Humanity’s Salvation is Gratitude

As of this writing, there are almost 8 billion of us humans occupying the Earth and sprawling to every corner of the planet. Each and every one born with a clean slate of innocence and without beliefs. The validity of this statement makes it incumbent upon all of us to examine our belief system and why we believe what we believe. It’s reasoning from beliefs that directs a moral compass.

All of us emerge from a particular culture with distinct social norms and expectations. And the best hope for humanity is for all of us to be open to other views and perspectives. Diversity is good as it allows the greatest potential for adaptability to problems. Embracing cultural differences and getting out of our belief silos creates an ethical watershed for purging bad unproductive beliefs and practices. There are many examples of this happening around the world today. And the more of us who continue to let go of our belief biases and harness all the clever and ingenious ways man has evolved culturally, the more appreciation we will have for ourselves and each other.

The primary depletion of the human potential and the making for bad decisions are a lack of values. Values emerge from a culture’s belief system; from parent to child and from generation to generation. If there is no parent or guardian for a child to learn values, they will develop them from whatever surroundings they find themselves. Usually poverty-stricken, such a child will exist on instinct and survival, and not develop a value system that supports the accepted social convention. And even if a child is well supported with well-intended guidance, values can be easily misplaced because of ego, ignorance, and beliefs.

In the West where we nest with a me-first mentality, and where image and beauty are valued over basic civil discourse, tolerance for taking things and each other for granted is growing. Too many of us feel victimized. We need to stop this mindset and start empowering ourselves and each other. Many of us feel like we’ve played by the rules and conformed to what’s been expected of us, but still don’t feel fulfilled or like we’ve gotten a fair shake in life. Student debt, social media pressures, taxes, corporate and political greed, welfare, employment or lack thereof, systemic poverty, and poor health are just a few topics we like to complain about and that make us feel like life isn’t fair. And in many, many instances it’s not. But when we give in to being a victim of anything we lose power and are unable to soar to be our best.  And even more far-reaching, it diminishes our capacity for gratitude.

All of us should try to do what we can to make life as fair as possible for everyone, especially those with the most power. But if the basic necessities for life are met like they are for the majority of people in the U.S. and in developed parts of the world, appreciation for the smallest and seemingly insignificant parts of living need to be recognized and cherished by more people. Technology has given us an amazing scope for sensationalism that previous cultures would deem magic. And to enjoy all the magic and innovation a contemporary life offers, we still need to breathe, eat, and drink just like our ancestors for maintaining homeostasis to live.  Too many of us take life for granted.

Bad and unconsidered choices that manifest human-influenced suffering multiples when gratitude is lost or forgotten. So for humanity’s salvation where we can endure and evolve in the best way possible, all of us need to appreciate and value everything, especially the basics that make for life, us, and each other.