Joshua Williams

To Share is To Build

According to a Chinese Proverb, in life, “your teacher can open the door, but you must enter by yourself.” In this age of technology, people from all over the world have access to information like never before and therefore have the ability to research any information presented to them instead of taking anything at face value. There is an essence of receiving and learning new information that is spread all throughout the world. Man has taken various ways of interpreting information, but the man-made constructs that information is subject to must also be examined. Often times these constructs have a certain belief structure and anything contrary to it is often thrown away as intangible and concluded as far-fetched. Now the word “better,” as defined by the Merriam-Webster Dictionary means “to make more complete or perfect,” but in order to reach for a better world there would need to be a higher standard of thinking and processing that technology can aid, but as humans, it is up for our pursuit. From examining the “Thiaoouba Prophecy,” there are many formative ways to improve a human’s spiritual growth through leadership, socialization, and by way of thought. Cooperation, mutual respect and understanding, and empathy have been the building blocks of past societies and continue to be important ideals to grow and nurture a better world.

Leadership is important - even fundamental - to human society. Often times a leader, whether that of a small organization or a fully functional government system, has a way of impacting their environment. In today’s world, people have varying opinions when it comes to

the topic of if one person can truly make a difference. This is something that has been bothering plenty of people, especially within the United States. According to Transparency International, “74 percent said ordinary people can make a difference in the fight against corruption, up 4 percentage points from 2016.” However, according to the Coin Team, a “majority of Americans have a strong desire to see progress, but only 23% believe in their individual impact to create positive change.” This is an issue because people need to understand that leadership shouldn’t be viewed from an individualistic perspective, but rather holistically. The leader and the people should be harmonious; the idea of being harmonious does not necessarily apply to every small detail, but rather it is to help provide the people with basic rights such as food, health care, shelter, and education as needed.

According to Thao, “these high figures received no great material benefits for leading the nation. It was their vocation to lead and they did it for the love of serving their country - this avoided the problem of hiding opportunists among the leaders” (Desmarquet 89). With many different groups supporting various politicians, it can be hard to know who is right and who is wrong. It can also be difficult to tell which group has the people’s heart and overall welfare in mind, and which one doesn’t. Thao reminded Michel, “‘Returning to the problems of your planet, Michel, the solution depends on love - not money. It requires that people rise above hate, resentment, jealousy and envy, and that each person, whether he be street sweeper or community leader, put his neighbour before himself, offering his hand to whoever needs it” (Desmarquet 131). The spiritual factor comes into play when the people, both those in power and not in power, begin to have empathy for one another. Empathy arises when the leader sees all groups of people and their unique struggles, and when the people see the politician as an individual who is a flawed and imperfect human being likewise. Learning to see, accept, and respect each other’s faults instead of being so quick to fire and cast blame, especially within this hot and contentious political climate, can create peace and accord on both sides of the spectrum.

Mutual respect and understanding are important because, as discussed in Nature Human Behaviour, “human beings are a social species that rely on cooperation to survive and thrive.” This is especially true when considering humans in the past and how they were able to survive and become technologically advanced. In our contemporary setting, the selfish option would be to ignore history. Regardless, in all facets of life, whether an individual was to attend university or work at any job, there is an importance of knowing how to communicate effectively. Without knowing how to corporate and work together, society itself would collapse, let alone that many of the inventions and technological advances that humans have made would not have been or continue to be possible. Even the basic concept of “sharing” as taught to young children perforates their minds and has a great effect on society as a whole. To dive a little deeper, the Australian parenting website Raising Children says that “sharing teaches children about compromise and fairness…children who share also learn how to take turns and negotiate, and how to cope with disappointment.” These life skills are important for humans to survive, and these values being taught at a young age can have an important impact on how a child will interact in their adolescence and adulthood.

With humans being social creatures, it should also be noted that we should always remember to have a balance and always be able to learn from one another. Thao talked about this instance with regard to a parent and a child, but there is a deeper meaning here: “Imagine a child who goes to school each day in order to learn. Returning home in the evening, this child asks for assistance with his homework. If his parents are smart, they will help him understand the concepts involved so that the child can complete his task himself. If, however, his parents did his

work for him, he wouldn’t learn much, would he? He’d have to repeat each year and his parents would have done him no favours” (Desmarquet 39). The underlying message here is that no matter where you are in the world there has to be a sense of independence and free thought because although humans together can build many inventions, it is the various skill-sets combined that build the whole. The assembly line was practical and useful because it took a bigger project and divided it into simpler tasks; corporations are effective because they take multiple people and assign them to different roles that overall provide a benefit to the company. No matter how one’s individual views of society are, it is undeniable that within the world there are independent pieces working together in cooperation to ensure a desired outcome.

