It's nice to believe that a hero is going to step in and save us all from our collective suffering, but the reality is that hero doesn't exist. It's a myth we've created to help ease our suffering as we all go through the events of our lives--a fantasy, a lullaby.
For some reason, the increase in suffering only seems to magnify that belief in a benevolent savior out their just watching over the collective and keeping us safe from, ostensibly, each other, and maybe the occasional natural disaster--although, many of what we call those today are actually also man-made or at least made worse by man, like Fukushima or the earthquakes caused by fracking and mining, but that is neither here nor there if someone is just going to come along and make it right at some point when it gets bad enough.
Aside from the damage we do to our planet in the name of convenience and progress, most of the time the reasons for the things that actually cause our sufferings are a result of decisions we've made in our individual lives and because of actions we've taken or not taken. If you knowingly do something wrong and do it anyway, and then suffer the consequences of that, it is one thing, that is on you; however, it is entirely another thing when you do something you have been led to believe is the right thing but then have to find out the hard way that it is decidedly not. For a subset of people, that seems to happen more often than it does for others, so maybe some things that we see are universal truths just aren't. How much of what we know and believe is actually just conditioned into us by other seriously flawed individuals, and maybe our own gut instincts are just wrong because of this?
Maybe some people just continue to follow the same path and make the same mistakes repeatedly, likely just repeating the same patterns of mistakes our parents made, is because what we call our instincts about what is right and good in the world are actually just some persons' opinions that have been bred into us through some generational societal Pavlovian experiment, and the keepers of the experiment today are operating in bad faith. These opinions and behaviors are being forced onto us so we just go along with what works best for the benefactors of this experiment, these fascist power-hungry individuals who have such little faith in other human beings that they feel the need to make everyone else battle each other and suffer so they can stay at the top. The Trickle-Down theory is nothing more than a pyramid scheme.
However, I don't think it has to be that way. We don't have to keep falling for the con.
Our relationships with the world and to each other don't have to be so fraught with violence and just this generational cloud of negativity that hangs over and brings us all down and pits us against each other. Life doesn't have to be a competition, or maybe we can just reframe the competition aspect to what it truly is, us collectively struggling against the limitations of the natural world, the effects of what we've done to it that are now irreversible, and the universe at large.
While it's important to keep the things from the past that work well, an inherent part of the American experiment is that the idea can be altered to fit what the moment demands a necessity, and this ambiguity could either be its biggest strength or its worst weakness, but if the changes are made to truly ensure that society is protected--even from itself--that's when it's working at its best. Being adaptable when new evidence presents itself is one of the fundamental principles of the enlightenment and also just science, in general. The constitution was never meant to be a be-all-end-all. The evidence of that? The Bill of Rights. A built-in way to amend it.
Maybe we just need to start by being more adaptable, in general, as individuals, more amenable to change when new evidence presents itself. There is nothing wrong with admitting that you've been wrong about something, and changing yourself to improve your situation. That's how we grow.
Our biggest mistake as a society was thinking of ourselves as the best. And because we're the best, everything we do is the best That is an arrogant way of looking at the world. We stopped striving for actual greatness because we stopped to pat ourselves on the back for too long. We decided that we were the chosen ones, and fuck the rest of the world. We were the direct recipients of all the light and glory, but we didn't take into account that when the sun was setting here it was rising somewhere else.
It's highly unlikely that anyone is going to come along and save the day; in fact, this is usually when someone much worse takes control and takes society down an even darker path because these types of people are good at convincing enough others that they are the savior they've all been waiting on. But hey, maybe there is a certain point where the lessons of the past need to be repeated to save future generations. The problem with that is there might not be any future generations if this thing gets bad enough. The doomsday clock has never been this close to midnight.
Rather than nuclear war, nowadays, the biggest threat: scientists are saying that we are at the beginning of a mass extinction event. It even has a name, Anthropocene, and it's called that because it's largely what we Anthropos are doing to the environment that is causing it. It doesn't have to be that way but it certainly can go that way and it's looking more and more like it will.
Maybe entropy is the fundamental law of the universe. Maybe it's too late. Maybe no matter what we do at this point, it won't matter.
It certainly won't if we take up that mentality. It's a flawed way of thinking about it. Maybe I was wrong when I said that heroes don't exist. Maybe instead we collectively are the heroes of our own stories. If anyone can affect a lasting and impactful change, it's us. We should be saying that it won't matter unless we do something now. What that is, I have no idea, but I think one step in the right direction is to elect more responsible leaders, and by responsible, I mean a sense of responsibility to society and not just to themselves. That is what should matter over any party affiliation.
If only we could collectively agree on that.