Community//

Nature’s Laws in the Era of Coronavirus

Fourth in a series of 7 articles

The Thrive Global Community welcomes voices from many spheres. We publish pieces written by outside contributors with a wide range of opinions, which don’t necessarily reflect our own. Community stories are not commissioned by our editorial team, and though they are reviewed for adherence to our guidelines, they are submitted in their final form to our open platform. Learn more or join us as a community member!

At my mother’s knee I was taught that it is better to give than to receive. She was teaching me not to be selfish. As a small child, this idea set up a huge contradiction within me. It felt good to take a toy from my little sister or from a friend. It felt bad when I was told to share. Where does such a thing come from within a child?

From ego. We’re all born with it and it never leaves us. It is a powerful engine that pushes us through life. Initially it is a life-saving force, causing us to take in whatever we need to in order to survive. Remember the squalling baby? Ego has served mankind well in the building of societies, from clans to a global community in order to fulfill basic needs. However, we now have everything we need to survive, and we have most things we want to live in comfort.

In the 1950s people were exhausted by the scarcities engendered by two world wars and a great depression in less than half a century. We were ready to have things again and the economic strategy to boost the post-war economy was to manufacture and sell goods that people wanted, not necessarily needed. The advertising industry grew and promised us the “American dream.” Consumers bought and bought and the economy boomed, creating a fertile field within which the ego could flex its muscles. Fast forward to the 21st century where we have been turned into voracious consumers at the expense of the earth’s resources and the well-being of mankind. Our society could not be more opposite to the law of altruism.

But nature will have her way, and we are undergoing a mandatory examination of our relationships with each other and our way of life by the restrictions imposed by COVID-19. We are watching the crumbling of all our major institutions and the corruption and ego that permeate them is being glaringly exposed. As we endure the challenges we face we know deep down inside that we can be better.

Altruism is defined as the practice of disinterested and selfless concern for the well-being of others. I’m seeing this attitude deepen among people, aren’t you? Performing small and large acts of kindness and help among us are becoming part of life, because we feel how dependent we are on each other. Despite quarantines and social distancing, we are figuring out how to assist those in need. And we should keep doing it, because these acts are altruistic, and the more we demonstrate our care and concern for each other by doing these things, the stronger the inner attitude toward connection thrives.

Let us try to teach generosity and altruism, because we are born selfish. Let us understand what our own selfish genes are up to, because we may then at least have the chance to upset their designs, something that no other species has ever aspired to do.

Richard Dawkins

The egoistic force does not disappear; rather, it is balanced by the altruistic force added to it. Then we will work with two forces of nature: egoism (reception) and altruism (bestowal), striving to match ourselves to Nature’s altruism.

So let’s aspire to that. What have we got to lose except meanness, greed, war-mongering, dirty politics, misery? We have multiple daily choices, every time we create the intentions behind our actions, to contribute to the collective attitude of love your neighbor as yourself.

    Share your comments below. Please read our commenting guidelines before posting. If you have a concern about a comment, report it here.

    You might also like...

    Community//

    The Power of Inner Dialogue®

    by N'Dèye Fana Gueye
    alter ego effect
    Community//

    The Alter Ego Effect

    by @TheDovBaron
    Community//

    How to Find Balance When Your Feelings are Hurt

    by Parvati

    Sign up for the Thrive Global newsletter

    Will be used in accordance with our privacy policy.

    Thrive Global
    People look for retreats for themselves, in the country, by the coast, or in the hills . . . There is nowhere that a person can find a more peaceful and trouble-free retreat than in his own mind. . . . So constantly give yourself this retreat, and renew yourself.

    - MARCUS AURELIUS

    We use cookies on our site to give you the best experience possible. By continuing to browse the site, you agree to this use. For more information on how we use cookies, see our Privacy Policy.