So, as we start to close the book on another year, I want to offer you a thought that might change the way we think about our society and how “evolved” we think we are.
(HINT: We’re not that evolved at all)
I have written about “how we need to be kids again” in a previous post, but this time, I’m taking issue with our society (as a whole, think really big picture).
Society robs us of our most human traits, including the “child” within each of us.
Society “tells” us to act in certain ways, and while everything it “tells” us isn’t necessarily “bad,” if we listen to society too closely … we get robbed yet again.
Society defined for this article: All of the systems, institutions, media, and even some people who promote one (or a very limited) systematized, homogeneous, particular way of doing something for a number of human beings (in some cases, mindlessly promote).
These systems, institutions, media and people do not change their endless (and mindless) ways of promoting these ideas, even in the face of critical evidence, either “at all” or until a major revolution occurs.
In short, no critical thinking is allowed, nor are individuals who promote alternative viewpoints. The “system” (loosely defined) simply continues to operate.
This “society” is the one that robs us of the “child” inside each of us, aiming instead to produce some ill-defined productive “member of society.”
The “child” within each of us is that never ending curiosity, that creativity, that imagination which allows us to define the world we live in.
Society robs us of that.
Within society, there are concepts known as “real life,” “growing up,” and becoming a “productive member of society.”
Our education system (as a whole, with certain teachers as exceptions) tells us from age 4 (or so) to “sit and behave,” “be good little boys and girls,” and to do things the same way.
It was a system that flourished in an age that needed factory workers for factories, “good little boys and girls” to punch in, do your job, clock out and go home. Repeat the process, over and over again.
The rest of society makes us dependent on that “job,” so dependent that advancing technology that might replace those jobs freaks people out.
All of that “society” sterilizes the child right out of each and every one of us (with a few exceptions). That society teaches us to be “good at school,” good at taking tests and checking boxes, preparing us for life’s “factory.”
(NOTE: “factory” means different things depending on what time context you put it in)
Life goes on and on, we go to school, get a job, perhaps getting buried in debt under the illusion of “secondary education.” We might find someone to love, have a family, get a “good job” (that we hate), and wash, rinse, repeat.
Society’s “machine” just keeps churning out product (that’s you, me, and our children).
“It’s not safe.” Society says. “There’s a new war.” Society says. “Sit and behave.”Society says.
Society says a lot of things…
- “The new i-Phone 6 came out.”
- “You could win the lottery.”
- “Eat these enormous portions.”
- “Take your pills.”
- “Don’t spank your children.”
- “It’s okay to spank your children.”
- “Get back on the couch and watch our ads!”
- “Get in line.”
- And on, and on … the list is almost endless.
Society is taking the “child” right out of our children.
Once we amass enough “experience,” enough wisdom, enough of societal influence … the homogenization is complete. We lose that “child” in us, and few are lucky to ever find it again (usually through some traumatic life experience).
Now, don’t get me wrong, I don’t think we can all run around aimlessly … without focusing our inner child in some fashions. But I don’t think the current version of society is helping us any longer.
It’s outdated, it’s slow, and it’s too rigid, too inflexible.
It doesn’t allow our best traits as humans to shine through (enough), and it suppresses our desires. It uses fear to herd us like life’s cattle towards a completely imaginary barn.
It dictates how we should live. It treats us like sheep.
And we’re better than that, don’t you think?
We’re more intelligent, more connected (although we need to work on the depth of that connection), and have more tools and resources at our fingertips now than at any time in our history.
But that’s not good enough.
We need to become kids again, and we need to quit taking the “child” out of our children.
We need to explore more, become more curious, and think more critically.
We need to get our heads out of our gadgets, learn how to connect with each other on a deeper level (digital connection is superficial at best), and quit defining our lives in a binary way.
We need to think for ourselves, learn how to write better again, and quit thinking there is only one right way to do anything.
In short, we need to evolve as humans.
We only have one short experiment to conduct (civilization), and our children are our best shot at success in that experiment.
Let’s quit robbing them of that chance at success.