There’s an hour or so when you’re trying to get to sleep and you think about things with a certain amount of clarity.
The day has come to the point where you can’t really do anything to alter it, and so your mind kind of wanders.
Last night my mind wandered into a question. How did it come to this? How did we get to where we are today, especially when it comes to the larger and more important issues of big decisions about big things in the world.
Right now there are a lot of countries that are run either by religious fanatics and their minions or just outright maniacs, sociopaths and psychotics.
These people, in their respective forms of madness, have created a great deal of fear and unnecessary tension in the world. And for what?
To prove their cause is just? To satisfy their impossibly messed up egos? In the name of (Your God Goes Here)?
And in the meantime the vast, vast majority of the world’s population are held hostage. They live with fear and dread. They are forced to flee their homes and their countries. They are made to live with insane levels of inflation due to political turmoil and screwed up governing.
They are endangered by unthinking corporate and individual greed and political systems that are designed to benefit only the rich and powerful.
But when you think about this question, what you really have to ask yourself is Why has it been this way for so long? Because the original question of How did it come to this? could have been asked at anytime during the last 2000 years or more.
I have never been afflicted with an overwhelming desire or need for power or money or influence over others. I have always been happy just to live a well-balanced life. To have enough to keep me happy and secure, but never so much that I would have to become extremely protective of what I had. Or hurt anyone else just so I could have more. And a lot of us are like that.
But there are people out there, and they never seem to be in short supply, who are totally focused on taking as much as they can, without any regard for who they are taking it from, and even less regard for the point of all the taking in the first place.
This is a popular theme in sci-fi, which is something I like. The whole idea of taking just for the sake of having. Of building something huge just for the sake of saying, I built that and aren’t I great.
And what these people don’t understand, in all their megalomania, is the real cost of greed and lack of empathy is measured in other people suffering a loss or a shortage or some sort of physical wound, psychological damage or even death. Because that is the other side of the equation.
Everyone who takes is creating scarcity and hardship in those they are taking from.
Every corporation that charges more than they should for the sake of growth forces those who need what they make to live beyond their means.
Every petty dictator, in order to fund his rise to power, takes from the people of his country, and leaves them poorer for the act of taking. They take basic rights. They take freedom. They take dignity. Sometimes they just take everything. And they do it all with no regret, remorse or conscience.
The world, at least as I see it, feels quite out of balance these days.
The few are taking from the many at an alarming rate. The few are getting richer or more powerful as the many are becoming weaker and more helpless.
This strikes me as fundamentally wrong. It’s like the people who take and take are afflicted with some strange disease that can only be medicated at the expense of others who they feel are beneath them and obviously not worth caring about.
I’m not going to cite specific examples, because I could go on all day about that. And besides, if you have read this far, you have a pretty clear idea of who and what fit these descriptions.
The miracle here is that the world trudges on despite all of this. And maybe it’s just me but it all feels quite wrong.
With all the technology we have at our disposal today the world doesn’t have to be anywhere near as out of balance as it is. There doesn’t have to be chaos in order for the rich to stay rich. And there is enough innovation available to keep everyone happy and healthy.
But the sad part is that though we have created all these tools that could easily make the world a beautiful place for just about everyone, it will probably never happen. Because there will always be those people who feel the need to prove their worth at the expense of others. To prove they are better, smarter, more superior in every way.
It’s very much like a small but highly virulent plague that has haunted humanity since its earliest days, and will probably continue to the end of our time as a species here on this rock.
There is no easy fix for this. And there may never be. All we can really do is the best we can with the tools we have, try our best to do unto others as we would have them do unto us and make the small part of the world we occupy as comfortable as possible.
And so then I take a deep breath and close my eyes, and if I am lucky, I get to sleep and forget about all this till tomorrow.
jim out. Have a great weekend.
Jim Murray is an experienced advertising and marketing professional. He is a communication strategist, writer, art director, broadcast producer, mildly opinionated op/ed blogger & beBee Brand Ambassador.
He is also a partner at Bullet Proof Consulting. www.bulletproofconsulting.ca
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