This is my uneducated take on the state of the world based on the brief time I have lived on this earth. I also wanted to put my thoughts in writing before venturing into to the bowels of academia, and have it serve as a time capsule I may be able to look back on in case I forgot the reasons for this journey. They are observations from every part of my life whether from books, conversations, articles, or movies and I provide no solid evidence for anything. This is a summary of what I spend time thinking about.
“Learning without thought is labor lost” — Confucius
My later years were spent taking in as much of what is going on in the world around me without exercising judgement, which proved to be incredibly difficult. One theme that continuously arises is how much time we spend doing things that have little effect on our lives and almost ignore what I consider to be the most vital: our humanity and its connection to the world around us.
Nations and Their Government
The more I travel, the concept of a world without borders continues to force its way back into my thoughts. A world where people freely move as they see fit, void of national or state borders. Before this happens we must first prepare people to live in such a world. That includes minimizing prejudice and maximizing inclusion. Allowing us to be proud of our differences while celebrating our similarities. The hope being removal of physical borders will have the same effect mentally and it forces people to question what is out there given they have no lines to hide behind.
Those in power also have to understand that they will never be able to control the entire population; It is not their job to. Their duty is to create an environment where control is not necessary because you have a thinking and proactive group of people who are fully capable of taking care of themselves instead of being seen as dependent. If you continue to think of them as such they will eventually adapt to this way of thought and when it happens it will by no means be their fault. The irony of this situation is the current dependency of those at the top on those they should be leading. We are in a highly individualistic culture promoted worldwide through the media we consume and the things we hold dear are not what they used to be. We must also see people for what they are: fellow human beings. They all fall on a continuum and the combinations of characteristics are infinite. Let us encourage this and not continue our attempts to have them fit into boxes because we will hit the walls very quickly.
The traditional hierarchical structure.
Society and Economy
Society at large is currently a reflection of those at the top. Though their followers may not know this they do take on the characteristics of their leaders. They are the role models of society. Those in power have given up the responsibilities their role entails; instead of serving they expect to be served. With changes in leadership and our willingness to admit to ourselves that there are many things that are not working, we need to find ways to set them straight. These two areas are shaped by those we have chosen, and sometimes not, to show us the way but with the unsuccessful mingling of many cultures we have lost track of why we first ventured out to build civilizations. Hopefully we’ve accepted that after many attempts it does not work when you force everyone to behave uniformly. This has always caused disruptions because inherently you are saying (whether explicitly or not) that one way is better than another.
Looking at how cultures function in particular regions alone one would see that it does not work. We need leaders who recognize this and are able to devise utilitarian methods to work together while being cognizant of the nuances of people and place. The exchange amongst these entities have been tried many times and we’re slowly coming to realize that there is not one-size-fits-all solution. Money and our value system needs to be revised taking into consideration the many aspects of all those involved. Though I remain optimistic, we seem destined for a reset/regression every couple hundred years when someone comes along and lazily tries to apply a one-sized solution to everyone. The arcane concept of GDP needs to go!
We spend years here yet we are left feeling empty and unable to even deal with our most vital of human instincts. Critical thinking and creativity is not of the utmost priority. We are trained to fit into roles that are predefined by the “market” instead of how to to deal with any situation. This is the beginning of the path to specialization and dependency. After finishing school instead of building from a solid foundation we spend yet more time unlearning what we’ve gained during these years because they do not always pass the test on first contact with reality.
The socialization and collaborative skills that schools provide are excellent for kids and should supplement the lessons learnt at home. We should also not be spending our home time still working on school but left to interact with our families. We are getting to the point of questioning the effectiveness of having kids sit in rooms for hours with hopes that after years of doing so they will have picked up a skill when really we’re just wasting their time and killing their natural curiosity by telling them everything they cannot do while leaving very little room for personal growth as a human being and for exploration of their personal paths.
This is what you’ve spent years working towards. You can’t blame anyone for being entitled at this point after the many promises. You’ve been schooled for years in order to get a good “job”. Some are lucky to successfully find a role for themselves but others are left with the previous feeling of emptiness and unfulfilled in a position they despise. When you’re asked to make sacrifices it’s wise to follow the line to who is the one truly gaining from said sacrifice. This would ultimately have a different meaning than it does now, where we see it as a thing we have to do for most of the day/week to keep ourselves alive.
We would probably move into a space where this could become nonexistent in our day to day because we’ve gotten rid of the busywork and our dependence on the financial system as it is. There’s a great deal of people doing things out of character because they are left with little to no options due to circumstances. With visionary and firmly-rooted leaders we can move in a direction that is beneficial for everyone and the resources that are now hoarded by a very few while others die from a complete lack.
With the items above taking priority, for some, the family unit is relegated to whatever time is left. The irony is that the family is much more powerful than the previous two. We spend so little time with those who can make the largest impact in our lives but overtime schools have become the replacement to this vital area. With parents caught up with work and their own lives, we have little time for the imparting of lessons learnt overtime and the constant setting of examples for their children. The right use of time spent together can have profound affect on the members and can pay handsome dividends overtime. School has essentially become a large daycare network for children while their parents are at work. The love and care that family has can very rarely be replicated in schools. Teachers are required to follow curriculums and are so restricted in how they interact with the students that we are taking a gamble by leaving them in their care.
With your efforts focused on everything but yourself you are left to deal with a host of problems you have no idea what the sources are. You’ll spend 18 years away from your family, indoors most likely, sitting still for extended periods of time being funneled through “rigorous” lessons you’ll most likely be dispassionate about. This can stick with you for the rest of your life. You will try to make sense of the world around you but it will be filtered through the lens of books you’ve read which can hinder you from truly seeing the reality right in front of you. You’ll be dependent on instruction from others because your will to be self-sufficient has been crushed. You’re also scared to try new things out of fear of failing. You may later resort to numerous vices to fill that hole which you have no idea of its source. You’ll go see a psychologist who will recommend medication to compensate for it.
My hope is that all this could have easily been prevented if we followed our inner voice and walked the path that came most naturally to us. Unfortunately, we continue to send people through the meat grinder hoping that they’ll make it out tough enough to stay alive while their internal world is out of touch with the natural world and their humanity. The end goal is to get us to change our perspective on power and the role of leaders; To go from the top of the pyramid as rulers to the bottom as supporters and servants of the people they lead. They do not place themselves above the pack but create a solid foundation from those around them to move forward.
The decentralized structure of the future.
I know there will be many who continue the “well that’s the way it is” attitude but to you I remove my hat and say “carry on if you truly enjoy that feeling.” The fact that some of us have accepted suffering as the normal mode of being in this day and age is quite baffling given the knowledge we’ve amassed. It’s akin to watching a baby playing with live nukes. It would be understandable a couple thousand years ago when we did not have a full picture of the world we inhabit but today there are no words to truly describe how deplorable of a situation we live in but I guess one can say we did make some progress!
Let’s all make an effort to right our path together while we still have time. Of course it’s not going to be easy and there is no promise that it will work but here is one thing: you hold the power over the life you lead. With a couple perspective shifts you will come to see how absurd the things we do really are. We are at a point where we have made more than enough mistakes to decide what works and what doesn’t. We have enough information to forge a path that can lead us out of this living hell hole but don’t take my word for it — let’s do it together.