Just take a few seconds to observe the above sight from Mars…
Inspiring. Exciting. Mysterious. Intriguing. Futuristic. Curious.
Barren. Desolate. Lonely. Deserted. Lifeless.
There isn’t any laughter there. There isn’t friendship. Neither there is music, a warm welcome, a friendly goodbye or an awkward greeting. There isn’t even boredom or mundanity…
Because there aren’t any people there.
For, even the earlier observations like ‘inspiring’, ‘exciting’, ‘barren’ or ‘desolate’ require a human observer to view that picture of Mars and then observe and vocalize all those traits. Without a human observer, even the negative attributes observed will not be there, leave aside the chance of any positive trait being appreciated.
Even a desolate picture of Mars requires a human being for appreciation of itself…
It’s the same for life on Earth
Everything exciting and everything inspiring we have, everything warm and everything welcoming we enjoy, everything interesting and everything enticing we do, are thanks to the existence of people.
Even if we turn our gaze to animals, plants, other living creatures, and then ask ourselves how would it be if humans weren’t there, and whether one could be happy in nature, or with his/her pets, other companions, it’s still the same – our pets, companions are not so different than humans in most regards, giving and receiving love, companionship, interacting with us and each other.
It is the living creatures that make life worthwhile, and the highest form of that life is the people who make up our family, our friends, our social circles, our society.
Yes, you may rightfully say that people hurt each other, that they are destructive, that they are greedy, that they are selfish, that they don’t respect, love or revere each other. And when you take a second to ponder about the current state of our society, the picture you see does indeed seem to confirm those observations.
But the reality is that it is the fault of our economic system that gives the power to a greedy, irreverent, obsessive minority among us, allowing them to ravage and destroy lives, societies, and nature for profit and self-aggrandizement
In reality, people are, as scientifically proven, good inside.
Both studies showed the same pattern—whether people were forced to use intuition (by acting under time constraints) or simply encouraged to do so (through priming), they gave significantly more money to the common good than did participants who relied on reflection to make their choices. This again suggests that our intuitive impulse is to cooperate with others.
Taken together, these studies—7 total experiments, using a whopping 2,068 participants—suggest that we are not intuitively selfish creatures.
So, even if people are good inside, what does that change
It changes everything. It means that if we build our life alongside people of good heart, the life we live would be a whole lot different, a whole lot better than however it is now.
It means that the good times, happy memories, fulfilling moments that have been lived, and which can be lived in the future with this kind of people are priceless.
It means that, it is a much bigger gain to put in the effort to find good people and be with them, and even to find the good in people who are already in our lives and help their good sides to come to sunlight and bask in their warmth than anything else.
It means that people are more important than obscene wealth, ‘rewarding’ careers, conceptual and fleeting successes, obscure intangible ideals, passing, transient issues and obsessions.
It is no surprise that not having spent time with friends or family is one of the top 5 regrets of people when they are older and they are facing the dusk of their life.
You can change it here and now
However old you are, however young you are, you can make it so that you will live your life increasingly with good people while making good memories, while feeling warmer inside, and while walking towards a future that is filled with joy instead of regrets.
Prioritize people over your career.
Prioritize people over money.
Prioritize people over success.
Always keep in mind that it is always the people who give their meaning to all those above, and to many other things in life. Without people, all would be meaningless.
Your spouse. Your children. Your family. Your parents. Your friends. Your colleagues. Your neighbors. The people you pass by while walking in the street. Even a little effort in that direction, even a little more priority given to people over the transient things in life, is much more worthwhile.
Make your life meaningful – start prioritizing people, however much you can.