TED Conversations

Johnny Atman

Psychotherapist & NLP Trainer,

This conversation is closed.

How can a human being overcome selfishness, the idea that one is separate from the rest of humanity?

In an action, we usually have a target (goal) a means to achieve that (a method) and resources. Should one of the components be out of line, or not supporting the other two, the action would be a failure as harmony would be broken. So every component supports the others, every component lives for the others. When this alignment is achieved, the Archer is satisfied, releases the arrow from the bow and the target is hit. How can we live for one another and align our hearts for the benefit of all humanity?

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    Oct 27 2013: I think, to some degree, the way we refer to one another has something (small but significant) to do with how we treat one another. For instance, I was working in a detention facility in Iraq, there was a very real concern about how "detainees" were being treated. A training program was quickly adopted and made a mandatory part of our initial training. One thing that stuck out clearly in my head was the labels we place on people. Detainee's, terrorists even the label Iraqi's seems to distance ones self from another. It seems like such a slight distance, just a name, a label. I think that slight distance holds more weight than we assume. We are all human. Beyond that, in my experience, labels tend to miss the target. A wind that cannot be compensated for.
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      Oct 27 2013: i think you have hit the nail in the head. you have pointed out the begining of separation. thank you
    • Nov 1 2013: well stated Glenn......
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      Nov 3 2013: Very well stated and recognized Glenn. I volunteered with the department of corrections for about 6 years, facilitating various programs. Who are these people? "They" could be "me"! We are more the same than different, and when we recognize our similarities, as well as accept our differences....without labels.....we may find many ways in which we can connect. How we refer to each other....label ourselves or each other....has a LOT to do with how we treat each other.....well said my friend:>)
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    Oct 13 2013: I don't think all human beings are selfish however I do think that some people are more prone to it that others out of ego, greed, or insecurity in some way or another - over the past 30-years I think there has been an underlying and unspoken socio-political experiment going on particularly in the west, linked to capitalism (cronie capitalism in particular) which has been designed to beguile people into thinking that greed and selfishness are good things... things to aspire to, and that our society is one of "every man for themselves" - however human-beings are social creatures - we are not silo's or islands - we are interdependent with and to each-other, and with the very planet we live on.

    The only thing that can redress the balance in humanity, our planet, and the ecosystems which sustain all life on earth, as a whole, is to accept that profits at the expense of the people and the planet is not sustainable. I believe that the moral, spiritual and ethical majority (currently a sleeping giant) needs to wake-up out of their slumber... We all have a conscience (bar a few exceptions). We are born with a basic inherent awareness of what it right and what is wrong - which is reinforced for good or ill, though our experiences, our guides, teachers, mentors and conditioning, and there are far more of us that would do good, alleviate suffering than those that would inflict it.

    So it's down to us as individuals, in our homes, in our communities, at work and at play to as Gandhi so eloquently stated: "be the change we want to see in the world"... We have a conscience - we know the difference between right and wrong, and we have the power of the money in our pockets to influence those we believe behave in amoral fashions by ceasing to purchase their services or goods. Remember the how millions of housewives world wide influenced the big tuna fisheries back in the 80's!!!
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    Oct 4 2013: Johnny,
    You present this idea as if every human being perceives him/herself separate from the whole, and in my perception and experience, there are lots of people who perceive our interconnectedness.

    We are all different as individuals, and in my perception, it is important to be aware of our "self", without adversely impacting others. We cannot take care of anyone else unless we take care of our "self". We cannot give to others, something that we do not have in and for our "self".

    That being said, with mindful awareness, we can be aware of how we can take care of our "self" and others. We can be aware in every moment, to the best of our ability, how our words and actions impact others, and weather or not we contribute to the whole. We can encourage and practice the idea of interconnectedness, and discontinue presenting the idea that it is a "normal" belief that we are separate:>)

