The following is a post that I believe becomes more significant with each passing day in our contemporary world (updated):
There is a plague consuming the world’s population and it is devastating nearly every corner of the globe. The disease may vary in intensity depending on the individual and location where contracted. The primary symptoms are:
- High fever
- Intense envy or jealousy
- extreme selfishness
- Certain aspects of Dementia such as personality changes and impaired reasoning
- a slowing of the metabolism resulting in weight gain
- Conditioned behavior and instinctive behavioral mechanisms are damaged
- Cognitive abilities are severely weakened and erratic and
- a mindless desire to consume
These are but a few of the known symptoms that may be experienced individually or collectively prior to consuming the individual human host. Strangely enough, there is an onset of acute depression when desires are not met and aggressive behavior may follow. The exact origin remains unknown but is understood to be man-made or developed.
Now if you haven’t figured it out by now the disease to which I am referring is not the stuff of Hollywood science fiction films and television programs such as World War Z, Zombie Nation, I Zombie, The Walking Dead etc. No in fact, the affliction that I am referring to is quite real and affects billions around the world. It is a conditioning that the human population has undergone for centuries now but one that has been intensifying within the last decades are so. Since mankind first began assigning value to commodities and conducting transactions for goods and services within markets, there has been a feverish attempt to accumulate wealth and power to control the people and markets through which it flows.
Reflect upon the symptoms of this disease that I have mentioned earlier. Now think about the current state of your life wherever you may live in the world. Can you identify with some of those symptoms to some degree or have knowledge of others around you who do? Generally, we find ourselves focused on finding that which satisfies our basic needs alluded to by Maslow – physiological, safety, love and esteem. However, these core needs have been severely corrupted. Often desires exceed that which is enough to simply “satisfy”. We are manipulated, if not outright conditioned, into mindlessly pursuing excess in whatever form that may take – the acquisition of money and other material possessions; the pursuit of fame and positional power; eating to the point of gluttony and so on and so forth. Like the zombies in fiction we are voracious and can never seem to get enough. Conditioned towards excess and fueled by competition and envy, we will do just about anything and everything to possess what we desire often times abandoning common sense and reason to obtain them.
I am reminded of a lecture given by one of my university professors concerning the way in which our attention and interests are redirected toward the trivial. He asked us to recall a time when various sports games were purely seasonal in the United States. Now professional and collegiate sports is played virtually all year-long and overlap with one another. If there is a lengthy delay in professional sports due to a strike, the government gets involved to mediate a solution. He alluded to this being done in order to keep the attention of the masses away from government activity that we have no business or need focusing on.
Of course sports is not our only distraction. There are no shortage of diversions to occupy our minds, dull our senses and deflect our attention away from the spiritual and significant aspects and challenges of our lives and our societies. Some of the forms of entertainment, gadgets of every type imaginable, drugs and alcohol combine with many others creating societies of mindless, starving zombies.
So then if we can identify the illness and some of the symptoms, what should our course of action be to treat this pandemic disease? I personally believe that a subscription of self-awareness, introspection and personal development is required followed by a healthy dose of sincere, intelligent, public cohesion and cooperation is in order. It is necessary for each one of us to look within ourselves and first appreciate ourselves and our uniqueness. All too frequently we allow others in society to dictate to us what our self-worth is or should be. We then act accordingly to gain their approval. “You are nothing if you don’t possess the proper clothes, mobile phone, car or home”; “You have to have more money or power to be considered significant”; “You have to drink, smoke, use drugs, etc. in order to fit in with us”. Does any of those statements sound familiar? Have you heard any of those in reference to you or about you personally? Chances are you have whether you are in grade school, high school or college. Whether you are with friends or around those you hardly know and whether you are working your 9 to 5 job are out of work and searching for one. Whether you are healthy, ill or incapacitated, whether you are white, black, yellow, brown or red. Regardless of your race, religion, gender, or other circumstances which one finds him or herself in the sentiment remains the same – “YOU NEED TO BE BETTER, MORE BEAUTIFUL, HAVE MORE”. And sadly enough, we buy into the perception and hurt ourselves and others trying to garner that approval. So once again, we need to look inside of ourselves and understand our own unique self-worth and what we can contribute.
The second part of my prescription is to appreciate and work with others communally to bring about a better world for all of us to live in. I know how optimistically naïve that sounds but it doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try. It may mean working socially and overtly to do this and sometimes covertly. By covertly I mean in groups with a clear agenda and actionable steps to bring about peace, cooperation and prosperity to all the inhabitants of this world. Groups have been forming for centuries for the opposite of this and purely for selfish purposes so why not now for the good? This will take the cooperation of all no matter who you are, where you come from, or any other discernible traits and characteristics that normally divides the world’s population. There is a great need for creative thinkers and philosophers; athletes, artists, poets and engineers; those within government and those on the fringe; those of every political allegiance and those without political aspirations. This is a call to duty for every generation and gender; every race, creed and color; to every religious and non-religious affiliation.
If you feel as I do, that this world and life as we know it is spinning dangerously out of control, then your services are required each in his/her own way whatever part of this globe that you call home. Like the Howard Beale character in the film “Network”, If you are “mad as hell and don’t want to take it anymore” don’t just live with it! Resist the “zombie” conditioning imposed on us all and take steps to make this world a better, brighter, healthier, more peaceful and prosperous place for all of its inhabitants and not just a selected few. Endeavour to improve your personal perspectives on life and be tolerant of those with other or contradictory viewpoints. Arguments, disagreements and conflicts are a natural part of living in a society but if managed correctly, we will grow from them and not be hindered or lessoned by them. Most certainly we will emerge with different viewpoints and perspectives but we can acquire ground-breaking new ideas and philosophies that will put us on a healthier and more enduring path it we can learn to reconcile our differences. We can give this world a new illumination that could shine through the ages.
“Tune in” to the more significant aspects of our lives, environment and society; “Turn on” your unique ability to be wise, understanding and compassionate; and “Drop out” of the zombie conditioning and herd mentality.