Throughout our lives we are presented with many opportunities and many hardships. Somewhere after about seven years old most of us begin a lifelong process of introducing complexity to the way we see things. I think this is mistakenly referred to as “growing up.” (It actually has little or nothing to do with growth. It has more to do with loss.) It may all be part of a master social plan, something originally hatched by one gothic church or other to make people feel vulnerable and beholden to a larger power beyond their personal control. If five year old kids were questioned about the same issues and asked what they should do I think they would offer some fairly practical answers. Naive perhaps, but isn’t that a close relative of innocence, and isn’t that a sister or brother to purity? All I’m saying is a lot of the time they would probably be making some pretty good calls.
We don’t have to look back very far to see when we were no longer deemed capable of solving our own life problems. We needed professionals. I think it really gained traction in the past fifty years. Prior to this most people went about their daily lives with the basic attitude that if they worked hard, kept their noses clean, raised the kids as best they could, somehow at the end of the day all would be well. (And if those damn kids didn’t turn out okay, it wasn’t the parents fault. The kids just got plain stupid all on their own.) Maybe a couple of world wars had taught people to be wary of governments (their own and others) and not to put too much stock in what some expert had to say on anything, since it was these same authorities that got them into two world wars (and a whole bunch of other fights since.)
Then lo and behold the 1960s arrived and all known order seemed unsettlingly close to being tossed. Chaos was imminent. (Love was free. I kind of enjoyed that part. Like wow man.) So the powers that be got nervous and began their self perpetuating mantra, “You need us. We are here to help.” What this actually translates to is, “You can’t go it alone. You’re too dumb.” Things were too darn complicated for the Average Joe (or Mary) to figure out. We could no longer run our own affairs. We’d all be better off letting them, the politicians, doctors, professors, psychologists and bureaucrats take charge of our daily lives. Hopefully they’d all help keep the herd peacefully grazing. It was one of the biggest sales pitches in human history. (Well I guess there’s been a couple of other whoppers but this was right up there high on the flag pole.) The Age of The Expert was upon us. (I guess human history has proven people need their shamans.)
Lately I’ve been thinking about this whole shebang. (That should be apparent or I wouldn’t be writing this pearl of wisdom or lunacy. Figure it out for yourself, or go ask an expert) When I sit down and look at it all, from global climate change to political and social upheavals, and eliminate the tsunami of professional media chatter from community leaders, religious pulpits, institutions of learning, scientists et al, the straight truth of the matter is that just about everything going wrong around us is quite readily understandable, simple actually, kid simple. We break stuff that we can’t seem to fix, and then we try to conceal it. (This is called lying.) We’ve grown so comfortable with this we no longer even need an audience. We lie quite readily to ourselves. (This is called foolish.)
For some reason or other it’s no longer easy for us to follow the straight and true path. It actually often requires us to acknowledge we may have been wrong some of the time. (Ouch! Now that makes me squeamish.)
Seeing the right thing to do has always been simple, it’s just that doing it has never been easy.
I wonder why that is?