It took billions of years of evolution for Homo sapiens to develop a notion of interrelation — the insight that our lives depend on our relationships.
It took tens of thousands of years before humans applied the concept of interrelation beyond the physical boundaries of their own lives.
The ethical implications of interrelation — that individuals, groups, and states enact their morality through their relationships — have been explored for thousands of years, with no end in sight.
And now, for the first time ever, a material percentage of humans have achieved a level of comfort and security where they, and their direct relations, are not in a current state of inter-relational threat. These people, of which I am presently one, still depend upon others — a permanent reality of humanhood — but face no immediate relational danger that requires their energy and resources to address.
This state of sufficient surplus that empowers people to extend their capacity to care beyond their direct circumstances, is BRAND NEW. Nature’s programming is to find ease and satiate. We are not wired to be helpful to organisms that we do not, and may never, know.
We have to teach people to use their capacity to care. We need to lift each other up and learn together how to live and be in this new way. It is an extraordinary and momentous challenge and opportunity for our species.