If there is a single force that generates inequality, violence and war throughout the world, other than the Central Bank, I vote for the self-image we create gazing up for assurance and approval as infants. At this early stage of development what emerges from that glance is not a fixed image, rather feelings: of acceptance, of care, welcoming, understanding, empathy, encouragement or their opposites; rejection, anger, frustration, neglect and the various forms of abuse.
Over time the repetition of these feelings coalesce, merge and form predictable patterns and these in turn create the scaffolding upon which our social identity is formed. Belonging means survival. Rejection could mean death. So we began to judge our worth and value based on the emotional reactions we experience in the mirror of our primary relationship.
Being accepted and maintaining the bond or attachment with mother extends to father, siblings, extended family, tribe and village. Instead of glances our value is based on comparison; our score, grade point average, nationality, race, profession, political party, social status, cast, club, gang, and religion. Our identity and self-worth are sculpted by the selfish needs of these social groups and within each sub-group is a pecking order forged by comparison, allegiance, obedience and conformity. Conflict, greed and war are implicit in this structure and this structure is based on mental-emotional images that forge our identity. Read more about To Me or Not to Me?