To what causes all the problems

in the world, and its solution



Selfishness is the cause of all the world's problems


Love, compassion and caring for others, is the answer to

solving the problems caused by selfishness



By Charles Risher


I'd like to share something with you, something really big. It's the answer to what causes all the problems in the world. I mean all the problems from the biggest to the smallest. It's selfishness. Take wars, for example. Who would invade another country unless their was a profit to be made. Slavery, taking advantage of people, using and abusing them. Short-term profit without regard to the long-term consequences. How about the destruction of the environment, the polluting and poisoning of the land, air and water. What are the long-term consequences on our health? What about the homeless on the streets of America, the richest nation in the history of the world? What other reason than just plain selfishness.


Modern technology has unmasked selfishness and shows it for the destroyer it really is. Technology has given selfishness much more power. Its destructive consequences are much easier to see than before. Take one little invention, the chain saw. Put it in the hands of millions of people and what have you got? Total destruction. The rain forests are coming down all over the world. Trees are the lungs of the world. They absorb pollution and give off oxygen. We are destroying the lungs of the world.


The air is getting so polluted that the ozone layer is disappearing. There are holes over both poles now. The ozone layer keeps ultraviolet rays from the sun from reaching the earth. Too much ultraviolet will kill plankton in the ocean and plants on earth. It will cause skin cancer on people. How much longer before the ozone disappears?


This talk on technology reminds me of a story I was told when I was a kid. "Chuck, life is going to be great for you and your generation. When you grow up life won't be hard for you like it was for us. Why you'll be able to work three or four hours a day and provide for all your needs. Modern technology and mass production is going to make a wonderful life for everyone." What a joke that turned out to be.


Some people are becoming concerned. The Minneapolis Star Tribune has printed some great articles about ecology and ethics. One last week was about the population explosion. There are over 5 billion people now. That is a two billion increase since 1963. Another article stated that the top 1% of American taxpayers pay 15% less in taxes than in 1978 or 84 billion a year less. Their income is 86% more than in 1978.


Another says that the top one-half of 1% of the people of the the United States own over 35% of the assets of the country. That is stocks, bonds, real estate, everything. These assets are almost totally transferred from generation to generation by marriage and inheritance.

The bottom 25% of the people have $3,000 or less total net worth. The bottom 13% have a 0 or a negative net worth.

In our culture your status and self-worth are determined by how much money and possessions we have. Low income groups have a hard time with their self-esteem. Many feel interior and lack hope for a better life. Many are from single parent families. Many are part-time workers with no hospital insurance, no vacation and little job security. Children with emotional problems and a poor diet have a difficult time in school. Many look at people around them who went to school and lose hope.


Many are tempted by fast, illegal money and people who lure them into dangerous pleasures. One accident, one illness or mistake can be hard to overcome. Like a wounded animal in the forest, they are preyed upon. The old, the young and the weak are easy targets for the selfish people who prey upon them.


Many are alienated from society with little or no hope of a better life. For some the lottery seems the only way out. Some business leaders want to write them off. They want to import workers to replace them. It would have been easier to have prevented the under-class from developing than to bring it back, to give them hope again, to retrain, re-educate, replace bad habits with good ones.


That's the way with most things. It's easier to destroy than to build. How can we bring the ozone back when it's gone?


There is an answer to all the terrible things selfishness does. The answer is love, compassion, caring. Enough love can solve all these problems and more. Let's sing a little song. Love is positive and selfishness is negative.


"You gotta accentuate the positive, eliminate the negative, accentuate the positive and we will have love, hope and peace all over the world."


(I) Mpls Star Tribune 3-9-90 Page 7a

(ii)Economics for Prophets

Win B Eerdmans Publishing Co. Grand Rapids, Michigan