I’ve been trying to figure out exactly what’s bothering me about this election season. The more I thought about it, I realized that the political part of the equation was, no doubt, a major factor, but that there are larger cultural issues afoot, fueling the conversation and, I believe, killing us all.
We’re in a world that is one way, but that many of us wish was a different way. What our “different” would be is variable, but, I think it’s safe to say, what we’ve got now is not working, nor is it sustainable. I’m all for bellying up to the dinner table to discuss the problems and our frustrations, but at some point, we must push ourselves away, leave the kitchen, and go about the business of fixing things. Of being the change we want to be.
You didn’t ask, but I’ll go first.
My name is Ben. Here are some of the things about the world that I do not like—
(1) that anybody goes to bed hungry at night by circumstance, not choice
(2) that anybody is hurting physically, mentally, and spiritually, and does not have access to help
(3) that we spend money figuring out how to destroy people while withholding money from those in need
(4) that we are programmed by media to aspire to things we don’t have and to measure self-worth accordingly
(5) that we don’t always understand how important and essential the natural world is to our well-being
(6) that learning and intellectual curiosity are ever stigmatized anywhere, ever
(7) that a disproportionately small part of the population exercises control over the rest of us
(8) that truth is an afterthought in critical public discourse
(9) that precedence and routine have too much control over possibility
My name is Ben. Here are some things about me—
(1) I love traveling. I like seeing the sights, but even more importantly, I love meeting people from everywhere.
(2) I started two businesses that I ended up selling. Though I have benefited from capitalism, I’m open to change.
(3) I used to dismiss all religion as a crutch for weak people who couldn’t deal with reality, now I study it daily
(4) I try really hard to be patient, but sometimes I fail.
(5) I, unabashedly, think love and compassion are integral to the good and betterment of our world.