‘Human nature is evil, ” And goodness is caused by intentional activity.’ – Xunzi
There’s a quote that people use when speaking about individuals who occupy authoritative positions or have power to a certain degree, although it’s debatable whether what we refer to as ‘power’ is what they truly have and exercise. Anyway, back to the quote, it usually goes like this – power doesn’t corrupt anyone, it just exposes what was within. Now, human nature is intrinsically mysterious. Time and again, we manage to surprise ourselves and it leaves all of us in wonder, about what exactly may be in the minds of others. The same way power on its own doesn’t corrupt anyone in the same way times and seasons do not corrupt, they only expose.
With the world currently engaged and embroiled in the battle against COVID-19, we’re beginning to see extremes on the spectrum of human behavior.
After a chaotic week, with the Coronavirus headlining any and everywhere and spreading on an unprecedented scale, we started to see, on the news and social media platforms the responses people started to offer towards the disastrous situation. The response from a human perspective, unfortunately, was sad and pathetic. People started ‘panic buying’ – a phrase that means people begin to buy, no, begin to overbuy to hoard food and resources for themselves and their family to survive the period where they would be isolated. You realize the human element in sparks here – there is fear, people are anxious and they want to help out their family.
No, what they ultimately want to do is survive, because no matter who you are, you’re afraid of death. It’s the yearning to hold on to life and see tomorrow that drives people to do these things. That in itself is not wrong, however, the kind of nature one has constructed ends up influencing the way one would approach facilitating this drive to live. And the answer that came up for us wasn’t very good – greed.
You see greed is what will cause a man to buy out stores and inflate the prices on products that people genuinely need. The business perspective will tell you that it’s an opportunity to make money, because you know, supply and demand.
But what’s a business perspective when you’re infected, or worse dead? It’s the inability to see beyond ourselves and being blinded by the fact that we just want to survive. It’s a pathetic look for human beings and those who are doing such things ought to be ashamed of themselves. Someone said something online, if your neighbor can’t get the products to stay safe, you’re the one who’s at risk if they get infected. Profound, but how many minds has this thought crossed?
We say we are human beings, but how many of us are being human?