I haven’t written in quite a while now. There’s been a lot going on in my life that I’ve been focusing all my attention on. As well, I was probably a bit disappointed by the lack of response to my previous post. I should definitely have expected as much, but I was a bit bummed out. Regardless, I am back today. I intend to recommit myself to writing this blog, but my focus has shifted somewhat. My previous posts were all broad generalities about different worlds, where we live, and so on. That is a wonderful discourse, but I’ll leave it to Charles Eisenstein. That’s not generally where my mind is on the day-to-day. I think much more about the specifics. There are very specific things going on in the world that weigh on my consciousness. As well there are many things that are not going on in the world that I would love to see. To that end, allow me to re-introduce myself.
Many, if not all of you, know me already. As such, you likely know of me as being idealistic-a dreamer. This is true. I’ve spent much of my life with my head in the clouds dreaming up the perfect world. Many of you probably feel like I’m wasting my time and energy dreaming up a better world because that isn’t the world we all live in. But it’s not a waste. It’s among the most productive things I’ve ever done with my life, because without dreaming up a better world we can never hope to create it. And I know we can create it if we work together. I have a vision that I will spend my entire life working to make a reality. So here is my vision.
My ideal world is based on a few simple principles- they’re the very same principles that our country was founded upon: Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness. These are the inalienable rights of every living being- no matter who they are. The world I dream of is the same world that we all dream of, but what does that look like? What are the defining principles?
Freedom: First and foremost, people are meant to be free. People ought to be able to think what they want, say what they want, and do what they want. Nobody should ever have their freedom to choose taken away from them. A world where everyone is free would be beautiful indeed. Freedom is an extremely simple concept, actually. I felt like explaining this, but I honestly don’t know what else to say. The ideal of freedom is something we’re all intimately familiar with and all agree with (as far as I know). It’s not the ideal of freedom we disagree upon, but the reality of how to get there- I’ll get to that later.
Pursuit of Happiness: An integral aspect of freedom is the freedom to pursue one’s happiness. People ought to be able to do whatever it is that they are passionate about. Whether you love airplanes, medicine, computers, farming, spray painting, BMX biking, reading, watching movies, or whatever; you should be able to devote your life to that. Again, simple concept. I think we can all agree here too.
Compassion: The ideal world would be one based upon compassion and empathy. It’s an integral aspect of human nature to be able to empathize with other life forms. This is something that is generally only recognized within family and friendships, it’s hardly ever an aspect of political discourse- but it should be. In fact, it should be absolutely protected and maintained by the social structures in which we live. Compassion is a birthright, and part of freedom is that those integral aspects of ourselves should be protected. Now I’m entering new territory. The principle of a society based on compassion is perhaps a new idea. However, the previous two principles will crumble and fall apart over time without compassion protected and intact- in fact we’ve seen in happen in most every society humans have created since Mesopotamia.
The inherent worth and dignity of all life: Humans are not the only beings living on this planet, but they are the most powerful. This power we have does not give us the right to dispassionately destroy forests, pollute endlessly, or take the lives of other beings in our own hands. Of course a man’s got to eat, but the amount that humanity has interfered in the lives of other beings is unacceptable. Perhaps this has been the cost of progress, but an ideal Earth would be just that- ideal. Ideal for everyone, not just a select few. In terms of the Earth’s population, humans are the few. As the beings who have the most direct control over other beings, we have a complete responsibility to care for them and be stewards of the planet. An ideal society would recognize that.
Life: All beings have a right to life- continued life. The fight for survival is undeniable, but as a species- we’ve won. Human technology and understanding has long-ago overcome the need to fight for survival. We have more than enough food for everyone on this planet- reliably even. We’re quite past the point where everyone ought to prove their worth to survive in the world. With the abundance of food on this planet, we all ought to have free access to it! An ideal world wouldn’t be one where people have to work their hands to the bone to earn enough money for food. An ideal world would be one where people can trust they have enough to eat no matter what. The same goes for shelter as well. Human technology is so great that providing food and shelter for everyone wouldn’t even be that hard. We could provide food and shelter to everyone with just what we have were we to agree that this is important and reorganize our social systems to accommodate this.
Nature: Humans should have ready access to natural beauty. It’s the environment that the vast majority of our ancestors had ready access to. Humans evolved in nature- that place is our home. We may have moved on to a technocratic society, but that doesn’t mean we should be completely separate from the natural beauty that dominates this planet. Contact with nature is essential for human health and so many people haven’t so much as seen a forest in their life. An ideal world would provide everyone access to nature- whether that means access to forest preserves, or integrating natural aspects into our towns and cities, or both. People thrive in nature, so that’s where we ought to be.
No doubt my ideal world looks a bit different than yours. Likely many of the things I’ve said seem impossible to you. The constant stream of “But we can’t because….” is never ending. And I’d like to have that conversation. There are many obstacles to overcome to make an ideal world like this a reality, but if we don’t know where we want to be, we’ll never get there. A society without a vision of the future is a society dead in it’s tracks. This is my vision of the future, and I think it’s a world we would all enjoy to live in. If you take issue with any of it, feel free to let me know, I’d love to hear it. Please keep the conversation in head-in-the clouds dreamworld for now though. We can talk about the many obstacles keeping us from the ideal in due time. But let’s first agree on what the ideal is.
Until next time. Thanks for reading.