Wednesday, December 14, 2011

To Hoard or To Share: Evolution Collides, Christmas Edition

Once upon a time, when humankind was still young, we developed slowly the drives and desires which still permeate our species today. Some of these drives have ushered our civilization into a technological future full of possibilities. Others however are at odds with these technologies, struggling to adapt.

Our drive to share, to engage in social interactions and benefit from mutual enjoyment and effort, is innate. Forming the bonds of communities allowed humans not only to survive but to flourish in a dangerous world, full of predators. Likewise for our desire to hoard, to protect our meat and fruit and nuts and other delicacies from the critters around us, to feed ourselves through cold winters or dry summers.

But our ability to do both of these things has outgrown our need. Hoarding happens for profit, at the expense of other humans in need, on a grand scale. Sharing exists among elite "communities" of those who have too much, leaving those without to beg, to starve, and to die.

We have the potential to share just as well as to hoard. Only profit stands in the way.

What do you have too much of in your life, more than you need? Who in your community could you share this abundance with during the holiday season? Whether you have something to celebrate this season or not, the winter is a time to gather together around the communal fire and share what we have to give.

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