Fight the “Mean World Syndrome.”
A message to the world, 2017.
The media today want you to believe that the world is more dangerous than it actually is. Governments and institutions need a “common enemy”, a narrative for the business of weaponry and war. An agenda for political or economic gain.
The truth is, that the world is a safer place than ever, and the poorest in today’s developed countries have a more comfortable life than the kings and queens of the 16th century. We face new underlying issues that are more complex than famine or the lack of fresh-water.
Playing the blame game
The public is too stuck with the rhetoric of things. When the Las Vegas shoot-out happened 1st of October, what people needed to know was:
- Who was the shooter?
- What was their motive, and then
- Does it classify as terrorism?
People were wondering: “Why doesn’t the US president condemn a white US-citizen who goes on a shooting rampage? Isn’t this terrorism? What’s a lone shooter? What’s the difference? Domestic terrorism? What about Islam, ISIS and…”
They speak as if it mattered.
In the reality of things, 50+ people got killed and 500+ got injured. That’s the fact. Shouldn’t we be looking for a solution with immediate haste, instead of getting stuck with these pointless labels? We are so obsessed with the motive and the drama. If your son came back home with a bloodied nose, surely your first reaction would be to fix the nose and take care of your son, instead of asking: “Tell me who did this to you so I can kick the shit out of them. Tell me all about their ideologies.” The reaction I wrote jokingly, seems almost plausible today.
Whenever terrorism (whatever that means) happens, we should not ask “How can this happen?”, but rather “Why does this happen?”.
It automatically leads us closer to understanding. Closer to a more nuanced narrative which doesn’t see in black and white.
Society, medicine, mortality rates are developing gradually to the better, it is the culture that takes twists and turns. We easily confuse the two. Taking selfies is a cultural phenomena, and really has nothing to do with the human welfare. Despite the “Mean World Syndrome”, we (at least the humanity) are in a good spot. Without much famine or need for fresh-water in the developed countries, we face different, new and more complex problems.
Some of us wake up, and the first thing we do is grab our phone and browse the social media for the first 10 minutes before getting up. What happens here is that we automatically give away our intellectual authority to some other source other than their own head. This behavior snowballs throughout the day.
The media is so incredibly accessible today. Everywhere we go with our smart-phones, certain ads, columns, and opinions pop-up. I cannot take the Sydney-subway without running into adverts. If I lay my head down, I will still hear the adverts. News are sensationalized for profit and the news-intros look like action-films filled with explosions and drama.
Perhaps at some point in our future, our cultures will find common ground in simply valuing facts, critical-thinking and scientific research. As a collective, we’re currently still far too obsessed with our own little preferences and differences to make such a drastic leap. This is why we have climate-change denial. This is why we continue to have endless debates about veganism and religion, left vs. right-wing politics and so on, without realizing how the “Backfire Effect” only deepens our original beliefs, for we fail to truly understand the other viewpoint. Proven in recent neuroscience; our primitive part of the brain releases the same chemicals upon a mere disagreement in views or beliefs, as it would, to ensure our survival in hostile situations.
Why does the media want us to disagree with others and sensationalize on war? Why does Trump keep tweeting about destroying North-Korea and nothing ever happens?
If the world seems hostile to us, the more we make life about ourselves and forget about others. The less unified we are, the easier we are to keep on a leash.
All of this originates from the rise of industrialism and individualism. All the while individualism is an extremely important concept, what used to be the keywords for progressive liberal thinking, is now mostly being exploited by the 1%. We have become not only individual, but selfish. Society feeds into this demand with all our Talent-shows, idols and stars and whatnot. “Our truth”, our futures, our lives are more important than anything else. Our lives are about making our dreams come through.
But when you look in the mirror, you don’t just see yourself. You see the world and the people around you.
To conclude, a certain wise man knew an something we should remind ourselves of:
“The most important decision we make is whether we believe we live in friendly or hostile universe”
— Albert Einstein
Never let your beliefs become indoctrinated by false claims, fear, or mass-media. The world is not a scary place. The blame is not some individual group with a made-up name.
It is key to understand that people are not inherently evil. No one is. It is key to have this understanding in a world where the mass-media is often oppressing and saddening.
The world and the people are not mean. Ideological indoctrination for political or economical gains — that is.
The truth is that, I know many religious communities and people who do more good in the world than any atheist would. I am not religious myself, but I know that nothing is black & white.
The truth is that the only “common enemy”, the only scapegoat we have is ourselves. We must all take responsibility for the world today.