Monday, May 26, 2008

Islands of Despair

While most of the country (and the world) is teetering on the edge of recession, a few parts of the world are already into depression and desperation because they see no way out, having long ago given up their capacity and control over their own fate and destiny by relying on the “kindness” of strangers to pull them out. Thus, the more feeble and pathetic their own efforts, the more they could evoke that sympathy in others to help them out -- until they made the fatal mistake of turning on their benefactors for more than they were willing to give, freely and willingly.

At that point, they destroyed whatever good will they could milk in good times, but when things turned bad, nothing but value can be traded for fair value -- and mere demands, entreaties and threats account for nothing. They have no other way of directly influencing the outcome of their own fate and fortune anymore.

Just moments before, they were manic with joy that they had conquered the world as far as they could see -- and there was no opposition to their ambitions for unlimited power and control -- when they realized that the reason for their easy victory, was that the game was being played somewhere else, and nobody informed them, thinking they did not matter, or even, could tell the difference anymore.

It used to be said that the eyes were the window to the soul -- but in this age of virtual (written) communications, it might better be said that the words are windows to the soul. Every community now has their forums of discussion revealing the thoughts and values of those who care to participate. That aspect of society formerly did not exist -- but has now become the soul of that society, revealing what it must.

It no longer is just the pronouncements of the Optimists and the Chamber of Commerce -- but invariably its most astute observers. Science futurist Robert Heinlein (Stranger in a Strange Land) was among the first to describe such people and what they did in society. Their job was to officially “observe” what happened -- as the history being recorded as it happens -- but it also takes people who are aware of what is happening, to make it so.

Otherwise, most people cannot determine these things for themselves. That was the role formerly played by historians, and then journalists, and now by just the observant -- who can see what is happening, and not merely what he wishes to see, or public relations experts want them to believe.

The propagandists of the special interests, would like us to believe that everything is as they say, but in the letters to the editors of the newspapers, there is a looking for others to blame and abuse, rather than the sharing of information that truly empowers.

That has become the most influential forum of these times -- now that it is no longer edited and controlled by those who think they are the most politically correct to adjudge so.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Does Change Take Forever?

Actually, real change doesn't take decades but is instantaneous and immediate as soon as each individual realizes the urgency of it, and realizes that their lives depend on their active awareness, alertness and attention at those critical moments of assuming that somebody else is giving that attention.

Just because a light is green or says "walk," is no guarantee that a car showing no signs of that awareness and compliance, will act according to that "law." Most accidents are due to the lack of attention and awareness rather than ignorance of the law.

Pedestrians (and bicyclists) can greatly reduce their risks by being more aware of total movement and (traffic) flow -- and recognizing that the laws of physics overrule all the laws of traffic of what "should be." Better alive than right.

Drivers also have to drive with that same awareness for the safety of all -- rather simply the assertion and insistence of their own rights.

The object of all movement should be safety above all -- over speed, and “not letting anybody else getting ahead of them.” Leave those issues at the office, school or in politics -- where nobody can get hurt.

That’s how great performers of every sport and activity play their game -- with a greater awareness of what everybody is doing, and not what just themselves are doing -- which is obviously a less effective and powerful response to any situation or challenge. The “Most Valuable Player” is the one who is aware of what all the other players in the game are doing -- and the flow of the game, moving with it rather than against every other.

This is the kind of thinking that needs to be cultivated in our schools and daily lives in all our activities and strivings. The job of every community and society, is to use the total intelligence collectively for common purpose -- and not simply, for each to compete and negate everybody else’s abilities and intelligence.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Sometimes the Worst Thing That Can Happen to You, Is the Best Thing That Can Happen to You

When everything is going well, there is usually no reason for change -- but then when everything begins to go wrong, fall apart, then there is great motivation, if not urgency, to do something about it, to do something different.

That’s what we need to realize about whatever happens in our lives -- wherever we are, and think we might be along life’s trails. How successful we are, or think we are, is dependent on the perspective and what we think the ultimate objectives in life are. If it is to get and consume more than anybody else, that manner of thinking in everybody, will lead to disastrous consequences -- first and foremost, in the effects of overconsumption, and excessive doing, but eventually in perpetual competition and conflict.

The exercise and fitness craze is an example of excessive doing -- or consuming time, energy and money, for its own sake -- which should not be a problem in the first place. But it is, and the tendency is to address that problem, with even more of the same -- rather than seek out the proper solution, which would be the cessation of both the problem and its solution.

But instead, these problems become an obsessive-compulsive disorder, of embracing a larger problem -- rather than to consider the root of the problem, and its elimination from our lives and consciousness. Instead, we become even more preoccupied with how things are getting worse, despite all our efforts to prevent them -- or could it actually be, because of our efforts to prevent them?

Therefore, when things get so bad that surely they can’t get any worse, one is often on the verge of a breakthrough -- because things can’t get any worse, and so there is only the urgency to make them better, no matter what -- which means abandoning all our notions of how things have to remain the same, and now are willing to change everything, including and especially, our cherished notions of how life must be -- because life is no longer possible, unless these new and different ways, are effected immediately.

That’s how real change comes about -- and not just talking about them endlessly -- which means no change at all, and things continue to get worse.