"There's obviously a good aspect to competition -- the development of the mind, the body, creativity," Mr.Vanier says. "But there's something where we can walk very quickly on
people -- I want to prove I'm better than you. How to find a world where the essential thing is to work for peace, to work to build something together?" He notes that the United Nations has recommended that the study of non-violence be included on all school curricula.
"I'm amazed that this is not being done. What is more important is that I should go back home and show that I'm better than others...The pain of parents comes when children don't seem to be doing as well as others. Everything becomes competition."
If humans -- part of a strange and immature species that is still only a little more than 100,000 years old -- are still evolving, then what's the next step? We have now reached the level of consciousness, something that dinosaurs, in all their millions of years on this planet, never did.
We know we're going to die, and that troubles us. And so we mask that anxiety in the veil of anticipation, hoping against hope that we will someday be better than those around us. We will become strong because others we will remain weak. We judge our success based on the fact that we are doing better than the person before us and behind us.
But what if we surrounded ourselves continually with those who have no vested interest in that struggle? Who aren't playing that game? Who are what society calls 'weak' to begin with, but who may, in fact, be the metaphorical finger pointing to the destination we as a species have to eventually reach?
If the collective human ego is still morphing over the millieniums into something larger, which I think it is, then the next step must somehow involve an acknowledgement that we cannot continue to judge our own worth as human beings based on how much higher, faster, stronger and smarter we are than those beside us and below us that breathe our same air.
Some kind of symbiosis may be in order, a necessary, mutual realization on the part of all of us that life exists for its own sake, and has not been designed or accidentally developed so that we spend years and years trying to prove our self-worth to indifferent others who are immersed in their own cocoon trying to prove their self-worth to us, with neither side watching the other yet each flank nevertheless futilely trying to impress an invisible, future mass of spectators who could care less.
The meek may not, eventually, inherit the earth, but they certainly can, at the moment, enlighten it.