July 2022 Publisher LetterJul 01, 2022 12:00AM ● By Jordan Peschek
Publisher Jordan Peschek
In most sports events, there is a clear winner and a clear loser. That is all well and good in sports—which by its very nature is about a competition—but for humanity to be the best that it can be, we must question why we apply this thinking to so much else.
In health and happiness,
When we carry this idea of polarity out into the world, we forget that we are on the same team. Though we each have a unique perspective, humans share many needs and desires: a better world; a fulfilled and financially secure life; healthy relationships; and mental, physical and spiritual wellness. So how do we navigate this world in which we feel urged to share our opinion and disregard those that don’t align with it?
There are a few actions that we can take to do this. Though each of us should be clear on our values and proud of what know intuitively or have learned throughout our life, we should also cultivate the state of being humble. After all, no one knows everything. Even if we are proven right in our thinking, it does not preclude the possibility that we still may learn something from the person with a different view.
The Natural Awakenings motto is “healthy people, healthy planet.” It seems that such an outcome is only possible when we respect differing opinions, and work together in the areas in which we do agree. When we make assumptions, believe there is only one right answer, or consider labels to be absolute, we don’t just do a disservice to those we judge, we do a disservice to ourselves and to our dreams of a better world.
The perspective of evolutionary biologist Elisabet Sahtouris is that in the natural world, cooperation is the driving force, not competition. To illustrate, examples of symbiotic relationships in nature are plentiful: the mutually beneficial interactions between flowering plants and flying insects, the relationships of algae and coral, the mycorrhizal network of fungi that fosters communication among trees and sharing of nutrients through their root systems.
From this collaborative perspective, the challenge of the times is to both embrace our values and what we believe to be true and right, while also embracing the concept of an open mind. Both are required in order to see new possibilities, though the latter may involve relaxing some of our judgments and beliefs. If we make cooperation—not competition—our main goal, humanity is surely capable of great things.
In health and happiness,