I have slept poorly the last few nights. Here is what has been keeping me awake.
Information does not inspire confidence, at least not for me.
Endless stating of the obvious seems to be a dead end activity. I watch little videos from sites like upworthy.com and ted.com, all of them portraying scenarios to exemplify decent human behaviour and knowledge; and most of them stating the obvious with drama or credentials. The points they make I learned as a child, before I entered the school system. This knowledge was gained in tandem with language acquisition. These aren’t “who knew” pieces of information. If decency continues to be an epiphany for the young of every generation, then “progress” indicates only that the species is “stuck in a rut”. We are a navel gazing species, and not nearly as clever as we imagine.
Forty Two Years Ago
“I’ll tip my hat to the new constitution
Take a bow for the new revolution
Smile and grin at the change all around
Pick up my guitar and play, just like yesterday
Then I’ll get on my knees and pray
We don’t get fooled again
Don’t get fooled again, no no
Meet the new boss
Same as the old boss
The Who, 1971
(This is one of Attila’s favourite quotes.)
As a species we seem to continually “call out” the issues in our social and cultural groupings, fight against the injustices of the day and in written history, and move no closer to preventing plague-like outbreaks of violence and acts of hatred. Most human suffering is caused by humans; what other species can say that!
Instead of feeling inspired that the upcoming generation is noticing the injustices many of us have fought against all our lives, I feel hopelessness, a deep fear that our species will not move beyond the bi-polar mentality of violence and reaction to violence. As if there were no other way to proceed!
I have experienced membership in two communities that were “the whole was greater than the sum of the parts”. These communities worked well and provided a healthy context for human life. However, every larger force that surrounded these communities worked to destroy them, actively. Economic and political decisions tore these communities apart; and called it progress. They were not replaced by any healthy social structures.
Politicians, activists, media personalities, and anyone who is “making a name” for themselves, enjoying “awards” and/or “recognition” for their activities, gobbling voices as they speak for others as advocates, is working against a healthy social structure, in my opinion. I also think that there is more ego than compassion and integrity, in being a public figure.
I say all this as someone who enjoyed considerable academic success, at the post graduate level.
I suppose I have known too many truly inspiring people, who do not receive official or public recognition, whose efforts have made the world a much better place to live. They are all around me, wherever I live.
I wish the human species would contract a seriously infectious strain of compassion and kindness.
I recently added a photo of my writing “desk” to Time Goes By.
Date: 11:00 AM EDT Monday 2 September 2013
Condition: Mostly Cloudy
Pressure: 100.7 kPa
Visibility: 24 km
Wind: S 19 km/h
“So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish”
Hitchhiker’s Guide To the Universe