Guiding Light: Humans And Humanity – The Battle Within

Guiding Light: Humans And Humanity – The Battle Within

Srinath SridharanUpdated: Thursday, February 22, 2024, 07:15 PM IST
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Representative Image | Pixabay

Since the beginning of human history, wars have been a persistent thread, written in blood, through centuries of triumphs and tragedies. It’s a stark reality that wars — whether fought with traditional arms and ammunition or in the more modern arenas of cyber, bio warfare, and data warfare — continue to shape our world. However, the root cause of these conflicts doesn’t solely lie in external factors; it can be traced back to some of the most basic traits that define humanity: avarice, greed, jealousy, and the insatiable desire to accumulate more.

This insatiable “want” that often overshadows the importance of being content with our “needs” is a challenge that transcends the individual and extends to the broader context of society. The human urge for more, characterised by avarice, greed, and jealousy, presents a dichotomy when it comes to solving the complex issues that arise from it.

On one hand, this innate drive has fuelled innovation, economic growth, and material-comfort progress throughout history, motivating individuals and societies to strive for improvement. But it has not been inclusive across all populace. On the other hand, this same urge can perpetuate a cycle of discontent, competition, and conflict. It often stands in stark contrast to the equally fundamental human values of empathy, cooperation, and collective well-being.

Modern-day geopolitics is marked by intricate power struggles, where nations vie for dominance and resources in an ever-globalising world. This irreversible globalisation continues havoc with our aspirations for peace and lasting harmony. Promises of peace, while appealing, can sometimes ring shallow, as national interests, political rivalries, and shifting alliances can undermine even the most well-intentioned diplomatic efforts. The legacy of such shallow promises can haunt us for generations, leaving us with an enduring sense of mistrust and scepticism in international relations.

Breaking the chains of this relentless cycle demands an unflinching confrontation with the deep-rooted human tendencies propelling us into these conflicts. Our evolution as a species should have ingrained the critical lessons of cooperation, empathy, and collective well-being. It’s a stark indictment of our species that, despite the evolutionary roadmap, we find ourselves mired in a persistent struggle against our own intrinsic nature, perpetuating conflicts that jeopardise the very fabric of our existence. Only by embracing our better nature and striving for a world where the “want” is balanced with the “need”, can we hope to one day leave behind the age-old spectre of war and work towards a more equitable and harmonious global society.

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