Question of the Day: No. 523

By Troy Headrick

I thought I’d go BIG with today’s question.  So here it is…

What is the biggest problem facing humanity?

You can’t get any bigger than that!  You’ll get extra credit for proposing a solution after you’ve named the problem.

I’m really curious to see what people have to say, and I look forward to interacting with everyone who leaves a comment.  Thanks for participating.

Troy Headrick’s personal blog can be found here.

126 thoughts on “Question of the Day: No. 523

  1. So many to choose from! I’m going to go ahead and say misinformation. Because if we didn’t have certain incorrect and biased beliefs we’d be better in many ways. I don’t know how we can fix such a problem with people spreading misinformation like a virus, though.

    1. Misinformation has always existed. In days gone by intelligent, thoughtful people would dig into and do research into ALL claims to determine their veracity. These people were called reporters or journalists. They thought of themselves as a part of the free press and believed they had a duty to first determine the truth of a claim, then to dispute anything false or misleading.
      Today the people that call themselves reporters or journalists are trying to convince the public of something. That makes them propagandists.
      If you get your news from a source that called president #45 “Trump” or president #44 “Obama” without the word president in front or administration behind, you have been willingly propagandized.
      Not understanding what is propaganda and what is truth or not being willing to question/doubt your “news” source is the biggest problem facing the US! Sheeple willing to believe and repeat anything without question and without doing their own research is the biggest problem facing the US!

      1. Hi, Jeff. You’ve described the problem very accurately and thoroughly. What do you think should be done (if anything) about this? Perhaps it’s an issue where people need to take individual responsibility for their own education and actions? Or should governments and other types of entities get involved? Perhaps the schools have failed us or maybe we’ve failed ourselves? I’d love to hear what you have to say. Thanks very much for participating.

      2. You hit on somewhere there! Individual responsibility is a term I haven’t heard on a news program for … … a VERY long time. It’s a term I haven’t heard from a politician since … the mid-90s maybe?

      3. And parents are responsible for raising their children to understand the world, be decent people, and productive citizens of the US.

      4. I agree that individual responsibility is important, but none of us are born into this world fully formed. That’s why we go to school and get socialized and all that. Plus, some of us start out having really good parents and lives from the very beginning. Others are far less lucky. They grow up in hard places, surrounded by poor roles models, and have little resources of all types to rely on. Some kids go to really good schools because their parents are educated and make enough money to sent them to such places. Others go to bad schools, and it none of their fault; they’ve been dealt a bad hand. Assuming that there is such disparity in our backgrounds and upbringing, doesn’t some entity (let’s call it the government) have a role to play is sort of leveling the playing field? If a person goes to a really good school and has wonderful teachers who teach in all sorts of imaginitive ways, that person should be able to make better intellectual decisions about who and what to listen to. If they listen to the wrong sort, it could be very much on them. If, on the other hand, one starts life with none of the things I mentioned above, I can be more understanding that that person makes thinking mistakes. I think I’ve pointed out that individual responsibility only takes us so far. What do you think?

    2. You’ve identified a key problem today. It almost seems like we’re entering a new age of superstition or something similar. I’m beginning to believe that governments around the world should start investing in information literacy programs and such. Thanks so much for the comment.

      1. You are onto something with the idea of superstition too, but I think what you are seeing might better be expressed as the belief that feelings are as important as (some might believe more important than) facts.
        Humans have tendencies and patterns of behavior that should influence policy far more that feelings.
        It might feel good to raise taxes on “the rich”, but it is human tendency to avoid taxes, so the burden of paying those taxes will fall to those that cannot hire tax lawyers, move money into offshore account, and move business headquarters overseas. This tactic has been tried dozens of times on every continent and any non-political economist from any country will tell you that when taxes get too high they get passed on to consumers.
        Anyone claiming that businesses will absorb the hit of much increased taxes is ignoring eons of human behaviors. Look at the price of gasoline, up nearly 100% in 100 days. Policies have outcomes beyond what the salesman tells you on TV. Always look for the long tail.

