save the world smoke going out on pipe during golden hour

How can 1 person save the world – How can I save the world?


Before we can start to save the world we need to understand some basic terminology. This terminology is what will help us enact the vision that will be this saving factor of our future.

Lets lay out some ground definitions for the student.


  • Takers as people often referred to as “civilized.” Particularly, the culture born in an Agricultural Revolution that began about 10,000 years ago in the Near East; this is the culture of Ishmael‘s pupil and, presumably, the reader.
  • Leavers as people of all other cultures; often derogatorily referred to by Takers as “primitive.”
  • A story as an interrelation between the gods, man, and the earth, with a beginning, middle, and end.
  • To enact is to strive to make a story come true.
  • A culture is a people who are enacting a story.

How can I save the world?

We start by taking the the myth enacted by the Takers: that they are the pinnacle of evolution, that the world was made for man, and that man is here to conquer and rule the world. This rule is meant to bring about a paradise, as man increases his mastery of the world, however, he is always failing because he is flawed. Man doesn’t know how to live and never will because that knowledge is unattainable. So, however hard he labors to save the world, he is just going to go on defiling and spoiling it.

how can i save the world?
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Photo by Valeriia Miller on

When the Takers decided there is something fundamentally wrong with humans, they took as evidence only their own culture’s history- “They were looking at a half of one-percent of the evidence taken from a single culture– Not a reasonable sample on which to base such a sweeping conclusion.”
Ishmael says:

There’s nothing fundamentally wrong with people. Given a story to enact that puts them in accord with the world, they will live in accord with the world. But given a story to enact that puts them at odds with the world, as yours does, they will live at odds with the world. Given a story to enact in which they are the lords of the world, they will act as the lords of the world. And, given a story to enact in which the world is a foe to be conquered, they will conquer it like a foe, and one day, inevitably, their foe will lie bleeding to death at their feet, as the world is now.