Becoming Part of the Solution
BY: T. Franklin Murphy | January 2018
The world is bursting with hate and reeling with fear. The temptation is to pull back; the solution, however, is to build bridges of compassion.
The last couple years we witnessed devastating tragedy. Winds, floods and fires engulfed communities, destroyed lives, changing life forever for many unfortunate victims. Many readers were directly impacted by these disasters. Others remotely watched, sharing pain from a distance. Grim details and rising deaths shocked our conscious.
The world is faced with a frightening trend. Many nations’ political powers are pulling back, becoming more protective and nationalistic. America has notably joined in this movement with their bombastic-self-centered leader. Leaders seldom rise to power without support of the people. Trump didn’t create the people; the people created the Trump. We need to re-examine this self-absorbed movement, make corrections, and realign ourselves to greater purposes.
Seldom does a single cause changes mainstream ideology. Certainly, there are notable fears. Terrorism impacts our sense of security. The daily reports of senseless mass killings frightens our stability. Modern technology spreads discontent. Superficial internet relationships increasingly replaced wholesome connections, contributing to the epidemic of loneliness and social anxieties.
The world population has grown exponentially, creating growing concerns on environment and resources. At the turn of the nineteenth century, the world population remained under one billion people; now there is in excess of 7 billion.
The answer to our continued existence lies in large scale cooperation and not a deadly game (the prisoner’s dilemma) where everyone loses with the destruction of this planet.
"Trump didn’t create the people; the people created the Trump."
Reverse the Fear and Hatred Trend
Where do we start? How do we reverse this trend of selfishness and fear?
Large scale changes start with small shifts. When individuals begin to reach out, nations will follow. We still can see good in the face of disaster. Fellow humans working to save strangers. A tragedy brings a sense of commonality—a shared experience.
Many, however, maintain emotional distance. We distance ourselves from suffering, finding safety in biased judgements, blaming victims, and remaining indifferent to suffering. Sadly, calloused hearts remain untouched by human suffering, allowing difference in skin color or political allegiances to interfere with shared humanity. The pain on the other side of the country is no less tragic than pain next door.
With selfishness, we create the conditions for wide collapse. The grappling over limited resources will surely be our demise.
Scientific studies suggest we benefit from giving, but, perhaps, if we give for self gain, we lose much of the blessings. We should do good because we care, and we want others to benefit. The psychological rewards are just an additional perk.
As we engage in joyfulness of life, close the gap, open your hearts and give. When we give, we begin a trend. Find a cause, empathize with suffering, and become part of the solution. The world is full of riches and poverty. The world is full of joyfulness and hurt. We shouldn’t overly busy ourselves with our small speck of existence while ignoring the masses.
By throwing our pebble of kindness into the world pond, we begin a ripple of something better, filling the expansive emptiness that is crushing the human spirit.
Reach out, find a cause and give.