I’ve made the argument that getting rid of government is a good idea. I’ve also argued that traditional tools for sparking change—demonstrations, public marches, and such, as well as charismatic leaders leading the masses on a cause—are the tactics of a bygone era.
If I’m right, you are the only person capable of creating the world you want to see.
I want to talk about what that means. First I must clarify your role in creating the world we have now and why you won’t stop creating more of the same, not for the time being.
You’re at center
Ultimately, you’re responsible for everything going on in your experience. You can blame other people, groups, whomever. The literal reality is that your participation creates your experience. Perhaps you think people who are not like you, or who don’t think as you do, created our political situation, our deteriorating environment, and a host of other “problems” we’re facing today. In your own little way, by participating in our economy, no matter how insignificantly, you have contributed to the problem too.
Did you know there are a lot of people not having the experience you’re having? They don’t see the world as going to hell in a handbasket. They don’t experience police brutality, corruption of their personal freedoms, scarcity, poverty, or hunger. For the most part, these people are happy. There are others who experience all these things and yet are happy.
I’m not talking about the one percent either. I’m talking about people who, if you live in the US, probably make less than you, eat less than you, have less leisure time and work jobs crappier than yours. Some may not work at all.
But they are happy. They see abundance, they enjoy robust families and joyful relationships. They probably don’t know the stresses you know and they’re better for it.
How is it you see the world as being a mess, assuming of course, that you see it that way?
…you have a remarkable role to play as a catalyzer of the shift making the world way better than it already is.
Perhaps the modern conveniences we desire in modern society are accompanied by memes perpetuating dissatisfaction, fear, insecurity, and stress. Perhaps consumer behavior, including forces such as marketing, advertising, and sales, fosters these effects on our psyche. If so, maybe we’re all being conditioned to see the world the way we do in modern society.
Could those memes and their effects have a beneficial purpose? What if they contain within them, not the nightmare of our destruction, but the dream of our emancipation? The Buddha claims that earthly desires are enlightenment. He says the desire for things gradually gives birth to insight clarifying the futility accompanying the desire. Other wise beings claim desire is endless. They say the seed of desire contains within it the desire for freedom from desire, and through that desire for freedom the seeker discovers freedom within the desire.
What if, like desire, the perspective modern society causes some of us to adopt—dissatisfaction with the way things are and a yearning for a Utopian alternative—catalyzes the emergence of exactly that kind of world? What if global warming, police brutality, wage inequality, corporate-owned political processes and all the other “messes” out there are exactly what we need to stimulate the call (and the receiving of the answer) for something better? Are they still “messes”?
It is possible to see all the world’s problems as wondrous opportunities. Simplistic “positive thinking” mumbo-jumbo? Maybe. Can it work? Absolutely. Until you see the world and its problems as opportunities, you will perpetuate the messes you see around you, personally, professionally, civically, in your country, and in your world. Not on your own, of course. Everyone else is contributing too. When you do take the extraordinary step to see your world differently, you become part of the solution, instead of contributing to the messes.
If this is true, and it is, then you have a remarkable role to play in catalyzing the shift that is gradually creating a better world right under the nose of the already great world we have. All that is required to fulfill that role is seeing the world in a different way, a way that makes you feel better.
From there, we can talk about you as change agent. Next time.