      2. I’m going to tell you an interesting story. I’ve never had kids and never will. Still, for many years, I’ve paid property taxes to pay for other peoples’ kids. Does this seem a tad unfair? Yes. Am I angry about it? No. Because I see a bigger picture. I know that it’s in all of our interests to have an educated nation. True patriots know that strength is not just military might. It’s being creative and looking out for one another and seeing things in a less self-interested way. Of course, it’s in my self-interest not to pay for schools. Or is it? If I don’t pay for schools, I’m going to be surrounded by dumb people and the nation will slide backwards. I want to live in a progressive nation, not a regressive one. If that means I have to do my duty, and that duty hurts a little, then so be it. There really is meaning in the saying “Freedom isn’t free.”

      1. Hi, Stephendallen. A little later in this comments section, someone names marketing and advertising as the biggest problem we face today. It’s those two things that create that thing called “consumerism.” I’ve been lucky to have lived in countries that we might (condescendingly) call “developing.” In those places, people don’t have the money to feed all their wants and desires, so they reuse things; they repurpose. Having lived in such locales made me question the whole idea of who really is “developing” and who’s “first world.”

    1. Yes! We are definitely the problem. I think the natural world and all the beasts within it would be considerably happier if human beings would become extinct. Why do we seem to be so intent on screwing things up so badly? A question worth pondering. Thanks for participating.

      1. Its crazy cuz we have the ability to be the solution. Or do we? Hmm. Thanks for the question!

  2. Wow, Troy, way to go with some big questions! Well, I’m ready for this today, because I’m researching for a blog I’ve been thinking about, and it’s making me nuts. This question was a breath of fresh nitrous oxide. %-)
    So, It seems to me that humanity is in flux because we’ve mostly dropped our religion, our spiritual guidances we have depended upon for thousands of years. Manifest destiny was a disaster, colonialism mixed up everyone’s truths, plus societal stability, and wars did not help at all. They just haven’t stopped. So, when faced with possible decimation of the species to disease, war, global shifting…we got nothing. Nothing but some crappy little flap-trappers turning the pursuit of investigative knowledge into a verb called ‘science’, which repeated so often as a mantra takes on the function of a new deity that doesn’t actually give a crap about us, and is not consistant enough to feel comforted by. (whew!) A vacume of confidence in knowing what to do. We’re like young birds who have flown from the nest to the next tree and now we’re not sure what to do next. So many possibilities, and no direction. Religious people, don’t be offended here, I just feel this way.
    To cut it short too late: I think humanity is In Between right now.

    1. Hi. If I understand you correctly, you’re saying that we’re just generally confused and have lost our moral compass. Have I summarized you accurately? Mass confusion, definitely! I myself am confused about so much. So you felt things were clearer in the past? I notice you mentioned science. Do you think we’re too scientific, too cold, too alienated from what really matters? The more I think about your response, the more I’m intrigued. Thanks very much!

    1. I’m a bit more Old School than you! I say we call Batman and Robin! Captain America or Superman might also suffice! Thanks for participating.

  3. Such an interesting question. I am gonna go with something that came to my mind instantly, “lack of empathy”. I think this is the root cause that is creating so many other problems as well.

    1. I’m about to betray my political leanings in my response. I think ultra-conservatives are exactly that–lacking complete empathy and sympathy for the downtrodden, the less fortunate. If we could see the world through others’ eyes, I’m certain we’d have 20/20 vision. Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts.

    1. You know, I think you’ve found the culprits. And to think that some people actually go to college and study such things. Also, it seems odd that we’d want to gin up people’s desires by using these tools. Humans are already completely consumed by their wants and compulsions. (By the way, the Buddhists and Stoics have it right.) Thanks for the comment.

  4. Inequality.
    Ultimately, most of humanity will be unable to labor for a living. The automation of labor is set to replace 1/2 of all workers by 2050. 4.5 billion people with nothing to do, no means to earn $, and no prospects. Remember, 1/2 of all humans have an IQ under 100.
    Distribution of wealth is our challenge. Fail that and civilization will fall.

    1. I keep hearing we’re going through something akin to a new industrial revolution but that this one is like a technology revolution. Our ability to produce technological devices and “modernize” seems to be outpacing our ability to prepare people for these shifts. What can be done? Pivotal question. I suppose we’ll be in a world of hurt fairly soon.

      You also mention the unequal distribution of wealth. I totally agree that that’s a huge issue. The political scientists tell us that the more unequal things are the greater the instability. Duh! This seems obvious. But, I guess humans are just dumbasses when it comes right down to it. You’ve think we’d know better. Thanks so much for the comment.