    How can we align our hearts for the benefit of all humanity? I believe our hearts are already aligned....we need to recognize and remember:>)
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      Oct 5 2013: Hi Coleen, thatks for the input and I thank everyone who so kindly contribute.I do, as many topics in life are assumptions yet to be tested, and unless we test them, they become rigid beliefs without a fact that may support them. Obviously, the ones that are interconnected are the exception. I look at the world I live in and see beauty and tragedy coexisting.
      I am not against either as the paradox of living is difficult to fathom. Tragedy and beauty seem to shaddow each other. Beauty is ungraspable which is tragic in itself, and so is Truth. As a child, I recall once catching a firefly. In my fist, it's flicker died. As soon as I released it, the flicker came back on. I have learned a great lesson, that Reality, Love, Truth are ungraspable. But they are perceivable. That is all. The "self" as I understand, is a story that seeks to perpetuate in time, a narrative that seeks, from a core value basis, to act, in accordance with those values. Tragically, everyone has slightly different values, which at times clash, thus creating conflict. One can agree to disagree, as long as one does not impose one's values on others. I guess, our factual needs are common, we have needs that are biological and we have the need to relate and connect. My question would be where does the need end and greed begin? I look at nature, and I see animals gathering enough for the winter. They do not have bank accounts, yet they seem to do fine, according to nature and capacity to provide. But what about us humans? http://www.politifact.com/wisconsin/statements/2011/mar/10/michael-moore/michael-moore-says-400-americans-have-more-wealth-/
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        Oct 5 2013: I agree with you Johnny, that life is an exploration. I do not agree that "the ones that are interconnected are the exception". I see a LOT of people in our world recognizing our interconnectedness, and I like to focus on that. I also see beauty and truth in our world, and focus on that as well. What we focus on expands.

        It is valuable to be aware of how we might change our world for the better, and I'm sorry that you believe reality, love and truth are ungraspable. What we believe becomes our reality. I don't perceive it as tragic that we have different values, because, as you insightfully say...."many topics in life are assumptions yet to be tested". Life is an exploration, and I agree to disagree with your perception of the life adventure in some respects.

        The squirrels and chipmunks DO indeed have "bank accounts" in the form of gathering food for the winter, and I observe every day, their ability to horde WAY more food than they can eat in the winter months. I'm not saying it's right or wrong. I'm simply observing nature:>)
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          Oct 5 2013: I am not asking for anyone to feel sorry for me as I do not feel I am in any sort of pain. And if I was, I am responsible for it therefore the sorry is with me and that is fine too.
          We are obviously talking about different things, when we talk about Love, Truth and Beauty. The Love, Truth and Beauty that I am talking about are not temporal thus cannot be grasped by thought, which is the product of time; yet can be perceived by a mind that in which desire has come to an end.. You talk about Love, Truth and Beauty as a product of belief, which is temporal, conditioned, culturally derrived and therefor conflictual as people's beliefs about these concepts are also different. Such concepts, as noble as they may be, can only result in strife.
          We cannot help but agree to disagree, on certain points, therefor we will never fully meet. So what is in the way of us fully meeting?
          Have you ever opened an account with Squirrel Savings Bank?
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        Oct 5 2013: Johnny,
        I do not feel sorry for you. I wrote..."I'm sorry that you believe reality, love and truth are ungraspable". I know your feelings are your own choice and responsibility.

        I talk about truth, beauty and love as these qualities are understood by most people in our world who feel connected. I do not grasp these qualities only with "thought". They are embedded in every cell of my body, heart and mind. The love I share with people is not "conflictual", as you say, nor does it "result in strife".

        I feel connected with you and everyone. If you choose to NOT feel that, there is nothing I can do about it, and as you insightfully say...you are responsible for what you choose to feel, and how that manifests into your life experience. On that we agree.
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          Oct 6 2013: A poem cannot be explained, a feeling cannot be argued. There will always be certain things not fully graspable, so we will take calls of our heart.
          I shall never try to explain why I love that smiling face of yours Colleen neither you can put reasons behind adoring this monkey! :D
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          Oct 6 2013: I am not entirely certain that our feelings are our choice. When you describe something coming from deep within, or seeming to be embedded in every cell, I understand this because I have this same feeling. But I am not sufficiently knowledgeable to analyze to its roots.

          There may be those who do not have this sort of deeply rooted love even for people they do not know or who do not have any feelings for ANYTHING that seem to them to come from deep within..It is similar to the way some people have an intensity others do not and cannot understand. If some people do not have this sort of disposition "built in," I don't know whether they can choose to feel this way. I can see someones not being able to understand a condition of life he does not feel.
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        Nov 3 2013: Dear Pabitra, you are special:>)

        I CAN indeed put reasons behind adoring the monkey that is you:>) From our very first interaction here on TED a couple years ago, I KNEW that you were not just another pretty face. You express yourself with respect and kindness, which is important. We agree on some things, and we disagree on some things, and that's ok. That, to me, is a HUGE, very valuable connection. I think we do not feel separate from each other?

