In the same way we can sometimes feel as one with the car we are driving or horse we are riding or, how a jazz band intuitively listens and improvises as a group in perfect coordination, an ergonomic symbiosis between individual and group is possible; enough social and global feedback can lead us to “feel” and perceive ourselves as part of the whole we call humanity. It pushes us to entertain a the concept of “Ourself”. Like a strand of hair becoming aware of the state of the body it belongs to and seeing other strands as part of itself.
To perceptive “Ourself” starts from a strong hold on “Myself”, your understanding of who you are as an individual is as critical as a cell having a membrane that separates it from other cells. We need to maintain the integrity of the individual to follow the principle of respecting and loving others as we love our-selves.
The perspectives of “My/Your-self” and “Ourself” coexist and depend on each other. Looking at existence from an “Ourself” perspective does challenge the way we see others, And it does in a very radical way help us understand we have vested interests in the well-being of others. It also makes us draw a line on the sand. Should I help myself or should I help others? How much should I invest in solving bigger world problems? The answer simple but not easy: There is a space where I help myself and others. And that is a great vision to have for all decision making.
We need the macro-organism called humanity to survive for our children and future generations to survive. This stems from the natural empathy we evolved to have, it becomes our common ground, our common goal: Save the children. In this respect, Eglantyne Jebb‘s genius was evidenced when she named the organization she founded in WWI. Our interdependence is both a gift for peace and a guideline for sustainability.
Its got to be a free choice. The argument is that this is a good model. To do this, we can only freely commit to changing our behaviors in order to help sustain our ecosystem. It can’t be a conflict of an external collective will imposing on the individual, it is more of the external force of reality that requires us to naturally, if the objective is to survive, prioritize sustainable practices over ones that threaten our ecosystem by evolving our cultures, our communications infrastructure and every other phenomenon that interact’s with each other and with us to sustain ourself.
We need to understand that we are helping ourselves when we help “others”. A form of self-awareness that requires us to understand existence as the equilibrium between loving myself and Ourself.