You worry about money. You worry about blood. You worry about stupid people and bad people and what people you work with think of you. You worry about being a good person. You worry about being a bad person. You are so alone. You are surrounded by people. You have no space to be yourself. Things in the world anger you. They make you sad. People aren't like they used to be. People aren't like they could be. They make you wonder if you know what is and isn't. The questions that come from thinking these things cause a lot of pain. There seem to be no answers.
Yet, there are answers, and they are clear. It's just that we're so used to thinking of us as 'I', that we've forgotten about us as ‘we’.
Humans, like all animals, need others to live. Some animals need a lot of their own kind for a long time, others only need a few for a short time, but all need some. Humans need many other humans to do things like grow food for the next year, read, and build things that help the humans that come after they die. We learn from the many humans that came before them and each other. All animals learn, but no other animal learns as much from animals that came before as humans do. This allows us to do things like growing food for many years that will come, fly above the ground, to turn lights on at night, to write, and to go to a rock in the sky. Humans that do not grow up around other humans do not learn how to read, or to do things like grow food for the next year. We have big brains which allow us to learn from each other, to figure out what everyone else will do, and to stop everyone else from figuring out what we will do. Much of our brains are used to track who is part of our group and who is not, as well as how much they are a part of our group and how much they are not. This lets us know who to have children with, who to follow, who to eat with, and who to chase away. Through this, others are a part of us, and we are a part of them.
Most humans were in groups of a hundred or so. Some time after people figured out how to grow food for years to come, groups became very, very big- like the groups that you are a part of. It is hard for us to track who is a part of our group and who is not when a group is very big. This makes it hard for us to know who to have children with, who to eat with, who to follow, and so on.
To make it easier to track who is a part of our group and who is not, we use forms of people, places, and things that are smaller than people, places, and things. A form can be used like a face you can put on, or a way to put many people together. If a person can use a form to decide if someone is in their group, they can make it easier to track who is a part of their group and who is not. Instead of tracking every human in a very big group, we can track people by whether or not they use the same forms as us. This makes it possible for us to have very, very, very big groups that can do things like put a man on a rock in the sky.
Since everyone uses forms to decide if people are a part of their group or not, we worry about fitting in with the forms that decide if we are part of the group. Say the form that decides if a human is a good person says that a good person has a lot of money, does well in school, is never late, or smiles at everyone. If you want to fit that form, you will worry about having enough money,doing well in school, being on time, or smiling at everyone. When there are times that you don't have a lot of money or you forget to smile at someone, you will hurt yourself for not fitting in with the form.
In the same way that you check yourself to see if you fit the form of a good person, you may check everyone you meet to see if they fit the form of a good person. If they don't fit the form of a good person, then you might decide that they are bad, and so are not a part of the group. Everyone you meet will feel this checking from you, and so they will also continue to check themselves.
This checking takes a lot of work. However, a bigger group has more things to use to help it live than a smaller group, so bigger groups beat smaller groups over a long time. As groups get bigger, the people in them become closer to being the same (since they are making themselves small by fitting the forms). This makes them fight for space, since they feel like they must fight in order to be a part of the group.
When a group fights against other groups, it learns to make new things. When a group fights inside the group, it stops making things. Remember how people learn from other people so that they can make new things, the kind of things that let them go to a rock in the sky? Well, the bigger a group is, the more it can learn from each other. In very big groups, everyone can get good at one thing. Since everyone in a very big group is good at one thing, a very big group can make many more things than a small group.
We got good at doing one thing each so we can use many things. In a small group, you are good at many things but you don’t make many new things. We are in a very big group. Since everyone is not good at many things, people in very big groups need the very big groups to live. You can not force new things to be made because you can not force people to want things. Making new things comes when you are left to live as you will- to do what you want. When you can not live as you will, you will be bad at making new things.
The bigger a group gets, the more everyone tries to fit in with forms. For a group to make many new things, it needs many kinds of people who are doing one thing. However, when they try to fit in with forms, people make themselves small. They worry a lot.
Groups that worry a lot are not well. They take a lot of time to make choices, since they have to worry if the choice fits with the form of their group. Many of our groups have started worrying a lot because people have a lot more things in their brains, with more new things every day. To deal with more things in our brains, we need to trust each other. Trust lets us see each other as we are instead of the forms that we try to fit in with. Trust makes people feel safe, and groups with people who feel safe are strong groups. Strong groups who feel safe to do many kinds of things are groups that know a lot. A group with a lot of trust is a strong group. A strong group lives well, and makes many new things. A strong group helps all people grow.
We can all make our groups stronger Now, wherever our groups are, whoever we are.