In an essence: the more I’ve learned, the more helpless I’ve become.
It seems as though everything that’s happening in this world is just unsurmountable; a ripple effect of things that have been snowballing from a time when I didn’t exist. I’m not feeling sorry for myself when I say this, because fortunately for me, I live in a country where I can exercise my rights to a higher extent than a majority of the world. Whether I’m using my rights to it’s highest potential is another question.
Awareness. I lack the awareness to fully exercise all of my rights, because not only have I not taken the initiative to look into my rights, study them, and exercise them; I’ve also never had them taught to me explicitly throughout my youth. Though that may be a rooted issue in our education system, something that which hopefully will change with time, there is no excuse for me, with the internet today to be proactive and due diligent about these rights.
Awareness. Keeping a constant awareness on world issues, has of course made me more aware of the world I live in, but also more helpless at the fact that I may not be able to do anything about it. And it’s frustrating. It really is. I don’t even know where to begin. There’s environmental issues, political issues, poverty, controversial food management and distribution, animal cruelty, ‘Big Pharma’ controversies, bacterial drug resistance, etc. I could keep going, but nothing changes the fact that all or at least many of these are extremely interconnected. And with a problem so intertwined, with so many factors to consider, it almost seems like it requires an equivalently complex solution.
And that’s where the helplessness kicks in. I thought that if I educated myself more on the issues, that I’d be able to understand what would be the required solution to fix things. To visualize the problems we have on Earth today I’d compare it to a cheap leaky hose we used to have at our house. It starts off with just one tear and all of a sudden the pressure you had from the hose becomes slightly less, not enough to significantly be a problem. So you ignore it. Then over time, more tears happen. So you try to quick fix the solution by taping up the leaks and trying to close them somehow, but the problem isn’t the leak, it’s the foundation of the hose itself. The material used to make the hose was not an effective material and by me trying to patch the smaller problems up I wasn’t fixing the bigger issue. Yes that example was over simplified, but none the less I tried to simplify the problems of our world by seeing it that way. Us doing patch work for poverty with non-for-profit organizations and monetary aid does not solve the root cause of poverty. And the root cause is not a cause by one factor, there are too many overwhelming factors to consider, and with it there have been patch works to fix this issue that have also become an additional factor to the problem.
So what do we do? How can we help? To be honest, I’m still learning. I can’t say I know everything there is to know about this world, and it’s issues, and all the factors contributing to the problems to truly figure out an answer here. But finding a solution becomes more of a dream and less of a reality as I further myself in learning.
Ignorance is bliss. I find myself yet in another place in my life where I’ve chosen to face the truth and in doing so, can’t turn back from it now. I feel as though I must act, I want to act, but don’t know where to begin. It’s like solving a 10,000 piece puzzle. you’ll solve chunks of it at a time, and start putting it together ever so slowly, sometimes you find a piece that has no place for what you’ve solved yet, and have to keep it aside. “It’s a problem of the future” you’d say. Or you’ll find a solution to something that may require many prerequisites that need to be met before it can be implemented.
I can’t even say for sure if the puzzle analogy is even a good one, because in a sense that’s almost too simple. A puzzle at the end of the day already comes with the required pieces needed to complete it. All the answers are there, they just need to be put together to see the picture. World issues aren’t that simple. Some of the problems have been identified, but not all. And therefore, because of the unknown problems there are just patch-work solutions solving a smaller picture rather than the bigger one. It seems logical that starting small towards the bigger problem would help in theory. Similar to the way you’d work your way up the career ladder. You start at a small entry level position, and as you move up the complexities of the job increase.
George Orwell’s 1984 was a revolutionary book for me, not only because it shed light to a very dark truth of our future, but because he managed to see the root cause from so long ago. We can’t tackle this problem from a bottom-up stance. It needs to be tackled from the Top. Big Brother needs to step in and make better decisions in order for change to trickle down. It’s clearly a systemic institutionalized issue. But unfortunately, the solution to this issue isn’t as clear.
Michel Foucault paints a vivid visualization with the concept of this systemic institutionalized issue with Panopticon.
Essentially what this image tries to convey is societies have become self regulated because they always feel as though they are being watched. And that idea in itself has created a power that becomes hard to control. In this image, there is a tower that is able to over look the entire prison. No one has to be in that tower, but the idea that someone may be, and they could risk further punishment by not complying creates a society in the prison that self regulates.
I’m hoping by learning more and understanding more, this frustration and helplessness I have evades me. I truly want there to be a solution to this. If such a power can be created by us, then it can also be destroyed by us… right?