Authors: Paul Gilbert, University of Derby and The Compassionate Mind Foundation, UK.



Humans are a tragic species in many ways. We are all products of DNA in the flow of life with many millions of species that have gone extinct behind us. We, like all other lifeforms, have been built by genes in a certain way with a certain body and mind, evolved to cope with the challenges of survival and reproduction. No living thing chose to be what it is. Predators did not choose to be predators and prey did not choose to be prey. No one alive today chose to be here or what they are. No male chose to be male or female chose to be female. We did not choose our ethnicity nor to have certain genetic vulnerabilities, nor to have or to lack certain talents. We did not choose to have a brain that is capable of multiple and conflicting emotions and motives, able to be extraordinary compassionate and risk our lives to save others yet also capable of the most horrendous atrocities, cruelties and basic viciousness. Indeed, if we look at our history over the last 5000 or so years, it is not good reading. Most of the great empires have suppressed their populations with vicious forms of policing, punishment and torture, while slavery has been endemic for thousands of years in most cultures and slaves have always been subjected to extraordinary sexual and physical brutalities. Today we continue to see the ambitions of leaders who care more about territory, power and wealth than they do about the suffering they are causing in their pursuit.

Keywords: Afterword.

Vol 3, Issue 2, October 2022