Life – Terror. Ecstasy. Fight. Denial. Flight. Failure. PAIN. Forgiveness. Reconciliation. Hope. Love. Peace – Death.
I feel like I (we) are living within the death spirals, of a rapidly, seemingly irreversible, and ultimate demise of society and our world.
The worse thing is though?
I often feels like I am alone, or one of a small, exclusive few who has noticed?
I find myself balls-deep in examples of this on a daily basis, incidents, significant (and) small that, quite literally, terrify and flabbergast me. Above everything I find myself asking ‘why can’t others see what is happening?
Are we not ‘really’ all the same?
My people. Using myself as an example. It is not ridiculous to suggest that I would think, be, act, similarly to similar others? Those close to me in age, geography, culturally, socio-economic status? Surely, we should not be that different, think that differently about common, shared things?
But we do.
Am I an alien? A unique specimen? Delusional, somebody who is seeing something that is not really there? Why am I constantly, and increasingly frustrated, angered, aggrieved disappointed by ‘people’? The continuous, wilful disrespect and neglect of our planet of our world, of each other, selfish acts that I view as increasingly, and rapidly, threatening each others very existence.
Not everybody is ‘political’? Not everybody is Interested in the activities that are associated with making decisions in groups, or other forms of power relations between individuals, such as the distribution of resources or status. I accept that even if I don’t understand it? Why would anybody not be interested in activities, plans, laws that are literally shaping our lives, the lives of our children and our children’s children, especially at such a critical time in the history of mankind?
The path humanity (has chosen) is clearly heading towards a tragic ending, at the very least, a drastic reduction in the way we currently live our lives (travell, energy, nutrition, health), compared to what we have been accustomed to.
At worse, catastrophic natural consequences, extreme climate induced emergencies, disasters, wars, food shortages, medical pandemics, all because we cannot compromise whilst we still have (some) choice.
Despite the many warnings, the scientific evidence, the obvious, visible examples – the clear and present danger clear to see we still prefer to continue on a relentless (capitalist) destructive path driven by insatiable greed for maximum profits, the accepting of now routine injustices, the accepting of a constant degrading and erosion of the very fabric of our society. Capitalism.
Is it just me?
Do others care?
Do others just not care?
Many people are not interested enough to invest their time in finding things out. In thinking about politics, the constructs that create, drive, and control our world. Instant knowledge. Instant society. Quick fix, the quick fix post truth era. Social media. Look the other way. Not in my backyard.
Oh look the fire has spread, it’s now in my back yard, now my house is burning …..now I will do something? Why isn’t anybody else doing anything to help ‘ME’
People are different, and their relationships to things outside them are different. Something to someone is something else to someone else?
Someone’s novelty is someone else’s cliché.
Someone’s perfect clarity is someone else’s obfuscated nonsense and someone’s ordered elegance someone else’s bloodless rigidity.
Someone’s confidence is someone else’s arrogance.
Someone’s greed is someone else’s ambition.
What’s thrilling to you is terrifying to me. Right and wrong. Black and white.
Surely there are somethings that are just undeniable? Something that is so ‘white’ it is just white, it cannot be anything other than ‘white’?
We are capable (humans) of the most incredible things, in everything, in every aspect of our lives – creativity, humanity, generosity, scientifically but the flipside is that in equal measure we are capable of the most, heinous, depraved and evil acts, individually and collectively. Why?
Other people’s minds are a foreign country. They put things together that you take apart, focus on things that pass you by; they react with revulsion to things you don’t even notice, and what’s unheard of to you happens to them every day.
Our lives are all differently biased samples of all possible experiences and we are (now) more subject to unbelievably powerful forces of external persuasion (manipulation) than ever before. Outside forces created, purposefully designed to control, shaping our thoughts, our feelings, opinions (about everything), to order from by whoever is prepared to pay. The information ‘data-age’.
People are different….?
We obviously act differently, but differences don’t start with the decision to act. We act differently because we perceive, parse, think, feel, want, need, react and (shamefully and uncompromisingly) judge differently. Differences are now partly, and in some cases, fully programmed, made to order to fit elaborate agendas.
Not to judge?
One of life’s most difficult challenges, to ‘not’ judge others? If you ‘judge’, learn not to?
I believe that most people are ‘good’ or rather there are more people who would (naturally) rather do good than bad. There is a substantial core of humanity in us all. The older I become the more convinced I am that we seriously underestimate how different the inside of other people’s heads are to our own.
This implies a few things. It implies that we don’t always understand other people as well as we think we do — why they do what they do, say what they say and what they mean by their doings and sayings; what they find worth mentioning and in contrast to what unstated background they mention it. Similarly, other people don’t understand us as well as we think they do.
When communication is in real-time and face to face we have continuous and subconscious, corrective feedback that (somewhat), keep things from going off the rails. We used to check ourselves. Now we don’t have to? When we don’t, problems accumulate with every step.
The result is the sad state of public discourse: a quasi-schizophrenic collective brain that can barely integrate its perceptions and thoughts into anything coherent other than at its worse savage cruelty and disregard for anybody else and in some cases sheer evil.
