Do we dare to ask?
Another year, another decade, is about to end. Actually meaningless if you think about it. The concept of linear time is a human invention after all, nothing more than a crutch for the human brain to measure the time he has spent on earth. Yet when years end, many people start reflecting about their lives, questioning certain things, asking questions that their daily routine prevented them to ask and connecting to their inner voices that have been silenced by their busy daily lives. A lot of questions occupied our minds in the past months.
When you travel through the world for as long as we have by now, you experience and see a many great things that our beautiful planet called earth has to offer. Most of those things are free and don´t cost a penny, except getting there. Climbing a mountain, watching birds bath in the morning sun, pitching your tent in the middle of nowhere and looking at the stars, cooking potatoes in a bonfire, looking at the endless horizon across the ocean and listening to the waves breaking on the shore… What do those examples have in common? Right, they are all experiences in nature. So why is it that being in nature has such a calming and grounding effect on human beings? Is it maybe because we are a product of nature, that we are ever connected with nature…that we are nature?? But when you open your eyes while wandering across this magnificent planet, you can hardly overlook the social and environmental evils that we are committing against nature, other creatures, but also against ourselves, nonstop. Congested cities with hazardous air quality, garbage unconsciously being tossed out of busses and trains, plastic bottles and wrappings decorating hiking paths, cripples and children begging for money, thoughtless and impulsive consumption of food, clothes and more and more things…the list goes on and on. So the question that begs to be asked is: Why are we ruining our planet with our destructive, greedy and selfish behavior? Is it maybe because we, homo sapiens, the wise humans, as we like to call ourselves, are ever more disconnected from nature and its inherent laws? Is it because we like to see ourselves as the Crown of Creation, as modern religions have made us believe in the past 2000 years and we therefore feel like we are better, if not detached, from all the other creatures that evolution has created? We are the only living beings with a conscious, so why do we seem to have lost our consciousness like our behavior suggests? Many questions arise when you open your eyes to the world around you. This is a collection of just a few.
In what kind of world do we want to live? How do we make use of our continuous technological advancements and accomplishments? Are we letting ourselves be taken and our lives be dictated by technology or are we using the great opportunities that technology offers as a means to transform our lives, our society, our planet for the better? When are we standing up together, rethink our habits, have discussions about what kind of world we want to live in, talk about values, think about our own life vision and a vision for our society, or even the whole planet? Are we brave enough to step out of our comfort zone? Are we curious enough to cut ourselves loose from our safety cocoon? Are we ready to take risks again? Or are we surrendering ourselves to our self-constructed fears whipped up by society and take the path of least resistance? Are we seeing ourselves as passive victims or as proactive designers of a world that is probably just at the beginning of the most radical paradigm change of human history? When confronted with change are we seeing all the possible risks or are we thrilled by all the opportunities? When do we free ourselves from our deadlocked definition of freedom, which we vehemently defend as soon as we see ourselves pushed to the borders of our personal comfort zone and start realizing that in its defense we are not just making ourselves increasingly dependent on outside factors and hide in our bubble of homogeneity and stagnation where nothing ever changes, but we are also ducking away from global responsibility and the responsibility towards our children who might want to come up with their own definition of freedom and quality of life? What needs to happen that we ask ourselves these fundamental questions? If you read this, then you very likely don´t have to cope with existential questions and your thoughts and worries most probably revolve around the top part of the Maslow hierarchy of needs: self-actualization. What would happen if we – instead of constantly being occupied by our personal happiness maximization – spin some thoughts about the actualization of our society? What kind of power would possibly arise from the creation of a common vision for our society, which instead of status, unconditional growth and competitiveness defined community, co-creation, sustainability and a life in harmony with Mother Nature as its core values? What would happen if that vision would become the common vision of our planet? A utopia? Oh yes! Big time! But why do we have such a brilliant brain with the ability to draw imaginations and create utopias, if we don´t make good use of it? Why are we gifted with this magnificent life if not to leave this wonderful little planet, which we have the privilege to inhabit, in a gigantic and not graspable universe, a little bit better than we found it? What would be if we more often dared to ask questions, the answers of which we don´t know? What would happen if we shared and discussed these questions with our friends, families and colleagues? Surely, it wouldn´t change the world, or would it?