Sunday, September 4, 2011

Keep at it

I have written a few times about motivation (here) and individual action from various perspectives. In the end, it is up to us to change our lives, and be guided by a new morality. Personal efforts guided by a motivation to to open, honest, accepting, and in the end radically paradigm shifting is essential, but personal action without the goal of broader social implications can be selfish. And  The goal is social change, and it will not come easy. 

Trying to consider the impacts of your individual choices, and of the collective choices of society does not make for leisure time. When living, we can't let our brains go into standby mode. We can't be awake and process only some things. In that case, we aren't fully aware, conscious, and present. And while it takes at least some effort to pay attention to trends, to fashion, to what a materialistic world, this is not the consciousness I am talking about. Rather, this is the state of being that the moneymakers would want you to have - not fully asleep so as it miss their cues, but not fully conscious so as to question their motives.

Being observant and conscious can be consuming, and I mean that in the least materialistic way possible. What I mean is that as soon as you start questioning something, you start questioning another thing, and another thing, and soon enough, you realise that this culture, this society is one that is founded upon "out of sight, out of mind." We shun people, we cut them off, and this allows us to degrade their localities, which means we degrade all of our localities. It doesn't take long to realise that these systems are so ingrained, that as an individual, we think that our efforts are not worth it, that "human nature" is human nature, that greed is fundamentally human. It's a reason why many people just give up.

Over dinner the other night, Crystal asked Professor Larimore, "How do you deal with things not changing? How do you stay motivated?" Professor Larimore replied, "You just never know when something will happen. It's like an earthquake. Over time, the pressure builds, slowly but surely, and then one day, there is the release."

You just never know when something big will happen. Sometimes, it takes a split second. The world can change, or at least, parts of it can. Who knew lasting dictatorships in the Middle East, eras that lasted half a century, would crumble in a matter of weeks? Movements can go from being dormant, to all of a sudden being catalytic and inspiring. But it is important to realise that such massive changes are few and far between. What about our daily lives then? How do we spend time in between these moments? Constantly working toward a change is essential. So her, a woman of seventy years, message is, keep at it. While this may sound cliche, I don't think it is said often enough.

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