A world of citizens and communities

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We all arrive in this world as individuals, unless if we are conjoined with a sibling. If we are lucky enough to be born into circumstances where our families have a balanced perspective of the way things work in the world, then we usually learn about differentiating between the things we need to do to be responsible citizens and those we need to do to make the most of ourselves.

Due to the randomness and variety of ways that things tend to pan out, there are bound to be challenges for all of us to deal with, regardless of the cards we are initially dealt. Having an open mind regarding lifelong learning which can be applied to problem solving is probably one of the most valuable assets that can be cultivated.

We can learn to assess the values that we adhere to as a result of conditioning. A classic example is the extent to which we commit wholeheartedly to the notion of “loving one’s neighbour like one’s self”.  In an ideal world, it would be wonderful if we could all trust each other to look out for the best interests of everyone. Reality tells a different story.

Science also has a tale to tell about the survival of the fittest. It is fair enough that communities need to uphold values that help to convey a semblance of order, but it is becoming increasingly clear that some of the old time notions need to be upgraded to keep up with the pace of the times we’re living in.

Do we all need to look, listen, and learn, before finding time to renegotiate the terms of reference?