Let's fix the world.
Forget about reality for a second. Leave your understanding of how the world works and the structure of society behind while you read this. Imagine a blank slate; a limitless space for you to think.
As a human being, what are your priorities in life? For most people the list will be filled with concepts like happiness, kindness, compassion, creativity and discovery. These seem obvious to us. We all have basic desires and understand to some extent what we value and what makes us happy. But–
Does our society align with these values?
We live in a world where we grow up through a rigid system of education and work, and have a well defined path of how to live: nursery, primary education, secondary education, parhaps tertiary education, work, promotions, retirement, then death. Where’s the space for life? I think if we let go of our expectations of the world and were to create a blueprint for how we want the world to be, it would be very different to what we have now.
1. Manage wealth distribution
2. Encourage community
3. Even influences on politics
We can see the cracks in our society. It feels like we haven’t found the right answer to the trade-off between having rich members of society to drive advancements in technology and increase overall wealth with the need for fair distribution of that wealth. Global median income is £790 per year. The real 1% are us, not just bankers. Anyone earning over £22,000 is in the top 1% of earners worldwide, and with a mean income of £27,000, that’s almost half of the UK polulation. It’s not difficult to see that transnational inequality is a real issue. Poverty doesn’t stop with the poor and homeless in our own countries. A compassionate society would account for this worldwide inequality and distribute wealth more equally, whilst depending on values of creativity and discovery to drive innovation.
People feel disconnected from others in society because of discrimination and the segragation. We fail to see the common humanity of others and engage in wars instead of negotiations. We treat issues of race, religion and identity, and many others, as separate from culture, society and events. We forget that people are people. We use labels and categories to help us structure things in our minds instead of adapting our models of the world to include others’ views. A kind and compassionate society would be accepting and respecting of people without regard to their ethnicity, religion, sexuality, wealth or any other feature. It would see people as a manifestation of the effect of individual experiences rather than a complete, unchanging mentality.
Currently our elections (if you’re lucky) are completely separate from how the world is actually governed. Business interests directly and indirectly influence decisions because money controls the world. Corporations have more control over society than people, and this strips our humanity away. Decisions about helping the poor, creating a fairer society and furthering ourselves as a species, are taken by the rich – those who have no incentive to cause change. A fair society, set on discovery and the development of new technologies to support open communication and improved healthcare, would ensure that money doesn’t increase your say in politics. Ideas and policies should be the main factors.
There’s an obvious catch to this…
We can say what we wish the world was like all we want, but that doesn’t change anything or mean any change is possible. You probably think this is just a utopian dream of a perfect world where everyone is kind and caring. It’s not. All of these ideas can be initiated by one simple action. We can discuss and debate them. We can challenge the norms of our society instead of outlawing everything beyond the structure we imagine it must conform to.
Don’t let it stop you. Be human.
Question structure. Allow yourself to be human. Be happy, kind, compassionate, creative and adventurous. Show the world that the society and culture that has formed through history is not one we must fall into. We can create our own which promotes openmindedness and understanding.
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