        I believe EVERYONE has the ability to connect on many different levels. The question is....do we want to? I believe the possibility is there with ALL people, and it is a choice:>)
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          Nov 3 2013: I understand that is your belief. I simply do not know the extent of variation among people.in this respect. For example, autism exists as a spectrum and is connected to understanding of, communication with, and feeling about others. There is possibly more than choice involved.
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        Nov 3 2013: I don't totally understand either Fritzie. I know a few children labeled autistic, however, and my experience, is that when we are willing and able to meet them where they are, it is possible to connect:>)
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    Oct 30 2013: Hello Johnny and fellow TEDsters,

    Thank you very much for this topic !

    Actually I have been thinking a lot about this question here are my first answers to overcome selfishness:

    - Travel to be willing to take a stand for the world’s welfare and realize that we are part of a global community
    - See differences and diversities as fascinating chances to learn and improve ourselves
    - Do not put any values on things but on PEOPLE
    - Be Curious
    - Read about Socrates, Confucius and Plato
    - Understand that one day we gonna disappear for ever...
  • Oct 29 2013: Selfishness often aligns itself with greed and jealousy. All of these things arise out of some fear: mostly a fear of being without or alone. Yet when we give ourselves over to selfishness, greed and jealousy we often lose the very things we were trying to protect or keep for ourselves. Maybe leading by example is more fruitful than taking the bull by the horns. Just to be content and appreciating the present is a blessing.
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    Oct 27 2013: Brilliant question. Overcoming selfishness is achieved through an individual internal introspective journey and the eventual discovery of ones true self.
    • Nov 1 2013: I like the simplicity of this statement.....
  • Oct 23 2013: Yes, how do we collectively become an empathic civilization? That is the question. Here's a video for you, not from TED, but RSA; it's included in TED's Best of the Web section.

    I think we start by looking to the stars, and realizing just how fragile and beautiful the Earth we live on is. This is something that people from all nations, all religions, and all races can agree upon. There is actually a really interesting idea called "The Overview Effect" that claims astronauts view the world much differently after they come back from space; after seeing our world in all of its splendor (and its impending issues), it is much easier to connect with the rest of humanity. I think we all need a little bit of the overview effect in our lives.
    • Oct 25 2013: Nice point about the astronaut. Sometimes I think in how small we are, and how we need the others to get somewhere.

      When I remember that we are on a gigantic ball, floating on the cosmos ocean, without knowing why or when or where we came from, I begin to see myself as a part of the whole Universe. A state of the matter that experiences life, like all the atoms wanted to experience life and I become what I am today.

      So, when I think about this, I found it so much beautiful and awesome, and I can't think of myself as something else than a part. A part of the whole Universe, just as you and everybody else are! And I despise selfishness when thinking this way.
  • Oct 20 2013: EDUCATION. As soon as the population is seen as a group and not a group of individuals the world will know unity. Instead of teaching how to overcome obstacles by yourself, teaching how to collaborate and work as a single unit is key.
  • Oct 20 2013: There's a story which I would like to share with you , once a king wanted to appoint a prime minster in his court,the king's council of wise people suggested the names of three courtiers.Now the king has to select the one from among the three persons. To find out who is wise among the three, the king asked a question to the first person that if the beard of both us catches fire then what would you do? The first courtier said that first off all I will try to extinguish the fire on my own beard then If I will have the time I will extinguish the fire on your beard.

    The king then asked the same question to the second person. The second courtier said that first of all I will try to extinguish the fire on your beard and then if I will have the time , I will extinguish the fire on my beard.

    Then the king repeated the same question to the third person. The third courtier said that with hand I will extinguish the fire on you beard while at the same time I will try to extinguish the fire on my beard.

    Now, whom do you think the king selected as the prime minister? The king selected the third person and said that one who only thinks about himself is the fool and one who only thinks about the welfare of the others is also the fool.The person who can take care of himself as well as the others is the wise and so I select you as my prime minister.

