Parasite vs Symbiote
What kind of human are you?
Many of us already know or have an inkling of the difference between a symbiote and a parasite.
A symbiote lives side by side with its host, drawing on that host in some way for sustenance or simply as a home. In return the symbiote always makes a positive contribution to the host. The essence of a symbiotic relationship is that everyone involved is strengthened as a direct result of the connection.
A parasite strengthens itself at the expense of its host. Often the parasite will eventually weaken the host to destruction. In nature, the parasite survives by moving on to the next host or ensuring its offspring can populate a fresh host.
If we scale up the parasite/symbiote relationship and apply it globally, where the earth is our host and humanity the symbiote/parasite, it is not hard to realise that if we behave parasitically then as we weaken our host to destruction we will have nowhere left to go. If we are symbiotic then we will survive and thrive together.
Whilst this is a very simplistic approach to our relationship with the world in which we live it can be an useful one. It draws attention directly to the sum of our shared behaviours and their consequences and forces us to face the reality that, from the earth’s perspective, humanity is one. We are not a multitude of nations, cultures, diverse views and aspirations. Our egocentricity has no meaning on a global scale – by its very nature something of which we often lose sight.
In the next post I’ll expand a little on this theme and invite you to take your own decision about the kind of human you are and the kind of human you want to be. Then the following week I’ll be acknowledging the challenge of sustainable and symbiotic living – I never said this would be easy!