Goodness has not been universally appreciated for what it is. We have been beseeched many times to care about each other. Parables and historical accounts have left many unpersuaded. Behavior and feelings have been perfected in relatively few. The message must be stated plainly. We must care about the wellbeing and happiness of every living person.
A great many people do not know why we must do this. If the answer to this question were to become widely known, every aspect of human life would be affected. Every concern and need would be addressed with greater wisdom.
It might be thought that a change of consciousness in this direction would affect close relationships more than it would affect relationships with strangers, or the satisfaction of material needs, or actions in business, law enforcement, defense, politics, science, education, and art. This is a misunderstanding of what it means to care about the wellbeing and happiness of every living person.
There are people alive today who as children did not understand the cruelty of other children. Cruelty has no entertainment value for such people - even at very young ages. Some of these few grow to rid themselves of the ancient feelings that counter goodness. The value of the example they represent makes us hope that more of them will come forward to tell their story.
Caring about the wellbeing and happiness of every living person impacts every walk of life. To illustrate a consequence in the field of law enforcement, you may ask many people how they would feel about using non-lethal devices to stop or prevent criminal acts. Even after being convinced that technology is up to the task, many people will object to the use of any safe and effective non-lethal method by law enforcement. As one person put it, "These people deserve to die."
If a military or police organization used nonlethal means to the greatest extent practicable, that organization would secure the moral high ground along with the admiration of the world.
In most cultures, the concepts of justice and revenge have been conflated. This leaves many of us unprepared and disinclined to restrain wrongdoing without also seeking revenge.
Perfect behavior is the result of perfect intentions. If you intend no harm, and your every thought and feeling is constructive, you are at peace. If you feel enmity, resentment, or anger, you carry the seeds of war.
Some people, usually those in positions of some responsibility, are able to suspend their sense of outrage or hurt feelings when they are verbally attacked. We know that anybody can suppress horrible experiences; but this particular suspension or postponement of negative feelings is not accompanied by forgetting. The issues raised by these attacks are addressed rationally and correctly when they happen. Those feelings of being unjustly criticized, for example, are sorted out at a later time - or not at all if the social interaction resolves a conflict. This seems to show that we all have a switch that we can learn to use, as some have - a switch that suspends combative feelings without losing information or forsaking one's values.
Self-serving decisions become very much less likely wherever matters affecting a large population are not decided by a very small group. This is because few are severely desirous of power, while these are precisely the people who tend to obtain it.
Thinking vividly and frequently about your future self, and taking opportunities to act more consistent with this desired future self, will produce any change in yourself that you are thinking about - usually within two years. Being on the wrong side of things is not permanent unless you want it to be.
How can a person focussed on the losses and injustices he or she has suffered become a person focussed on what is best for the future generations of human beings?
You may discover that you are a person - a person who is part of humanity - a person who loves humanity - a person who loves humanity even though you are still waiting for its perfection - a person who deeply cares about the wellbeing and happiness of every living person.