(This needs a serious editing but I'm hopeful your mind will grasp the basic concepts and attempt to apply them to nearly every problem 'our nation' faces.)
The sickness of our culture is endemic. And we still avoid the diagnosis that it is our worshiped individualism that has disconnected us not only from one another, and others suffering, but from virtually everything we need as humans to survive.
Our mind’s increasing tendency is to live within our head instead of the real world of profound and ubiquitous interconnections that when closely examined are essential to our individual, cultural, national, and global survival. And even vital to our true happiness and joy in this increasingly technologically complex world.
We experience life through three venues. Our 5 (or 6?) senses. Our multitude of internal bodily emotions. And finally, via our mental concepts.
In this context…it is our minds concepts that are accidently killing us, leading us to kill other people, and even kill ourselves.
We believe we can multitask then walk, bike, and drive while texting. We think stress is bad and we avoid the physical stresses that our body and mind need to develop properly – and then die from heart attacks more than any other real threat.
We believe our ethnic group, our nation, our religion, our economic policy, even our skin color is worth killing and dying for.
We believe that our individual life has no meaning or that our cultural, ethnic, societal, economic, or sexual orientation is just too difficult to accept -- and then kill ourselves, maybe even killing others as an act of revenge over real or perceived injustices.
Mindless animals my commit senseless murders out of a genetic abnormality but they don’t do it with thoughtful intention. We should hope they never reach that level of global understanding or our species will become the hunted, endangered, and eventually extinct. We need the natural world to keep in balance, protecting the many life forms that yield us food, clean water, fresh air, and other resources we need to live and sustainably thrive.
Why have we largely been ignoring this? A scientific argument can be made that our minds evolved as a problem-solving tool. A very unique and powerful biological characteristic that is essentially no different than a giraffe’s long neck, a bee hive’s social cooperation, or the length of a male sabretooth tiger’s fangs.
Our mind’s unique evolutionary power for survival was its capacity for pattern recognition, logic, tribal connection, and creativity for making tools and weapons to ensure the survival of our clan. But like the Sabretooth’s long fangs (a male characteristic that females selected as ‘fit’ for yielding more viable offspring) that eventually reduced the male’s capacity for catching prey and eating. Fast forward a few dozen human generations and our species cultural/social evolution reduced our need to cooperate in very large numbers. We became comfortable no knowing those who produced our food, built our homes and cities, and even protected us from waring or genocidal tribes, ethnic or national groups, or concept extremists. Today’s ‘US’ culture has virtually lost touch with everything…including our own bodies (see obesity rate). I avoid using the word “American” culture because South, Central and even some North American nations have yet to devolve into lethal individualism. Mental concepts in the US now divides families and even friendships. And rarely do we know or closely associate with our neighbors. It’s almost as if we disagree with someone’s concept, we threaten ‘who they are’. As if their/our mind is really who we are. Instead of our mind being a tool for our common survival, happiness, and bliss.
In 2018 a Rockville, Maryland teenager (Kyle Snyder) became the very first teenage Olympic Gold Metal heavyweight wresting champion, beating both the Russia’s and Iran’s most mature and experience contenders (always considered the best in the world). Kyle’s father gave him the best coaching advice I’ve ever heard. “Be the landlord of your mind”. Kyle’s trained his own mind to punish his body as much as possible in training…so he would never have to fear any opponent. He stressed his body beyond any limit any ‘normal’ human or US citizen would ever consider. He used is mind to determine how he could train his body to perform to its maximum, when it counted.
Given the evolution of weaponry, war, and deterioration of our environment, democracy, and government capacity for addressing these changes, it is time we become the landlord of our mental concepts. And use them to maximize our freedom and our security.
Getting rid of guns won’t do it. Building walls won’t do it. Engineering a more perfect union between all humans, the environment, and our mind/body/spirit connections is a idea whose time is very late.
Abraham Lincoln once said our Declaration of Independence is our “Apple of Gold” and our Constitution is its “Frame of Silver”. Until we codify the fundamental principles in that Declaration our nation will never be truly exceptional.
It’s been said that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again expecting a different result. In that context, the concert of ‘national sovereignty’ is literally, insane. By refusing to put the protection of human rights over the rights of nations to do as they please globally, we will only continue the chaos and injustices that is driving the killings on our streets and between nations and religions.
Our mind’s still possess our unique and powerful characteristics. But allowing it to dominate who we think we are, and what our most basic desires are, is a receipt for Armageddon. Thomas Paine in his pamphlet “Common Sense” asserted the two most basic human desires are “freedom and security”. And, because of our collective inability to render “moral virtue” together by, we need government in the “world”.
This has never been more important as advances in technology has increased our personal and national interdependence in our technologically hyper-interconnected world’.
Every major religion is based on the concept of the Golden Rule. Knowing Lincoln’s words, this give an entire new concept in thinking about our nation’s “Apple of Gold”.