GETTING TO GRASP WITH CURRENT TIMES
Nothing that is happening now anywhere in the world ought to come as a shock to us. Why should it? We all saw it coming. We always had seen it coming. Unfortunately most of us, have decided to ignore it and still ignore the patterns till today. I refuse to call it a bad thing or a good thing. It is that very thing that got us where we are today. The uncertainties are plenty, the blurring of lines between the good and bad are ever more prevalent today. But it is fundamentally neither good nor bad. It is what it is and we need to take it for what it is worth. We have however lost absolute trust in leaders, regardless of where they lead from. Any form of authority is frowned upon because of the reputation that they have earned for themselves. The degree of discrimination around the world and the degrees of discrimination has been so unprecedented at so many levels that nothing, almost nothing can now stop it from affecting us, one way or the other.
The invasion of technology into our lives has both been a blessing and a terrible curse. More than 5 billion people are today connected with a handheld device. The level of connectedness has been overwhelming and unprecedented. Our social media platforms (an average adult would have at least 3 social media accounts in a developed country and at least 2 accounts in a 3rd world country) represent us to the world. They are our avatars. The social media habits runs so deep that we have convinced ourselves that that is who we are and that it pays to perpetuate the plot. Communication has gone from spoken and listening to browsing and tapping. There are more young people who are hunched now more than ever before. The craning of their necks over their smartphones for at least 2 hours a day increases the pressure they put on their necks by five times more than its normal pressure and it goes unnoticed until it is too late. And that has been the story of our lives for centuries, we learn when it is too far gone to do anything about it. Knowledge of the world is becoming more and more digitalized and learning institutions where professors and teachers make a living, are losing the battle of being the only source of real and current knowledge. Today a person can learn from anywhere at all and anyone can learn at any age and at their own pace. A formal process of learning is becoming less and less formal. Testing is not only becoming irrelevant but has also become quite useless as we realize learning is a very personal and an individual pursuit and it does not happen as a standard curriculum. More and more children are not being sent to physical schools and are now attending school from their homes. The fear used to be that the social and interpersonal skills will suffer in the long run and these children will be deprived of it which will leave them to become misfits wherever they go. But it seems that the social goings on in their lives are now all happening quite successfully in the virtual worlds and in the palm of their hands and the spread is global. The school bullies have become cyber bullies and so in a sense nothing much has changed.
Technology has and will replace mundane and routine jobs and it should. Automation has always been a good thing. Loss of jobs has always happened and so it is now too. However the sheer number of people who are left without a job is tremendous to say the least. It has come as a shock because no one was really prepared which happens to be one of the fruits of ignorance and living unconsciously. Suicide, hunger, crime, violence and homelessness is seen everywhere. Some of these things were always seen as incidences that happen in ‘another’ country. But now if you look around, they are happening at your doorstep and closer to you, regardless of which country you are from.
The two most talked about nations besides United States of America has been China and India. The advances both in technology and population have been phenomenal. The new Asia-Pacific Triangle of the United States, China, and India will increasingly play a decisive role in the course of international events and in the world’s economy. A rapid, technology-driven transformation is taking place within the global economy and India and China are playing decisive roles in this transformation as emerging advanced technology super states.
The world will become more urban, regardless of where you are from. You may like to hold on to those rural ways of life and so on, but technology will penetrate that too, nevertheless. You will be able to experience walking in a city while you are sitting beside a paddy field, all thanks to world wide web coupled with high definition cameras.
There will be realizations that technological advancements alone is disastrous which will ultimately lead to disastrous results. Ruthlessness is the new survival kit. A new form of automation will happen. It’s the automated human. Ruthlessness can only operate in these conditions. Technology has merely sped up the ruthlessness.
Modern medicine and treatment coupled with the whole wellness movement has allowed people to live longer, well into their 90s. That certainly sounds good at the outset or is it? There has been a mushrooming of old folks and nursing homes like never before. Children migrating overseas for studies and making a living away from home or migrating to the urban has led to abandoning their parents in these homes. Living longer then becomes nothing but a curse, both for the elderly and the children. Due to economic reasons and to carry on supporting the families in a difficult job market, people are needing to work till they really can’t. People working at the age of 65 or even 70, has become rather normal.
People in authority or anyone in power are incapable of making selfless decisions because of the very nature of their position. The gap between the majority and minority, the rich and the poor is growing. It is not that it was not there earlier, but it is sped up now. Large corporations are not spared either. There is a growing distrust of these organisations by a vast majority of the population. More than 40% of a household income will go towards energizing their vehicles, homes, and devices. This will sky rocket the price of energy even more which will then force us to work even harder to increase revenue, thus creating another kind of madness.
The general level of happiness will reduce drastically. Over the last 50 years or more, material dependent happiness has gone through the roof. The chase for material success is the central focus in everything we do. We get educated for that reason, we set up businesses for that, we upgrade our skills for that and I can go on. And every time we climb up this ladder, hoping to find that pot of gold which will end all our miseries, is not to be. Almost always the pot of gold is either removed at the last minute or we find our miseries has just tripled because of the pot of gold. It’s a mad chase after the next ‘happy’ thing and then another, only to realize this is not it and that is not it. It would then be inevitable for deep and reflective thinking to take place in the minds which has disseminated lots of energy in this mad loop and has exhausted all possible means of attaining any form of lasting happiness.
One has to realize in a real way that we don’t have much time in our hands. This is regardless of what age you may be now. There is a dire need to grasp this. We hear ever so often people moaning about having no time. Uttering things like, ‘My goodness, it seems like the year just started and its already June now. Wow, how time flies!’ or ‘I really don’t know what I did with my time!’ Our very own pre-occupation with being ‘busy’ has consumed all our time. We spend a huge amount of our time creating and living in our virtual reality or in our digital world. Not that it’s a wrong thing. We have created it for a reason. It evolved out of a need for efficiency and ease. But our minds has bitten the bait and is hooked, hooked badly. In wanting to find freedom, it has lost it. We are enamoured by them. We get pulled in so frequently that we feel that is all there is to it. Hence we keep investing all our time on matters that are outside of us, which takes us in a loop. We really have not gone anywhere at all. We are the same now as we were 200 or a 1000 years ago. We still fight, we still kill each other, still envious, still judge, still consumed by fear, still blame, still get mad and still looking for God. Absolutely nothing has changed. The only difference is probably that we are doing all of these with a cell phone in our hands now, whilst back in the days, it would have been a club or spear of sorts.