by Reb Akiva at Mystical Paths
The first recorded negative event that began the Tisha B'Av cycle was the sin of the spies. They returned and said of Eretz Yisroel "it is a land that consumes it's people", and all the people cried. We've been crying on this day every since.
There are many perushim on these words, reviewed by generations of our holiest scholars. Yet, perhaps a simple thought is worth considering as well.
We frequently refer to this world as a dog eat dog world. In the desert, each one of the Jewish people was provided with what he needed. There was no competition for resources. Yet in this world we frequently bump up against other people. They're in our way to where we're going, whether that's a place, competition for a job, or just going for the bigger slice of pie.
Indeed, a land may be a very tough land where the inhabitants struggle just to survive. Except during famine, that was never the Land of Israel (until the Jewish people were expelled, the land raped for generations, and the full power of the klalot (curses) fell upon the land). The spies themselves brought back evidence that the land was fruitful and plentiful!
There is rarely a land that consumes it's people, it's people that consume each other. When a society is based on pushing the other guy out of the way, trampling each other to get the bigger portion, ignoring the cries from underfoot, when there's a society that consume each other then it's a land that consumes it's people.
Rabbi Yitzchok Groner, a"h, said "Yiddishkeit is one person helping another." The rectification of the words of the spies and the cries of the people is...helping each other. After all, if we really have faith in Hashem that we'll get what we need and what we deserve, then not grabbing is not a sacrifice. And helping is being a partner in creation.
BS"D - בסיעתא דשמיא