I am very well aware of the selfish mentality which would place 'us' before 'them', I am aware that some people have not matured beyond the level of 'me first'. What I propound is that the interests of others are so indistinguishable from my own, that I cannot serve my own interests without first serving the interests of others.
I am propounding a different level of relationship with others. A level where we do not treat others as competitors, but rather, as colleagues, regardless of any differences. So if there is only sufficient food for one person, and there were ten people to feed, then rather than killing nine people, we each do with less, and share this food amongst the ten. A far fetched example, but this is the mentality from which I am coming. This is distinct and quite different from my mentality on population.
To take the example a little further, let us say that there was no afterlife, and no recompense as some believe, and no accounting for your actions, and life was strictly a survival of the fittest. Let us say that a tribe had ten males and 3 females, if this tribe was made up of animals then you may be justified in believing that the strongest male will macho his way to the female(s) of his choice, and seven or nine males will miss out.
Perhaps a parallel may be seen in the story of Cain and Able, although there were one eligible spinster available for each, and both were attempting for their sacrifice to be accepted, God chose to accept the sacrifice from one and not from the other. The law they had also required that one marry a particular girl, and the other marry another girl, but Cain had a different opinion. Able was altruistic, he refused to get into an argument, and he went about his business, so Cain killed him in what he perceived to be a competition when in reality there was no competition. In reality, each party would or could have been satisfied, a spouse is a spouse, and a sacrifice is a sacrifice.
My preposition is that as human beings, we should heed the lesson from Able, so if there were ten males and only three females, allow the females to choose who they wish to mate with, it may be that the other seven males will get a chance in a different situation, perhaps each can make an application and put his best foot forward. There is no need for those creatures who have reason to resort to extermination just for a bit of sex or a bit of food. There is another solution.
If I was in that scenario, I would withdraw from the competition, if I am chosen, then I am chosen, if not, I will go and live where I would not be reminded of my own deprivation, or I would take up an interest which would keep me too busy to think about this. Of course I would have to be in constant combat with the two enemies I had mentioned before, and these are my self and Satan. Because I know, that if I start to compete for the mate, then I have commenced a chain of violence which may never end, yet if I sit back and forgo my own desire for the benefit of the community and patiently persevere, then what I have done will in effect give life to the community. If I have this mentality and I project this mentality, then the males who end up getting the females should feel at ease, they now realise that I am not their competition, so they will not feel that I am waiting for the opportunity to deprive them of their prize. But if I was to use my strength and take what I desire, then I would be responsible for the chain of actions that would result in myself also losing the prize because a time will come when another will be able to use either the strength attribute or another attribute to deprive me of my prize.
So Cain taught us to kill, and Able taught us to be patient and persevere. Cain taught us to have less faith, and less love for God, so he sacrificed his worst produce, and Able sacrificed the best and his was accepted.
I have learnt from the actions of both, and I choose to apply the model taught to me by Able. And I understand that the Cains out there may be many, so my role is to convince them that the actions of Cain will eventually lead to only one Cain remaining whilst the actions of Able will ensure life for all. Whether they believe in God or not, and whether they believe in an account or not. All they require is a change in attitude.
TUE, 2 APR, 1996;