What would you change?

Discourse3 Comments

If you could change anything about the way humans function in attempt to improve society, what would you change? Would you take away greed? Eliminate prejudice? Increase compassion?

I would change people to naturally be able to see the consequences of their actions even if they are 10, 20, or 100 steps down the road.

I don’t think greed, prejudice, indifference, or any other moral weakness are the root problem. Humans, on the whole, are not greedy. There are a thousand counter examples for every display of exorbitant wealth that saturates the media — we just don’t think about them. Humans, on the whole, are not morally weak. But when we operate in contexts where we are blind to all but the most immediate consequences of our actions, we are not able to make effective moral choices.

So if I could, I would change people so they can see with immediate clarity even the most far-reaching effects their actions have. I think that would immediately spark the beginning of the end of all poverty and oppression.

But that’s impossible. So what if we look at it the other way around? If humans are generally good, but become bad when operating in contexts that obscure the consequences of their actions, what would happen if they began to operate in a new context? What if instead of changing people, we changed the environment?

SorenWhat would you change?

3 Comments on “What would you change?”

  1. grassroots

    I liked your article and I think the environment we live in informs our lives more than we think about on a daily basis. Wendell Berry states, “The future of the world depends on what we eat.” That’s pretty basic, but extremely provocative when we start to scratch the surface. Imagine if we all grew our own food? First, life would slow down…..opps, can’t go to the spa….must plant the carrots; The consequences of not planting the carrots is starvation later in the year. Think about it.

  2. Joan Linski

    If I were to change one thing about our world at this time, it would be the disconnect that other living things do not matter. People act as though they are separate from the natural world around them, and we are not separate from it, we are a part of this world. When we harm plants, animals, water, air and earth, we harm ourselves, because we are directly connected to, and dependent on these very same resources that we injure.

    The change I am talking about here, is to wake up to the interconnectedness of all life.

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