Some Preliminary Thoughts on our Collective Direction...

What would happen if we all played with yo-yos, all at the same time. For those out in the sticks, like me, it might not be that big of a deal. So what if we all played with yo-yos at the same time? There’s generally enough room for us all to move over and around so that there’s enough room for the practice, and if we practice a little consideration and keep an eye on others practices, we each might learn a bit from it all to improve our play, coordination and pick up a few new tricks…
Oh, but then what would happen in the urban areas? How would everyone in the most crowded areas of Kinshasa, Jakarta, New York, or Mexico City rock the yos? How could they, in the midst of so many others trying to go about their own business and yo-yo at the same time, do anything besides get all tangled up and ruin their strings? It gets much more difficult as people tire of flinging their yos down, only to struggle in order to get them to ascend, over and over again. A time progresses, people who still have their yo-yos and strings intact begin to fling and throw more wildly, hitting others in the face, the eye, and wherever, and still more yos get tangled as some get enraged with others for their cavalier attitudes and flippant, self-centered tricks.
The sociology is different depending on the situation and activity, and sometimes the intensity with which we might pursue it. My example isn’t perfect, but the principle is simple: we are all here doing the same thing at the same time. The only thing that changes is the narrative behind our actions, and therefore, the methods used and intensity used.
Everyone depends on narrative to create and describe meaning. Our lives are imbued by narrative from the beginning- babies observe to patch together their own story of family and circumstance until language facilitates a cohesion of the whole into a sort of self-description. I am ‘me’ and I belong to this family/tribe who lives here and does ‘this’ every day. The story changes according to all kinds of variables, tragedies and circumstances, but that’s the basis for who we become as individuals. Narrative.
There are innumerable ways to live a life and the same number of philosophies underlying those ways. But when one breaks it all down, the infinite narrows down to only a few: living for one’s self or living for others, and the various combinations of those two ways. This is where things can go crazysauce (in varying amounts, of course) awful quickly if circumstances aren’t monitored for appropriateness, stability, and individual fulfillment at some level, even if it is only done by the informed individual themselves.
But why is that? Lord knows if we don’t have some sort of oversight as we grow up, all hell can break loose right quickly in many ways. That doesn’t change as we become adults. While the locus of control and monitoring largely changes from external to internal as we mature (hopefully!), we still need help in creating good value for ourselves, as well as those we find ourselves in positions of responsibility for, those around us, and finally and in many ways most importantly, for those who will follow us in the near and far future, both directly as decedents and all others. That’s where we are really fracking up, these days…
Our society is currently based on a limited view of the universe. Me. As social media, old media, new money and old money have coalesced into new viewpoints of fame, fortune, and usability, religion and politics have done much the same. The self is the most important net marketing point, so the ‘me’ is the new sacred center. Live your dreams, find your bliss, break the glass ceiling, make more money and get your due! Environmental concerns float around like space debris and short-lived comets, but the self remains the center of the universe at the expense of family, community, state, culture, spirituality, and well, pretty much everything else, too. Nothing can compare to the happiness of the toned, spritzed, polished, and well-lit and photographed self in our little media-centric world, appetite-driven, product-delivered world.
But what at what dire price? Unless one is willing to market and shove one’s self craftily down the collective throat, one will be forgotten and passed over for the flashy extroverted self-promoters, and with that pass-over, the world’s perception and indeed the image and build of the institution, place, or ideology represented by the self promoter will come to closely resemble the self-promoter or media spokesperson most craftily presented. Not always a bad thing, but when that final product is shortsightedly created to build up an individual or group with short sighted goals of pleasure or individual security in place of long-range, multi-generationally maintained progress, the result is obvious in such light.
This is not the light cast or presented very often- it creates work, demands some sacrifice of immediate gratification, and puts off ‘progress’ until it makes sense in a scale much longer than what most YouTubers and Facebookers can stomach while desperately manufacturing consent for their build and buzz. Long-range and non-self centric actions are quiet and lack the kind of glitz favored by DonTrump and BeyoncĂ©, by Lady Gaga or any other shiny blinger looking to dream their dreams and reflect a narcissistic societies’ collective booty-dance right back in their open-mouth faces. Long range acters are not academy award actors, they seldom are remembered by any besides their loving families whose lives were enabled by their less selfish dreams and hopes and visions…

Comments

dr. greg said…
Very well said. Also, very well timed in my life and day. For this morning, prior to my drinking your finely crafted fellowship inspired brew, I was partaking of a related story brew of my own, which had until this morning discordant elements. The brew and its resolve was this: I have a Factory Ship and a Pearl Ship (I shall now explain the forgoing in a bit of a story): You will recall that years ago you introduced me to Elvis C's poetry about pearl diving. For years it has flavored my thoughts and urges. It resonated because the metaphor of Ships and Ship Building (ala Nephi) has long (for 30+ years) been core in my life's narrative. Elvis sings of Ship Building as a sad energy sapping activity ("with all the will in the world") that fathers, sons, daughters and mothers must 'soon' do by the rumored demands of the matrix (that snarl of which your words eloquently tapped into in your post)...be it a coat and shoes or birthday presents....(the sacrifice for marketplace "goods" when there are "betters" we forego) Elvis sings of the prison worthy pittance that Ship Building delivers in relation to the risky but opulent returns of Diving for Pearls (me thinks of that which moth and rust and MTV bootie doth not corrupt). So the long-standing discord in my story brew (a brew that I have just muddled my way through again and again until today, like the singing and appropriating of the wrong lyrics to a song that is nonetheless inspiring despite its misread) was born of the fact that "Ship" for me has been the symbol equivalent to Diving For Pearls. Without further ado, here is the resolve (the ending of the discord) of my brew (this is pasted from my Journal entry this morning detailing a resolve I have made to my wife and self to bring more energy to my "for-pay" work in the near future): ..... " ...we arrived at the resolve for me to put much less energy in my side project (now known as the Pearl Ship) and more energy in the front project (now knowing as the Factory Ship). Long story short, I now understand that I am building two ships (and that for me the ship that Elvis is herewith singing about is the Factory Ship). The Factory Ship is the one in the factory, where they have a clock, where I punch the clock, and in return I get green bills that have currency at Walmart. The Pearl Ship is the one I am building on the beach...the one that I take out as often as possible in search of pearls. Guess which one I am standing on the deck of this very minute? Well. Thanks for having your little bay full of clams (ala "handcobbled claptrap from [my] favorite rural observer"), your pearls you cast before swine and a few pearl divers. Know this my friend, the Elvis pearl you gave me years ago has multiplied and is now shining clearer than ever. I will drink to that. I am adding the Adam pearls to my collection now. Keep on brewing. (Now back to the factory I go...I think :).