Honour and pride. Two words that describe the state of mind felt by many from time to time, are liable to being prone to attachment. And attachment causes dependency, which in turn led to craving, and then attachment all over again. If all our lives, our interactions and choices, so to speak, were to be visualized as a loop of repeating patterns, it would sure freak many out. For we do not like to live by repeating certain patterns over and over again. In case there was ever a moment when we realized we were living in the same way, which is to say the same way of doing certain things over and over again, each day, every month and year, we would not like it. Of course, for the ones who do, we can understand. As long as individuals believed that they were firmly set in their stations in life, and as long as they were fine with it, why should the ambitious not approach life they way they do? Which is to say, change stations in life again and again and again, for specific monetary and/or non-monetary rewards of course.
The forces of technology and social networks have been changing the contours of human civilization for the past 5000 years or more. The great inventions of the bygone Mesopotamians, includes the city, writing, numeracy and accounting. Their long shadow reveals the shoulders of the giants, men and women, upon whom we owe our current spectre of progress to. All of humanity has been a stacking of the base layers upon which humans once depended upon for bare survival. We do not need to learn certain things like cooking, making clothes or growing food anymore. We can let others do them, while being lucky, we can devote time to other pursuits. While, this is possible for the ones who are born in the appropriate socio-economic networks, it did represent the way how civilization was already different in the way lives were led by different communities who believed in different values, customs and beliefs.
A maze of siloes exist to showcase the diversity of what life has to offer us to live, earn and play. You can inhabit certain worlds from time to time, so that you get to their grips to decide whether you would like to spend time there or not. For instance, it was possible for a rational person at the moment to choose what he or she wanted to do, based on the sole fact that the barriers to information were flat as long as one was conversant in a global language like English. Language had the typical network effects that led some of them to become larger than the others. Asian languages like Hindi and Mandarin had large domestic speakers and writers, yet when it came to content that depicted research and scientific objectivity, including the language of business and global media, English reigned supreme. While entertainment content had large domestic and regional audiences, the bulk of the ‘useful’ content that depended on human networks, seemed to be in English. A ubiquitous, instant translator that was able to be real-time in terms of understanding spoken words and translating them to a common medium would help greater numbers of people from across the world to become global in outlook, provided they wanted to.
The question of what needed to be done is one that has affected many. It is indeed difficult to forget the clutch of entropy and chaos that lay within, and needed to be quenched by conversation and other activities that caused a sense of flow in the human spirit to produce hope in massive quantities. A privileged socio-economic network did help. Yet, for as long as one’s choices dictated the ebb and flow of notions like responsibility and maturity, there didn’t seem to be any reason for doing much. Individuals have different ways to contribute to society and most of it cannot be measured or felt because we are too busy with our own welfare and immediate thoughts of our closest ones. To change one’s station in life, required a time to time calibration of choices, habits and decisions, which again seemed to stack up over days and months into years, restarting the loop all over again. To really zoom out, one could easily count the number of loops that one’s life had gone through. Yet, there are still more loops to go. In fact, we’ve probably already started the latest one without being aware of it. If we were, awesome. Yet, one loop or another can always serve to cause another, from time to time. Sometimes, it slips in unnoticed in various forms. Like a sudden illness. or a close one’s death. Anything could happen.
The human mind and body did serve to remind people about mortality from time to time. Intelligent life seemed to be a miracle, irrespective of the versions that were out there, with regards to its actual origins. Debates about alien visits, darwinian evolution or the all-seeing power, did not serve to do justice to the incredible complex, diverse ecosphere that had been there for humans to do the taking. Indeed, using certain powers of ours’, namely our ability to plan ahead for the future and fortuitous imagination, we had mastered the biological world and stamped our will on the rest of our animal brothers and sisters. Being one of them, yet having improved so rapidly over the hundreds of thousands of years (the agricultural revolution is only 10,000-12,000 years old), has primed us to possess animalistic characteristics, with a semblance of civilisation. This ability has manifested into our modern institutions, which while not always perfect, have at least been the stewards to a better sense of civilisation instead of anarchy or rule by the mobs. For large periods of the modern world, common sense has prevailed, although it was also not, in many instances. Yet, one should remember that common sense or not, is a matter of perspective. We may believe that we know many things, and do not many; yet there are also things we don’t know, we don’t know. They can arise unexpectedly.
The more we see, the less we know. Its okay.