With a whole raft of statistics pointing to a more unhappy and discontented population, doctors are handing out more prescriptions for antidepressants than ever before. They are also, at long last, offering counselling therapy to those whom they feel will benefit. I want to look at the root causes of our misery, as a nation and, perhaps, as a species.
We don’t really know why we are here. We don’t know if there is a real, philosophical reason. Various religions talk about a purpose and a divine being, who created the world and everything else. However, there is no definitive proof, just as there is no definitive proof to the contrary. That is one of the wonders and mysteries of our universe.
Mankind evolved from a primitive beginning into something entirely different, both physically and mentally. We have changed our environment and our expectations. We have a highly complex social structure, with rules and regulations, as well as a system of reward and remuneration, which has encouraged us to exploit the resources of our home planet. However, our biological evolution cannot keep up with our technological one.
A direct result of technological advances is a dramatic increase in the population, which has had a ripple effect on every aspect of our lives. With this population explosion has come a need for more technology; a never-ending spiral!
With the advent of new technology, our superstitions and beliefs have been severely eroded. Much of the wonder of our lives has gone and, in place, we have facts and scientific explanations. We have also created an entirely, unnatural environment for ourselves; with hamlets and villages being replaced by towns and cities, cart tracks and lanes with dual carriageways and motorways and an abundance of light, turning the night into day and allowing our paranoid dislike of darkness to be avoided. Our homes are now havens of technology and cleanliness, with a war on bacteria and vermin being waged every minute of every day. However, this sterility is not confined to grime: it also leaves our self-made environment devoid of the beauty we once took for granted. Green fields have been replaced with tarmac’ and concrete; trees and hills with houses, offices and shopping centres; fine country views being replaced by vast industrial constructions.
The human race is fast being replaced by a race of robot-like automatons, devoid of the dirt that formed it and propelling itself into a technological, simple future where, we will all become redundant. Our lives are becoming utterly futile, because we lack any real purpose. We don’t have to fight to feed ourselves (unless you classify the journey to the supermarket as being war-like); we don’t think about an after-life, because, increasingly, we are not convinced there is one. We prize youth, physical beauty and material wealth, because those who have a vested interest in our doing so, have made us believe that we should. Progressively, we are turning to food or other, more harmful substances to make us feel better. Young people, in particular, are highly susceptible to alcohol and drugs. Who
can blame them? With unemployment among the young at an all-time high, no real prospects of a future, their world being destroyed, excessive controls on what they can and cannot do (despite the many new freedoms they enjoy) and with so many mixed messages, they are understandably disillusioned. Where has all the fun in life gone?
Cultures are being eroded, as people move around the globe, desperately trying to stamp their own mark on the new homes they find for themselves. This, in turn, destroys the past of the places where they settle and unrest begins to invade.
As working patterns and businesses have changed, the need for education has also changed. As freedoms have been increased, so have expectations. We have given ourselves rights and privileges, such as the right to bear children and this, itself, is being fuelled by advances in healthcare.
To support all this new technology, material wealth, population increase and longevity, takes vast and increasing amounts of energy. This energy has to come from somewhere and its production and increasing demand are beginning to cause the demise of our home; the planet we live on.
Our throwaway society demands more space to live and use for its increasing hunger. We are encroaching on land that, previously, had never been inhabited. This is destroying the other species that inhabit this planet alongside us and we do so without a thought or a care for what it is doing or how selfish it is. For the religious, it should evoke outrage that we should think and care so little for our creator’s property, but for the godless greedy, it makes no difference: their only thought is for material wealth.
Society, in general, is beginning the slow descent into oblivion; as we fail to properly educate and nurture our young, morality is either grossly over-enforced and therefore oppression takes a hold, or it is totally missing and therefore chaos ensues. War is rife, due to greed and ideological differences, as is corruption and criminality.
What we are now lacking is any meaningful purpose or direction in our lives and, just like the world economy, because we refuse to limit anything we do, we have become a runaway train, hurtling down the road of Time and becoming difficult – if not impossible – to stop.
To be continued…part 2 coming up next week…