A Common Culprit Behind the Woes of 2021

The biggest challenge facing humanity as we enter 2022 is not curbing gas emissions, restraining the use of plastics, or reducing the use of fossil fuels. Our biggest challenge, the most obstinate disruption to our efforts to clean up the planet, is our own nature.

When people think of last year, they think of all the things that happened. I think we must go deeper than that; we must look at what induced those things, as well as other negative developments.

We cannot tell ourselves that our own nature is our biggest problem. However, we can create an atmosphere where everyone participates in building a new nature for humanity — where solidarity and kindness win acclaim, and conceit and narcissism induce admonition.

Yet, not a lot is changing. In fact, matters are getting worse. So far, the only thing that has truly managed to contain our reckless behavior is the coronavirus. Once it forced us to go into lockdown, the air was clean, the water was clear, animals roamed where they had never gone before, and people rediscovered their families.

Understanding where we are, why our world is the way it is, and how we can spare ourselves the adversities that are certain to come unless we change our ways, is paramount to our survival. As a bonus, we will also win a wonderful life that we did not believe existed until we adopted a mindset of solidarity and cast behind the common culprit of our woes — our own egoism.

If we do this, all of us together, we will not feel like we are denying ourselves anything, like we are uprooting something from within us. Instead, we will feel that we are adding a good supplement to our lives, something that enriches our lives and gives them direction and meaning. Gradually, the more social mindset will become the dominant one since it rewards more generously than narcissism. If we do it together, it will be an easy and smooth transition.

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