needs for everyone, we would have the common enemy to unite humanity. By active participation in project that improve one of the many problematic situations, each of us can help to make the world a better place. Inform yourself about whom you vote for. Just be good.

Let’s just dream for a moment:

Imagine a world with open borders everywhere. You can travel, work or live where you want. Everyone can.

Imagine news with more positive than negative topics, not because they picked them, but because there isn’t any war or agony.

Imagine the entire world would work together, and have an optimized system of food and energy production, while planting forests and saving almost extinct species. No slums, no extreme rich and poor.

Imagine the global warming would have been reversed, the quality of air and water would improve. We would hear about more whales in the ocean.

Imagine we would be smart and focused enough to work for this goal.

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