Humankind & Society
Issue #51 — 3.9 minute read
👋 Hey phi-lazy-phers
We’re baaaaaack. Kind of.
I could give you plenty of reasons why there hasn’t been an issue in like…three months. Then again, maybe you didn’t even notice? The short explanation is summed up in a sentence written at the end of the issue on Balance:
Priorities change depending on the season of life we find ourselves in. When that happens, simply reassess and adjust.
I had to reassess and adjust during the past few months. But these posts are fun to write, so I’d like for us to continue sending them out occasionally. It just won’t always be on the same weekly cadence as before.
A lot has happened in the world since the last issue went out back in March. This topic seems rather appropriate considering the man-made suffering we constantly see around us and in our own lives. I’ll spare you my thoughts, as you’ve probably heard hundreds of similar takes by now, and jump right into the timeless wisdom of philosophy.
Simone de Beauvoir
The fact that we are human beings is infinitely more important than all the peculiarities that distinguish human beings from one another.
Half of the harm that is done in this world is due to people who want to feel important. They don't mean to do harm; they justify it because they are absorbed in the endless struggle to think well of themselves.
Public opinion is an extremely mutable thing.
The last century has produced an abundance of ideologies that pretend to be keys to history but are actually nothing but desperate efforts to escape responsibility.
The fact that a cloud from a minor volcanic eruption in Iceland—a small disturbance in the complex mechanism of life on the Earth—can bring to a standstill the aerial traffic over an entire continent is a reminder of how, with all its power to transform nature, humankind remains just another species on the planet Earth.
No one will do for you what you need to do for yourself. We cannot afford to be separate. We have to see that all of us are in the same boat.
Once I thought that to be human was the highest aim a man could have, but I see now that it was meant to destroy me. Today I am proud to say that I am inhuman, that I belong not to men and governments.
The first man who, having fenced in a piece of land, said “This is mine,” and found people naïve enough to believe him, that man was the true founder of civil society.
I want there to be a place in the world where people can engage in one another’s differences in a way that is redemptive, full of hope and possibility.
Man's sensitivity to little things and insensitivity to the greatest things are marks of a strange disorder.
When will our consciences grow so tender that we will act to prevent human misery rather than avenge it?
Humans are just that…human. We all come up short. It's no surprise humans—politicians, bosses, parents, children, friends, etc—let us down regularly. But that doesn’t mean things can’t or shouldn’t improve.
I was going to leave you with Gandhi’s most famous quote, “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” But I just learned he didn’t say that. What he actually said was:
We but mirror the world. All the tendencies present in the outer world are to be found in the world of our body. If we could change ourselves, the tendencies in the world would also change. As a man changes his own nature, so does the attitude of the world change towards him. This is the divine mystery supreme. A wonderful thing it is and the source of our happiness. We need not wait to see what others do.
“We need not wait to see what others do.” That’s the key part for me. If you want to create positive change in this world while you’re still here, you need not wait for anyone else. Take control. Make it happen.
✌️ Until next time, happy philosophizing.
The Lazy Philosophy Podcast
If you haven’t already subscribed to our podcast, you can find it on Apple Podcast, Google Podcast, Spotify, or Amazon Music/Audible. Some day Kendra and I will get back to this, but catch up on past episodes if you haven’t already.
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