We've been deceived by the war-profiteers, politicians, school administrators and the media
Numerous ancient texts and stories passed down from cultures all around the world speak of a "Golden Age;" or a time in the distant past, when people lived in peace and harmony with one another and nature. An era without poverty, wars, hatred, hard work, fear, sorrow, and stress-related diseases. In fact, there are so many references to these blissful times, that it's virtually impossible to find a civilization that does not have many of these tales in their recorded history.
I know, I know... those hundreds of references, found the world over, are constantly dismissed by academics as mere myths or allegories by rulers or spiritual leaders to give their followers hope in time of despair. But I find such a dismissal completely unacceptable. Humans, historically, have recorded more fact than fiction for posterity; and even the most fantastical legends, are repeatedly proven to be based on actual events. Anyone who follows discoveries in archeology, anthropology, physics, mathematics and so on, knows what I'm talking about.
So how did we arrive at this point in time where it seems that everyone is at each other's throats? Hatred and conflict over religion, politics, ethnicity, economics -- even among the sexes! What the hell's going on?
While this may be a complicated issue from the standpoint of a sociologist or psychologist; I don't see it as very complex at all.
Humans are peaceful animals by nature. What?! Yes, we're not born to fight; we're born to love. Not only do we have a great capacity to love (like many other animals); but we have a need to be loved. And when we are deprived of love, we do all sorts of things to fill that void.
Now I'm not talking about romantic love alone here -- though that is very important. Obviously, as sexual beings there is a need for pro-creating, protecting and parenting the offspring. But beyond the biological need, there is a social need to be part of a community -- like a pack of wolves or herd of sheep -- we are social animals.
Similarly, when we are deprived of food, water and shelter; or forced to labor endlessly to maintain these things, this also messes with our psyche. Combine the lack of love and wage-slavery and you have a recipe for hate and war.
Some historians may point to wars being borne out of the creation of cities -- over-population and the subsequent scarcity of resources -- and to a certain extent, that is true; however, there were/are always solutions to these problems, it's just a matter of the people in charge doing something about them.
And that brings us to the crux of the matter. Believe it or not, we have a culture of violence that is nurtured by those who profit on violence: the weapons manufacturers, military contractors and war profiteers; and, of course, the media and politicians that benefit from the revenue and campaign contributions, respectively.
And it is that simple. If people were not struggling to survive, if they had the time and peace of mind to focus on loving and being loved, then there would be very little violence in the world -- save for the occasional mentally ill person who commits a random act.
Peace is easy; and in most cases, peace is free. All it requires is re-directing our social and political institutions away from war and hate to improving the lives of individual people; instead of rewarding corporations and politicians that price-gouge and legislate to control every aspect of our lives.
Plain and simple, we need to let go of the anger and the blame and the scapegoating. We have to stop allowing ourselves to be polarized by politicians, so they can "divide and conquer" us. We need to tune out of the nightly news and stop reading the papers and blogs that propagate divisive stories or perpetuate the cult of personality of celebrities, billionaires and politicians. We need to smile and say hello to our neighbors, the people we sit next to, work with and encounter during our daily activities.
At first people may look at you as if you're a little crazy, but you'll be surprised how much we all need a simple smile or hello. And I'll tell you right now, what we all need the most is a real good hug!
Most of the gadgets and technology of the 21st Century are great, but we have to stop living our lives just to accumulate more things, and constantly have the latest this or that. We're too immersed in our devices, and this whole Virtual Reality thing is taking things a bit too far. But, if you have to, try it in moderation -- everything in moderation, as they say.
I believe that once you begin to gradually detach yourself from the warmongers and hate mongers, and become less tethered to machines and equipment, you'll find feelings of love and caring start to emerge.
It doesn't matter who the political leader is, really. Sure they can do some harm, and EVERY one of them in recent (and past) history has; but they can't eat you! They can't stop you from being kind. They can't stop you from loving. They can make it hard for you; but we humans are resourceful; and we've survived all kinds of things for thousands and thousands of years.
Change for the better starts with you and me. Let's share the love, and who knows, maybe it will produce a groundswell that will bring on the next "Golden Age."
If you like this sort of thing, read my latest book, My Life is a Surrealistic Nightmare, on Amazon in paperback and also available on the iBook store and in rough form on Kindle.