There are three descriptive terms, or “mottoes” one of which can usually be assigned to describe the nature of various peoples’ mindset. They are:
“It’s all about me!”
“You and me against the world.”
“One for all and all for one.”
We all know people who fit into one of the first two mindsets. Increasingly we can find people in the world who are coming from the third mindset. Anyone who has raised children can see that these mottoes also generally describe stages of child development. In keeping with the axiom “As above, so below. As below, so above.”, we can also apply these developmental stages to cultures/societies.
These three stages of development reflect the degree to which an individual has opened themselves to embracing the world around them. While it is easy to think or say that embracing more is better, and I believe being able to embrace more truly is better, we all can only open at our own pace. We’re complex. There are other issues involved, safety being one that jumps to mind.
People operating from all three stages are in the world at any given time. There is no credit or guilt inherent with a person’s occupying any of the stages. However, there are consequences, ripples in the water, from all our thoughts and actions and the degree of exclusivity or inclusivity of our mindset is no different.
What are some further characteristics of those who are coming from one of these three mindsets?
- “It’s all about me.”: Very young children often live in this mindset. Most adults mature beyond it, however, not all. What prevents or hinders a person’s development resulting in them being stuck in this level of development? I’m not sure I can answer that question. I’m sure there are lots of theories as to why that may happen. And I’m confident there is truth to be found in some or all of the theories. I would like to add that I think we cannot rule out past-life experiences as possibly playing a part in why some may be stuck. People coming from this mindset might seek to create a cult of personality around themselves.
- “You and me against the world.”: This is the level of development that much of the world is currently operating from. Corporations, nationalism, racism, many religions, exclusive clubs, secret societies, come from this mindset. Sports teams adopt this mindset for the period of time they are involved in a sporting event, but that does not necessarily mean the individual players generally live from this mindset. Political parties generally come from this mindset.
- “One for all and all for one.”: It is harder to come up with related characteristics with this category, is that because there are fewer people coming from it? I don’t know. Offhand some might say communists or socialist come from this mindset. From how we’ve seen nominally communist or socialist societies play out in the world, those titles do not necessarily indicate genuine “One for all, all for one.” thinking. Often factions within the countries take over with more of a “You and me against the world.” mentality. And even if we think in terms of one for all and all for one, this doesn’t mean we want to give up owning our own home, car, business or giving up the idea of any private property. No, interestingly, it is hard to find any groups or organizations which jump to mind as representing the “One for all and all for one.” mindset. Is this because exclusivity is so common with groups and organizations? I think there are some parameters of how we regulate our behavior in regard to acquisition which would naturally come into place in a genuine “One for all and all for one.” society. And we need to keep in mind “One for all and all for one.” has to do with the work as well as the rewards. While not being able to name a group or organization which represents this mindset, I know this mindset exists in the world. And I think we need a lot more of it for the world to ever leave war behind and achieve genuine harmony.
Ultimately it all comes down to individuals. And individuals all develop in their own time.