      1. Karl Marx was 150 years too early.
        Capitalism must evolve, the pyramid is astronomically out of proportion.

    1. I’m not the oldest man in the world, nor am I the youngest. Within my lifetime, the world’s population has gone from around 4 billion to about 8 (or whatever it is now). My numbers, as you can tell, aren’t exact. The point I want to make, though, is valid. This trend is speeding up. It’s seems were hurtling toward the abyss. Perhaps COVID was nature’s way of taking the numbers down a bit? Thanks for the comment.

      1. When I was born, there were about 3.7-billion of us. A bit facetious, but my take about 400-million back, when the population had already doubled.
        *(replace the “[DOT]”):

        We tend to consider the results of overpopulation as the problems themselves. Environmental damage, overcrowding and economic competition, resource shortages, social anonymity, declining standard-of-living, uncontrolled disease transmission… What good does it do if humanity becomes twice as efficient but also twice as many? At some point, nature will solve the problem for us. But that doesn’t sound like an especially compassionate approach to a solution.

  5. Greed is the greatest problem facing humanity, if we all learnt to share a little, practice a little kindness then life would be so much better. But I doubt people will ever change

    1. Do you think we’re just naturally selfish creatures or did our learning go awry at some point? That’s a really interesting question. I’d love to hear your thoughts. Thanks, and I hope you’ll reply.

      1. We are not naturally selfish or bad by heart, the environment and society shapes our thinking.

        The comparison between good, better, best at while studying and after that at work makes us greedy.

        This is my opinion, you can question it if you think I’m wrong. You are little older than so must be having more experience at life than me.

    1. “Lust” is definitely the right word. We’re literally throbbing and pulsing with sexual energy when it comes to having power and wielding it against others. Your comment (like many others I’ve read from other contributors) make me think that we’re just innately malevolent. But maybe that’s just the pessimist in me asserting itself. What do you think? Thanks.

  6. Humanity needs people society interaction. Problem can happen when the society or people are not proper, and it depends on cases. I see lack of empathy, mindlessness, resource constraint are the major problem for people not to show humanity. If i have less money for my living but asked to contribute to fundraiser is an example of resource constraint. People see others fainting on road but dont go to help, because they feel someone would help or none of their business, probably they wouldnt have fainted before, lack of empathy. Mindlessness is self explanatory.

    1. I certainly agree. Those three things you name go hand in hand. I wonder if alienation isn’t the common factor here. We no longer feel connected to one another the way we once did. Maybe this disconnection is caused by chronic busyness and such. Thank you for prompting me to think further about this.

  7. This answer may be wrong since I’m answering it from an African perspective but I also believe that humanity or the majority of humanity is in financial crises. Many people are impoverished and this becomes a global issue.

    1. Hi and don’t worry. There is no wrong or right answer. And I think we certainly benefit from getting an African perspective. Many people have said similar things in these comments. Some have perhaps phrased it differently, but you’re all talking about a lack of wealth, right? And the political scientists would agree with you. Many have pointed out that as the gap between the rich and the poor widens so does political instability increase. You’d think we would have figured this out by now. It’s in no one’s self-interest that poverty exists. Thanks so much, Florence.

  8. Fear is the biggest problem, it sums up a lot of the other comments too, believing in one’s self might be a solution, selfconfidence…

    1. Thank you, Neil! I think you might have just identified the mother of all problems. At the root, it’s whether or not we can think well enough to see our situations and can find ways of working our way out of problems. I totally agree. As someone who’s taught critical thinking for years, I see the lack of such thinking abilities as the root of a lot of our misery.

  9. I believe our biggest problem is looking outside of ourselves to “fix” the problem. If we all took ownership of our own lives, our thoughts and actions, if we took the time to acknowledge and heal ourselves instead of looking to other people or entities to make us happy our world would be a much more harmonious place. Humanity’s inability to accept that we are all connected, meaning what happens to one of us happens to all of us creates a victim mentality that perpetuates this mental cycle of entitlement. If we take the time to look at our own lives and become aware of how we create our own suffering most of the time we can begin to change our world at a fundamental level. Just some thoughts…thank you for asking❤️

    1. Hi, Danielle! Yes! I totally agree. But what’s the chance that enough of us are going to suddenly become profoundly self-aware, empathetic, and responsible enough to be part of the solution rather than the problem? I would love to believe that we are the ones we’ve been waiting for, but I’m a bit pessimistic. I look around me and see more division than unity, more demogoguery than good governance. Maybe it’s going to take something (like COVID but only bigger) to really wake us up to the fact that we are all members of an extended human family. I hope for such an awakening. Hope, as they say, springs eternal. Thanks so much for leaving such a thoughtful response.