    Extreme of any thing is very fatal in the world.Today most of the world's problems are due to extremism and nothing else.Balance is the key which is missing in today's world.
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      Oct 20 2013: IMO, you are very correct in your arguments against the extremism and in favor of the balance which is missing. I shall just add that when talking about extremism, people usually think about the typical bad things we are familiar with. But it's very important to notice that even the good things can become extreme and thus turn into bad things.

      The mankind history and even our this present era are full of such cases when good things turning into negative as taken to the extremism. That's why extremism is bad as a value, no matter what's the context.

      Balance is good as a practical mean but not necessarily as a value. Because balance at any cost is an extremism again, which is bad as mentioned before.

      I have written about the mechanism of extremism and balance in my other comment (reply) on
      June 8 2011: http://www.ted.com/talks/damon_horowitz.html?c=259842
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    Oct 11 2013: Johnny... selfishness directly relates to inherent ego of human beings. The bigger our ego... we became more self-centered, selfish in life! Control on ego (termed Aham in Hinduism) can only be established in totality by travelling path of nishkama karma yoga... which simply spells, offering fruits of karma performed to God Almighty all the time.

    Most human beings world over indulged in karma for the sake of fruits of karma. If the fruits of karma did not belong to us... why would mankind indulge in karma! Ask any successful entrepreneur... seeds of total success lay in abandoning our ego in totality. Those with bloated egos may gain material success but would always remain selfish concerning community.

    JRD Tata... the scion of Tata industry in India was a true nishkama karma Yogi par excellence. All his life he lived like a true son of God Almighty... like a true trustee, never considering the entire Tata Empire his own. He believed in the philosophy that everything belonged to God Almighty and he was only an instrument doing his bidding all the time.

    JRD Tata was a truly unselfish person who all his life worked for the welfare of mankind. JRD Tata always said, not for a single moment of life did he enter into a contract in which earning money was the only goal. JRD Tata did for India which no other entrepreneur could excel. By increasing our moral standards, by remaining ethical in life all the time... one can always leave every trace of selfishness behind forever. An unselfish person always worked for welfare of mankind, making path of nishkama karma yoga ones motto of life. More on Nishkama Karma Yoga - http://www.bhagavadgitasummary.com/Geeta-Chapter-12/Gita-Chapter-12-Verse-11.html
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    Oct 5 2013: Through practicing compassion.

    I found a lot of practical inspiration by hearing this talk:
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    Oct 31 2013: Being able to see oneself as part of a greater whole, where every other person is just as valuable is a good start.
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    Oct 30 2013: This may be the very best question at TED!!

    We can overcome selfishness, at "the choice moment", by opting for:

    1. spontaneous kindness
    2. listening
    3. compassion
    4. understanding
    5. volunteer assistance
    6. proactive thoughtfulness
    7. offering ideas that might serve as solutions
    8. pre-emptive action to prevent suffering
    9. real-time action to prevent suffering
    10. mentoring
    11. reaching out with a helping hand
    12. amplifying the good
    13. sharing prosperity
    14. being instrument of loving kindness
    15. behaving in a humane manner
    16. deliberate act of peace
    17. intentional act of love
    18. being happy for the success of others
    19. being happy for the wellness of others
    20. rejoicing in the good news of others
    21. teaching by being
    22. being the change
    23. being the healer
    24. being the love
    25. being the good
    26. being the joy
    27. causing a smile
    28. speaking good words
    29. being present
    30. empowering goodness
    31. celebrating life
    32. being patient
    33. love
  • Oct 27 2013: There is no such thing as "darkness" in the same way that we talk about the "photons of light". Absolute darkness is the complete absence of light. Darkness in itself doesn't exist. To remove darkness all you need to do is to turn on the light. In the same way I believe that selfishness is the absence of selflessness. The only way to overcome selfishness is to practice selflessness. Selflessness is not asceticism. Every thoughtful act that we do with the sincere desire to make this world a better place develops our selflessness. There is ofcourse a downfall- if selflessness is not accompanied by humility then selfishness creeps in. It is a constant struggle. I certainly agree that we will never be able to be absolutely selfless but I have complete faith that I can be better today then I was yesterday.
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    Oct 27 2013: Selfishness is a symptom of loneliness and insecurity, or the perceptive belief that the person is alone with no sense of belonging. Once one feels part of a larger community and belonging, the selfishness wanes. Cognitively the mind will give up selfishness in exchange for inclusion by community. We instinctively seek to be part of a tribe.
  • Oct 25 2013: How can a human being overcome selfishness, the idea that one is separate from the rest of humanity?
    I think the answer to your question is actually part of the question itself. The acceptance of the idea that we are separate bodies with differences, keeps us separate from the rest of humanity. As long as we value, differences, independence, exclusiveness instead of sameness, dependency, and inclusiveness we will believe that we are separate from the rest of humanity.
    To be one with humanity we must participate in the world with a different state of awareness. An awareness that understands we are more than bodies; we are more than the sum of our experiences, we are more than behavior, and that our natural state of happiness is giving and receiving love. To be one with humanity we must value the concepts of sameness, dependence, inclusiveness, and forgiveness.
    To overcome selfishness we must identify with our fellow human beings; if you are special or different than you have excluded, not included. We must be aware of our thoughts, because our thoughts affect perception and perception governors’ behavior. We must stop judging and choose to forgive. We can choose to see things differently simply by being aware of our thoughts and choosing again.
    So to feel one with the rest of humanity we must first accept the idea that we are all the same, we are all looking for acceptance and love. To overcome selfishness, we must be aware of our thoughts and when they deviate from sameness, choose again, chose forgiveness. Realize that an idea becomes more powerful as more people believe in the idea.
  • Oct 22 2013: mark twain said it best: “Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime.”

