smart individual dumb species

The picture above depicts an individual cleaning up the mess created by fellow members of their species. We witness so many humans trying to eradicate pollution, wars and all kind of wrongs. But at a species level, nothing really concrete is being done to address these issues. The individual is smart, it is the species that is dumb.

Individuals are trying to solve the problem

We see individual environmentalists, peace proponents, activists. They are doing their best to get rid the human society of these menaces. The menaces like the destruction of nature, pollution of the natural resources, warring societies.

But at the level of human species, there is more talk than action. More and more global summits, new reports, amazing statistics, analysis are being done about the global problems created by the human species. But very little is being done in terms of practical actions and measures to address these issues.

So the individual is smart, but the species acts dumb? What does this really mean? That only few are smart enough to worry about things that really matter, but most others are either busy fighting their own individual level problems, or are not really bothered about the species level problems. That most humans think that the other humans will eventually solve these problems.

But, Individual actions have limitations

Every body is trying to make others aware of the problems. But what else can an aware individual do? After all, policy making in a human society should come at the administration level. The government should ban the plastics, isn’t it? But wait, what stops me as an individual from saying no to the plastic? Do I need the government to tell me to stop using plastic bags? Why cant as an individual I refuse to take plastic containers, and take my own jute bag or cloth bag when I visit the shops?

Collaboration required at a species level

Of course, there are certain things that needs to be done at the government level as well. For instance, I might volunteer to travel in cycle because that is both pollution free as well as good for my health. But with all the pollution around me in the busy streets, I will end up taking in more polluted air by traveling in cycle, than I would have if I had taken a car. But, yes, I can at least opt to take a public transport as and when available.

So, the problem created by humans as a species needs to be solved both, at an individual level as well as at a species level. The administration needs to seriously spend money on research involving renewable energy. The individual has to start cleaning up as much as he can. The government has to provide trash cans and waste bins in all public places, tourist places, while the individual has to ensure that he throws every single waste into them.

So it has to be a collaborative effort at both the individual level and a species level to clean up the mess we have created on this planet. After all, God helps only those who help themselves.

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