      1. Hi, Troy! I see what is happening too but my thought on it is at least all of this hatred and intolerance is coming up into the light so we can all see it. It has been boiling under the surface for so long now, hidden in plain sight. I had no idea that so many of my friends and neighbors had so much anger and fear in them. And no, I cannot say that I believe that all of a sudden everyone is going to wake up and be aware and accountable but I can say that when I think back 10 years ago, 20 years ago, 30 years ago we were so much more intolerant. We are moving in the right direction, I truly believe it. I believe in humanity constantly evolving. That is a gift our children bring us. They will be better than we were. More accepting of differences. It happens every generation. We have just had a bad run lately. But we will get there…

    1. You’re right, but I want to understand the cause. Why do we have such a hard time feeling connected to one another? Why do we find it so difficult to see things from another’s point of view? Has it always been this way? Is there any reason to be optimistic about any of this? Thanks.

      1. There can be many reasons to it.
        1. They have been trained by their parents to think selfishly.
        2. May be they were empaths who turned into selfish beings due to some harsh life experiences however in that case the inherent nature doesn’t change much, so this point is debatable
        3. As far as our parents and their parents tell us, it wasn’t always like this so may be a shift happened in the overall mindset
        4. Lastly we can be optimistic about our growth as we are responsible for ourselves but we can’t say about others. I think it would be better to be realistic rather than optimism or cynicism.

  10. Inequality and racism. I know that’s two things, but they’re kind of linked. Of course, they’re caused by the other problems others have mentioned: greed, ignorance/misinformation, and lack of empathy.

    1. I thiink you’re the first person to identify racism as our biggest problem, but others have also pointed their fingers at inequality. You’re right, these things are connected. And the political scientists tell us the greater the gap between the rich and pooer the greater the propensity for a country to go wobbly and destabilize. You would have thought this would be obvious. I wander why we’re having so much trouble learning this? It’s even in the self-interest of the rich to lessen this gap. Thanks so much for the comment.

  11. the biggest problem is social notions…n how blindly people follow them..without even understand or knowing about themm…and then if someone tries to break the taboo…he has to face the worst ever situations….we humans have become habitual of following what has happened yet …but we dont intend to see the follies in them….cant we carry the same thing with the required correction according to the times…every1 important change is to life…but no one believes in doing it!

    1. I would agree that blindly following social norms is a huge problem. (You’re the first person, I believe, to point your finger at this particular issue.) Why do we seem so determined to be such blind followers rather than clear-visioned leaders? I suppose there is comfort in being “like everyone else.” I’ve always been the sort to swim a bit upstream, against the flow. How about you? Thanks for the comment.

  12. I’m gonna go for the mental health crisis. Although I know I’m massively generalising, rates of poor mental health, anxiety and depression were reaching shockingly high levels before the pandemic and even more so now.

    1. It occurs to me that mental health challenges might be more widespread than most of us realize. Plus, “mental health” is a relative term. Is there anyone alive who is 100 percent mentally healthy. If we are trying to place people on a continuum, it would seem that the vast majority of people lie somewhere between the extremes which means that almost everyone has a “mental health” challenge of some kind. Thanks so much for prompting me to think more about this.

  13. I would say envy, jelousy and selfishness.

    People want only them to be in top most position in life and while doing that they dont care how much they are affecting others. They always want them to grow alone and they dont want to help others in the journey. They try to pull you down and put you in difficult situations so that they can acheive their desires.

    I feel we should start thinking everything equally, we should start feeling happy for the achievements of others. We should help them how much ever we can. But one main point while doing this is that we should choose the people wisely and not allow them to take advantage of us while helping.

    1. You’ve got some of the seven deadly sins accounted for in your answer. I think our economic system has a lot to do with teaching societies how to behave and treat others. They also provide us with our value system. As long as we praise the accumulation of things, including money, we will likely continue to be mostly selfish. Some say that selfishness is natural. I’m not for sure I’d agree. I think selfish is taught. Selfishness can be taught too. Thanks so much for your comment.

