"There is a staggering lack of understanding regarding even the most basic of concepts in our populace.
I used to get in trouble all the time, starting in pre-school, for asking the "wrong questions". Asking questions that didn't follow the lesson plan, that the teacher didn't know or didn't want to answer. I got singled out, punished for "insubordination", had my parents called for parent-teacher conferences.
Teacher:"Well it seems young Geoffrey has a problem with authority..."
Dad:"No he doesn't."
Teacher:"Well he does things differently from the class and asks lots of questions..."
Mom:"Is he being disrespectful? Is he speaking out of turn? Has he said anything inappropriate?"
Mom:"Then I don't see the problem here, he's actually engaging in the learning process and he is doing everything we raised him to do, unless there is anything else I think we are done." (Thanks Mom and Dad)
My point in illustrating this is that it seems I was either at the beginning or the middle of this "Gimme" generation. This society is consistently catering to the lowest common denominator, restructuring ourselves so that we "don't leave anyone behind". What we are doing is dumbing and watering ourselves down. We are groomed to believe whatever information "They" force feed us.
And do you want to know the horrible truth? There is no "They". There's only us. Like some 70s robot dystopian film they make fun of on Family Guy, we are our own worst enemies. There is no massive conspiracy. All of the problems we have as a nation come from the fact that it is a nation governed by people. Slow, lazy, manipulative, self-centered people. Catering to and providing short term easy answers to slow, lazy, manipulative, self-centered people...and on and on the cycle goes.
Most people want to be chiefs but very few want to be the Indians. And that's just not how it works. The entire focus of our education system is to get us used to working in a post-industrial, service based economy, to expect someone else to do it for you. How can one expect to be a leader and also be provided for. Yet that is what most of our young people (and older people) want.
When I grew up, my parents said I could do anything I wanted to do with my life, as I'm sure most of yours did. My mother was hoping that I would grow up to want to be a scientist or a great artist, philosopher, professional intellectual, what have you. Sounds great on paper, but that's just not me. My dad always said it doesn't matter what you do, just do it well and be happy doing it. The world needs ditch-diggers, he always said. He never expounded but what he was saying was not everyone is going to be the CEO, not everyone is going to own a company, sometimes at the end of the day all you're going to have is the sweat on your brow and possibly the fruits of your labor. And that's okay. That's a good life, one well worth living, as long as you are happy doing it. Life is short, brutal, and inherently not fair...unless you choose to have some fun with it and be happy with who and what you are.
I'm constantly hearing the people around me ask themselves and one another what we are going to do. More precisely, ask what someone else is going to do about all the troubles we are in. You're going to get a thousand different answers and most of them aren't really going to be answers at all, it will be someone vomiting a world view that they think is the "right path".
I don't subscribe to any political views. I think if you start doing that you're missing the point entirely. But I do have two suggestions that I think would fundamentally change the world that we live in over time. There are no easy answers, anything that happens to us is going to be hard on us, but maybe with some hard work on the front end we can make our lives easier in generations to come (it's not going to happen but a guy can hope).
1) Ask "why?". Take a couple of extra seconds and actually think about every thing that people tell you. Why are they saying this, what do they have to gain from this, is what they are saying true, could there be something more to this, is this the best course of action, who will ultimately benefit from this, WHY DO THEY NEED MY HELP OR MY COMPLICITY IN THIS?
2) Don't be afraid to work hard.
As you start to question and stumble over finding the answers, there is your answer right there...oh wait, maybe this is flawed, what can we do about this? Then don't be afraid to work on it. Not every person can, needs to be, or wants to be an activist. It can be just as simple as creating change in the people around you by challenging them to ask questions. Fairly soon, with more and more people asking questions, you have a ton of people asking questions that are not getting answered, and hopefully a ton of people not afraid to work hard. Then what do you have?
(This message brought to you by me being tired of seeing political, moral, social, and cultural memes and "news" articles all over the damn place)
- Police Officer Geoff Betchel
I'd love to hear what you think. Maybe you think it's a worthy idea. Maybe you hate it. Maybe you want to share it, and spread it around. I think it's a fantastic idea, and I think it deserves to spread.