Thursday, April 1, 2010


I was born as a thinker. I’ve spent much of my life thinking about things. Thinking about myself, thinking about others, even thinking about thinking. This is not to say I always think the right things, or that what I think about is always of any use to anyone. My brain isn’t the best brain, and I don’t have a great deal of conventional education.

Nonetheless, I sit and I think. Since an early age, my thoughts led me to believe that there was something funny about the world in which I was living. I started out as a child, interacting with my family, learning from their behavior, thinking about the things they do, the things they say. Garnering from it my basic beliefs about love, kinship, respect, and the value of life.

As my world grew beyond the borders of my immediate family, I began to learn about selfishness, greed, hate. I recognized these things as alien to what I believed “humanity” represented. I had theorized that the only reason human beings had grown beyond the animal world was because of our capacity for great things - Community, peace, love, tolerance. I still firmly believe that these are the foundations for a solid community, and a happy, prosperous life within that group.

When you are born, you are helpless. Unable to perceive the world around you, unable to rectify the situation you’re in. You have fear, but it is mitigated by the fact that you have a loving family to nurture and protect you. Fear and Love. These are the basic emotions we are born with. To simplify it further, even though you don’t understand the feelings you have, the only thing you have the capacity to be afraid of is NOT being loved. You do not KNOW this, but your biology has hardwired you this way. Had you not been loved and cared for, you would have died. When you cry, you are calling out to the ones who love you. What I’m saying is that we are designed to love each other. Without this basic, primal desire for love, we would not have humanity. We would not have a culture at all.

From love comes empathy - The ability to see and feel the emotions of other human beings around you. From empathy sprouts understanding and tolerance. From these, a community can foster peace and tranquility. This, in my humble opinion, is how humanity has achieved great things. How we, as a whole, have risen up to be the stewards of our world. Not mere beasts roaming the plains, but the overseers who work the fields, care for God’s creatures, and nurture all life on this small planet. It is the peace that allowed us to take time to think. With our thoughts, we discover new ways to improve our lives and the lives of those we share our space with.

A child does not know hatred. When you were born, you did not hate. You did not discriminate based on skin colour, class, religion, or culture. You weren’t selfish, as you were not even self-aware. These are unnatural feelings, things you did not consider. That is, until you were taught by someone how to hate. We are born with the capacity for great things, and unfortunately that capacity includes the potential for these negative emotions. They are counter-intuitive to the things that make us great. Selfishness breeds ego. Ego gives us the capacity for materialism and hatred. Materialism because our ego desires the false admiration of others. Hatred comes from the fear that someone else has threatened our ego. These are things you did not know as a child.

I’ve spent my life being confused and conflicted. With all these things planted firmly in my mind - Things I believe to be obvious Truths - I watch the world around me in total chaos. Chaos that seems to be accelerating. This is not to say I live as a Saint, but as I said before, I spend a lot of time thinking. Most of these thoughts are dedicated to how I can raise up the ones I love. To making their lives better, thereby improving my own life with theirs. With that statement, I would also like to clarify that I’m not trying to be selfish, but simply that being part of and nurturing a peaceful, loving community will give you a more peaceful and loving life. This is inevitable.

This, unfortunately, also works with the negative, learned emotions and actions. Even more unfortunately, it seems as though there is a trend in our world pushing us towards these negative, unnatural ways. It seems popular to have the nicest car, the most sexual partners, the biggest house. These things do not provide love or peace. The desire to achieve these things displaces the natural, pushes away love and fosters selfishness. For if you are to HAVE, others must NOT. This creates an imbalance, causes others suffering, creates social classes, distrust, hatred.

There is a great inequality that pervades our society. Instead of caring for one another, we are taught one-upmanship and greed. This allows for us to be taken advantage of. As we grow and are taught, indoctrinated to believe in inequality, in distrust, in competition rather than cooperation, we cry out for someone to care for us. We beg, like children, for someone to give us stability. Those who teach us greed and hatred are the ones who come forward, offering us a solution. “Be with us,” they say. “We will take care of you.” In exchange, we give our labor, loyalty, and servitude. Yet, I know I still feel as though I’m not safe. I’m not living a life of peace by being a member of this invented culture of hate.

Now, after several generations, the “protections” provided to us and the exchange of servitude are enacted upon us when we are born, by default. Do we not get a choice? Could we not solve our problems by being loving and peaceful?

I think we can and will. What do you think?
Extracted from Hack This Zine issue #9.