We live in an unlimited universe. So, what is the deal with financial resourcing for a plethora of needs on individual, family and societal levels being in increasingly short supply in fundamental areas like education, healthcare and clutural arts? One need only look so far as this week’s Mayweather/Paquiano boxing match or any given year’s Superbowl to see it. And, one need only be able to accept the rudimentary psychological truths reflected through them to see how very simply adds up. The good news is no one need stress themselves over grasping the king pin keys to the problem. The bad news is Americans, along with most other country’s citizens are seriously going to have to literally pull together to change it.
Am I saying that people enjoying contact sports is responsible for the ills of the world? No, I am not. I am saying that the realities of the dynamics of the world of contact sports like these two examples reveal the underlying principle driving problems generating our ills. A majority of people in my experience are beginning to see that are dramatically increasing challenges must be addresssed if we are not to become the greatest society to burn itself out since the Roman Empire. I am paining one picture of what I believe it will take to do it with sustainability. Why have I chosen this week’s fight as my opportunity to express this now? It is estimated that this one single sporting event generated in range of two hundred million dollars. The problem of financial resourcing in our society as a whole is not due to any lack of available funding; it is about what we are collectively drawn to invest our money in.
All that money has been amassed one ticket and one pay-per-view customer at a time. So, does that mean that individuals should not look forward to and pay to see the next sporting event that strikes their fancy? This is a question that can only be answered by each person. It is a matter of being aware of our priorities and especially what it is that inspires us to choose the priorities we do with the money we have to spend. It is not a matter of saying that people should not enjoy watching sports, necessarily. It is a matter of asking ourselves why we clearly collectively will pay a great deal more money a great deal faster to see humans competing against humans than we will to build pristine, well-resourced education systems to insure that our children are able to build healthy relationships and function in the world in ways that insure survival and the promise of joy in living.
Despite all the ways in which most of us would rather deny it on a daily basis, human beings most base default program is to compete rather than to cooperate. Generally, individually and collectively, there is a strong drive to “win,” to feel the gratification of winning. Why do we want to feel the sense of winning? On a primal level “winning” insures survival. On an everyday basis, this is the piece that most people I know would argue. People tend to want to think and feel that surely they personally have higher ideals, and that collectively humans are beings of ideals higher than that. Interestingly, this piece tends to be equally true in both the evolutionist and the creationist camps; either we’ve evolved past it, or we were created greater than all the other survival-wired creatures from the beginning. The black and white facts are, collectively, we are much quicker to want to prove we are on the winning team, than on the team in which our small donation to any one of a million causes, such as school-building, added up cooperatively to insure our true long-term survival today.
Does the fact that it is a natural drive to fulfill our base programming of competition first mean that we must act from that place? No. But, it is only by keeping awareness of it and consciously making other choices –according to priorities first– that we can begin to create collective human experiences dominated by success in collective cooperation, with competitive drives becoming secondary.
In closing, for now, if you want to check this out for yourself rather than deciding anything about this just because I said it, stop and notice this week places and times in your life where you have enjoyed the feeling of “winning.” Then ask yourself if the basis of the triumph was cooperative or competitive. The key is cooperation brings people together and builds; competition separates and divides. Both dynamics are progressive. Left without checks and balances, the dynamics fueling competition will escalate to destruction. There is a place and time for both of these dynamics according to priorities, checks and balances. It is critically important that each choice is made consciously, one person, one opportunity at a time.