[Drops of Sanity Rant] – To awaken a people from their stupor.

What does it take for men to wake up from their stupor?  In this world, so many problems lie before us, so many I cannot even begin to name them all.  Yet the people seem so aloof, so apathetic towards so many of them.  Perhaps it is because many do not seem to directly impact their daily lives, or that they find themselves too preoccupied with other matters.  Perhaps their noses are held so close to the grindstone that they find themselves unable to look up.  Perhaps, more cynically, some simply refuse to look up, to examine and tackle the world’s bigger problems.  Much as a politician dances around controversial issues, many seem to simply ignore the elephant in the room, whatever that elephant might be.  Some seem to relegate such intellectual matters to those they decide to elect in a matter of minutes, only to complain at the results for the years that nothing changes.

 

Perhaps though, the root of the problem is far deeper than that.  For so much of human history, the world has felt so far out of our control.  Disasters, wars, famine, and every cycle of nature seems to many to simply ignore our presence, our input, our will.  Reality in such a mind is something ‘which is’, rather than something that can be molded and shaped.  Reality becomes inflexible, unbending, unyielding, despite what we might want it to be like.  That very mindset cut to the root of the apathy, the mindless of so many today.  “This is how it is, and this is how it always will be.”  That line of thinking has been droned into people’s minds for countless generations, whether it be elders who are reluctant to accept a changing world, or those in power simply desiring a complacent populace.  Don’t rock the boat, don’t walk off beaten paths, don’t think beyond what we tell you.  It instills a sense of mindlessness, creating a flock of limp-willed sheep, eager to do their shepard’s will, even if that leads them to slaughter.

 

It has resulting in a stagnancy, an abatement of advancement, a diminishing of will.  Mankind has pushed so far in the last hundred years as some of the tendrils of the old world began to fall away, and as greater conflicts both divided and united the peoples of the world.  Yet as we enter the 21st century, even as chaos seems to spread around the globe, it seems to many almost regular, almost expected, mundane.  Is this simply due to the oversaturation of information, or the instilling of such sheepish ideas in people?

 

Revolution, war, famine are all happening around the globe at this very moment.  Yet why is it that people seem to ignore such things?  Why do they simply watch their 15 minutes of news, and move on with their day?  Is it because they don’t know how to help, or simply that they do not desire to?  That answer of course, would differ greatly from person to person.

 

Yet how can this change?  How can one shift the mindset of an entire people from ‘reality’ being something beyond their control to something that can be shaped, molded?  The easiest answer one would likely be the most controversial, and the most troubling.  There are two basic situations where people band together, where the walls and divisions that we put between each other come crumbling down, if only for a time.  These two would be in times of crisis, or times of achievement.  Quite expectedly, the two are rather intertwined, as achievement comes from solving a problem.  The more terrible the problem, the greater the exultation, but can also be harder for people to admit to, or harder for them to face.

 

But let us focus on the first idea, a crisis.  A crisis can mean many things to many people.  It can be a physical threat such as war, an emotional or societal one such as an idea or act to which people are opposed to, or a spiritual one such as a religious conflict.  All conflicts are divisive, but the latter two examples are especially so.  Men can do great and terrible things in pursuit of an idea or a god, but it can also break down barriers, see past petty conflicts that separate people.

 

Without a conflict, a goal, a greater purpose, people tend to turn inward, creating that conflict internally in a society between one group or another.  Something happens (or doesn’t), the people are roused to action (or merely hatred), and a fire is born.  Humanity itself a tinderbox of division and conflict, but as we have learned over countless millennia, conflict is what spurs any species to improve, to advance, to move forward.  The lack of such conflict, while calm, happy, and desirable, does not spur that growth.  In short, humanity in its current level of existence requires a villain, an evil to which to reflect themselves against, to base themselves on, to solidify our own sense of self and purpose, and fight against.  So when evil men come and do terrible things, is it the fault of the evil one, or are they merely fulfilling their purpose to the world at large?  Such an idea is likely left to one greater than I.

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