Greed, Self-Interest and Ignorance

A little while ago, I was a asked a quick question “aside from why is the world going to shit”. I believe I answered the quick question quickly, and my answer to the second part was: “The world is going to shit because of greed, self-interest and ignorance. Solve those, save the world.”

I felt pretty clever with my flippant response, but the more I think about it, I think it’s apt. I was just making a vague reference to “Save the cheerleader, save the world,” but I really got thinking about what it would take to solve the problem of the world going to hell in a handcart, as I like to phrase it.

I was going to try to tackle these issues in a four-part series, with this post just presenting some basic opinions I have in these areas, and then focusing on each one in its own post. But in the time it’s taken me to put my thoughts together, I’ve read a number of books, one of them being Robert J. Sawyer‘s Calculating God. I’ve decided to embrace as a personal guiding principle an idea from the book: “…learning to ignore things is one of the great paths to inner peace….” (There’s more context in the linked article.) And this guiding principle has made me realize that I can—and probably should—just ignore my thoughts on the world. And achieve some inner peace.

So rather than belabour the obvious fact that the world is going to hell, I’m suggesting that you should try to be the best you can be, and guide yourself in this endeavour by thinking of those who love you and depend on you, and I’ll try to do the same. Maybe if we can all do this, the world will go to hell slightly more slowly.