The Sirens in ancient Greek mythology lured sailors to their doom using their captivating voices and songs.
Yesterday I started writing an article for Medium.com to vent on a certain point: that the organised and disorganised communications we are immersed in have reached a cacophonous and disorientating percussive beat on a melody alternating between the dull thud of doom-and-gloom and treble-tinkle of banality. Perhaps somewhere in amongst all of this is an element of truth — but rarely if ever truth in action. The siren songs on repeat today are the ideologies of celebrity, austerity and consumerism.
Much of this communication is polarising but life seems dialectic instead (has that ever changed). A seesaw (what people in the U.S. call a teeter-totter) doesn’t have forward motion. That is the part that is missing: debate leading to action that is good for the world. Not in a down-is-up and up-is-down world of spin — but something that is just good. Jazz.
My own internal dialectic is between the artist and the pragmatist / logician. Perhaps the struggle to finish the article was the unperceived irony or even hypocrisy of adding to the noise without remedy — or at least by providing an opening to move the debate forward. There are a million clear-eyed stories out there of the imminent collision of our ship with a frozen block of water up ahead. There are more stories of how we got on the ship, and the prevailing conditions leading to our course. There are less calls to action about getting hands on the wheel (or at least checking if we have a laser to melt the iceberg).
I realised that commenting online is not debate or action. I don’t think commenting ever changed the world or even anybody’s view on anything. The Ancient Greeks also had Socratic debate as well as Sirens. How do you start one of those?
I wondered if the responsibility of professionals was more than first counting the lifeboats then accepting our own as payment.
On my quest to find The Good Life I wondered if what was good for me could also be good for the world. It seems that as humans the two are inseparable if we find the right good. This is a universal question which is on my mind.
So — what is good, and is good for you and good for society the same thing?