04/22/2013 05:38 EDT | Updated 06/22/2013 05:12 EDT

10 Perils We Face in the 21st Century

slippery when wet

We're living in exceedingly dangerous times, and while we might think that the dangers we face come in the form of nuclear proliferation, rampant war-mongering, easy access to weapons, global warming and global financial collapse, we'd be wrong.

While all the above are dangerous, to be sure, they're just symptoms of the real dangers we face. The real and growing dangers that immanently threaten our survival are tenfold. They are as follows:

1: Our ridiculously short attention spans which prevent us from ever grasping the big picture, leaving us incapable of seeing the truth of things and affecting meaningful change;

2: Our willingness, even eagerness to accept unsubstantiated opinion as proven fact;

3: Our mental rigidity and refusal to accept the possibility that other ways of seeing things might be correct, and preferable to our own;

4: Our compulsive avoidance of discomfort and the accompanying unwillingness to engage in any activity that might be difficult or unpleasant, even though it could vary well save us and the planet;

5: Our terrible habit of denial with regard to the problems we're facing, and our fatal pattern of waiting until it's too late to address the crises we face;

6: Our greed and compulsive consumerism that cause us to selfishly exploit everything -- animals, people, our planet -- as though they were inexhaustible resources for our personal use;

7: Our moral cowardice that makes it impossible for us to step up and do the right thing when the right thing desperately needs to be done, and its corollary: our unwillingness to take responsibility for our choices or actions and our eagerness to blame everyone else for our mistakes;

8: Our emotional immaturity and lack of self-awareness which cause us to act on impulse; jump to false conclusions and exercise very poor judgement;

9: Our willingness to live by the destructive lies of those we've proclaimed as our "leaders" and "experts;"

10: Our lazy, sloppy thinking in which we fail to follow our thoughts through to their logical conclusions and instead, end up confused, ignorant and ill-informed.

Fortunately, these above 10 traits aren't inbred in us. They're all part of the modern "quick and easy" philosophy we've been living by. Tragically, this way of being is likely to destroy our lives and our world.

It's time to change and the way forward is through the practice of ruthless compassion. Look for my next article on how ruthless compassion can overcome all of the above problems.