We Are All In This Together; Let’s Start Acting Like It.


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Some days it feels like the world is coming apart, doesn’t it? Hurricanes, tsunamis, the economy collapsing, the health care crisis, an increasingly bitter election cycle, genocide in foreign lands – you name it and it seems pretty bad. And I think the reason things are getting so bad is that so many people are forgetting one very important aspect of being a human – we are all in this together and there is no avoiding that fact. If the economy falls apart, who is affected? Everyone. Sure, some worse than others, but everyone will be affected in some way. If our planet continues to heat up, every single species on earth will be impacted – from the smallest microbe all the way up to us “infallible” humans.

In the end, you know where we all end up? Yep, the same place. And you cannot take your cars, houses, bank accounts, investments, collections, trophy wives, health insurance or anything else with you – it’s over. So does it really make sense to spend your entire life “getting” more than the next guy? Really? Does it make much sense to not want to help out a fellow citizen who might need help paying their medical bills because you are that concerned about your bottom line? Do you really want to go to your grave with the thought that the U.S. is the best and everyone else be damned? You would be surprised at the angry emails I get from people complaining about what I write about! If I say we should help out people who are less fortunate and I am a socialist. If I say we should think about moving towards sustainable energy I am called a dreamer and that it will never happen. If I talk about switching to a non-toxic dish soap that costs $.25 more than “regular” soap, I get called an elitist because I can afford “gourmet” soap; after all, who cares if it pollutes the ground – it’s “cheaper!”.

The fact is, we are all connected in some way or another and everything we do affects the rest of us somewhere down the line. I know I could do more for society as a whole and I am just starting to find my niche as I get a little older. But I have shifted many of my ideas of what my “life” should be and what I want out of it, and I am starting to see what a difference we can all make if we took a second to stop thinking about only ourselves and what we have or can get. Most every action we take has a consequence – be it buying cheap plastic crap from China filled with lead paint, buying the most gas-guzzling, 9 passenger truck to commute solo to work in, or punishing people for being poor – that will come back to haunt you. Your kids will be poisoned because you wanted to save $1.00 at Walmart on a new toy, your potentially unnecessary monster truck will depend on us inventing more wars to steal oil from foreign countries, and your personal health insurance costs will skyrocket because the poor are going to a hospital with a slight cold because they don’t have insurance. It all comes around, even if you think it doesn’t, so I think it’s high time we start thinking about the bigger world around us and not just what goes on in our own little tiny lives.

Let’s start acting like we give a damn about each other and see what happens. Could hurt to try?

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  1. I can’t take my trophy wife with me? Ugh!

    Very well said, David. I hope people are listening. I get frustrated at clean up after clean up from other people’s mistakes but it is true that it’s better to work together than to point fingers. A good reminder.

  2. Great post! I can relate to every word you have written.

    I’ve started to do my share of the action, although I feel I should do more than that. But one step after the other. And together we will make it.

  3. Let us go back to the past…one where ancient tribes roamed the unspoiled lands of Earth, where the miles of undeveloped, untouched coastlines and oak-studded hills were covered in the majestic pink and gold sunsets that faded slowly with no hint of smog or pollution. This was indeed paradise. Humanity has come a far way from this long lost paradise….but at times we are still able to glimpse this beauty that Earth has given us. But it is a rare sight.

    If we keep in mind random green facts like, “If we recycle EVERYTHING in California, it would be equivalent to taking out ALL the emissions of ALL cars in California” or “If the steps are taken now to correct pollution, the ozone layer will actually fix itself in the next 50-100 years” I think it will put us all in the right mindset to continue our journey (without incentives other than appreciating where we live) toward a cleaner, healthier environment for the future.

    Nicely written post–

  4. As someone who lives in NYC I can say it’s definitely tiresome to deal with the “me first” mentality every day. Not that everyone is like that but there is a pervasive feeling of me vs them. We are all in the same boat and a little more understanding of this will make all of our days more enjoyable. Nice post!

