What one thing would I give the world? I saw some good answers. Tolerance was one (though I must admit that at present I think the person who posted that one may need to look into taking his own advice *nudge, nudge, wink, wink*), intelligence, truth were among them.
What would I give them? I thought about magic first and foremost. In the end, I decided magic is for me, not the rest of the world. Tolerance I liked, though with the skewed views of the occasional madman, I fear what we might tolerate. Intelligence. I can't fathom what an entire world of intelligent people would be like. That's one I'm really going to have to wonder on. I fear that people would ill use the intelligence they have. I see those that already do, for that matter. But, I don't know. If all were intelligent, what would change? I know not.
I thought about giving people wisdom, but then it comes down to just WHO'S wisdom would I give them? I thought about giving them hope, but too often hope comes in the form of blind faith. I thought about giving the world aspiration, but worry about what some would aspire to become. I thought about giving the world telepathy, so that none could hide their thoughts of feelings from another. I like that, though it would make it far easier for some to play on others fears. Or would it develop us farther along, in that if fears were so wide open, would we react to them differently?
In the end, I settled on compassion. When I look at people and how they treat one another, and where the pain in the world comes from, I think of a need for compassion. I think it's when we don't care that we take from others, push others down, leave others to live or die as fate would have it.
I was discussing the Nuremberg trial with people at my work recently, and that was when it struck me. I think that the closest definition to true evil that I will ever be able to procure is the lack of empathy. The inability to feel for your fellow man. The soldiers that committed the slaughter of the Jewish prisoners felt no wrong in what they were doing. Why is that? They were trained to view the Jewish people as less than them. As not entirely human, and therefore not as large a concern. The man in charge of the Auschwitz death camp, whose name escapes me currently, was once asked why he did what he did. He truly did not think that what he had done was atrocious. In fact, he likened it to the extermination of rats. The Jewish people were not human to them, and therefore there was no empathy, no compassion for them.
If we felt compassion for everyone, we would be hard pressed to reproduce some of the atrocities that humanity has committed in the past.
I would give the world compassion: Sympathetic consciousness of others' distress together with a desire to alleviate it.
So there you have it. My choice. I will also re-post this in my main journal, so it'll pop up twice for some of you. But there it is. My choice.