Thursday, 3 November 2011

Wouldn’t it be nice . . .

Wouldn’t it be nice if all of our prejudices were true; if those people we believed to be evil really were and those we believed to be good – our people – were always right.

It would save us from having to consider anything but that which suits and supports our way of thinking. Our failures would be the interference and conspiracy of enemies – agents of the Devil – and our successes would be further proof that our power and authority were appointed by our God.

Blame for our economic problems could be laid at the door of those who hated, and wanted to change, our perfect way of life. Praise for our success would belong to us for placing our trust in our political leaders and the brave Captains of industry who toiled, not for personal gain but for the betterment of all and the glorification of our highly evolved and sophisticated civilization.

History has a great many examples of this type of thinking. The great Empires of the past glorified all that they did and ignored the stories of the downtrodden who were but slaves and serfs in the grand scheme of things. Even when revolution changed the balance of power, the new orders had to seek legitimacy and rewrote history to support their claims to all that was listed above.

A thinking person might despair! So where is hope – that essential aspect of humanity?

Our lives are too short to fully appreciate the circular nature of things. If you are lucky you get to live most of your life in the positive arcs. Too bad if you are born into the end of one of these and are doomed to spend the rest of your days in decline. But any child who has sat alone in the center of a see-saw knows that even the slightest change can affect a tilt.