    it's interesting that people do seem to fall into either of 2 groups, depending on how big their scope of the word 'us' is. immigrants are a good example, and fit the travel connection. you've probably seen some who, when moving to another country, live in an area where many of their former countrymen have settled, have few or no friends from their home country, and keep to their old customs, embracing nothing of their home. you might also have met the opposite, people who embrace everything good about both their old home and their new one.
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    Oct 17 2013: Perhaps the question isn't how to become more altruistic but how to become selfish without loosing the ability to sacrifice for our fellow man when necessary. The negative connotations of the word selfish in and of themselves give the word inappropriate context. Should we deny ourselves happiness because to do so would not be altruistic?

    In reality we are separate from the rest of humanity it is merely by accepting that we do on occasion need to allow ourselves to be selfish in a humanitarian way. For instance, I take great pleasure in seeing others happy so in order to facilitate my happiness I must first help to make others happy.
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      Oct 17 2013: Perhaps we need to investigate the nature of selfishness and learn from it?
      • Oct 21 2013: I've been taught that we humans are born with four basic loves.

        1) The love of self (we are god)
        2) The love of the world (possessions, nature)
        3) The love of the neighbour (wishing others happiness)
        4) The love of God (Source of love and life)

        These loves are in the same sequence or importance as we, initially, are growing up.

        All through life there should be events and learnings that will change the priority of those four basic loves.
        Regeneration is that life-long process of reversal. Sorry, but we can only reverse the process by way of temptations.

        Being 'born again' means nothing else than the reversal of importance of, and motivation by those four loves.
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    Oct 14 2013: Selfishness in not the idea that we are separate from the rest of humanity. It is the idea that we deserve more from humanity than someone else.
  • Oct 12 2013: Any selfish person needs to realise they didn't appear here magically and the only reason they have any thing at all is because there are other humans dwelling here on earth as well. We are all we have.
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      Oct 14 2013: .

      SYMBIOSIS ---- survival.
      SELFISHNESS (100%) --- no survival.
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    Oct 4 2013: I think selfishness is not that obnoxious. It is the driving force that motivates us everyday. We are all human beings,we are intended to fulfill our promises,responsibilities, goals. Since the moment we were born,we've been carrying the life purpose of self-improvement,self-accomplishment.

    Only if we harness our selfishness without at the expense of other people's loss,our selfishness is justifiable.
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      Oct 4 2013: I think I understand what you are saying.
      You are saying that it is ok to look out for yourself, as long as you don't hurt others in the process?

      A good healthy dose of self-esteem is very necessary for happiness.
      And I agree that we need to dedicate time for ourselves.

