Mankind, Greed, and Survival

Charles_Darwin_and_Jenny_the_orangutanMankind. A word thought to have first been used in the 13th Century aka 1200s. In the 1200s, events like the Crusades took place. Ghengis Khan invaded China. The Magna Carta was signed. France and England go to war. Scotland strives to be independent but its hopes are dashed by William Wallace’s loss to King Edward I at the Battle of Falkirk. Dante was born and would go on to write The Divine Comedy. Wooden movable type printing was invented in China.

The 1200s was a period of wars, invasions, religious friction, and ideological upheaval. It’s hard to believe that the word “Mankind” could have been used during this period of time. However, it was used. Though, I think in the beginning it was a means set man apart from woman. However, I believe as kinship evolved so did the use of the word mankind – as not only a means to refer to a narrow group but to a broader group – thoughts and reason that yearned to be inclusive rather exclusive.

All human societies organize, recognize and classify types of social relationships based on relations (“Human”).

At some point, nations formed and these nations were headed by individuals that would deal with other nations. Leaders represent the needs and wants of the people that agree to be bound by its structure. At the core of human beings, like any animal, is the need and desire to survive. It’s instinctual. However, human beings have evolved and our intellect, our knowledge, and our ability to reason has allowed us to stand tall as a species, but our need and desire to survive can be brutal, cruel, and fatalistic. For the abundance of wisdom and creativity, we are still plagued by very base behaviors. One of these behaviors is greed.

Some might say that greed is allegory of man’s most primal persona. Only succeeded by our need to defend. That allegory being that man is a metaphor for evil. Yet, for all the evil committed, we have evolved to build systems to control this hemorrhaging antithesis of mankind. For mankind is the unity of man and woman. The unity of purpose. However, every day unfathomable atrocities happen in the wake of greed. Greed being a state of incomplete. Now, there are definitely different forms of greed. It would be illogical to grip reason with absolutism. Greed is wanting what one doesn’t need. A tiny bit of greediness is a salve to the senses – like chocolate. Do we need to spend money on a piece of chocolate? No – it is an indulgence.

The difficulty of being a human being is that there is a drive and thirst within ourselves. The question is how do we use our abilities and how we solve problems that balance the greed within ourselves with the needs of all life, not merely just human beings.

The reason I speak about greed and the nature of human beings is to open a dialogue about ourselves. A study that was published by Oxford and reported by said that “Greed was good (Kluger).” It went on to say that pure egalitarianism (a belief in human equality especially with respect to social, political, and economic affairs.) does not allow for a society that challenges itself, task risk. There certainly is a big difference between competition and risk versus oppression and discrimination. Human innovation relies on a drive. It requires incentive. Again, how do we use our abilities and how we solve problems that balance the greed within ourselves with the needs of all life, not merely just human beings.

Please look forward to a series of posts related to this initial post. The first will discuss Obesity.