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Social behavior characterizes you and me. It is the manifestation of human nature coupled with free will. This is how the world sees us.

Social Behavior. The third ingredient in how humans function. the result of our mixture of human nature and free will yields altruism or aggression.

Social Behavior. The third ingredient in how humans function. the result of our mixture of human nature and free will yields altruism or aggression.

Social behavior is a very powerful personal mixture at the origin of every one of our actions. Each of us is endowed with human nature and free will. These two elements, like ingredients, are mixed in with each one’s portion of nature and nurture. This blend gives each of us our character and personality, in turn, making each one of us unique individuals.
(Audit of Humankind, chapter 2.7)

This section of Audit of Humankind is entitled: How Humans Function, what makes us tick. To know how to reach a result of peace and prosperity, we need to understand the mechanics of humankind. How we work, so we can tweak, and even change the parts, if need be, to reach our proposed goal.

How Humans Function. What makes us tick? In order to know how to reach peace and prosperity, we need to understand the mechanics of humankind. Only then can we tweak and change the parts to reach our goal. Share on X

Each of us is a unique individual and together we cover the entire rainbow of human social behavior, from red to violet. Or, to point out the extremes and everything in-between, from white to black and every shade of grey. Humankind expresses every shade of social behavior imaginable. As we live our lives and witness our own fortunes and misfortunes and hear and see the vicissitudes of people worldwide we never cease to be amazed at what humanity can accomplish as well as what humanity can destroy.

We are both actors and witnesses to behavior, human social behavior. Never static, always changing, often foreseeable but often unforeseeable. Astonishing us, dumbfounding us by both its morality and depravity, its integrity and duplicity.

Since social behavior is the third of seven keys within the section of the book Audit of Humankind to understand how humans function, we need to take a closer look at some examples of social behavior.

Behavior is the outward, visible expression of whatever is in humankind’s heart. That’s a manner of speaking because it’s really what’s in humankind’s mind. It’s the individual and collective display of both sides–the positive and the negative–of human nature and free will.

Social behavior is a very powerful personal mixture at the origin of our actions. Each of us is endowed with human nature and free will. These two elements are mixed in with each one's portion of nature and nurture. Share on X

If you want to have a proper worldview, you need to ask yourself this question: What is the state of individual behavior today? In a future chapter on the Endeavors of Humankind, we will also look at the world’s collective social behavior.

There are books, articles, debates … about this subject. Best-selling authors like Steven Pinker have written books like The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence has Declined. In his latest tome Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress Pinker shows (As Amazon presents it) that life, health, prosperity, safety, peace, knowledge, and happiness are on the rise, not just in the West, but worldwide. This progress is not the result of some cosmic force. It is a gift of the Enlightenment: the conviction that reason and science can enhance human flourishing.

Another author, Eckhart Tolle in the 10th-anniversary edition of A New Earth writes (page 3), ‘preparing the ground for a more profound shift in planetary consciousness that is destined to take place in the human species. This is the spiritual awakening that we are beginning to witness now.’

There are numerous champions of this positivity of humankind. On the other hand, there’s also negativity regarding the future of humankind. Here are some headlines to get you thinking about behavior and where it’s taking the world. Some are translated by myself:

  • In medical school, Paul Farmer found his life’s calling to cure infectious diseases and to bring the lifesaving tools of modern medicine to those who need them most. Kidder’s magnificent account takes us from Harvard to Haiti, Peru, Cuba, and Russia as Farmer changes minds and practices through his dedication to the philosophy that “the only real nation is humanity.
  • Chaos. In the devastated cities [in Syria], between the corpses and looters, a handful of devotees is still trying to save the architectural heritage.
  • A book, ‘GI’s and women‘ (Des GI’s et des femmes by Mary Louise Roberts) uncovers the behavior of the heroes of D-Day: Sexual fantasies related to France did indeed motivate the soldiers to land, but they also unleashed a real tidal wave of male desire.
  • Malala’s story is as unbelievable as it is inspirational: She survived a point-blank gunshot to the head, continued in her fight for girls’ right to education around the world, and, at the age of 17, became the youngest ever recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize. She is an unstoppable force for good and this book allows us all to learn from her incredible wisdom.
  • Tens of thousands of South Korean women – one of the country’s largest ever women’s protests – gathered in central Seoul on Saturday to demand the end of “spy-camera pornography” by the government. .These spy-camera videos secretly filming partially or naked women, in toilets, cloakrooms, schools or workplaces, for example, circulate on the internet despite the official ban on the distribution of pornography.
  • An illegal immigrant, he climbed 4 floors with his bare hands to save a 4-year-old child. Mamoudou Gassama will be naturalized French. Watch the video to see his exploit.

Where do the chips fall regarding human social behavior? Overall, is the glass getting fuller or emptier?

In preparation for writing the book Audit of Humankind, I collected all sort of articles from magazines, books, news sources, internet and classified them. For behavior, I have folders on Violence, Philanthropy, Mixed-up Society …  On this page, you’ll find #AuditBehavior with articles culled from the press revealing the ups-and-downs of social behavior. Every day our interactions with those around us illustrate how we behave, how we exercise our free will to express our human nature. How does it look?

In all the positivity of Pinker and Tolle and the negativity of news headlines, we can ask ourselves the question is social behavior reflecting a half-filled glass getting fuller or emptier? Consider what’s happening on the music scene, the types, and nature of the series we’re watching on TV. The underlying outlooks of hospital and  Homes for the Elderly staff. Ponder the state of students and youth. Yes, there’s good and bad, poor and rich, black and white … what direction are we headed in? Fuller or emptier? Think about the companies behind the economy, the laboratories behind the pharmaceuticals, the processors behind the food… Are we improving or degrading the systems? It’s all the result of human social behavior.

How is behavior faring? Social behavior expresses itself in many ways. Violence is the ultimate stand. There are intermediary steps leading up to that finality: Anger, resentment, vengeance, hatred… and even before this stress and anxiety … overuse of normal drugs, alcohol, normalization of mind fantasies. Are we openly hearing more negativism because there’s better and deeper news reporting? Or are there symptoms that we’re sweeping under the carpet.

Ask yourself the question not only about what we see and read–but what about those sparks that are ready to unleash seemingly uncontrollable forces. What’s below the surface?

For now, let’s draw an intermediary conclusion. Remember, we are answering the question: How to bring peace and prosperity to Earth? This means, somehow, guiding or directing, behavior. Notice, I didn’t say forcing behavior. Behind behavior are its two components: Human nature and free will. And behind human nature is the human mind.

We now have the key elements we have to work with: Human mind, human nature and free will and the resultant human social behavior. What’s the formula to obtain peaceful and prosperous behavior? How do we assist and facilitate the blending of the human mind, human nature, and free will to obtain peace and prosperity?

This blog post is an excerpt from chapter 2.6 of the book Audit of Humankind,


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