It’s very telling, how the first thing that comes to mind when we think of “defense” is attack. But the defense of the world can only be achieved through cooperation. War may have been programmed into us, but there are more altruistic inclinations that are hardwired into our genes, which run deeper. And it only takes a tiny bit of scratching, if any at all, for a truth-seeking person to realise this.
Yeah sure, survival of the fittest, but if the fittest are only surviving, hell, that doesn’t cut it – I want to thrive. It isn’t mutually exclusive – me vs you, a fight to the death – it’s inclusive and our futures are intrinsically linked. It’s the fight that kills us, not the lack of “fitness”. The world has got so obsessed with competition and separation, with binary, dualistic approaches. These things are destructive if they blind us to when cooperation is required. If we look at things from all perspectives, both scientifically and metaphysically, cooperation can be a more efficient and effective use of resources, which is more evolutionarily beneficial. It’s time for a new breed of warriors, prepared to do the work and to find new weapons that extinguish old toxic habits while leaving the people in tact to build new healthy ones. It’s about health, growth and progress – perhaps we should be called Growers or Progressors rather than Warriors. I am not suggesting that there will be no fighting, nor that anyone should be timid, but the focus needs to be removed from the fighting and placed firmly onto holistic progress. Sure it takes time, sure it isn’t easy, but no one said it would be – easy isn’t always best for growth. There is no better time to be alive than now, and I can feel change growing everywhere, some just small shoots and some like ripe fruit on a tree. It’s time to remember, time for changing patterns.
So where do we begin?
War is justified by highlighting difference – in opinion, position etc. Cooperation is based on common ground, shared purpose/goals and similarities. It is not to say that we need to agree with what everyone says, nor that we are all the same, nor that we should be weak or lily-livered, quite the contrary. We need to step up, straighten and use our back bones rather than our wishbones. We need to be courageous and creative in the way we approach (rather than tackle) the challenges of today. These days, finding a symbiotic way to cooperate and honour healthy boundaries while remaining open and receptive can be more challenging than declaring war on the world, a country, a person, an opinion, or on ourselves.
That is where we begin: With ourselves. What are we warring with ourselves about? Do we go to sleep at night metaphysically black and blue with self-inflicted wounds and judgements, feeling like we have spent the day fighting? What weapons do we use on ourselves, what defensive mechanisms or weapons do we use with others, and are those weapons/defensive mechanisms actually defending and protecting us or in fact just hurting us? How else can we look at the “fight”, what are we missing? What is the progress at the end of the tunnel, and do we really need to fight to reach it?
What we need to remember is that whatever is in front of us is our teacher, and thus whatever is in front of us is also a student. In order for this to work, we need to be reverent. Courageously, fiercely, unapologetically reverent for what stands before us, whether it be a person, a plant, an animal or a reflection in the mirror.