There’s a great quote by the American environmental lawyer, Gus Speth. He said…
“I used to think the top environmental problems were biodiversity loss, ecosystem collapse and climate change. I thought that with 30 years of good science we could address those problems. But I was wrong. The top environmental problems are selfishness, greed and apathy… and to deal with those we need a spiritual and cultural transformation. And we scientists don’t know how to do that.”
This sentiment can be applied to any problem, regardless of scale.
Scratch the surface of any conflict and at its core you’ll find selfishness, greed and apathy, along with a large dose of denial.
So what’s really the problem here?
Is humanity inherently selfish, greedy and apathetic? Or is there something else at play?
Underlying all human behaviour is an established belief system that gives rise to either selfish behaviour or selfless behaviour.
All egocentric people have one thing in common – they erroneously believe themselves to be separate from the whole. Simply put, they lack heart.
Driven by extreme survival instincts, often as a result of childhood conditioning, they typically resort to sub-human behaviour that causes them to act against their true nature.
Altruistic people by comparison possess a belief system that is fundamentally rooted in love and unity.
Gus Speth is right. The solution to our so-called problems can’t be found outside of ourselves.
Only by challenging and dismantling our established belief system can we eradicate conflict both at an individual level and on a global scale.
Humanity has reached a crossroads. If we are to survive and flourish, radical change is essential.
Vitally, we must learn how to live from the heart while simultaneously defending the heart.
A spiritual transformation is quite possibly the only thing that can save us from ourselves.