Empathy in Mice and Humans
The great gift of human beings is that we have the power of empathy.
You can find the whole story here, but Andrew Sullivan's "Money Quote" really says it all. Mice seem to exhibit empathy. Like humans, they have more empathy for those who are closer. This has important implications for how we work toward more peace and plenty in the world.
Under the authoritarian, kingship, model that we are currently struggling to free ourselves from, after 12,000 years of slavery, the answer would be to make some rules about right and wrong behavior, and compel (somehow) everyone to follow those rules. The problem with that approach is that it doesn't work, and that it doesn't work particularly well for those with the most power.
A better approach would be to work with what we are, instead of some imagined "should be". We now have the communication and transportation technology to give people all over the world closeness to each other—which results in greater empathy and cooperation.
What if everyone had a friend in at least two foreign countries? What if we talked to these friends, with a video connection, every day? What if we worked together with them on projects, for our mutual benefit?
Or, more simply: what if the news media actually showed us some real, average Iraqi's and their suffering on a daily basis?