If you aren’t satisfied with the status quo, and you discuss these feelings with people on a regular basis, then surely at one time or another you been told things like “stop being so negative,” or “can’t you just focus on the more positive things in life?”
We can all probably think back on way too many of those frustrating moments where our peers have expected us to share in their blissful evasion of reality. Unfortunately, the longer that we ignore the problems that face our species and leave them for someone else to deal with, the worse our predicament becomes. At first glimpse these issues may seem overwhelming and insurmountable; but simply knowing that they exist is the first step towards freeing your mind and creating a better world for all of us to live in.
If you had a debilitating illness that could be cured, wouldn’t you want to get a diagnosis and immediately start doing what was needed in order to begin healing yourself? Or would you rather do nothing and ignore the disease because it was “negative”? Sadly we have been led to believe that ignorance is bliss, while it is actually the reason for the majority of the suffering that has taken place throughout history.
If we are not fully aware of what is going on then there is no way that we can possibly improve the quality of life on this Earth. Everyone wants to be positive, and it is definitely understandable for someone to put off things that may be difficult, sad or painful. However, this is no excuse to ignore legitimate problems that need to be fixed, and it is certainly no reason to allow crimes to be committed before our very eyes.
Every generation that has come before us has been absolutely petrified of standing up to challenge the status quo. For centuries the buck has been passed down the line, and our species has continued to ride this roller coaster of confusion and oppression. In so many ways we have come so far and learned so much. Our civilization once openly accepted slavery, racism, war and authoritarianism as simple facts of life; now we are finally beginning to shed some of these neuroses and have started to consider the fact that maybe there is a better way.
While this all sounds very good, we still have a very long way to go because we are really only beginning to discover these concepts — we are far from understanding them and even farther from putting them into practice.
One of the main things preventing us from actually achieving peace and freedom is the simple fact that so many people who realize that the status quo is insane are too afraid to speak out because they are worried about what their parents, friends, or even what total strangers will think of them.
Deep down most people aren’t pleased with the state of our civilization, but since it is socially unacceptable to question it, everyone goes on thinking that they are alone, weak and powerless. Most self-respecting people can’t go on feeling like that, so they rationalize what’s going on around them, telling themselves it is the only world that’s possible, and then proceed to ridicule anyone who challenges their unconsciously created facade. This is why many people go on putting up with circumstances that they find to be intolerable: they are afraid of being alienated from their peers.
Don’t be discouraged by people who can’t handle reality. Remember that most of them are just afraid and aren’t ready to come to terms with the truth yet. Just like a battered child who cries when being taken away from the “safety” of their abusive parents, we also feel comfort in unacceptable situations simply because we are familiar with them. Much like the child, we need to break free from the familiar confines of our abuse and oppression.
Interestingly enough, this situation is so common that the condition is actually classified medically as “Stockholm syndrome.” Stockholm syndrome is typically used to describe hostages who develop positive feelings for their kidnapper because they are dependent upon them for sustenance. When we apply this concept to the macrocosm of our civilization we find that people living under a system of authoritarianism exhibit these exact same characteristics. Of course this idea is one of many that can be traced all the way back to ancient times. Written in ancient Greece, the allegory of the cave from Plato’s Republic depicted this exact social phenomena.
There is nothing positive about running away from freedom and putting off peace. The most positive thing that anyone can do is to learn as much as they can about how to fix the most negative things that are going on the world. Anyone that tells you otherwise is actively working to keep the world in the dismal state that it is in, whether they realize it or not. Sheltering ourselves from the harshness of our reality will only foster a more toxic and oppressive world for our children to grow up in.
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