Why are we unable to deal our own distress and misery? Instead of self-healing from within, we turn to others for tempering our immediate needs and our demands for instant satisfaction.


In my article, The United States of China,
I said the following in the comments flow as I wondered on the reasons
for our duplicity in claiming national and personal independence while
relying on the kindness of those who seek to hurt us and do us harm:

We are stuck to the teat of materialism and we’ll suck and
suck and suck on any available nipple that will provide us creature
comforts and a sense of satiety — no matter how false or poisonous its
milk is to our long future.
We are too willing to give up our sovereignty in exchange for
pleasurable experiences.

The war in Iraq has gone on so long because
we, as a people, do not suffer. Only a small striation of us feels the
pain and the blood of that conflict and it is all designed by those in
power to keep it that way.
There cannot be universal truths along with universal suffering or all
of society will rip apart in despair.

Is common suffering required for a society to propel its dream forward; or is being stuck numb in The Never-Ending Now
— with no escape and where we only pretend the world is right and that
we have discovered true happiness — our only real purchase in life?

10 Comments

  1. No time – has lead to the culture of instant – instant coffee, instant gratification.
    “I want what everyone else wants now” – means we have a spoilt and over-indulged generation of children and young adults who expect everything NOW.
    This is fueled by the credit card companies who fuel our over consumption.
    A lot of children do not know how to work for things that they want – they expect them to be given. A generation of children and young people have grown up without any work ethic – ie that hard work reaps rewards – or without any saving up for what you want. Pocket money on demand instead of earning it.
    These are the physical and tangible manifestations of a greater malaise of a generation who are not able to work things through for themselves – because they do not have the processes.
    If you have been given things instantly through no – input of your own – you do not know how to achieve them on your own.
    I know a huge number of teenagers and young adults who have lost their souls – usually to alcohol – because they have not been give or taught how to deal with their emotions, understand personal interaction – or to self heal.
    It is easier for them to go with the crowd and the bottle and numb everything out – than it is to do the self searching and self healing they need to.

  2. Now that’s a Wowser Comment, Nicola! Love the fire and heat of your thoughts!
    You’re right that we’re propelling forward into an unfortunate race against being faster than what was and what is now. If we can’t do it quicker tomorrow than we can today then we have failed in or efforts for forward living.
    The problem, I think, is not the faster advance of technology, but rather the limits of the human body and its inability to keep up with the sharpest tenets of human thought: We can dream it, but we can no longer find the human path to achieve it.
    So we struggle to reach our dreams, to be better than our parents, and to live up to our goals — and when we fail, as we must, we turn to numbing and excuses and “just give it to me.”
    That doesn’t mean we need to rest or not challenge ourselves in the now, but in order to really progress into the future I think basic changes of expectation in what the human body is physically capable of needs enhancement and changing if we ever hope to get out of this mess of immediacy now or nothing.

  3. I would agree that human thinking and ethics need to catch up with medical and technological advances.
    We are in the middle of a technological and medical rush/expansion.
    We have a great temptation to rush forward with new medicines, new technology without thinking of the possible future consequences.
    Quite often we concentrate on what can be gained – rather then what is lost.
    One simple example – as a child we would all sit down together as a family for both breakfast and supper – we would talk about what we would be doing/ had done that day – if we were happy or sad ( in the simplest terms) , We would be communicating and sharing as a family. The and only then would the TV go on – and then only for certain programs.
    Sundays were sacrosanct and were spent as a family doing something together – each of us all contributing to the gardening, a visit to grandma or playing cards or board games.
    Todays youngsters eat breakfast on the run before mum drops them off on the way to work – they may go to a after school club before eating a TV dinner in front of the TV.
    People find it very hard with all the pressures there are these days to make time for the simple things – which I as a child took for granted.
    There is little nourishment for the soul for todays children – especially in Western Society.

  4. Right on, Nicola! We’re racing to the horizon thinking the world is round when we’re really falling headlong over a cliff. There is no navigation or appreciation of geography is this technological grab for attention and material things.

  5. Some curious Romanian fellow wrote an article a few years ago which I think really hits it on the head – Sloth, Apathy, and Myopia. A lot of people, myself included, are so short-sighted and blinded by things like “Oh goodness, rent needs to be paid” that we won’t find the time to focus a little inside. Then a lot of people just can’t be bothered to try as their lives have become so routine that they dare not step outside of the going from work to pub to bed mentality. Hmm.

  6. Gordon!
    Yes, it’s always good to look back and quote the brilliant to illuminate the now. Please be more like him yourself as you were back then and stop worrying about the rent today and start painting on the world tomorrow! 😉