This summer I actually read a really thick book! I rarely indulge in reading novels or a thicker book that cannot be read in one go. I have learned that I am worthy of being liked only when I perform or am obedient and compliant. To “just” read and to devote myself to me is frightening! On the other hand, I love to learn and to understand and there is a lot of wisdom written in books.
The book I have read is not really a novel but can probably be classified as a manual in humanity. It assumes that man is good and describes it in a convincing way. It is man’s natural goodness that has made us what we are today. Helpfulness and cohesion have been a prerequisite for our success as a species. For the most part, we work together and feel trust in each other. In meetings with others, we usually experience kindness.
But, how does this go together with all the evil deeds that humans are capable of? Based on a series of crucial historical events and research studies, the book’s author sheds new light on human actions. The notion that man is basically selfish and controlled by self-interest is deeply rooted in our Western tradition of thought. Our societal debate assumes that we are egoistic and only think of ourselves. Our view of ourselves is of crucial importance for how we solve the societal challenges of the future.
It is high time for a new discussion about human nature. The book provides an opportunity to see humanity in a new way. The book is an international bestseller! I read the Swedish translation called “I grunden god“. The author is Rutger Bregman, a Dutch historian. The English title is “Humankind: A Hopeful History“.
If you, like me, feel guilty when you are lazy and “only” read a book, I can warmly recommend this book. It really makes a difference to understanding!