As the world grapples with climate change, economic and social inequality, exploitation, pollution, deforestation, biodiversity loss, resource depletion, rising authoritarianism, crime, corruption, health epidemics, and a wide array of other problems, it is becoming increasingly clear that our current way of living is unsustainable. In fact, many would argue that human civilization is in decline and headed for collapse. A new way of living — of relating to each other and our planet — is needed.
As it turns out, when viewed from a systems perspective we find that most of our problems are by-products of a deeper issue: a value disorder. For reasons which are now well understood, we've come to value the wrong things — things like money, status, and power — and we spend our entire lives in pursuit of them even though they do not actually bring us meaningful fulfillment (and our planet is harmed in the process).
Born from the fear of scarcity, an individualist mindset grips our collective psyche, blinding us to the potential of alternative ways of living: We pursue our lives as individuals, focusing on personal gain and thus we fail to meaningfully capitalize on the synergy of collaboration; we aim for maximizing profit, but in doing so we forget we should be maximizing well-being; we see people and the world around us as objects to be exploited, so we end up depleting our resource stocks, polluting our planet, and taking advantage of each other instead of nurturing our world and each other into prosperity and abundance; and we give in to fear and intolerance, treating those different from us as opponents to be combatted or peasants to be ignored when it would be far more beneficial to embrace each other as friends and allies.
Our message here is simple: Human potential — both as individuals and as a species — is maximized through effective collaboration that is built on the foundations of unconditional love and respect for all. The current economic and social paradigm, driven by individual self-interest, is serving no one — not even the most wealthy among us today do as well as they would in a truly collaborative society. It's time we create the way of living we want for ourselves, and there's no better time to start than now.