It’s easy to forget this. It’s easy to give into dissension and conflict and zero-sumness. Especially now. Especially when things are so dark. Isn’t that the natural state of things? Survival of the fittest. We’re in a war—our genes need to survive. So screw those other parents, screw their kids. There are only so many spots at Harvard, you know. So many spots in the preschool that will increase their chances to get there.
We talked recently about the beautiful Alanis Morrisette song she wrote as a message to her two young children—about keeping the light in their eyes ablaze. As she sings,
The first thing that you’ll notice is some separation from each other
Yes it’s a lie, we’ve been believing since time immemorial
There was an apple, there was a snake, there was division
There was a split, there was a conflict in the fabric of life
One became two and then everyone was out for themselves
Everyone was pitted against each other conflict ruled the realm
All our devotions and temperaments are pulled from different wells
They seem to easily forget we are made of the same cells
Remember: Our kids vs. our kids. We’re all in this together, raising families together. Our interests are far more aligned than they are misaligned. Better schools? We all benefit. Better environment? We all benefit. Public health? We all benefit. Conversely, an extractive economy where the rich get richer and the poor get poorer? Partisan politics? Hypocrisy? Viciousness? In the end, this comes back to haunt all of us.
So start acting like it.