Because the impossible is not impossible

"But," he stammered, "... but, you want something that cannot be done! You want people to share things and stop acting out of selfishness. That's impossible!" - That was what the tax official sighed when we tried to explain our goals (which we summarize as “free, equal and together”) in an interview with the Dutch Tax Authorities. (Read also: Trying to change the unchangeable. )

Are people able to share fairly and not act out of selfishness? We know that, according to many people, this is an illusion "because man is by nature self-centered."

To us, that still needs to be seen.

(And we also think that there is a world to win, when we don’t take anything that exists for granted and when we keep asking ourselves (and others) whether things cannot be done differently, better, more sane and/or in a more humane way).


Is man by nature self-centered?
Look at how a mother can care for her child.
Look at how a farmer can take care of his land and animals.
Look at how a nurse can care for patients.
Fortunately the world is full of people who prove time and again that man can devote himself with heart and soul to something, or someone, other than himself. And if we look closely, we perceive that he who is not focused exclusively on his self-interest, thrives well: we all prosper when we do not just think about ourselves.


Of course no man is 100% selfish or 100% altruistic. But each of us has the quality to commit himself to something or someone other than himself.

That means however, that we are in fact capable of building a world guided by common interests instead of self-interest. And what is called common interest is always defined by the interests and needs of the others.

 

John Hogervorst

June 2015


John  |  2015 06 03  |  Permalink  |  Share

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The Summer Foundation strives for a free, equal and solidary society. More about this…