  14. Humanity itself! “I” is the middle letter in PRIDE, and if each of us, myself included, would strive to put the “E” of everyone else first instead of last and “… humble ourselves and pray…”, He will”…heal our land… ” – 2 Chronicles 7:14

  15. Tough question Troy. I’m surprised reading the comments that no-one mentioned global warming – I suspect we need to get a handle on that in the next few decades or we really are in big trouble. I guess before that, on a human level – in order to tackle it – I’m inclined to agree/echo Danielle’s thoughts. Our biggest issue is looking outside ourselves for someone else to fix the world/our problems. We heal the world by healing ourselves. I believe that is true and that is the way forward. As Gandhi once said “Be the change in the world that you want to see.”

    1. When I was thinking about this question, that was the answer I had in mind. I would describe the problem in a slightly different way though. I think the problem is that we have forgotten that we are part of nature. We see ourselves reflected in the technology we use but far too many don’t see themselves when they look at the natural world. I think the growing move toward urbanization and such trends feed this to a great degree. We have literally become (in our minds) disconnected from the world around us. Because of this disconnection, we truly don’t see that by hurting nature we hurt ourselves. We have this duality in our minds. Now, ask country folk about this, and you would see that many of the most common and uneducated among us would not feel this disconnetion. Many of the farmers and ranchers in my family are politically conservative but they are also environmentalists. It’s because they don’t feel disconnected from the natural world. It is no accident that many of the most ardent believers in climate change are those who live outside of urban centers and live “off the land.”

    1. Hi. You’re wise to use the word “violence.” That term can cover physical attacks and other forms of aggressive behavior. Can anything be done to solve such a problem? There are plenty of police and other kinds of enforcers out there, yet violence persists. Thanks so much for the comment.

  16. The fear heaped upon us by the media, along with that which we create within ourselves is a huge piece of the problem. If what we think is what we get, then the collective fear of humanity is bringing us down deeper into the depths of despair. If we change the channel from fear to love, and turn off the news, we will begin to turn the corner—one mind at a time. One may think the a single mind can’t make a difference, but when added with millions of others, light wins over darkness.

    1. I know what you mean about trying to get away from TV and such, but I worry that we’re already very poorly informed. Are you thinking print media is better? I do believe that one committed person can make a world of difference. Just look at Greta Thunberg. She certainly isn’t fearful. Courage is what we need. Thanks so much for the comment.

    1. It’s possible that your answer might one of the most commonly expressed. There’s no doubt that human beings are screwing things up dramatically. The natural world would certainly benefit if we were to disappear. That’s a sad truth. Thanks very much for participating.

  17. Not realizing that our thoughts create our reality. People look to external events to make them happy. Peace is from within. People don’t know that if you start from a place of peace and happiness more joy will find their way into their lives. Living in fear will lead to a life of misfortune. Living with love and joy will lead to abundance.

    1. I always love hearing from a really wise person. Yes, I totally agree with you. In fact, I wrote a piece for this site which basically makes the points you’ve made ( The self-fulfilling prophecy is a really important concept and reality that we need to think about as we move through life. What sort of work do you do? I apologize if I’ve been intrusive in asking this question. Thanks for the comment.

    1. Hi. If you go back through all the comments, you’ll see that many agree with you. I am one of those in agreement. The natural world would certainly breathe a sigh of relief if we were to disappear. Thanks so much for the comment.

    1. Amen. I wonder when America is finally got to get its shit together enough to figure this out. America has long been calling itself the “greatest country in the history of the world.” No country that doesn’t make it absolutely easy and affordable to see a doctor should ever make such an arrogant claim. Thanks so much!

    1. Your comment makes me think of Erich Fromm’s book Escape from Freedom (if I’m recollecting the argument he makes, in it, correctly). What makes us so afraid and so willing to embrace unfreedom? Thanks so much.

  18. There is a growing apprehension that existence is a rat-race in a trap: living organisms, including people, are merely tubes which put things in at one end and let them out at the other, which both keeps them doing it and in the long run wears them out. So to keep the farce going, the tubes find ways of making new tubes, which also put things in at one end and let them out at the other. At the input end they even develop ganglia of nerves called brains, with eyes and ears, so that they can more easily scrounge around for things to swallow. As and when they get enough to eat, they use up their surplus energy by wiggling in complicated patterns, making all sorts of noises by blowing air in and out of the input hole, and gathering together in groups to fight with other groups. In time, the tubes grow such an abundance of attached appliances that they are hardly recognizable as mere tubes, and they manage to do this in a staggering variety of forms. There is a vague rule not to eat tubes of your own form, but in general there is serious competition as to who is going to be the top type of tube. All this seems marvelously futile, and yet, when you begin to think about it, it begins to be more marvelous than futile. Indeed, it seems extremely odd.