      I always think of the example of taking an airplane ride. When they are explaining to you what to do in case of emergency, the stewardess makes it clear that you should "First" put the oxygen mask on yourself, "BEFORE" helping others. Life is like that I think. First we need to have something ourselves, before we can offer it to others. But that doesn't necessarily mean we are selfish. It means we realize we have limitations, and need to secure the necessary resources to be able to help our fellow man.
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        Oct 5 2013: In a family, everyone has to have their needs met, obviously. But not at the expense of other members. Your example is great, one needs to be well before one can help others. But in the Human family, the tragedy is that we exploit one another in some form or other. I wonder why that is. I do not pretend that I have the answer, I am a student myself. But my well being is inter-related to the well being of the rest of humanity, I have learned.
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          Oct 5 2013: Hi, and thank you for the input.
          Yes, I have often observed families having this toxic relationship where one member or several members exploit each other.

          I think that some people might look at the family unit as a free-for-all, taking what they need, without saying please or thank-you. Others, are giving....never saying no to any request made by family. Still others, are kind, but realize that they must take care of themselves, and so if need be they say no whenever necessary.

          I think that because we are born with a bit of selfishness, it is inevitable that this selfish inclination might rear it's ugly head inside the family.

          It is important as parents to instill kindness and appreciation in our children, and as a married couple, help each other to have 'good manners' and not to take each other for granted. When there is at least one member of a family aware of healthy behavior, perhaps this one member can help the rest. But, and it's a big but........there are some people who enjoy being selfish. So ultimately we have control only over OUR actions.

          It is nice to exchange ideas and thoughts with individuals that are observant and willing to discuss human behavior.
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          Oct 14 2013: Hi Johnny
          You are an idealist. Life is much grittier than you think. You say "But not at the expense of other members" like that is the way it is in a family. I would guess that there are many examples in which a family must choose to provide something for some of the children but can't afford it for all the children. This is reality. The American system, especially, has lost the link to supply and demand. Prices are more related to world commerce than to small town America. Even if only one person in a small town wants an iPhone, (very small demand) the cost of the iPhone does not go down even though the supply is huge. This reality is dominant in global commerce. The consumers with the most money drive the prices up for everyone. In this scenario, it is a given that a family must budget money carefully and can not afford to provide equally for every child.
        • Oct 18 2013: Yes he is an idealist Mr Miner, I think most TEDsters are. There is a difference between the microcosm and macrocosm. On the whole I think, to a point of certitude, that cooperation out weighs selfishness. That is why we have civilization, that is why the percent of people who die from war has declined over two milenia. We are evolutionary programmed to select for cooperation over greed, will it ever be extinguished, no probably not, but we can try to control factors that continue to select for altruism and cooperation. That is why we have prison, law, and incentives like deductions for charitable giving. It is not perfect but neither are we as humans.
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        Oct 5 2013: Exactly, Mary,you read my mind.

        You remind me that as a member of family,community,class,we share our well-being. One individual has to take good care of himself/herself,in order to make people around comfortable. Otherwise,your malignant conditions might influence their lives,cause they want you to be well.
  • Nov 1 2013: Johnny....I have admired the power of your question as evidenced in the number of responses and depth of the responses. Looking at 'TED: Ideas Worth Spreading,' I wonder if TED may one day transform into 'TED: Questions Worth Spreading'

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    Oct 29 2013: by exploring our spiritual being,living harmonious with each other,learn to share"why buy a lawnmower if you can use your neighbors one,why own more, if used less , avoid monetizing time and putting value to everything in life,never let the economic idea of scarcity dictate your life ,
  • Oct 29 2013: Seems to me the remedy starts while being raised as a child. Share and be nice!! This also has the result of becoming 'connected' to others.

    If we are not raised properly then we have to (at some point after our marriage breaks down, and we are fired, and when we become homeless..) brake the cycle. Realize we are not here for the sake of ourself but for the sake of others.
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    Oct 29 2013: Amazing question and I know it will happen in soon.
  • Oct 27 2013: Money is a tool, used as a social interactive trading control application. It was not intended to be hoarded and to cause social ills such as poverty. Wealth, earned or otherwise, comes with social responsibilities. When this wealth is abused by an excessively greedy, (selfish) 'user and or users', thereby causing inhumane conditions for their fellow humans, which leads to social instability, that abuse needs to be arrested. Antisocial behavior is a clear indicator of mental illness.
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    Oct 27 2013: In my view: Any human being can overcome selfishness by embracing selflessness. We can do so by focusing on overall good of any action rather than focusing on improving our own position/situation. The problem has and will always be the feeling of competition that we have been given by the nature itself which time and again restricts us from becoming more than an animal and more of a being.

