“When the whole world is running headlong towards the precipice, one who walks in the opposite direction is looked at as being crazy.” – T.S. Elliot
There is no doubt in my mind that the world is on the edge of something extraordinary, a shift of global magnitude that will change the course of history. I can list here all the usual current factors: politics, economies, religion, media, the climate crisis and now the coronavirus pandemic. These are enough to convince anyone that there is definitely something going on in our world.
I have a slightly different list here that makes me certain we live in probably the strangest period of our human history, a list of factors that are, for the first time, combined together at the same moment in our existence.
LACK OF KNOWLEDGE: While we are undoubtedly living in the most advanced era of our development as a human race, real knowledge, the one it took years to accumulate, thousands of books to read and a wealth of experiences to gather, is pretty much gone in the every day person. Dubbed the “fast-food” generation, or the “microwave” nation, we want everything fast, easy and ordinary. Nowadays, you don’t even have to read a whole book, you can get the ‘gist’ of the book by just reading a synapsis. There are even websites for that! Most of us fall asleep after reading 2-3 pages of a real book, because our minds are not made to endure hundreds of pages anymore and it gets bored.
IGNORANCE: One of our greatest ‘sins’, in my opinion. And it comes as a direct result of the lack of real knowledge. When you only know the ‘synapsis’ of something, you are bound to become ignorant. The problem is that ignorant people, with little real knowledge, suddenly are experts in every field, because learning about everything is quite easy just youtube it or google it. In about 15 minutes you will probably know more about your headache, or your neighbor’s BMW, or about philosophy than the ones who have spent a lifetime actually studying them. I see this every day, on all social media platforms and on TV, radio, and on the street. Ignorance is in higher state now than it has ever been, probably because it has been provided with platforms to spread quickly and to ‘infect’ large masses of people. That’s the reason everyone has an ‘expert’ opinion about everything under the sun.
‘Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity… and I am not sure about the universe” – Albert Einstein
PRIDE: A logical result when you lack real knowledge and you are ignorant. Pride is probably THE greatest disease we have on the planet. It is what creates all our hatred, our wars, our divisions and our insanity. Ignorant, uneducated people become proud naturally, because only a lack of understanding would actually make you proud. When you really discover the depth of meaning in our universe, the incredible resources of our minds, the mystery of our existence and the possibilities that surround you, it is impossible to be proud. Our ‘smallness’ is understood and appreciated only by truly educated and selfless people. I also believe that pride, starting at personal level and going all the way to the highest levels of our society (religious leaders and government leaders, for example), is at its highest point in history.
LOSS OF IMAGINATION: I truly believe that television and media in general, including social media, has dumbed us down to levels unseen before in our history. Thousands of channels on TV with absolutely nothing to say are bombarding us daily. On social media, besides the ‘experts’ on everything, we learn mostly that my cat coughed a huge hairball or I discovered how to pucker my lips more. We all start to look the same, talk the same, and even bend the same way for those never-ending selfies in our bathrooms, in front of the mirror. We lost our imagination, our ability to dream that pushed our race into real progress before. And when we finally find people with beautiful minds, incredible imagination and great knowledge, we do everything we can to bring them down to our pitiful level, so we feel great in our own little bubble.
These factors, I believe, are the real reason we have so many problems in our political, economical and religious spheres. I also believe that it will get worse, not better, unless we have a major shift in our approach to life, in our education to our children and in viewing our world.
“IMAGINATION IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN KNOWLEDGE. KNOWLEDGE IS LIMITED. IMAGINATION ENCIRCLES THE WORLD” – Albert Einstein