    1. This is one of the most interesting descriptions of the human condition I’ve ever seen! Yes, it often seems evident that life is little more than a rat-race (and the rats are winning, as the old saying goes). I suppose many more of just need to drop out. Would that be the solution, to simply refuse to run the race or be a “tube”? Do we have it in us to make such a momentous collective decision? Thanks so much leaving such a clever comment.

      1. We call it the rat race yet rats have no respect for authority and they have sex up to 50 times a day. Ironic eh?

  19. I dont know the answer , it can never be one its like this chain of events then turns to a biggest problem for humanity. I think its not maintaining balance and responsibility in actions and lack of conscious decisions .

    1. Ah, achieving balance in life in response to so much imbalance around us! With so many forces of one kind or another tugging on us, it seems nearly impossible to live a healthy, balanced life. What do you recommend? Thanks.

      1. Very true , may be start with inner balance thats at least some what under our control , our requirements , our reactions , our intake and give back to the eco system, our inner circle family balanced . I wish to hear from you , you are more experienced and I learn a lot from your writings.

  20. The true problem facing humanity today is the same problem that it has been dealing with forever – that of the climate. While in the past, the climate was favorable for all life (including humans) today humanity has gotten to a point that most major powers either do not care about what is going on with the climate or takes the attitude that any problems are too far in the future to affect them. There are many things that can be done and it needs to be done TODAY. The first step is to convince ALL major powers that they need to work with the environment and not perform actions that are destructive. Only then will we start to see any form of change. However, if even one power is not playing this game, then everything else is for naught.

    1. Unfortunately, the international community seems very divided on this issue. i totally agree with you that climate change is THE issue. And because we live in a world where capitalism and consumption reign supreme, I don’t see us changing course or unifying any time soon. I posted the following to another comment that was similar to yours:

      When I was thinking about this question, that was the answer I had in mind. I would describe the problem in a slightly different way though. I think the problem is that we have forgotten that we are part of nature. We see ourselves reflected in the technology we use but far too many don’t see themselves when they look at the natural world. I think the growing move toward urbanization and such trends feed this to a great degree. We have literally become (in our minds) disconnected from the world around us. Because of this disconnection, we truly don’t see that by hurting nature we hurt ourselves. We have this duality in our minds. Now, ask country folk about this, and you would see that many of the most common and uneducated among us would not feel this disconnetion. Many of the farmers and ranchers in my family are politically conservative but they are also environmentalists. It’s because they don’t feel disconnected from the natural world. It is no accident that many of the most ardent believers in climate change are those who live outside of urban centers and live “off the land.”

  21. I want to say Forgetting.

    I know it sounds a bit broad but we’ve got so busy and fast in our own worlds or with huge pictures that it feels like we miss all the rest. We forget that we’re all individuals of value and all striving to overcome our own problems. We forget that others, both human and animal are unique and deserving of our respect for their feelings and individuality. We even forget ourselves and stop asking who we are or what we truly feel, at times.

    1. I love this and think that ‘forgetting’ really sums up so many problems. My answer was a lack of love, which I think relates to yours. We forget we’re all human beings that deserve love and respect.

      1. Hi, E. L. Jayne. Forgetting that we are all human and interconnected is amazing amount of forgetting, isn’t it? What has made us so alienated from one another? Is it that we’re too distracted, too harried, too caught up in our own little struggles? Thanks very much for your comment.

  22. You’ll think this a crazy answer but I think we lack manners. Manner require consideration, the ability to listen and hear, respect for others and our world. The list is endless.

    1. I don’t think your answer is crazy! In fact, I agree. Treating others rudely is a sign that we don’t feel connected to those we mistreat. This lack of feeling the interconnectedness of life can manifest itself in many ugly and destructive ways. Thanks so much for the comment.

