Our species, our world, and our universe are based around the principle of evolution, in the sense that a cumulative mass is working together, whether consciously or unconsciously, to improve.
We can of course observe evolution in the traditional sense, which is the passive process by which better genes are selected and passed down. This is an example of unconscious evolution.
However, our species has reached a point where we are able to proactively evolve and learn together. This of course encompasses advances in science and technology, but also breakthroughs in societal constructs and morality.
We, along with most of the living breathing world, are an empathetic species. We can sense emotion in others and before we are even able to walk or talk, we exhibit signs of this empathy. It is this empathy that is a basis for our morality. When we are born this behavior is unconditional, meaning the empathy felt for others is not restricted by race, religion, or even species. Now from an evolutionary standpoint, it makes sense that we would self-teach to limit this empathy. Separation is important for competition, the driving force behind evolution. The competition within our species took us from a cave to the surface of the moon in a relative blink of an eye.
However, now that we as human beings have reached a certain level in the evolution of our technology, it is time for us to also evolve in a different way. If we would like to be able to carry on learning and evolving together we must come to see all humans and every other living being on our planet as deserving of empathy. The type of bloodthirsty competition that got our species to where we are today is no longer beneficial.
It is now time to look at our world as a whole and make decisions that will benefit us all. We have outgrown the simple restrictions of nationality, race, etc. and preserving them will surely be our ultimate downfall. If we continue to behave with the mental capacity of a much simpler animal, while utilizing the advanced technology we have created, we will undoubtedly destroy ourselves.
Dustin Slade is a 21-year-old lifelong resident of Santa Barbara and is studying computer science at UCSB.