The Cowardly New World

There is one line from the old movies and literature that stands out at times. This brave new world has been used countless times in many stories. It is more than a pity that that same line cannot be used to describe our story, our times.

There will always be a lack of context as passions and self-righteousness rule our beliefs, our intelligence and our moral comapasses. There will always be this side and that side and all of those in between. To speak of anything today is to open a can of Pandora’s worms and the connectivity of actions, laws, ideals, beliefs, educations and experiences. The Einstein in us knows that to adapt to change is a sign of intelligence, the only thing is, the change is happening at a rate either too much or too minute for us to adapt to it. Very few will see the shade of blue fading, or the sights changing around them anymore with all of the bells and whistles going off.

Lost in all the noise though is change, real and undeniable change that happens when we are not looking, not paying attention, too wrapped up in ourselves. I have to say that today, as I read about the turn of the last century, there are many similarities still. We are a people uncommonly bad at keeping things in context, to keep the rule of who, when, and why in order in our passionate social lifestyles. Sound bites become timestamps and the get replicated at our leisure, the context of the moments lost, the impression lives on strong. That is the very aspect of our society that can be manipulated and has been a tool for many years, advertising, marketing, and political sway, all a part of the science that is us.

I recall the recent article I was reading concerning the President’s supporters. They had given him an B grade so far and were not concerned with all of the  talk of other countries. In their minds they had jobs and lower taxes to talk about, security, in the best of the old ways of thinking about it. A time capsule from another century to try to revive and pollute the air, the land and the psyche of America once more. The old thinking has stuck well and fast because we did not see the world change, we bubbled ourselves to that too, in our generational,  sexual, racial and religious bastions that gave us that old timey security mindset, that box yourself in and push the pointed sticks out of the portcullises thinking. Even the best of beekeepers gets stung in the line of duty.

This country did not have to change to change though, that part was the thing we didn’t see. As the rest of the world went on to lead the world in areas that we assisted them with, we fell back on our laurels. We pushed the cost in dollars ahead of the cost to humanity, we needed our security that we have paid dearly for all of these years. The only thing is that security is as nuanced and diverse as our population, so we in effect started cannibalizing our very fabric, we are infallible moths to the very light that we cherish. In those polls about how the country is going people want to blame the Government, when they can’t see their wings flapping mightily behind them.

This idea that we can dig a foxhole in the middle of this march through time is laughable. The jobs and security that are being sought are not ships to sail to that future, but to anchor us down onto a past. They will not bring a golden age, or a reformation, or any of the beliefs that they wish for. It will just lead to separatist actions a lack of tolerance for diversity. You have to use a lot of white paint to cover a wall marked with so much blood, dark corners and stains. The call for a palette more consistent with today’s world is not going to fall away into a whisper, a din is upon us and it is time to get those earbuds out of our behinds.

We are no longer looking at a brave new world, but a cowardly old world, even with the best of our progressives. We are too afraid of being safe at every step to lift the foot to march. A muscle bound behemoth pulling the water buffalo behind them, enough for all but too weighed down with all of its excess. When watching a video recently of a piece of huge mining equipment it hit me, the whole housing moves around for it to take a small step. With our voting spaced out the way it is, there is not telling if we are going to get anywhere at this rate. Our freedoms will always allow those parts of us to congregate that have similar stories and beliefs, a commonality will bring people together into separate and disparate factions. The tribal mentality lives on in us and it is that binding, and bonding of of our “tribes” that will bring the security and peace that has been missing. It can no longer come from a government entity or war machine, the security we are expecting, in all of our spoiled glory is not about that aspect any longer. We are consumer drunk and money hungry, the patriotism that lays in the hearts of many is directly connected to their wallets. That, is the security and tolerance we have built up and now that barnacled anchor is pulling back on us, hard.

Yes, in the hearts of many there is a golden age, a golden feeling many wish to get back to. Unwilling to admit that it may be over or out of reach now. Those just old enough that say that they are not done doing their dream, that they made a promise to their Father. Those young enough to have seen the grown up’s jump through the hoops of society these last thirty years or so, I think I would laugh too. There is a reason for those fidget things that the kids use all the time now, the grown up’s just don’t understand them. So we have built a society that is at one end unwilling to change, and at the other end unwilling to comply. Stuck in the middle of this is a whole bunch of grown up’s that can see both sides, and aren’t getting any help from either of them to inform them of what really needs to be done. A couple of silent entitled brats that won’t tell you where the fire extinguisher is as you burn the kitchen down, because they took your attention away from Dinner because they were fighting the grown-ups, not each other.

When we opened the world and brought down the Tower of Babel and introduced the Internet, when we invited each other freely across borders to voice their concerns, their hopes, and their pride. We accepted, whether we know it or not a new world, either a brave one of innovation or one that is just another weapon in our ultimate demise. There are no more walls to build, there are no more them and us, for and against is the only ruse and even that has gotten old. It is Us and a different Us, and those rules of thumb that dictated hate and bigotry are being rewritten or just thrown out with prejudice themselves. The country is fine, and it is already great, it has a case of myopic amnesia though, because even the shallowest of thinkers could have seen this coming. The folks that came up with the saying didn’t keep up with the Jones’s. The world changed beneath our feet one fine day when we were shopping at Walmart.

I remember the arguments that I had with the other side during the election. How their pleas reminded me of spoiled selfish brats more than anything else. I wasn’t too far off in that thinking either, because what has been enabled is the heat to the fabric that brings the moths to a frenzy. Our children do not respect or even want to be a part of the world that we have made for them and I don’t blame them. The older folks have never seen change on this scale and they are frightened as well to be a part of something they do not understand much of, if any at all.

So what are we supposed to do about it? We are going to see a base wage given in our lifetimes to everyone. We are going to see the foundational threads that we have held onto too tight to really grasp fall apart or soundly reshaped. We are going to see new thinking and processes develop this country faster than we can really adapt to it. Will it go to waste in the consumer bin? Or will it stimulate growth in those areas we need help with… getting along with each other. Those factory jobs are not going to come back, that dream of some kind of job security is not coming back. We were made into consumers and that aspect of us being a commodity to barter with has made it to mainstream thinking. Take the people who shopped the windows and place them inside those windows to be shopped for. That is the new realization that may take a while to set in, you are as much a consumer as a commodity. Who is there to tell you when you are out of date?

The things that are changing are too numerous to mention as they cross every aspect that makes us us. They are nuanced and abrupt at the same time and some very different thinking is going into these changes. To simply look at the world through an old school mentality of Us and Them is to rob yourself of the very real reality of it all that they are us too and we are them. Look at the trading alone that goes on and wonder if you will get that coffee and coconut milk here if things were just a tiny bit different?… We have entered a new world long ago, and the ones that cannot accept that “their picture world” is not the reality that we live in, not the world we live in. In a country that has in the past embraced the notion of being brave, we are cowardly going into that future at the moment. No small steps for a man, giant leaps for mankind, too consumed with being safe in world where the security being looked for is not hidden under that ideal or this one, but one in which we all accept the ideals of others and work about for the best response, instead of the worst reaction. We may be brave, we may be cowards, but we have changed for all time, whether good or bad is up to us.

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