The biggest problem facing humanity in the 21st century

Zsolt Hermann
2 min readMay 29, 2023


Question from the Internet:

“What is the biggest problem facing humanity in the 21st century?”

The greatest challenge facing humanity in our generation is the absolute need to learn how to co-exist and cooperate in a mutually responsible and mutually complementing manner.

We are on the brink of a very realistic and imminent self-destruction. We can reach this directly – through wars, socioeconomic collapse and through destroying the natural environment. These are all the results of our inherently self-serving, self-justifying, exploitative and ruthlessly competitive existence, where we overconsume everything, base our lives on infinite quantitative growth and on succeeding at the expense of others.

We can also reach self-destruction indirectly, since as long as we pursue our exclusively competitive and individualistic or nationalistic existence, we have absolutely no ability to comprehend, let alone solve our mounting global issues that threaten our collective existence even without wars or socioeconomic collapse.

Thus we will need to learn and practice how to coexist and cooperate in a mutually responsible and mutually complementing way, above and against our inherently self-serving, self-justifying, subjective and individualistic nature.

This has nothing to do with our arbitrary and mostly baseless ideologies, philosophies or religions – that are all the products of our inherently self-serving and self-justifying nature.

Instead, we will need to learn how to become like nature’s finely balanced and mutually integrated system according to nature’s strict, unchanging and unforgiving laws – that govern and sustain the general balance and homeostasis life depends on.

It does not matter what we think or believe and how much we protest against the idea of mutuality and collective existence. We are born from nature and we are still integral parts of nature, thus nature’s laws are absolute and obligatory for us, much more so, than our made-up and constantly changing human laws and systems that are now collapsing all around us.



Zsolt Hermann

I am a Hungarian-born Orthopedic surgeon presently living in New Zealand, with a profound interest in how mutually integrated living systems work.