These are tumultuous times. The world has and always will have its problems, but our challenges today are amplified by the volume of reminders about them.
It is realistic, the possibility of disengaging from social issues by avoiding television news outlets that have made sensational headlines their primary means of engagement or by signing off of social media, which offers more immediate access than any previous medium to a collection of “trends” that may as well be labeled, “This is how bad things have become.” Frankly, disengaging in spurts is healthy, but if when you gain that wisdom, then you also become an important part of the solution to these various issues.
Why would a person choose to disconnect from the world’s ills? For some, the choice to do so is met with derision, perhaps with a comment along the lines of “you cannot bury your head in the sand” to boot. The thing about burying your head in the sand, though, is that it blocks out the racket. Given how loud, if you will, that the world is presently, it would benefit everybody to occasionally find some measure of quiet time, and if doing so requires temporarily burying one's head in the sand, then so be it. A person, therefore, chooses to disconnect for their own well-being, for the purpose of getting into a headspace that allows for self-examination, goal-setting, and the creation of the processes that stimulate change in the individual – and you never know how something that you think, say, or do today could affect the lives of millions tomorrow [i].
Where would we be without the assembly line, the transportation industry, or the personal computer that segued to the smart phone?
How far can we progress when technologies like thermography are being positioned to hopefully help lead American healthcare out of the doldrums of its treatment-obsessed foundations and into a future that prioritizes prevention and maintenance?
What would the world look like if Henry Ford, Dr. BJ Palmer, the Wright Brothers, Steve Jobs, other visionaries like them, and their supporters who kept seeking change had been too consumed with arguing about righteous claims to explore and meditate on paradigm-shifting ideas?
Who are going to be the next generation of problem-solvers? If that is not who you are or what you aspire to, then you can be a staunch supporter of whoever they may turn out to be, but all who make the choice to be agents of change must recognize the value of introspection so that clear-headed, often difficult decisions can be made, many that may involve letting old perceptions cease to be realities, no matter how convenient to believe otherwise.
Take an issue like mass shootings. They happen all the time – there have actually been more mass shootings this year than there have been days – and yet nothing seems to be changing. The phrase “polarizing topic” was meant to describe a scenario in which people’s opinions conflicted, not that people were allowed only one narrow viewpoint. Yet, each time a mass shooting occurs, the majorities on either side of the debate roar back to the forefront with their all or nothing thinking. Watching intelligent people attempt to turn an “and also,” much-needed discussion into yet another “either or” argument is rather painful to see play out, is it not? We have probably all engaged in it at some point.
Strong odds favor the end to the mass shooting epidemic not coming until an alliance of well-rounded people steps back from the circular arguments and recognizes the multi-faceted underlying issues that cause the problem. Half of the civilian-owned guns in the world belong to Americans, who make up 5% of the world’s population; almost every known mass shooter in recent American history has been on some sort of anti-psychotic drug; each dynamic on down to video games, which in some distressed minds normalize ending human life, must be evaluated, no matter how seemingly insignificant it may have been deemed in our argument-culture.
Healthcare is another such issue. Kids are consistently sicker right now than ever before in the United States[ii]. 95% of the so-termed “healthcare” system is wrapped up in a reactionary, disease/symptom-oriented philosophy that should make up less than half of the industry. Instead, we consume 80% of the entire world's pharmaceutical production, we spend more money on healthcare than almost every other country combined and rank at the bottom of the barrel in health statistics, and we encourage people to treat their health like a car that can run forever without significant attention to maintenance and then give only weeks to months commitment to fixing a condition often several decades in the making. How can we expect change if we remain so wrapped up in defending the status quo in spite of overwhelming evidence to discredit it?
What the world needs now is to turn its mental volume down. If we change the way that we look at things, then the things that we look at will change[iii]. The world is noisy, but God whispers[iv]. The answers to our problems are out there waiting to be discovered, but we have to foster the calmness and clarity of mind so that we can hear them.
[i] BJ Palmer
[ii] Harvard Medical School
[iii] Wayne Dyer
[iv] Julia Monnin
Thinking good things for you, as always,