The Gorilla in the Room: People
Before I can write about what we can do about Climate Change, I need to set the stage for what I want to say. Catholic, White, Chicano, Black, Rural, Urban, Old, Young, Republican, Tea Party, Muslim, Buddhist, Hindu, Etc. Etc. Etc. So---- you are a Native American, Lutheran, Rural ,Liberal, middle-aged woman. So what? Can anyone say anything about you from those labels? They can try, but they probably would be wrong. Even the standard labels of Republican and Democrat really do not tell how someone might feel about a specific issue. People always surprise me that way.
I know labels divide us into groups, but those groups really don’t describe who we really are. I’ve thought a lot about this as I have struggled to understand people, and why they think and do the things they do. After much thought I’ve come to the conclusion that people really can be put into categories that are very accurate in describing them, but there are only two such categories. Those categories are selfish and unselfish and everyone fits into one or the other.
By selfish I mean people that only think about what would be good for them, their family and friends. By unselfish I mean people that think about what would be good for people they don’t know; what is often called the “common good.” After all, most people care enough about the people they know (friends and family) to want to help them. Not everyone cares about people they don’t know and will never meet.
People in the selfish category always think about “what’s in it for me” while the people in the unselfish category think about “what’s in it for everyone.” Think about this for awhile and I think that you will eventually agree with me. Think about the people you know and try putting them into one or the other of the categories. It’s not all that hard. Try it with well-known politicians and you will find that the self-serving ones are not so hard to find. Chances are, if they (politicians) are telling you just what you want to hear they fit into the selfish category.
The stage is set for next week’s blog on what can we do about Climate Change.