No matter how different one’s life circumstances are, spiritually, humans are connected through universally shared experiences such as pain, hardship, joy, and love. “When a man does return and relates his experience, the vast majority of people don’t believe him - and if he persists, he is assumed ‘crazy’” (Desmarquet 3). An individual when relating a life experience or event is sometimes perceived as mad if it does not properly line up with the status quo. The problem with trying to normalize experiences or events in life is that it dictates what is true and what is false by mere means of whatever the society considers “usual” at that point in time, thereby hampering not only creativity but also on what is considered the individual’s truth. Public opinion is everywhere; it is found in social gatherings as well as political ones. To go more in-depth, according to Lumen Learning, public opinion “represents a snapshot of how people’s experiences and beliefs have led them to feel about a candidate, a law, or a social issue.” With this in mind, it is important to note that certain belief structures have been in place with the individual since birth and other structures have been discovered by the individual as they learn, grow, form their own opinions, and find their own place in the world. Regardless of how the belief structure is formed, a person’s true experiences are their experiences and there is nothing in life that is able to take that away. In regard to spirituality, humans connect on deep levels when it comes to experiences. As Bruce Perry, MD said, “trauma and our responses to it cannot be understood outside the context of human relationships… The most traumatic aspects of all disasters involve the shattering of human connections.” Trauma, whether experienced or witnessed, can affect an individual on a deep, fundamental level. Having the power to rebuild and uplift each other is what allows us to grow together and continue to move forward as a society.

The human brain is very complex and intricate, and it allows us to form the bonds that create our societies. As a final takeaway from the Thiaoouba Prophecy, “thoughtlessness and irresponsibility are not qualities apparent in civilised nations” (Desmarquet 113). It is our bonds, our willingness to cooperate, our empathy for each other that allows us to live in civilizations and will allow us to continue striving for a better, more perfect world. As curious creatures, humans are always seeking, learning, and discovering. Having a mind willing to go the extra mile after knowledge is great, but as humans, it is imperative that people don’t forget the spiritual side to every human experience and to every relationship formed, which are the fundamental building blocks of our shared society.

Works Cited

Cldisasteradmin. “Healing from Trauma with the Power of Human Connection.” Child Life Disaster Relief, 13 Feb. 2019, cldisasterrelief.org/2019/02/healing-from-trauma-with-the- power-of-human-connection/.

“The Cooperative Human.” Nature News, Nature Publishing Group, 9 July 2018, www.nature.com/articles/s41562-018-0389- 1#:~:text=Human%20beings%20are%20a%20social,cooperation%20to%20survive%20a nd%20thrive.&text=Understanding%20cooperation%20%E2%80%94%20what%20moti vates%20it,all%20kinds%20of%20human%20behaviour.

Desmarquet, Michel. Thiaoouba Prophecy: a True Report as Witnessed by the Author. Arafura Pub., 1997.

Hornsby, Michael. “Nearly Six in Ten Americans Believe the US Became More Corrupt in...” Transparency.org, 12 Dec. 2017, www.transparency.org/en/press/nearly-six-in-ten- americans-believe-the-us-became-more-corrupt-in-2017#.

Joseph M. Scanlon, Monroe Community College. “American Government.” Lumen, courses.lumenlearning.com/atd-monroecc-americangovernment/chapter/the-nature-of- public-opinion/.

“Sharing and Learning to Share.” Raising Children Network, 5 Dec. 2017, raisingchildren.net.au/toddlers/behaviour/friends-siblings/sharing.

Team, COIN. “Survey Says: Just 23% of Americans Think They Can Make an Impact.” COIN, 18 June 2019, www.investwithcoin.com/blog/not-it-only-23-of-americans-believe-they- can-make-a- difference.html#:~:text=Only%2023%25%20of%20Americans%20Believe%20They%20 Can%20Make%20a%20Difference&text=Americans%20care%20a%20lot%20about,we
%20are%2C%20or%20can%20be.

Runner-up of A Better World" Spirituality and Technology Advancement Scholarship for 2020