Humans are animals, or so many say. The instinct to survive and reproduce has served as a justification for many atrocious acts. Yet at the same time we tend to agree that humans are in need of each other not only to reproduce but also to grow and prosper. So, is the man an enemy or a friend to the fellow man?
The world has witnessed the rise of many great civilizations and an equal amount of destruction. At the end of the Second World War we thought that we had seen enough of disaster and signed The Universal Declaration of Human Rights to safeguard the most fundamental rights, the human rights of all people. With torture, abductions and severe disparities in education, health access and opportunities among many people, can we claim to be satisfied?
As we move into the 21st century it becomes increasingly more apparent how dependent we all are to each other. And yet we notice that cleavages (social, economic, political) also grow: we have yet to reach a level of partnership and trust among people. And yet I only wonder, is this perhaps our fate? Is our 'progress' always to be tied to our 'failure', or can we break free from this plaguing pattern?
The old advice -to genuinely learn from one's own mistakes- holds true. For one thing, if people are prone to competition we may as well decrease such factors as rhetoric or poor education that are known to bring destruction. If we manage to relocate our fundamental interests within the human society/community (rather than outside of it) then the chances that our instinct for survival will not call for conflict between people but rather for cooperation increase. Lastly, let us turn around us and simply observe: If mother nature can accomodate everyone, including those of us who damage her, why can we not? Why be so exclusive?
But of course all that is very simplistic for the highly complicated issues we face, right?
(In the photo, civilization and destruction together as they coexist in Mexico City today. The religious site of the indigenous people, the Templo Mayor, was demolished in order for the Cathedral to be built, causing significant damage to the people and culture of the city of Tenochitlán (later Ciudad de Mexico). On the far end of the photo is Plaza de Zócalo, the vibrant center of the modern city.)