We are clearly seeing increasing violence both domestically within the USA and worldwide these days. While the call for peace and calm can help get these incidents out of the immediate news headlines, we need a sustainable morally innovative solution that can take several generations if adults elect to work together, or several centuries if we collectively focus on educating our children.
Today, about one third of humanity follows the Christian faith. This trend started over 500 years ago when the corrupt Spanish Pope Alexander VI declared that Spain and Portugal owned the world outside Europe in the Tordesillas Treaty. The first ones to contest this declaration were other European Christians who innovatively created the corrupt State-sponsored Dutch East India Company and the even more corrupt British East India Company to gather resources needed to industrialize the world. We know, for example, it was the British government who gave monopoly power to the British East India Company that produced opium in India and sold the illicit drugs into China (and almost bankrupted the Chinese economy). The immoral Japanese military also helped take over 70,000 tons of silver out of China through illegal distribution of opium.
Another 20% of humanity today follows the Muslim faith, and Islam is the world’s fastest growing faith. Since the first OPEC price increase in 1973, our newly industrialized world developed an insatiable appetite for fossil fuel, and an average US$2 trillion dollars per year have been transferred to Muslims each year. Each time we fill up our car with fuel, or turn on the air conditioner anywhere in the world, we contribute to the demand for fossil fuel and eventually maintain or sustain the status quo that transfers wealth to the Muslims. Another impact is global climate change which is a by-product of our industrialization and exasperates the fact that we are 20,000 years into the 100,000 year Milankovitch cycle of global warming today.
On a global scale, our most severe conflict has been driven by the Christians’ and Muslims’ efforts to convert all humans. Unless we create a way that allow humans to believe in both Christianity and Islam, there is no way humanity can have peace when two significant faiths strive to convert the entire humanity into one faith. Within this framework, the declaration of independence by Israel in 1948 was like introducing a spark in a fuel tank. While the role (and population) of Israel has been similar to Hong Kong for the British Protestant Christians during the opium war, USA has added plenty of oxygen to the spark in a fuel tank when President George W. Bush decided to invade Iraq that spread the conflict between Christians and Muslims like forest fires.
Now is not the time to double down on our faith without reason. We need to let our children thrive with knowledge of their places in the world in order to make the right decisions and make the world better. Let us not baptize our infant children nor declare heaven belongs exclusively to any one faith, claimed by both Christians and Muslims. There is an alternative sustainable path to peace.
What is that alternative path? We start with a very difficult challenge to understand and morally develop the age-appropriate motivations of our children. In order to invoke the motivation hierarchy introduced by Abraham Maslow last century in a measurable way, let us try to map humanity into Maslow’s hierarchical layers of needs measured by wealth of humans. We know that money cannot buy happiness, so these numbers should be modified by non-financial parameters:
- Two billion (~30%) humans on earth living below poverty. The number one focus for these two billion humans is to secure food for survival. This is Maslow’s physiological layer.
- Five billion (~70%) humans seek safety through employment, police/fire protection, access to health care, investments, among other things. This is Maslow’s safety layer.
- Twelve million (~0.1%) millionaires living on earth seek friendship and family, among other things. This is Maslow’s love/belonging layer.
- 2,000 billionaires seek respect, confidence and achievements, among other things. This is Maslow’s esteem layer. Donald Trump wants the US Presidency to try to excel in this layer.
- Essentially no one is free of prejudice and take actions based on facts, possibly except the Gates Foundation supported by Warren Buffet. This is Maslow’s self-actualization layer.
These layers cut across all humanity (including Christians and Muslims) and exist everywhere on earth, including the USA, the largest economy on earth. Trying to separate African Americans and Caucasian Americans will not work. It is not a matter of “Black Lives Matter Too” versus “All Lives Matter.” We need hope and opportunities that differ among humans living in different layers of Maslow’s hierarchy.
No line can be drawn for humans living in different layers of Maslow’s hierarchy. However, we can provide opportunities for our children living in different layers of Maslow’s hierarchy to seek their aspirations through education. As long as our children learn the universally accepted Golden Rule (do unto others what you want others to do unto you) and believe there is hope to achieve their aspirations, we gain trust to respect our second amendment rights to bear arms, while reducing violence between police and citizens. By adding moral innovations to the education curriculum, indiscriminate shootings in school will decline when our children and adults have the Golden Rule in mind.
Changes should be visible when we add the Moral Innovations framework into our education curriculum, including the Golden Rule. Please encourage our children to do the right things as they thrive with knowledge of their places in the world.