Since the election in November, we’ve turned our attention to how to live (and possibly even thrive?) in a society that’s deeply out of balance. Last week, I asserted that most people in our society are unhappy most of the time. Let me assert today that a society made up of mostly unhappy people is far more likely to seek out conflict rather than cooperation than one comprised of people who are in balance.
Consider, for example, President Trump’s decision last week to pull the U.S. out of the Paris Climate Agreement. A recent national poll found that seven out of ten Americans support remaining in the agreement, and that a majority of self-identified Democrats, Republicans and independents all want to stay in the accord.
Trump’s decision to pull the country out of the accord, contrary to what a majority of Americans want, reflects my essential point that as a people out of balance, we are prone to or even seek out conflict. Trump, as someone who thrives in chaos, seeks (one hopes unconsciously) to sow seeds of chaos.
So what do we do about it? How do we alter that dynamic? If people out of balance are far more likely to seek conflict rather than cooperation, and if our society is succumbing to the impact of constant conflict, indeed, appears to be descending into chaos (and would you dare to claim otherwise?), then the single most radical and effective thing we can do as individuals is to short-circuit that dynamic by seeking balance within ourselves.