For some time now, many seem to have noticed this seemingly subtle (or maybe not subtle for some) shift of thought. Around the world, down the street, at work, at the cafe, people seem to be taking a few extra minutes to ask some fundamental questions about the current world we live in and their role in it. Many people seem to be slowly grasping the irony that though we have now stepped into the 21st Century and are beginning to see the impossible become possible, we continue to be plagued by problems that have existed since the beginning of time and yet, not only can we not seem to find the solution to these problems, but the problem is actually getting worse …
How can it be that we live in the year 2013, the kind of year we only dreamed about in sci-fi movies, and some people still can’t even read, many are dying of malnutrition and/or curable diseases, some people still walk miles to the nearest water spot, thousands are without work, rich people are getting richer poor people are getting poorer, corporations hold higher status than people and some even make more money than some countries, racism still exists, religious extremism is the norm in certain countries, we can clone animals but we can’t find a cure for deadly diseases, politicians in the United States particularly, can’t seem to get along much less collaborate with each other to get anything done, education systems are stuck in the industrial age mindset of mass, generic production, food is the new drug of choice, sexual objectification of women and violence towards women is at an all time high, and gender inequality exists to such a vast and alarming degree that even in the United States, one of the most progressive countries in the world, one questions how far we’ve actually progressed since the 1900s. On one side, the world seems to running amuck.
And yet, on the other side of the spectrum, we see people coming together: creating communities and networks to exchange knowledge and information for free, connecting people in unique and creative ways, gathering to help each other put food on the table, pay bills, protect and care for children. We see technology removing the middle-man and making processes, information systems free and more accessible and transparent to the average person. We see people standing up for their rights after years of oppression. We see a truly courageous teenage girl facing death to stand-up for her rights and the rights of women in her country. We see young teens and young adults displaying a braveness, inventiveness, creativity, freshness, and a connection to each other, regardless of sexual preference or race, missing from past generations. We see parenting becoming more balanced with both sides contributing equally. And we see a questioning of old systems, institutions, leaders, and status quos. In other words, we see change.
And this change is forthcoming because many, collectively, consciously and unconsciously, have been driven to unhappiness, apathy, misery and lack by society’s constant quest for material possessions, for status, for greed, for obsession, for superiority, for domination, for power and other vices. So many have experienced the devastating effects of a skewed society that many have truly forgotten what makes life worth living and in so doing, have chosen the most deeply traumatic and violent expressions of that loss. Just look at the growing number of suicides, mass violence, and acts of terrorism in the U.S and around the world. These are not the acts of people who felt hopeful, heard, cared for or genuinely loved. These are the acts of people who have completely and utterly lost their way. Lost their hope, lost their own sense of worth, and more importantly, lost their soul, their connection to humanity, to community, and to each other.
And so now, as we sit at the apex of transition into a new century, we should be asking ourselves whether we want to continue to suffer through the status quo. For it’s been noted more clearly now than ever, that old ideas no longer work and old programming (media, politics, religious dogma, consumerism, etc) has a stronger ring of manipulation now than it ever did before. And so it seems we have an opportunity … An opportunity to in many ways start over: to challenge and test beliefs, values and systems that don’t work, to test hierarchies that no longer serve, to challenge authority that is imprisoned by its own fear and to seek the truth, for oneself. For the most important thing any human being can ever do is to seek it’s own truth. Not for others but for oneself. For in seeking truth, one not only finds the way to true change, but their own role in it.