The Next Revolution
Many people look at the world as a messed up place going to “hell in a hand-basket”. Everything is going wrong in some people’s eyes. The government is corrupt, people are out to rob you blind and the rich keep getting richer. The only way in which we can change this is through our own minds. If we choose to fixate on the negatives, then that is what we will see and create. If we choose to lead a more compassionate, and grateful life, then we will ultimately be happier. We have a small sphere of influence that we can use to change the world. This sphere has the potential to compound. This article speaks about some of the things wrong in the world today and how each one of us can revolutionize the entire human race.
Current State of Things
How do modern humans form their views of the world and what is going on within it? Media primarily drives this perception. It has since the 1920’s, when the first radio news broadcast occurred. Now, we are shifting from newspapers and radios, to televisions and mobile devices. Nevertheless, it is still the same. Same media, just a different way of digesting it. These new ways of dissemination come with benefits and downfalls.
Turn on any television, anywhere today, and what is the most likely thing you’ll see? Either the news, or sports. The news has a fixation on the negative and the false. Sports have a fixation on mindless entertainment, and advertising. Both of these are distractions. They are distractions from what is really going on in the world.
These media outlets also have new ways of getting to us. They are no longer just on our radio, or TV. They are now in our hands, on our wrists and even in our beds. This negativity and distraction is with us every second of every day.
The debate here is, are we any happier? Are we any kinder to each other? After all, isn’t that what we are told by these media and technology companies? If we buy the new ipad, then we will be happy. If we watch this news broadcast, then we will be informed. If we watch this television show, then we will be content. If we have the new iphone, then we will be able to connect with our friends and family at any time and our relationships will be much better.
Media skews our perception of the world. We must move toward a clearer understanding of reality. Removing this veil comes from within each and every one of us. It is our responsibility to understand the world for how it is and to relieve ourselves of this disease.
The World As It is
From here, there are three main points: 1) The world is inherently a good place. Media tends to fixate on the relatively low concentration of bad things that happen. 2) Technology is actually driving us apart. We interact more, but at a degraded quality. 3) There is a dire need for a revolution. A new type of change, a change that starts from within each one of us.
We live in the most exciting time ever. This has been true of all humans, during all times. We have created an incredibly complex thing called technology and the internet. Our health care is far better than ever before. Overall, violence is dwindling despite the portrayal by the nightly news. Sure, people do get murdered, and there are people who are incredibly poor. There are people that have to face things that neither of us would ever even want to imagine. I am not denying that. We must focus on those atrocities and do what we can to fix them. However, the point to focus on here is that there are generally positive trends occurring in the world.
Technology allows us to be far more interconnected than ever before. In many cases this is a good thing. It saves companies money by not having to fly employees across the country for monthly or annual meetings. It allows us to talk with family members who are thousands of miles away. Even when we do use technology to connect, not as much information gets transferred as a face-to-face meeting. When we are in the presence of other humans and we are using these devices, then we are not truly there. We are distracted by the device.
This technology has gone as far as becoming an addiction. Some people need to check their phone first thing in the morning, while they are still in bed. This is a dopamine addiction. Every notification, every “like”, every message floods our brains with dopamine. Our brains love dopamine and as a result, we become hopelessly addicted to any sort of notification from our mobile device.
To illustrate the degradation of human interaction let us ask ourselves several questions. When was it last that you had a quality conversation with someone? This means something aside from the weather, sports, the news, or latest television show. This means leaving your phone in another room, or in your pocket and not checking it the entire time. When was it that you helped someone just because you could? This means knowing that you would not get anything in return. This means taking time away from something you would otherwise enjoy very much and putting someone else first.
The Human Condition
The thing that society is quickly forgetting is that we are not black, white, brown, green, male, female, etc. We are all part of the human race. We are all a bit different by the fundamentals of biology, anatomy and chemistry. We are all very similar through the thread of the human condition. We all struggle. We all have our own inner dialogue that no one else has a clue about. We all experience happiness, sadness, pain, suffering, etc. We all need food, water, shelter, love and a sense of purpose in our lives. We are all searching for this and act from this place of seeking every day.
If we know this, truly know this, then what is it that we can do? If I act from a place of gratitude and compassion for others, I can help my fellow human. I can create a scenario where they feel safe, welcome, needed and loved. If I do that, then perhaps, maybe, they will do that for someone else. If I do that for ten people, and each of those ten people does it for two people, now my sphere of influence has touched 30 people. I can easily do that for ten people, every month in a year. That’s 120 people changed directly by me, and an additional 240 people, if each person influences two people to act with more generosity, or caring.
How do we shift to a mindset of gratitude and compassion? The first step is desiring to act from such a place. Realizing that we are all very similar. We should all help each other, as we are not individuals in the end. We are all very much dependent on each other for our survival. We must have this realization, and then begin to make an internal shift. This shift comes through mindfulness and meditation. These techniques will not only allow you to make someone else’s life better, they will make yours better as well. By being mindful and practicing gratitude and compassion, you can open the door to empathy and helping. This is the reason I write these articles. This is my small way of helping others. I hope to help others realize that the world is a beautiful place filled with many beautiful people. We can all work together in order to make it a very nice and peaceful place to live. This will happen by making a fundamental shift inside each and every one of us. We need to shift from a place of “I am an individual” who needs to get as much stuff as he or she can. To a place of we are a community, we are the human race. There is no reason for one to take more than what they need. It is only good for capitalistic consumerism. That system only works because we embrace it. What would happen if we all realized that it was hurting us, both individually and collectively?
The only path we have to walk is forward. The only control we have is over our own internal state. By controlling our own internal mindset, we have the change to influence others by our words and by our actions. These are powerful. Use them wisely.