Sunday, October 23, 2011

Where is the Wisdom?

It strikes me that there is a lot of wisdom in the world - brought to us through brilliant people past and present.  All the wisdom that we need to survive and thrive on a small planet is right here at the touch of a key.  And yet, we (as a group) are not wise.  What is stopping the human race from all seeing what the truth is?

Well, for one thing, lack of education.  If people had a broader view of the world, they would be able to understand that there are other views, not just theirs.

Another huge tripping point is poverty.  If a person is poor, un-sheltered, hungry and scared, they will never be able to see beyond their small section of the world.  And life will be nothing but a struggle to survive - no ability to change themselves or the world will be possible, because all of their energy is going into the here and now.  No matter what the Political Right says, eliminating poverty is not just for the benefit of those directly aided.  It will help the entire world.

Healthcare.  When people are not healthy, they can also not see beyond themselves and where they are.  Everyone should have the same access to good health care - the type that works best for them!

Mental health care - the people who are mentally ill and not helped cause great social problems - drug addiction, alcoholism, homelessness and, again, poverty, lead people to crime and eventually becoming a drain on society.  Tell my why the large mental institutions like Riverview Hospital in Vancouver were closed?  It was to save money.  But is putting hundreds of mentally ill patients on the street to fend for themselves (the hope being they would be out patients cogent enough to get help on their own) really saving money, or does the money just go to different things like drug programs, alcohol programs, and jails for housing those arrested for drug use, alcohol use, abuse, prostitution, vagrency, murder, etc.

Another major problem in our society is how we value ourselves.  We are not valued unless we are making money - more than the next guy.  We value people who are rich.  For some reason we listen to them rather than others.  Why?  Because they figured out how to make money? ... possibly at the expense of balance in their lives?  Or at the expense of other people?  Because they own a Hummer and we don't?  Why do we value the wealthy and not the people who actually make the most sense for where our society stands and where we are heading?  The pursuit of wealth has gotten our planet into a whole lot of trouble.  Perhaps we should stop valuing the wealthy and instead value those who take care of the planet and other people.  But for the poor, uneducated, sick and mentally unwell who cannot get out of their current positions, money looks like the answer and the wealthy look smart.  The truth of the matter is that the wealthy would be much smarter if they allowed some of their wealth to really help other people - through government taxation that would help the poor, uneducated, sick and mentally ill. 

Everything we need to adjust our lifestyles, fix our agricultural problems, stop our wars and mend the economy - EVERYTHING - is at our fingertips.  The answers are here.  We don't need to look further than what we know right now.  The problem is not a lack of technology, knowledge or intelligence.  The problem is that people get in the way.  Greed gets in the way.  A lack of empathy and sympathy gets in the way.  If we stopped thinking of the best for individuals (or individual corporations) and started thinking about the best for the group, we might be better off.

Of course, getting all of humanity - all religions, all countries, all races - to do the same thing for the good of the whole - well, it's probably impossible.  But if we start on a small scale - the family, the neighbourhood.  If we start supporting each other here and now, perhaps the world will change with us. 

"Be the change you want to see in the world"  Mahatma Gandhi

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