Before “civilization” took off, the human race was not made up of “ultra-competitors.” Hunter-gatherers do not kill or collect to achieve some kind of greatness, they do so to survive. Any competition at this point in time was a part of the natural order of the world. Where we can find our kind at its most cooperative is in our earlier days. We survived because we were the “fittest,” but we were that way because we took care of each other. Our focus was on community. Our morality concerned itself with others before the self.
Since then, our morality has flipped. Much of us live our lives looking toward gleaming stars in the sky rather than looking toward the Earth where we are grounded. We have taken advantage of the Earth as if it was our rival in competition. In this competition, teams are looked down upon and selfishness is golden. We are less social than before, despite being more “connected” than we ever have been. Society needs cooperation to thrive and with our current focus on the individual, our society is crumbling.
As social creatures, this means that right now we are going against our very nature. Humans should never have been “ultra-competitors.” At our core, we are ultra-social and cooperative. Right now, we are no longer at our “fittest,” nor are we set to survive in the long run. We find ourselves now as the leaders of a dying world. But we still have a chance and a choice. To survive, we have to first choose to realize that being “fit” does not require a grand competition. It requires compassion.
The Center's campus is a workspace for Chicago-based staff, a retreat center for the Center's gatherings of thought-leaders, a laboratory in which to practice land-relationship ideas shared by Center contributors, and (one day soon) a welcoming space for periodic public events.
Center for Humans and Nature 17660 West Casey Road Libertyville, Illinois 60048