I have seen a huge decline in creativity in the world. Not just in the medium of music and art but in overall thinking. Where did the radical free thinkers go?
I attribute most of the downfall of modern society on the epidemic of group thinking. Kids are not taught how to be free thinkers, to use logic, or truly apply the knowledge that they are being force fed. Some of the issue is the over regulation of government. Some of the blame lies on us. Very seldom do humans stop to think why or how? We allow and accept other peoples’ reasons and explanations. My original idea that brought this line of thought up last night was “Who establishes the “status quo” and why do we blindly follow it? Some of the commonly accepted practices need to change in this world.
I watch a ton of movies and one of the main themes of most futuristic stories is 2 fold. Either the government oversteps their boundaries in the guise of doing what they feel is needed to protect the “people” or that machines evolve beyond our control and basically take over the world because the humans are destroying it. What does that say about us? Some of the most creative thinkers in the world see nothing but the faults of the human race. We destroy more than we help create.
This brings me back to my title “Where did the dreamers go?” Have you noticed how we don’t have the great thinkers that the world used to produce? We silence or just ignore the people that try to challenge the government’s ideas. Really this whole entry is about government silencing people and people ignoring others.
I am going to try to tackle the government topic first and foremost. My 2 biggest gripes are censorship and transparency. Politicians rely on hiding voting records, their past dealings, their history, and just hiding everything they can to be trusted. Politics is controlled by who has the money and who therefore has the power. Our government shouldn’t be run by the biggest bidders. Special Interest groups shouldn’t be able to donate to campaigns and lobbyists should have no power on Capitol Hill. Petitions and the peoples’ voice needs to carry more weight than it currently does.
My next big issue is censorship. Who is the government to tell me what I am allowed to see, hear, and read. Yes their are disturbing things in this world but if I want to see them than I should be able to. Let the people decide for themselves what they can and will look at. The only problem with this is the human nature to purposefully harm people with messages/images. That is the problem with government is balancing the freedoms that we should have while also protecting our human rights but that is why they choose to do what they do. If it were easy that it would be such a big problem.
Now comes the problems with our culture. Society isn’t taught how to think freely. What happened to the people that ask why things are the way that they are? Why are we still dependent on antiquated systems/resources? Why certain things and processes haven’t changed in 250 years? Why we like to see people fail and do everything we can to tear those that do better than us down? Why are we so materialistic?
Lots of questions but let me address the last one first. Why do people focus so much on what they have or don’t have? This is just as much nature as it is nurture and will take a shift in thinking by everyone (aka will never happen). Babies even before they can talk know that if they need something make noise and that if someone else has something they want make noise. Basically one of their first social skills the develop is manipulation, but the problem is the way that we help promote it. As a parent, I plan to teach my child to be thankful for what they have and not want for any one thing. That doesn’t mean that I won’t nurture a competitive spirit because that is a necessity today. Also we give too much credence to those materialistic things that we should want. We look down on those that don’t have certain things while feeling bad if we don’t have those same things. Who am I or anyone to judge someone that may be less fortunate than I am? I would hate it if the situation were reversed and more often than not, I am on the have not side. My mental health should have nothing to do with “status symbols”. I used to get more compliments on an $8 t-shirt as I did on $30 ones.
Now my thoughts on failures in society. This is somewhat tied to what I was just talking about. Our need to see people fail is part jealousy and part ego. We want to see people that are viewed as doing better than us fail because we want what they had materially. Ego wise we just want to feel better about our situations by watching those that have failed and thinking to ourselves that we are that bad off. Our first intentions when seeing someone fall, figuratively or literally, should be to help that person up.
Lastly going after the “status quo” again. Why are things the way they are? Why we rely on antiquated systems/resources? Why things haven’t, for the most part, changed in the last 250 years? Now here is the convergence between the shepherds (the government) and the sheep (the people). Why do we blindly follow what the government tells us to? Is it out of fear? Because one of the best lines that I ever heard from a movie is along the lines of people shouldn’t fear their government, the government should fear their people. If we don’t like how something is being handled by the government, vote to replace those people whose decisions we don’t agree with. Also if the people can’t vote to remove those people than either the position should be eliminated or the system changed. That goes for all issues. The fracking issue, internet info protection/privacy or the cooresponding lack of it issues being discussed, the treatment of info leakers when it doesn’t have real national security risks but just makes people in charge look stupid, and many other issues. One of the biggest issues right now is future energy sources and the reason that we are still dependent on oil and other fossil fuels.
Now I am going to go into a territory that is controversial here. The cyber hacking activist group called Anonymous has some good ideas but they sometimes overstep their places and other times don’t go hard enough. Our government is afraid of them as they rightly should be but Anon also needs to reign in their more radical and chaotic members. Now I know that they pride themselves on personal privacy but they should be held accountable for when they take their actions too far. I loved their message behind what they did to the Westboro Baptist Church but when they go and shut down web portals for government agencies because they don’t like the way something was handled is a bit over the top and can impact innocent people as much as the guilty parties. Ultimately as far as I can tell, Anon just wants to see those in charge held more accountable for their decisions and in that I agree.
Now back to my original thought. The dreamers are lost and I blame my generation. I am almost 30 and my generation is being dubbed by some as the “lost generation”. I agree with those people. I am seeing more and more people blindly following what others tell them to do when it comes to what they should do with their lives. I was introduced to a blogger yesterday that got me thinking. He quit a 6 figure finance job to write and make a difference in the world. He also canceled and refunded a book deal he signed because he didn’t want to sell out what he was writing and take the chance of getting his message changed. Now I am not advocating everyone just quite their 9-5 jobs, I am saying find a job/passion that you enjoy doing. He didn’t want that type of job but others, that might be their dream. Who am I to tell someone what they should be doing? Hell I don’t even know what I want to do.
Overall my message to anyone that is actually reading this is as follows. Strive for personal fulfillment not attainment. Don’t do something for what you personally gain out of it, do it to make the world a better place. The blogger that I mentioned had some great quotes on his site (not sure if they are his words or someone else’s):
“Define your moments or they will define you.”
“Average is a choice.”
“Greatness is only ever a possible outcome when the prospect of utter, unmitigated defeat is also on the table.”
“Your life is always just one brief moment of audacity away from remarkable.”
Now not everyone is meant to be “remarkable” but that doesn’t mean they can’t do remarkable things. I suggest that we just try to live better than we do. Try to do one thing a day that will make this world a better place. Treat others how you would want to be treated. And lastly just try to smile a little bit more each day. Challenge the norm and push boundaries. Follow your dreams until you attain your dream or find a new one.