    So my question is "Are we human being?" or just another breed of animal.
  • Oct 27 2013: I agree with what you've said.Harmony is the one thing that controls everything or is in everything.Without it,all would be chaotic and formless.

    I believe that the answer to this question is transparency and making it known to the people.Making us all aware of the so called ONE ORDER of the Universe (Unity and multiplicity of things) Harmony. As Marthin Luther King j.r said, " Every action you do affects everyone directly or indirectly."

    The second answer is Love.People tend to mind their own business and not really giving care to other people;not being aware of the effects of their action. You must see and realize the things happening. We need to put love in what we are doing,in order for us to see,realize and understand.

    We all have our own professions and careers,talents and uniqueness;for me, this is a way to help each other,by helping and sharing what we know and what we have. As humans,we are not made to know everything individually,but rather, as a whole. What you know and have will help me,and what I know and have will help you.

    I believe in One Order
    I believe in One Creator
    One Intellect
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    Oct 27 2013: Thank you for the reply. Yes, the beginning of a separation. I am not sure if we can ever answer the question can we overcome selfishness without not only asking why one feels the need to separate from the rest of humanity, but in addition asking why are do we separate ourselves from the whole of the universe. I think it's the same target, just a little further away. A bullseye may require pulling back on the bow string until our arms shake and the string threatens to meet the end of its strength.
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      Oct 27 2013: Every member of the body works for the benefit of the whole body, including every other member. The stomach and gut do not feed themselves exclusively, they work for the rest of the body. Butlanguage, language separates and evaluates in prejudicial and discriminatory ways. language creates the terrorist and the saint. And through the wrong use of language, we see ourselves a being "humans" but then even as humans, we are separated among the lines of religion, class, race, gender, age, etc.etc.
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          Oct 28 2013: Orphans of Azi Orphanage

          The Kumba 1 Council has since 2009 been offering financial and material assistance to an Orphanage situated at Molango Street Fiango, Kumba. This orphanage, called “Azi orphanage,” is named after the owner and controller, Madam Fonkeng Agnes Azilefeh, and has been operational since the year 2000. According to Madam Fonkeng, she had a Divine call from the lord who instructed her to cater for orphans and abandoned children. Three years later, she finally setup an orphanage. The first set of orphans she got were three in number,and this was in Ideanu on one of her business trips to sell second hand cloths. She also said the children are of different tribes as she goes to any area within Cameroon to take the Kids upon the death of their parents, and some are given to her by the Social Welfare. Madam Fonkeng says she has been having problems with her family who are not in support of what she is doing, but she enjoys doing this because it is the will of God. The first set of orphans she raised have been adopted and are sponsored by their new parents.As the saying goes “ it is better to teach a person how to catch fish rather than give him or her fish’, efforts are under way in the Kumba 1 Council to open up a small scale business for her, to help her in providing food for the family, provide the basic health care of the children, assist in their Education, and also provide other Basic Needs, while awaiting results from the Social Affairs Office. She also receives assistance from some people of good will who either pay the childern’s school fees or buy their school needs. Presently there are thirteen orphans under her care.
  • Oct 26 2013: I feel as though each and every human is based off some type of fear. the fear is what keeps one going, it pushes all of us to try and overcome that fear by setting out and putting out that target. in which when we feel it is the right time to pull back that arrow and be in the ready position, only we (the person holding the bow) has the control on when and where (from) to release it. hitting it is another situation. you start off by trying to hit it accurately but being precise is not the same thing. having to be selfish is one of the true natures and one of many traits that all of us in some way big or small have. for example: Lions have the role of protecting their territorial grounds and in a way being selfish is seen by the other lions. while, in reality the lion is protecting it for it's family in order to survive. so is being selfish the common occurrence or the true value to us seen as survival?
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      Oct 26 2013: The Lion needs to protect itself from predators. We do not have predators in that way, we are the top predator. We have weapons that can destroy worlds, who do we need protection from? Ourselves.
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        Oct 27 2013: And there plenty of special interest groups such as those in the weapons business, policing, prisons, security firms and especially politicians all warning us to be fearful of whatever it is they can profit from.whether it be power, money or status.