  23. Hello Troy!
    It is not easy to be politically correct here, so I am looking for an euphemism for “stupidity and short-sightedness”.
    Let me see….People forget that they are just people, even when they belong to a structure (acting in the name of a structure people tend to feel better or smarter or… than others). People forget to think for themselves and believe external structures whatever they are feeding them. Humanity does not learn from the past; forgetting the experiences past….
    Only now do I see the pattern: forgetfulness…. that is still the main problem. 😉

    1. Hi. I totally agree with you. Ignorance, lack of critical thinking abilities, the embracing of superstition are all terrible problem. Most of the other hugely important problems–like global climate change–are also caused by lack of imagination, short-signtedness, the propensity of people to reject scientific thinking over other typse of “thought.” And because education and educators are underemphasized, underfunded, and undperpaid, I don’t see how these problems get better over the short-term. I think we are pretty much in agreement. What can be done, if anything? Thanks.

    1. And in many parts of the world we see the rise of an especially ugly form of power that is reminiscent of what the world saw in the lead up to World War II. Fascism and power that seeks to pit groups against one another are on the rise. One would think we could learn from history. I suppose we are destined to repeat old mistakes again and again. Thanks so much for the comment.

      1. You are welcome!
        I agree, you would think people would learn from history but they don’t seem to recognize when they are being duped or manipulated by bias or prejudice and fall into war.

  24. Religion has always been the biggest problem for humanity. Of course, everyone has a right to believe or not to believe, but the indoctrination of children is so wrong.

    1. I grew up in a family of people who regularly attended church. I began to see things during worship services, when I was pretty young, which disturbed me and caused me to ask questions. As a result of this questioning, I had to move away from the religious practices of my childhood years. Anything that closes the mind is dangerous. Anything that opens the mind is to be encouraged. Thanks for the comment.

    1. I sometimes wonder if we don’t live in a world where the “law of the jungle” prevails over the protection of human rights and other ideas rooted in enlighted thinking. Thanks.

  25. What a question, Troy. My emotional response is, “Where is the love?” Sometimes it feels as if we all treated each other with more love and respect as fellow human beings, all the other stuff would fall into place. Then there are more pragmatic answers like global warming, wars, human rights, etc. I think it all stems from a lack of love, and more love for one’s self than others.

  26. This is a difficult one! I would say climate in regards to environment and selfishness (egoism) in regards to feelings.

    1. Hi. I think you’re about the fourth person to identify this as the biggest problem we face. I would also tend to agree. Why don’t more people see this as an issue? Thanks.

  27. Getting past our own petty differences to realize that our civilization is doomed unless we overcome some major hurdles and evolve into an interplanetary/interstellar civilization.

    1. Our differences are, indeed, small, but many would see them as very large. What would it take to get more people to be more philosophical about this? If we don’t unite, then we’ll all perish together! Thanks very much for the comment.

    1. What do you mean by the need for more cowbell. I’m curious about that. Also, I tend to agree that ego is almost always unhealthy. Thanks so much.

      1. Hi Troy, I should clarify that I don’t believe ego is unhealthy. It keeps us protected because it’s the necessary lens through which we take in our world. However, that lens can be allowed to run amuck to where we’re operating from a defended state, and when we’re spending all of our energy defending who we think we are and what we think we believe, we lose all true power and end up living in a mindset of separation, lack, fear, and greed instead of love and compassion, which is disastrous. The cowbell comment? That’s a reference to the old Saturday Night Live skit with Christopher Walken and just means we need more fun and to not take ourselves so seriously. I really believe humans are capable of miracles, but we’ve forgotten our true nature. Thank you for your question and reading these responses!

  28. To me, it is the idea that we still believe we are the masters of the Universe. Egoistical and stupid behavior in times of deep trouble, the short-sighted notion that being online is the only solution to everything, this me, me, and then me again attitude that is reflected everywhere in society, and our lack of awareness toward nature.

    1. The average human being is probably less intelligent than the average monkey. I’m being facetious, of course. But only just a little bit. Have you read all the other comments? Many would agree with you, it seems. Thanks.

      1. I believe because man is inherently selfish. Being selfless takes effort. It’s easy to go with the flow and not speak out when corruption is happening around you. It takes courage to step up and have integrity. It takes maturity to own responsibility for your actions. I believe that man is born good but society corrupts him. In order to maintain strong values, one must have a very solid upbringing and be surrounded by good role models and good friends. A strong government that punishes perpetrators is also important because when people feel like they can get away with things, they will do it. This isn’t to say at the heart of every corruption is evil. It could be laziness or trying to fit in.

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