It’s the “holiday season”; a time when we hunker down around the fire and do a lot of story telling with each other. All over the world people are recounting the Christmas story of the birth of the baby Jesus and the Chanukah story of the miraculous oil that burned eight days and nights.
We recognize that the stories we tell are never absolutely true or false, but we also know that they are important because they help us to frame the way we think about the world as we move forward into a challenging future.
Here’s a good story that might be helpful.
It’s a fine mess we’ve gotten ourselves into and if we’re going to get out of it, we’re going to have to find a way to start thinking out of our box.
The greatest obstacle to getting out of our box is the worn-out and dysfunctional legacy story of profit-seeking man. It is a story we have long since outrun. The profit “motive” subordinates moral action, pits person against person, and despoils our lives materially and spiritually. Rather than the profit motive, we might want to start creating our stories in terms of a “moral motive”, in which the aim of all of our busy-ness is to enhance the current and future well being of ourselves and our fellows.
We have become boxed-in by the dogma of the individual motivated by self-interest, greed and fear to always seek personal profit. This is a self-constructed story of reality that belies our actual nature as a collaborative species bound to one another in moral relationships.
How do I know the story of our moral selves is more true than the one about our profiteering selves?
Simply because, given the process of natural selection, we could not have survived and prospered as a species as long as we have in a dangerous and challenging world if we were naturally given to fighting and cheating each other in order to profit.