  5. It’s so frustrating sometimes.

    The other day our trolley broke down and we had to switch to another one. People were racing to get off so they could get seats on the 2nd. There were two elderly women across from me who couldn’t get out because of the other people – I stepped into the aisle and blocked it so I could assist them in getting off. The people I blocked were SO annoyed with me rather than being grateful that someone was being helpful. Don’t they realize that they are going to be old and slow someday. And what’s the hurry? They are going to race to the other one to get a seat that I am then going to shame them into giving up for the elderly passengers 🙂 Ridiculous.

    Ok – sorry about that rant. I guess my point is that I really hope that people will work together and care for each other and the planet but so often I don’t see it happening at all. It doesn’t make me give up but it does make me question humanity.

  6. Living in Canada we’re in election mode as well. Lots of soil slinging. Speaking of soil, the local government wants to plow over prime agricultural land to build a massive sports complex. Apparently we don’t need to eat, we just need to play ball. Guess who strikes out in the end? Yeah.

  7. Kim, there was a yoke-comparison of western and eastern people: eastern people walk trough life with sense of what’s going on around them. The westerners are hurrying trough the life to reach the grave as soon as possible. OK, it’s a simplification and an it is easier to show(act) than tell.
    I notice people are in some zombie, neurotic, panicking kind of mood. Like programed robots, unaware of the important things of life. It’s kind of scary sometimes.

  8. I used to really be like that, but as I have gotten older I have started thinking of more important things, like the world around me. Thanks for all the comments and encouragement guys!

  9. Sabina – that’s a bit of a generalization. I recently was in China and saw some of the same behaviors there that we see here in people. And in Japan and some places I’ve been in India, it’s just as bad, if not worse, than it is here, due to the mass poverty.

    While I agree with this post, it’s very easy to look at the “other side” and fantasize about how other people live. Really, the majority of humans on this earth are the same: they want to survive in the environment that they live in and are accustomed to. We here are people who (if we actually walk how we talk) care about the world and others because we CAN and are in positions in life to be able to do so. Millions and millions in this world are people that are not in such a lucky position, and to survive they do not even have a second to think about these things.

    In an ideal world, all governments would be instituting green ways of life, but the real world is not so simple, unfortunately. So, we all need to do what we can and contribute as best as we are able to, individually – but I feel that it’s dangerous to idealize other cultures and ways of life which we are really not intimately familiar with.

    I’ve done a lot of traveling so far in my life, to places such as India and China where the poverty makes our ghettos look like lavish kingdoms; the last thing on anyone’s mind in such places are ideals like we’re talking about here: it’s about basic survival.

    The world is so densely populated that, in my opinion, starting to cut down on that population is one of the only ways we will be able to really change things, along with pushing for greener ways of living and greener governments. You really see how overly populated it is when you visit countries like India or China. To me, one of biggest ways we can think about others and have respect for the world is to limit the amount of children, and consider adoption if we NEED to have more than one or two of our own, for whatever reason.

    How’s THAT for a few different tangents!

  10. Noah, I agree with you. It is a generalization. And not a good one.
    Yes, there is a huge difference between people living in a society where everything is available and the only problem is to make a choice what to buy. On the other hand there are millions of people thinking only about surviving. I’ve never be in a position to take care only for surviving and I can’t imagine how it is like.
    I’m not trying to idealize other cultures/nations (I’ve been traveling quite a lot too) but I’m open to learn from different cultures, religions…
    Speaking of the responsibility – I know I’m co-responsible for what’s going on in the world. But till I’m living a comfortable life, it’s up to my consciouses what will I change to contribute to a better world. And that goes for all of us who are born in the “society of plenty”.

  11. We are not all in this together. We are tearing each other to pieces for tiny crumbs and it is only getting worse. I don’t care what they say the unemployment rate is. I may not be the most slick candidate ever, but I know I am far from the stupidest person on the planet. Of course, being over 50 is an automatic disqualifier.

    So again, I repeat. We are not in it together.

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