Where Did We Go Wrong? How Can We Fix It?

The ignorant work for their own profit; the wise work for the welfare of the world.
– Bhagavad-Gita, Hindu holy narrative, about 5000 years old

Well, that sounds like fancy-worded crap, doesn’t it?

Until you think about it.

Our world is filled with ignorant people. They aren’t ignorant of their own choice. They simply were never taught to be anything other than ignorant followers. Well, followers and they were kept ignorant of what they missed.

They not only accept that their ignorance is the right way to be, they encourage others to join them. Such as through political parties whose only true power lies with the leader. Such as with religions whose primary purpose is to provide influential jobs for people who crave power over others while giving them back confusing and conflicting nonsense in return.

A large part of the world’s economy revolves around capitalism, whose primary claim to fame and devotion is that people can earn as much money as they want if they work hard enough. In their personal best interest, of course. Though in most cases people end up working for others whose purpose is to get as much work/profit from them for as little compensation as possible.

Capitalism not only makes a few people embarrassingly rich, it is largely responsible for poverty in the world, a condition it maintains by preventing people from getting a good education and developing in way that do not profit the large employers.

Even communism largely failed because its leaders were nothing but closet capitalists once they removed their communist clothing, leather boots and military hats. Their truest devotion was to their own best interests.

Our education systems never teach to what children need in their social and emotional development, only what industries need in their workers/followers, which means developing the intellectual and physical aspects of children. Some schools (a small but increasing number by my calculations) do address the social and emotional needs of their students, but often only after the kids have run into trouble with their parents, the law or themselves. That genie is hard to stuff back into its bottle, but they do it for many kids.

Ignorant people have the impression that because they have great knowledge or skill in one or two specialty fields, they should be respected for their opinions on all subjects. In fact, high school dropouts often know more about topics of general interest that highly paid “experts” away from their field of expertise.

Most cultures of the world encourage their children to become experts in one particular field of study, not to be generalists. So we have a throw-away society because adults don’t know how to fix anything or to build anything for themselves.

Yet a glimmer of hope remains, often below the social radar. We remember the words of Sir Francis Bacon four centuries after he lived. We remember the words of Confucius and The Buddha millennia after they lived. We learn life advice from the Bhagavad-Gita five millennia after it was written. Somewhere adults are learning that there is more to life than being a brainwashed servant to industry, to politicians or to religions.

Wisdom is there for us if we seek it. Unfortunately, it’s not like pizza delivery. No one brings it to our door. We must go looking for it.

Money and high paying jobs are not the keys to happiness or self fulfillment we help our children to believe. The happiest, most fulfilled and most remembered and loved people are those who help others without regard for helping themselves in the process.

These aren’t secrets, though we keep them carefully hidden as if they were.

Bill Allin
‘Turning It Around: Causes and Cures for Today’s Epidemic Social Problems,’ a book to convey the wisdom of the ages to today’s parents and grandparents about raising children according to all their needs, not just those that benefit industry later.
Learn more at http://billallin.com

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