This is an historic occasion – my first ever blog post – I think … I have quite possibly broken all the rules for a “good” blog but given I don’t know the rules I guess it won’t matter.
To find the ray of hope, of light, of sunshine has always been my quest and at the same time I have paid a great deal of attention to the shadow side because that is what most people avoid. What I have learned is that is where the gold is. Because when we throw light on it there is no longer any shadow. That is the sweetness of courage to face our demons.
I have just returned from Papua & Nuigini and what an amazing journey. I was blessed with meeting so many wonderful people doing incredible things that make a huge difference in other people’s lives while I have been wandering, lost in the fog of not knowing where my path is anymore.
The good news is that I have emerged, somewhat, and here are some of my thoughts regarding the current state of play and at some stage the way forward for you, me and humanity.
What I have noticed most of all is the degree of apathy at all levels of society, in all large corporations, in the majority of the population – and you can count me among them, on and off for the last 4-5 years. I wouldn’t have believed it if you had pointed it out to me but I can see it now – the insidiousness of it; the degradation of the spirit demonstrated in it and the enormous void of despair.
Underneath the apathy, bubbling away is anger. A perfect recent example of this is the killing of Michael Brown in Missouri and the upsurge of public outrage.
I ask myself: What does it take to come out of the apathy and start rising up once more in order to not just restore balance but create a different world order where Love is the main dish of the day instead of hate; where compassion rules instead of passion; where passion is directed to the betterment of people instead of for the fulfillment of selfish and base desires? Well, what does it take?
It seems that most humans, when their anger has no chance of being expressed in constructive action, inevitably end up feeling apathetic. And those who would have us docile rejoice and ensure that they create a system where we are lulled into apathy and quiet discontent. It is evident in the power of the media to sway the public. Have you ever wondered about the myriad of TV reality programs? It seems that other people’s lives are more interesting than our own and we become absorbed into the box, adopting their ways of handling problems, the way they dress, speak, interact etc. And that would be great and indeed it is great when evolved role models are used. Question is: How often is that?
Now don’t get me wrong, the media could be a powerful tool for progress when used to promote the higher good. Anyway that discussion is for another time
It seems to me that the majority of the Western world is being romanced by the box and has seemingly little control over how it dominates their lives. In the USA it is estimated that Americans on average watch over 34 hours of TV per week which is about 5 hours a day. That’s a lot to spend sitting in front of a TV screen. In addition, reading in the USA, with comparable statistics and trends in Australia, indicates that there is a decreasing percentage of the population who read between 11 and 20 books per annum. My dad would say that society is going to the dogs; that culture is disappearing and that intelligence is hard to find.
What makes these statistics so discouraging is when we look at it from an historical perspective…
There are certain key signs which civilisations who have reached a zenith and are heading for a crash tend to demonstrate, irrespective of whether that is in the East or the West.
What are these long-term historical trends that indicate the downfall of a civilisation?
- Rapacious financial system – who really owns your house, your car?
- Escalating organised violence – war and crime
- Poverty for billions on a planet that has more than enough resources to provide abundantly for all
- Environmental problems caused by greed and the rape of the earth’s resources with no concern for the inevitable future fallout
What about the role of governments, religion and economists in the downfall? No wonder we feel powerless. In the bible, in the Book of Revelations it talks about the Four Horsemen:
- Famine and
Question is what systems have we created? How effective or otherwise are they? What reforms need to take place in order for the world to be a better place?
Systems that used to work because they were based on principle have been modified, manipulated and corrupted to serve the few. We have accepted these changes just as someone who marries for love only to find the person they married is not who they thought they were. We get used to them treating us badly and become afraid of them and ultimately too afraid to leave, even though the situation may be dangerous, degrading and ultimately deadly.
The fact that we can get used to anything also means that we can live under dreadful conditions without fighting back. Glaring examples of this are the concentration camps and now the refugee camps that have sprung up all over the world.
Power corrupts and great power corrupts greatly. When we are at the top of the pile we want to stay there. We do not want to be one of the masses. And as they say: It is a dog eat dog world – that’s if you follow the traditional way of thinking about how the world works and has done since time immemorial.
But isn’t it time that we decided that we can do better than the animals? Isn’t it time to make different choices, not just for our own satisfaction and gain, but the good of all concerned?
When I look at how much our thinking has changed over the millennia, I wonder fundamentally if it has. My older son assures me that nothing has changed. I am a bit more of an optimist. I believe it has and that we still have a long way to go.
These days people preach being non-judgemental and then gossip about their neighbour or cousin or spouse. I believe we all judge. It’s a vital survival tool. Without it we would be dead very quickly. However there are different kinds of judgements that we make and different layers of meaning for almost everything that we think, feel and do.
What are your thoughts? Would love to hear from you and what you see as the current situation and suggestions as to what we can do about it.
Next time: The Value in Anger and the upside of Apathy … Possible solutions …