Truth Bomb Tuesday: This idea is really, really dangerous.
They want you to believe that people are selfish.
This might sound like a conspiracy theory, and look, I’ve got no idea what the actual truth of the matter is.
But it certainly looks to me like there’s concerted push to paint a picture of humanity as inherently selfish and greedy.
And it’s interesting to try and imagine why that might be.
Because it is strange that this idea is so persistent.
Most of us think that we’re pretty good people. Most of us also think that most of our close friends are good people too.
But at some point, when we start talking about ‘other people’ or ‘people’ in general, then we tend to say things like:
“People are just selfish by nature.”
“You can’t trust people.”
“People are just horrible.”
But is it really true? Are ‘people’ really that bad?
I mean sure, you probably think you have evidence for that. You watch the news. You watch movies and see what people do to each other.
But are you going to write off the whole human-species just on the limited data set coming though the television?
For every cold-blooded serial killer out there, there are a hundred million people just doing the best they can to be good, loving and generous people.
Just like you.
In fact, I say, to believe that people are inherently selfish, you have to ignore a massive amount of evidence to the contrary – evidence that suggests that humans are more inclined to quiet acts of selfless heroism, than they are to callous acts of greed and cruelty.
But the myth persists. We tell ourselves that people are selfish. We tell each other. It becomes who we think we are.
But the belief limits us.
It puts a limit on what we think we can achieve is such a nasty dog-eat-dog world.
It puts a limit on just how rich and beautiful we think our personal relationships can be.
And it puts a limit on just what we think we can make of ourselves, given our horrible, buggy nature.
The belief limits us. This idea that we are selfish limits us in every direction.
Even though there’s just no hard evidence for the claim.
So ask yourself, ‘where does this idea actually come from?’
Who wants to limit you and see you undershoot your potential?
Who wants you give up on your commitment to being kind and considerate, and who wants you to just lay down in the muck of your own base selfishness and greed?
And what are you going to do about it?
Are you going to find the courage to believe in a people? Are you going to find the courage to renew your commitment to being an awesome person?
This is the challenge of our times.
This is the heroism that the world is asking of us.
Let’s not lose faith in each other just yet.