“They Are Who We Are”
July 02, 2015
We know that if anything is able to be done by means of a conscious choice to do it, that that thing requires human agency for it to be done by. Even concerning work and works done via IE and robotics, a conscious human choice, perhaps and merely at the very least, at the initiation of the process towards their completion has to have been enacted by human agency.
And so, given this as a fact, the human will to enact, which is human will in action, has to be present at the start and maybe throughout the implementation of things planned to be made and done by us.
Because an item able to be created by human will does not appear to exist is no basis for concluding that it has not (yet) been willed to exist and consequently set in motion. People might have no means, no tools adequate to the job; or else the job has miscarried and aborted or else dissipated away. These failures being possible, likely even (most start-up businesses fail within a year or two) leads necessarily to the conclusion that one is unable firmly and absolutely to sift all of what has been tried and failed from what has not (yet) been attempted by humans.
This in turn leads to a conclusion that one is not always easily able to label humans as having been remiss in not providing or building or creation something which appears to be universally desirable for humankind and also reasonably within the limitations of present possibilities, empirical or otherwise.
Yet when one has a situation wherein a number of humans have enjoyed the fruits of such an item which is of universal good use and benefit to humans in general; and yet remains a number of humans who have not (yet) enjoyed the same fruits, one might conclude that, yes, this particular project has been willed and chosen and acted upon by humans and succeeded - in part; but that its fullest success has not been accomplished because not all those of us who might enjoy and benefit from its fruits have been able to attain that benefit for ourselves.
Such universal items of benefit to humans include
Security of the above
And other general benefits to humans like:
Respect from others
An amount of Leisure
Now none of these items listed are more than what humans in developed nations have and enjoy (and to too much an extent perhaps take for granted?)
Are we to conclude that we have attained these things for ourselves in the developed nations, but that we do not know how we attained them; and that neither do we know how we maintain these things for ourselves? For this explanation seems to be the only adequate one which is able to remove a charge that certain humans among us have been and remain remiss in not showing and willing and putting in action programmes which provide these universal and general benefits to that number of humans who do not (yet) have them?
To return to the logic at the beginning of this article: it has been willed and acted upon by humans that some humans shall enjoy these things. It has been accepted (and general citizenries have at least acquiesced in a decided acceptance) that those humans who do not (yet) enjoy these good things need not be shown by us, willed, encouraged to and helped to set in motion by us, programmes which might provide those benefits to them.
The big bogey which I believe inhibits us from helping the rest of us is a fear of scarcity. That there is ‘not enough to go round’; and that consequently ‘we have what we hold’; all of which beliefs and thinking lead to expressions like: ‘that’s how it is’; ‘a law of nature’; ‘a shame but us surrendering our goodies will do them no good’; which leads in the end to insularity and insularity leads to unfeeling and unfeeling leads to dehumanisation, in the minds of those humans who are unfeeling, and in the lives of those humans without good things.
The big hook that prevents us from being willing to distribute the good things around the world to all, I believe is comfortableness. Happiness is something very different. The sense of plenty, the perception of security this sense of plenty emanates, a sense that there will always be means to live, often with an understanding there will always means to live reasonably well, no matter whether a rich or a poor person in these richer nations: no one it is understood starves. Comfort on such a scale over such a duration as I have seen in my lifetime undeniably engenders neglect, negligence and – what can I say? – thoughtlessness?
Hence in the developed nations the popular imaginations horizons and outlooks are undeniably insular; and cannot, do not range so far as to imaginatively envisage and get into, say, the shoes (no shoes!) of a Republic of Congo rare earth miner; whose labour enables the cellphones our half of the world half relies on half toys with daily.
I have seen friends of mine who have been educated to degree level take a business trip to sub-Saharan Africa where they have been utterly astonished at the lack of what they understood before they arrived there to be their inalienable birthrights back on their own turfs.
Like Thomas and his hand in the side of Christ’s wounds (in fact Thomas did not take up Christ’s offer, but believed entirely without placing his hand in Christ’s side) unless many Western humans get to see for themselves what it is like to live hand to mouth day to day all one’s life as people live generally in poor parts of the world – no TV, no Mains Water, Electricity, Gas, no fuels, no filling stations, no automobiles, no domestic appliances, no washing detergents, nothing more than one room in which a family lives, and so forth – unless it is seen and experience; lived; it remains impossible as a psychological fact to them.
We are doing ourselves no favours by shutting the door on these others of us who have and enjoy no goodies. We are very much overburdened with our wealth and plenty – even in these times of ‘austerity’ most of us by far remain well-situated, well-assured in comparable terms with much, (most?) of the world.
Our plenty has engendered so many social ills and so much ennui of spirit; indeed like sheep we have gone astray so that we just too often do not know what is best for ourselves – we have no answers to our social and personal maladies. Like Alice maybe we should take up the invitation to live, and live in abundance; best accomplished by ‘joining the dance’ of charitableness and grace?
‘There is another shore, you know, upon the other side.
The further off from England the nearer is to France --
Then turn not pale, beloved snail, but come and join the dance.
Will you, won't you, will you, won't you, will you join the dance?
Will you, won't you, will you, won't you, won't you join the dance?’
From: ‘The Mock Turtle’s Song’ in ‘Alice in Wonderland’
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