Finding Meaning and different inertias

Against a backdrop of self-expression, self-actualisation, self-discovery it seems everywhere we turn we're 'not' quite getting it until we've discovered THAT secret to life (which for only R99 ran more you can get the diary too!) In every possible arena it seems there is an overwhelming drive for us to find our calling, our purpose so we can live this things called a 'purpose drive life' and our mission towards building a legacy. Walk into Wordsworth or Exclusive and the shelves labour under titles, each more directive than the next!
While finding yourself and your purpose is not a half bad idea, it strikes me that after decades all Oprah and Dr Phill, or Huisgenoot and Fair Lady's surveys and 'keys to your personality' articles, I still get stuck in traffic surrounded by the grumpy-pride where a gap is as scarce as bacon in Palestine, or get bullied online for voicing any sort of opinion other than the dominant one on a page. I still hear my friends complain about being thrown off one Somerset West page because they dare to support a community initiative or walk out of Pick 'n Pay with my heart in my shoes after overhearing another ranting at the poor till operator who scanned something twice. Finding yourself manuels in this quilll dragon's humble opinion is making a few extremely rich and killing whole rainforests but nothing much seems to change.
What if we're going about this all wrong? What if change is not so much captured in one person but in community? Yes I can hear the title already - you're thinking of "Be the change?" or is it "It starts with you"? No I'm thinking deeper than this.
Society works on very strong structural principles, where we as it's participants perpetuate old ways even without thinking. We raise our children much the same as our parents did. We go to work - because that's what responsible adults do. We applaud those who 'make it' and shower praise on the ones who have conformed to society's rules and achieved on our 'success perks'. If society were a physical force I'd equate it to velocity with a built-in capacity for inertia, meaning it'll keep going in one direction driven by an invisible inertia that all but obliterates real change. One person may push against this inertia and drive others to do the same, but the combined effort of a handful against the force of a community-wide inertia reminds of the proverbial shouting against thunder scenario.
So perhaps if true community wide change is possible we need to start at a place where inertia has power no presence. Einstein tells us that Imagination is more important than knowledge, because in imagination we can create new ways of thinking and being. In imagination we can find solutions to age old problems, the homeless, crime, poverty, all the -isms, pride, power... But that's only the start.
To effect real and lasting change, we need the inertia of age-old ways to take new direction, to move in alternative ways. One person cannot do this. It can in all likelihood not be achieved overnight. But it is possible.
If as a community we seek a new meaning and a new way forwards the inertia of the past can be altered and in its stead a new inertia can be shaped. An inertia that values the contribution of each and every individual in society - not only those who can earn or pay for the roof over their heads, or those who are able to formulate their thoughts in certain ways and communicate their meanings using particular words. An inertia that sees hearts instead of outsides, that sees 'otherness' merely as opportunities to learn and be, and sees me as part of your experience and not as my own mission!
Perhaps finding meaning within a community and finding a community's purpose within new parameters and building inertia together rather than in isolated circles can bring about change.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thank you, for visiting The Helderberg Basin Blog