It’s a commonly held despairing sentiment that the world of humans is fucked. People themselves are fucked.
I don’t see the world of humans as fucked. The consequences often are, which is why I think these discussions are so important, but I see the existence of this potential dynamic is simply a neutral thing worth examining. You could see the world of humans as a confused child, operating on and reacting to the beliefs and ‘knowledge’ it’s been indoctrinated with from generations past. Something feels not quite right, there’s some sort of mismatch but for all its thinking and rationalising it’s never been exposed to the ideas or knowledge that might fill the gaps and take its thinking in new directions. This makes perfect sense as well- it’s literally an impossibility to learn about something you’ve never had exposure to. Why would things possibly have been any different up until this point?
Likewise, I don’t see people as fucked either. We’re the progeny of this confused infant. Each of us a unique product of infinite variables not just from the influence of our misguided child-parent (who also manifests itself to each of us in infinite ways), but also of our own unique make-up and environment. We rationally concede that all this variability is inevitable, meanwhile the subliminal voice of our child-parent has us baulking when we’re faced with ourselves and others who don’t meet some ideal hypothetical prototype. We baulk some more when the evidence doesn’t match these hypotheses and our preoccupation with baulking means we can’t be occupied with understanding how these variables naturally work together so we can reformulate our hypotheses. Doesn’t this make make perfect sense when you consider we can only think in one direction at a time?
I think there’s evidence that hypotheses are being reformulated and individuals and society might be getting more realistic. Vulnerability programs for teamwork in football clubs. Mindfulness programs and social and emotional curricula in schools- our most powerful institutions for indoctrinating the future makers of society. Flooding of the media with initiatives promoting acceptance, awareness and education about mental health. Increasing reforms to workplace demands attempting to increase productivity by accommodating more of the spectrum of human emotional needs. Recognition that tackling the social problem of alcohol-related violence needs long-term focus on psychological change at the individual level. Defence programs incorporating emotional coping skills into training to build resilience. The focus of all these random examples is the complete reverse to how things have traditionally been tackled and relatively new shift. It’s unknown how much things will actually change, but change is being attempted which I think is important to recognise.
This article is an example of the need for social and emotional learning in schools: