Once, when he was about two and a half, my grandson threw his spoon to the floor. When gently admonished, he replied, "it was an accident."
I've never heard a better explanation of an impulse.
And that's the way we are hardwired to live; impulse and habit.
We are also wired to develop judgement and deliberate decision making.
We have moved, perhaps too quickly, from throwing spears at tigers to throwing bombs at each other. If we do not learn as a species to manage our behavior we will tear ourselves to shreds in the years ahead. The challenges emerging are threatening and different from anything in our history. Failure, as individuals to develop the mental space required for decision making will leave us as a species, vulnerable to all the bad "accidents" that await us.
And now I will tell you a story my father used to tell us; a story I never imagined I would think of telling in this context.
Once there was an eagle nest on a hill at the edge of the sea. A storm came, and the three baby eagles in the nest had to be moved to an even higher hill across a corner of where the waters were raging. As he flew over the water carrying each baby eagle, one by one to safety, he asked each of the babies this question: "Do you see the risk I am taking to save you? Do you promise, when I am old, to take care of me with the same courage and kindness that I am showing to you?"
The first baby said, "Oh yes, daddy, save me now, and I will save you later." The father eagle dropped him into the ocean.
When the second baby answered the same way, he too, was dropped into the ocean.
When the third baby heard the question, he thought for a moment before answering and when he did, this is what he said, "Daddy, I can't promise you that because I don't know what the future will be like for me. But I can promise you this, no matter what it is like, I will do for my babies what you are doing for me."
The daddy eagle smiled, and flew his son onto safety.
The storms are coming. We have some serious obligations to each other, and most of all to all of our babies.