What happened to us? We used to be a planet of heroes: overcoming obstacles, building great cities, creating amazing art, experimenting with empowering forms of government. In a few thousand years humans moved from a small population of hunter gatherers to the cultivation of the entire planet. By the 1960’s we seemed poised to migrate to other worlds. And then we stopped.
One of the last impressive things humans ever did was put a man on the moon way back in 1969. Since then we’ve pretty much just been coasting along – most of our current technology is based on discoveries and advancements from the 1960′s. We really haven’t come up with anything new for some time. For example, cell phone technology was developed by Motorola to enable NASA to talk to the astronauts. But the last time anyone set foot on the moon was 1972. It seems the ambition for achievement and expansion has stopped. We are now just content to revamp old systems and ideas, and revisit old places and dreams.
It might be acceptable if we at least used our past achievements to create a more empowering environment for human kind. But that’s not the case. We still have constant warfare and terrorism; bad government around the world; hunger and poverty; human and animal rights violations; criminal degradation; and non-stop cruelty and depravity everywhere. We’ve exploited the Earth’s resources for no other purpose than to satisfy the whims of a few plutocrats while the majority of the world’s population lives in what might be described as an almost comfortable state of enslavement. In the past, every few centuries a man like Spartacus might arise and at least try to fight back against the ruling class and promote some kind of free society. Those days appear to be gone.
Instead of working to stop all the accumulated “badness” and generate some overflowing “goodness” – we in our so-called advanced civilization seem pretty content to do nothing – as long as we have our favorite TV shows and high-speed Internet access. Even our forms of entertainment, so readily available and in demand, is just a regurgitation of the successes of the past. For example, modern movies are mostly sequels, pre-quels, remakes, reboots, and repackaging of old ideas. Old TV shows become movies and old movies become TV shows. Financially successful films are overloaded with special effects and action sequences while lacking in story and substance. Information gathering and communication technology that sci-fi writers of the past would have seen as miracles are now used for the cheapest, basest form of home entertainment. And the common person feels satisfied with this.
What are we doing? Where are the champions that used to motivate and energize us?
The world of politics certainly has no heroes – other than total outsiders like Donald Trump, it is pretty clear that career politicians think only of re-election. Politicians in recent years have, as a whole, clearly demonstrated a complete lack of vision for a sustainable, prosperous and harmonious world. They do not express an urge for new possibilities, but as with the entertainment industry, they just rehash old failed ideas. They offer their constituents empty platitudes and promises of “this, that and the other thing.” Whenever anyone in government or near government makes a speech or statement we must ask “what’s in it for them?” They appear to do nothing that does not directly benefit them or their financial supporters. And they get what they want by promising more and more “free stuff” to people. The promises are false – “free” doesn’t exist in government, others have to pay for it. But it’s ok because they are only empty promises – nothing is actually delivered. When the rare, outsider politician actually keeps a political promise – the establishment goes on the attack to destroy that individual and maintain the status quo.
Athletes and entertainers used to be worthy of honor – No more. Professional athletes and entertainers, as a rule these days, display only the baser human traits. They lie, cheat, steal, bad mouth people and exploit everyone around them. They seem to no longer have a concept of chivalry, patriotism or civic duty – the kneelers, marchers and whiners of recent years are prime examples. Entertainers and athletes, despite their pretense of holding the high ground, are constantly exposed as violent, sexist, racist, and generally debauched miscreants. Perhaps not all – there might still be a few people with integrity seeking the spotlight – but in general they can be seen to use their talents for the sake of mediocrity – free of any concern for values or ideals. The might rant and rave and pretend to be fighting for some kind of unquantifiable “right” but they are generally empty, noisy barrels – to paraphrase a truly great artist of the past they fret and strut around, full of sound and fury, while devoid of any significance. Celebrities evoke nothing but a pig-at-the-trough kind of morality – just consume as much as possible in the shortest amount of time. The only honors celebrities receive today are those given to them by their peers – the thinking public has no time for them.
Here’s the problem – consumerism has run rampant. People don’t want to create, they just want to own and use. They don’t even need the best (or know what that is) – they just go after what other people want, what other people have, what other people say is good. Quality and originality are no longer required. Success is based on the ability to re-package the work of others. And success or accomplishment isn’t even important – just the appearance of success.
The world has become average, ordinary and commonplace. It’s true a few rare souls might occasionally step into the game and try to advance the causes of creativity, freedom, social equality, and universal harmony. Yet their battle against the trends, the establishment, the mainstream, the status quo, the tradition, the authority and so on becomes a painful trial. So much easier just to bend and conform to the system. To embrace mediocrity and even fight for mediocrity – that is the new way of the world.
So many people are sleepwalking through life, today. Following, lazily, the easy rule of the few who would seriously enslave us all if they had the chance. And most of us are willing to give them that chance. We fight for the easy way, the common path, and the preservation of the herd. The phony success of endless sameness. We fight for mediocrity and it might very well lead us to extinction – at least as a moving, energized species. In just a few years we’ve moved from potential space farers to cave dwellers, gleefully clapping at shadow puppets.
So, what can we do about it? How do we help humanity achieve its fullest potential?
The first step is to WAKE UP! Wake yourself up as soon as possible, using any methods available to you – and there are surprisingly many methods and tools available if you would come out of the cave of the mind and look for them. Wake yourself up and then, go out and wake up everyone else. The more awakened people there are, the fewer sleepwalkers there will be that fight to defend and sustain the mediocre ideals that now plague us. Don’t fight FOR mediocrity, fight AGAINST it. Wake up now and perhaps the world will once again become a home for heroes and free beings.