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Our closed minds reduce our world to a very small world

I recently met a young man who shared with me his serious personal problems, perhaps only to have someone listening to him because at no time he asked for help. During his monologue, he said that "What happens to me must be normal because it happens to all the men I know."

The young man explained that his father and his uncles had similar problems (conflictive relationships, job instability, addictions), as his grandfather had had them before and as his co-workers and his friends do. Therefore, he thought that "if the same thing happens to them" these problems are "normal" and, in fact, are not problems at all.

The issue is that his many undeniably self-destructive behaviors are affecting him, his close family, and his extended family. But in the world in which this young man lives ("world" in the sense of interpersonal connections and shared and accepted ideas and beliefs), these self-destructive behaviors are so prevalent that they are seen as "normal."

This poor person is trapped inside his own world (literally). He not only rationalized his situation by justifying it in the oldest possible way ("Everyone does the same"), but he was unable to see the limits of his world and, therefore, to imagine beneficial alternatives for him and his family beyond that small world.

But let's be honest: we are all locked inside our small worlds. "It’s a small world after all " endlessly repeats one of the rides at Disney World. And, thanks to social networks and the omnipresence of smartphones, that “world” is getting smaller and smaller.

We accept as "normal" something we see every day simply because we see it every day, ignoring the historical, cultural, social, political, and ideological origins of that "normality."

And although that "normality" is as self-destructive to the life of the planet as the addiction that destroys every day the life of the young man mentioned above, we accept our global destructive behavior as "normal."

In fact, we thus normalize violence, injustice, exploitation and ignorance and then we give them "acceptable" names, such as "law and order", "justice", "work," and "education". Because that is the world we live in; we believe that it is normal and that there are no alternatives.

If the man with whom I spoke doesn’t change his behavior, in a short time he will lose everything, even perhaps his life. However, if he changes his behavior (with the professional help needed and in support of those who want to help him), he will probably save his life and his future.

On a global level, if we continue to do what we are doing, planetary ecocide will be a reality. And if we change our behavior (with the help of the great minds and hearts who want to help us), even so, there are no guarantees that we can save our future.

The Universe may benefit from the disappearance of our self-destructive and immature humanity. But the Universe could also benefit from a truly human humanity.

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