Progress Where?

progress_evolution

I am a bit confused about something. Where are we all going? Where is the progress of this world’s technology, science, and medicine taking us? Since we have industrialized as a country, it seems that we are all trying to progress towards something. it seems to be some ideal of hope (thanks Obama, you asshole), or space travel to colonize another planet (we keep searching, but our planet is still the best we know of and we are destroying it actively), or even to just push things to the next level. But I am really confused about what that is. Why are we pillaging our planet’s resources for great efficiency and more power? There is no destination besides the one we are already at. These things do not lead us anywhere and certainly do not lead to increased happiness. As a race, we need to reconsider what we value, what we want to protect. We need to make the decision of where we want to go collectively so that we can stop wasting our planet going in circles.

I see a world being built right now that I do not want to be a part of. Climate change is acceptable, endangered species are normal, pollution isn’t a big concern, people work in cubicles, drive square cars, live in square houses with square lawns and driveways and windows, dogs are left in kennels all day or stuck in square houses, genetically modified foods kill our bees, we are a part of a dictatorship that forces us into war, our troops get little support for all that they sacrifice, our veterans are forgotten, and our wars aren’t really wars. Prescription drugs are given to 5 year olds because they can’t sit still in a classroom listening to a boring teacher talk about something boring, teenage girls are constantly told they aren’t good enough and need the newest beauty products, and all the while, we sit in our cubicles, saddened by our depressing jobs, waiting for something to change but knowing that it probably won’t.

Why does it seem like we have no control? I thought the American people were the ones that made the decisions, the free-est most powerful people in the world, right? Looks like we have a pretty messed up system going down and I think its going to get worse. We can’t even choose our presidential candidates, people within the individual parties that are influential and well liked within that party get sponsored by major corporations that pay for their campaign. Then the amount of advertising done during the campaign usually determines who wins. People vote, but their votes for president don’t count. Really, the only thing that matters for them is the local elections, which don’t affect things on a big scale. We are stuck with a shitty system, with shitty people in charge that have had to claw their way to the top through massive amounts of shit to get to the top of the pile.

So we are in a dilema. What do we do, it seems so overwhelmingly messed up and dysfunctional. But we can’t waste energy worrying about it, or we will be asleep before we know it. I think we should stop putting energy into the problems and start putting energy into how you want to live. Grow your own food, supply your own water, build sustainably, cultivate eco-systems instead of farms, stop driving so much, ride a bike, keep buying electric and hybrid cars, support small business instead of Wal-mart, eat organic and avoid Monsanto, but most of all, vote for what you want every day. Support what you believe in, stop giving in, stop compromising your values. Its hard, but we have to do it, or this world will be dead and us with it. This is our home, lets start acting like it.

So stop going places without purpose, start being where you are with purpose. In yoga, there is this idea called “Dharma” and it means purpose, conduct, virtues, laws, values, rights, and “the right way to live”. I think that as a planet, we are out of balance, we are too focused on progress. There is a natural balance between Pragati, and Dharma or progress and purpose in life and we are too far on the pragati side, for no reason. This leads to depression, sickness and overall increased disease in our lives. We have enough progress, the technology available today is simply mind numbingly incredible; as a race, we have to learn how to use it effectively to help fulfill our purpose. So what is the purpose of all of this progress?

I don’t think we have to know the answer. As a race, we are still very young, we understand so little about ourselves. But I do think that the method is just as important as the outcome (if not more important in the majority of cases) and the way we are doing things is not leading to prosperity of the whole. A lot of people mention that if there were no countries, there would be no war, but we have to organize ourselves into groups somehow. If it’s not countries, it’s something else. I don’t think this is the problem, but I do think that we need to start defining ourselves as members of the world, rather than citizens of a country. Lets start to unite, rather than separate and blame every time there is a conflict. If I hear about bombing Iraq one more time, I am going to lose my shit…

I know this is controversial, and a rant, but I was feeling ranty, political, and frustrated this morning. Everyone seems to be going nowhere really fast and I don’t get it. Can we please slow things down and enjoy ourselves? So much work and so little play. Where the hell is everyone going anyways? Lets just hang out together and have a little party…

Responses, comments, criticisms are totally welcome!