Where does the roots cause of all problems lie?


Do you long for relief from the serious problems facing mankind?

If you had the power to bring relief, would you not want to do that?

But where would you start?

There are so many problems begging for an answer.

Many millions of persons in impoverished lands, also increasing numbers in industrial countries, would like to work but simply cannot find jobs.

How fine it would be if all could live active, productive lives!

What relief many parents would experience if, instead of seeing their children waste away from hunger and disease, they could provide well for them!

Would you not welcome the day when no one, whether yourself or others, would have to live in poverty, without adequate shelter from cold and pouring rains?

Besides earth’s starving millions, many other people yearn for greater stability in life.

It would be such a comfort to know for sure that what one has long worked for will not later be reduced to practically nothing because of inflation.

If costs of basic necessities were to stabilize, the aged, the infirm, the handicapped and others on fixed incomes would be free of a big worry.

Then, too, even the person with a well-paying job may find little satisfaction in what he does.

He or she may find his work dull and monotonous.

Or, poor cooperation among workers and fierce competition may leave him frustrated, tense and completely exhausted at the end of the workday.

What a pleasant relief it would be to do work that is really enjoyable and that contributes to the good of others!

And it would indeed be refreshing to work alongside people who truly cared about one another.

Besides that, how much happier people would be if they could feel bodily secure!

Many city dwellers long for the time when streets will again be safe for women and children even after dark.
Think how delightful it would be to live on an earth free from all injustice, oppression, crime and war, free too from sickness, old age and infirmity, and free from pollution of water, soil and air.

If we are really to enjoy life fully, all the serious problems facing us must be solved.

To understand how this will be possible, one must first determine the source of mankind’s problems.

Root cause analysis of all problems

As you observe what is happening today, what comes to your mind as to the reasons for mankind’s problems?

Likely you have noticed that many problem are brought about by circumstances that, in effect, hold us captive.

Even though people may want things otherwise, they are helpless.

They must work within the framework of the existing system.

Take as an example the farmer in so-called progressive lands.

To succeed, he reasons that he must use modern methods.

This requires a lot of money these days.

Without a sizable profit, the farmer cannot meet the high cost of machinery, fuel and fertilizer.

So if demand for his produce drops, or if he suffers heavy losses due to other problems, he may be unable to pay for what he needs to continue farming.

He can lose everything if he operates on borrowed money.

And how much can the farmer do personally to relieve the suffering of earth’s starving millions in today’s society?

In the land where he lives, tons of meat may lie in cold storage.

There may be no buyers for his marketable hogs and cattle.

The farmer may very much wish to see hungry people benefit from what he has.

But to continue farming, he must be paid for his animals.

Can he afford to give them away?

For meat from his livestock to reach any of earth’s hungry people is no simple matter.

Those involved in handling, processing and transporting the meat must be paid.

They, too, have to make a living.

Even if meat for which there is no market in the country of origin were donated, transported free to famine-stricken areas and given away to those in need, this might not solve their problems.


It could be against their religious beliefs to eat meat or to eat meat from certain animals. Industry, too, is locked into a system that depends on big profits.

Machinery, fuel, wages, raw materials and maintenance require large outlays of money.

To compete on the world market, manufacturers must keep prices as low as possible.

In some cases they cannot afford to spend large sums on things unrelated to profit making—for example, antipollution measures.

Certain large companies would shut down some of their factories rather than spend millions of dollars to bring them into compliance with antipollution regulations.

Those living in industrial areas would like to see an end to excessive noise, smoke and grit. But businessmen ask: ‘What if the factories were to close down?

While pollution would be curbed, unemployment problems would wreck the economy of the community.’

So, despite known hazards, large-scale pollution is allowed to continue.

Many other examples could be cited. But they all point to one conclusion:

We today are experiencing the composite effect of the mistakes that individuals, organizations and nations have made throughout the centuries.

The problems that the present system has produced are global and threaten our very existence.

At the World Conference Against Atomic and Hydrogen Bombs, Dr. George Wald noted:

Human life is now threatened as never before, not by one but by many perils, each in itself capable of destroying us, but all interrelated, and all coming upon us together.”

Obviously a complete change in the present system is needed.

But such a change would call for tremendous sacrifices.

Who could be trusted to decide what should be sacrificed for the good of humanity?

Who would have the wisdom to handle matters in a way that would enable everyone to enjoy life’s basic necessities?

In view of the tribal, national and racial differences, what guarantee could any of us have that those involved in decision making would not try to get advantages for themselves, their relatives, friends, tribe, nation or race?

Even if there were every assurance of fair treatment for all, how many people would be willing to take cuts in profits or wages, modify their diet and give up certain luxuries so that people in another part of the world could be saved from starvation?

How many would really be content with less, glad to serve their others in this way?

What about those who would be receiving the benefits of others’ sacrifices?

Would they really be appreciative?

How many of such persons might greedily seek to have more than their share at the expense of others?

The system that now exists did not get started on its own.

People are involved.

Do not the problems reveal that there is a basic flaw in humankind

Even though at heart people may want it otherwise, they repeatedly do and say things that hurt others.

Time and again they fall short of being the kind of persons they want to be.

No human is exempt from shortcomings.

We all inherited weaknesses and imperfections.

But how did this come about?

Despite years of research, scientists cannot explain it.

Even the source of physical weaknesses manifest in the aging process is a mystery to them.

Inherited imperfections, however, do not explain fully all the problems facing mankind.

Are not even imperfect men and women capable of expressing depth of concern for others?

Have not many been willing to give up their life in attempts to render aid to fellow humans?

Do we not time and again hear concerned expressions appealing to men and nations to stop following a course that may lead to disaster for all?

Yet it seems that the world is bent on an insane course.

Why is this?

Could it be that there are forces outside the human realm that are exerting a strong influence on the world?

That is what many have felt to be the case.

Invisible, powerful spirit influence

With reference to the horrors of the Nazi years, Arnold Weber observed that it was as if “certain forces sprang out of the ground . . . a collective supra-personal force.”

Andrew M. Greeley noted that the inhumanities that have been committed in today’s world are out of proportion to human inclinations toward bad:

The magnitude of the evil is not proportionate to the malice of the people involved. Many killers are men of moderate good will who intend not evil but good. . . . Evil comes from mistakes, miscalculations, limitations, ignorance, far more frequently than it comes from malice.”

But who is responsible for prodding imperfect humans to acts of violence seemingly far greater than their inclinations toward evil?

Some may sense that some superhuman force exists, but they cannot identify it.

Many others who are religious identify it as the Satan or a evil spirit.

Just how powerful such a evil spirit can be might be illustrated by what happens to a mob.

As individuals, those making up a mob may not all be cruel, vicious people.

They may even claim to be peaceful and appear to be such on the surface.

However, once the ‘mob spirit’ envelops them, otherwise law-abiding citizens act like crazed people and women, destroying property as well as assaulting and killing other humans.

Many may later feel deep shame and find it hard to believe that they did such things.