Editorial by Nicholas Pediaditakis, MD, DLFAPA
Are we humans going to make it? We could and we may. We have all the qualities for it; but, we should not take that for granted, even though we have intellect, flexibility, the ability to think rationally, and — given the proper circumstances — to cooperate towards common goals.
On the other hand, we carry with us alongside these admirable traits, other traits that were useful for our survival hundreds of thousands of years ago under the prevailing circumstances, as small bands of hunters roaming the Savannah. Now, as they are still with us, these traits are in conflict and on a collision course with modernity. These traits, like tribalism, aggressive territoriality, eagerness to go to war, fanaticism, irrational belief in each groups’ special-ness and sense of exclusivity, and eagerness to look down on other tribes/nations, only endanger us with extinction — since the sticks and javelins we used “back then” have now morphed into atomic bombs and killer drones.
In addition, we have created problems threatening our existence, such as, over population, destruction of biodiversity (e.g., killing and making extinct, many species that contribute to the balance of our planet), pollution, and rapid climate change (never mind the denials). The ice sheets on Greenland, several thousand feet thick, are melting rapidly for anyone to see and raising the sea level in Florida.
All these defects in our nature are now on a collision course with the problems we have created, and are making our survival on this earth, iffy…iffy. After all, 99% of species which have ever lived on this Earth, have already become extinct.
For those of us who are people of faith, we should not expect salvation from above, as it were. After all, the creator gave us all the qualities to enable us in survival, like rational thinking, a cooperative spirit, a religious and racial tolerance, compassion, and empathy. We should use them. All the holy books the world over remind us of these qualities as a prescription for survival. And, as I said before, we are worth saving. Humans are the only creatures on this corner of the universe who are ponderers, story tellers, chroniclers, and able to husband and protect the rest of our fellow living creatures and the planet itself.
Fortunately and hopefully recently, under the pressure by these real problems worldwide, we are developing each one of us — in addition to the loyalty we have for the tribe we belong to — an awareness that all we humans are literally “boiling in the same pot.” The survival of all individual tribes/nation are completely connected to the survival of the next one — the very one which we too often tend to look down upon and act ready to make enemies and war with it.
Copyright © 2016-17 by Nicholas Pediaditakis, MD
For more information on Dr. Pediaditakis and his Raleigh NC mental health clinic, visit his Facebook page.
Dr. Nicholas’ blog may be read at chroniclersofthesoul.com.
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