I’m not bringing anything new to the table here.
We all know this to a certain extent — when we feel like it that is and we make the effort to keep it in mind. Like we know the value of the simple maxims “don’t divide people into us and them“, “treat people the same as you want to be treated yourself”, or something as basic as the ancient wisdom of “don’t be a dick”, ‘be kind, be nice’ we know that people are different but forget it the moment we stop thinking about it.
Learned behaviour – politicians, elected, trusted custodians routinely lie, lying is now completely normal, acceptable, the bigger the lie the less the consequence, media fuelled professional, industrial scale non-truth, why?
The rewards for ‘successful’ lying are huge and perpetual? Those who follow will behave the same and share in the rewards. Honesty, is a thing of the past, as is accountability, lying is the new, and only, truth in the post truth era.
That just isn’t good enough.
This understanding, this realisation, this admission should not be something to keep locked away in a drawer, it’s a lens through which we need to view everything, in society and in our own lives. Yes, we need to understand, accept and respect differences, that one size does not fit all, but to (and from) each their own we need to universally and unanimously, un-normalise lying and bring back accountability.
“Words of wisdom” go into one ear and out the other, and I suppose this is a reason why a novel, a painting or a song can be more effective than a philosophical, religious or political tract. Art brings people together, everything else divides?
Successful idea-driven art doesn’t simply supply us with ideas to use whenever we want to (which isn’t necessarily when we ought to), it burns them into our minds through repetition, elaboration and strong emotion. Some of my own most powerful emotional ‘people’ experiences have been whilst sharing a magical, musical moment with 120,000+ strangers. It is unexplainable, palpable, pure emotion (love)?
We imagine our brain to have some centre of consciousness where ”it all comes together” but that doesn’t appear to be true. We similarly imagine our societal information system — spearheaded by all powerful media, controlled by politicians, bought by more powerful oligarchs (who own the media) — to have some place where it all comes together: a central, unified, continuously updated repository of integrated ‘accepted’ results that journalists, policy makers, bureaucrats, educators, activists and practitioners get their knowledge from.
That isn’t completely true either, it’s untrue in a similar way: what appears to be an ordered, rational system is instead a cauldron of semi-organized patterns where one part doesn’t know what another is doing and there is no (single) bird’s eye view.
The reasons for this seem obvious: the nature of our conscious experience fools us to think that what we experience is what’s really going on, (similar to the consumers of mass media thinking what’s discussed there is everything that happens. Post Truth. Say what you want. Say it again and then again….. and it is.
Learned behaviour – it’s partly a result of our upbringing and the relationship to authority we get as kids. We first get used to our parents, their influence on us, our upbringing, specific and often vastly different circumstances. Luck.
Then we’re taught a cleaned-up (fabricated) textbook version of The British Empire the ‘mother country’, and the colonies, countries ruled to some degree by and from Britain, from the 16th century onwards. Total rubbish.
Truth (knowledge) that indoctrinates us with a false impression that a unified entity called “science” or “history” or “facts” knows everything, is absolute, is the (only) truth and we have direct, unmediated access to this truth and no reason to question or doubt it. Neither is true. Truth is we will never really know the truth unless we were part of it.
How true is the phrase “history is written by the victors”?
Presumably, everyone (who is interested enough)? writes history, but it’s the winners who interpret it years later and mould a retelling of what happened to fit their narrative, their agenda.
There have been civilizations whose writings and texts were destroyed along with many other traces of their existence, can this be said about more recent events such as the two world wars?
The early African companies developed English trade and trade routes in the 16th and 17th centuries, but it was not until the opening up of Africa and the slave trade to all English merchants in 1698 that Britain began to become dominant.
The recent BLM movement has presented an alternative narrative that questions our very humanity. The actions and the consequences of our actions form the late 1500’s to present day have recently (not soon enough), become the focus of scrutiny.
When slaves were brought in from the colonies they had to sign waivers that made them indentured servants while in Britain. Most modern historians generally agree that slavery continued in Britain into the late 18th century, finally disappearing around 1800 (then replaced by Chinese and Asians).
Where (and when) in our ‘education’ our national educational curriculum do we learn, are we taught about this? The narrative exists yet we have decided to ignore it. This speaks volumes of our ‘societal norms’ and accepted constructs?
How true is the phrase “history is written by the victors”? How true is that, more accurately “history is controlled by the victors”? We need to question – for what reason, and for who’s benefit?
It is time that people get interested enough to invest their time in finding things out. In thinking about politics, the constructs that create, drive, and control our world.
One of the ‘only’ benefits of our current, technology and greed fuelled society is access to communication, to knowledge to truth. It is not all at face value, it is up to us to question, to not just accept to dig and to keep on digging…..never stop digging.
It has to be worth the effort, for our kids and their kids?
People are people – We all bleed red, we need love, we want to be happy, we want the best for our children.
There is enough for us all, don’t be a ‘dick’.
Thanks for Reading