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.
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 megalomania, have created a great deal of fear and unnecessary tension in the world. And for what? Because their cause is just? To satisfy their impossibly messed up egos? Or in the name of whatever god they worship?
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 the question, How Did It Come To This?
What you really have to ask yourself is Why Has It Been This Way For So Long? Because the original question could have been asked at any time 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 regard for whom they are taking it from, and even less regard for the point of all the taking in the first place.
And what these people don’t understand, in all their feeding frenzy, 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 for those they are taking from.
Every corporation that puts profits over people 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. This is 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.
The miracle here is that the world trudges on despite all of this.
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. 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 time as we know it
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.