One of my favorite cartoons in the past was Dungeons & Dragons. It was so creative and fun and I wished it had continued. One of the things that I liked the most was the wise things the DM said. In one episode he said, “The fate of one is shared by all.”
He was talking about unicorns and that if you help one unicorn you help them all. I have often thought of this saying as I have grown up and been amazed that people don’t understand this.
This is not some mystical new age saying that you can’t prove. You can directly prove this. Our health right now depends on the health of everyone around the world. The weakest link of health care is where this virus can develop into a more dangerous strain. It is finally clear and in everyone’s self-interest to prioritize health care.
Yet why do we have this problem? We have this virus problem because we have a bigger problem with empathizing and seeing the shared humanity that we all have. We pretend that we only need to be concerned about ourselves and that our choices will only hurt us alone. The truth is that all of our choices collectively help shape the kind of world it will be.
Our problems as a society are directly related to our inability to see this fundamental truth. We are only as healthy as our sickest individual. We are only as free as our more unjustly held prisoner. We are only as happy as the most unhappy people who are thinking of committing suicide. We all win when we seek win/win with others, and too often people have this short-term thinking that their win can come at the cost of others. This is the path to self and societal destruction.
Fate could have put any of us in anyone else’s place. Why wouldn’t you care about making life as good as it can be for everyone? Or is your own view that only your life has value?