Life in the 21st century has a lot of really good things. There’s been health advances, new music and art, and amazing technology. There are powerful ways for people to share and communicate, from Facebook to Pinterest to Skype. On paper it sounds pretty good. On screens it looks even better!
But we’re clearly sensing that something’s not right here. There are too many things going on that miss the mark for regular folks, taking us to places that we didn’t expect to end up, both personally and as nations.
For a while we were hoping that if we just kept our heads down it would all sort out, but it hasn’t. There’s been so much wrong stuff happening that it’s getting hard to keep it all straight.
So we’re going to make a list of the stuff that needs fixing.
This list will be a way for us to see a bigger picture, and give us a springboard for action — a place to pick some things that we could see changing, and making better.
Because we want to share the hope that things can be made right for people.
The List: 5 things that aren’t right that affect regular folks
||1) Much of politics today is aimed at keeping big businesses happy, and leaving the regular person behind.
There’s a persistent disconnect between the needs of people and our political representatives. We vote but then see the concerns of people left unfulfilled. We’re made to feel that big, important business and multi-national issues need to be sorted out first, over and over. At the end of the day, and the end of the year, it stays the same: there’s not enough focus on people and not enough involvement by people who care.
Our experiments in global economies have veered too far away from local jobs and to global corporations with extreme power, uncontrollable by single countries.
We need new ways and new people to get involved and stand up for regular folks at all levels of governance.
||2) There is more wealth and possibility than ever, but most of it is tied up in the hands of just a few.
Wealthy people used to invest in new and bigger companies that employed people. Now they multiply their money in hedge funds without regular folks ever benefiting. Most people don’t need or want a limo, but we all want to be part of the main money loop again.
If people had good jobs and a future, do you think there’d be as much social and economic angst? The smaller the piece of pie the more fighting and stress we have. Any financial system that creates billionaires and poverty at the same time needs to be fixed.
We need better ways for regular folks to prosper.
||3) Our lifestyle is causing problems in our lives
When we’re told hundreds of times a day what we should buy, wear and eat it’s no wonder we join in. It’s great having lots of shopping and entertainment choices, but we are under constant pressure to buy things and watch things. We’re in an endless cycle of replacing things that still work and hearing opinion that pretends to be fact.
We are manipulated by social media, which pretends to be connecting people, but whose guiding purpose is to capture our attention and sell our information and lives to advertisers. Social media is now the leading distributor of non-truths, conspiracy theories, and division.
The resulting pressure, confusion and conflict is hard on people, families and businesses.
We need to dial back on shopping and social media, use truth-focused news sources, and get outside more often.
||4) Things we need and use every day aren’t getting fixed.
Cities cut services and say they have no way to make the needed improvements. Chunks fall from bridges, parks turn to weeds, and too many folks can’t get even basic health care. Even though there is more wealth than there’s ever been, it doesn’t find its way to things that are the backbone of daily life.
Administrations talk about giant infrastructure projects, and how those could give many people jobs, but “Infrastructure Week” never arrives.
We need fresh thinking about how to fund and provide the things that people count on and could participate in.
||5) We use a lot of our time being entertained, not doing things.
There was an old saying: “Religion is the opium of the masses” Now it’s “Entertainment is the opium of the masses”. Screens and marketing keep us distracted, and inactive — convinced that we don’t have the time or need to change things.
Our society has a wealth of knowledge and potential, but we don’t do much with it. It’s tough to hear, but we spend a lot more time watching screens and snacking than we do helping our neighbors and getting good things done.
We each have ways to help each other more, and to make a real difference.
We need to do stuff, not just watch stuff.
So that’s The List.
You can probably think of many things that make our society a tough place. Guesses are a lot of them are in one of these five categories, but there could be more!
The first good news is that it’s not just a few people who think things are going the wrong direction. You’re in good company!
The second good news is that everything in this list can be set right with people getting involved, focusing more on people, and playing more active roles in our communities.
Hey, we need a list for that too! 🙂
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