Are we really moving forwards?

For the first time in the life of our species, we are officially going backwards.  Officially, we’re plundering the earth faster than we can fix it, using about a third more per year, than what our earth can produce or replenish, and we’re creating more waste than we can dispose of or make space for.

It’s insanity – truly –  But maybe it’s just easier to switch off to the consequences, when such gratifying reward is immediately before us.

How gratifying is it though, really?  In times gone by, man – like all animals – sought out things that would perpetuate himself.  – Things that would advance and nurture the human race.  – Things like food, and shelter, and water, arable, hospitable land, and meaningful relationships with those in their community, their families and love for all these things alike, alongside the quality of life it would bring.

Now, we are obsessed with those things that erode this former quality of life:   Binge drinking, smoking and all manner of brain-damaging, organ-damaging designer drugs, causing debilitating hangovers, or fucking our teeth, or livers, or skin, or eyes, nose or mouth, public life or respiratory system or brain function; we want more technology, distancing and disconnecting ourselves from true relationships in a real world, and we want cars and other machines that pollute our home to no end; we want more ‘stuff’ in general, creating ever-more waste, instead even – and maybe even more alarmingly – of better stuff.

When will it stop?  At what point and in what proximity must the evidence of this all be, in order for us to truly wake up and put a halt to our own destruction? Is it worth it?  Are  these poor choices worth a bleak future for our planet and all of its inhabitants?

modern man, evolving

We lead lives of convenience and ease, and more more more! surrounded and influenced by all manner of things – from social media to music, smartphones to fast food malls, newspapers and magazines to apps galore – that are somehow served under the guise of ‘evolution’, whilst conspicuously conspiring in our de-evolution.

As an average person, we’re slower, less adept at finding our own way, as well as struggling with basic problem solving (without google), mathematics, spelling and grammar, even self-control and time management, amongst so many others.We consume more food, but it’s not good for us – modern obesity statistics are a clear indicator of this, and so too are a massive range – perhaps increasing – of other nutrition and diet-based deficiencies and illnesses.

Our social sphere is larger and more complex, but there’s more violence, drug and alcohol abuse, more divorce, less marriage; there’s less incidence of things like malaria, smallpox, polio, but HIV is starting to become prevalent and the masses are addicted to pharmaceutical drugs.

50 years ago, when you might have just walked or cycled, a short trip today of 5km’s or less is almost invariably done by car.  And you’d be sure to see the blame pointed at the ‘fact’ that the participants ‘didn’t have time’ – constantly trying to keep up with a lifestyle that is eroding their happiness, their health, their planet, their relationships, their credit rating, their lifespan…

What’s the point?  What are you working for?  What are you spending your life doing?

5 thoughts on “Are we really moving forwards?

  1. These thoughts pass through my mind on a daily basis, what can we do? Has it gone passed the point of no return… All i can think is to hold on to what is left of the real world and try and pass it on to other people. You can spend a lot of time dwelling on these issues or just enjoy the beauty of the world that remains.
    Keep up the great writing…

  2. I also repeatedly contemplate the issues outlined in your article. Unfortunately, however, as Mason indicated in his comment: one cannot find much comfort in harping on the ills. Perhaps enjoying the balance good would better serve all.

    More to the point, should society ask people to surrender their buy-use-discard-rebuy fetish, with what would we ask them to replace it? No everyone loves nature; I certainly prefer cities to jungles. And short of a decades-in-creation sea-change in people’s thinking, people will continue to look for meaning in things: baubles, raiment, etc.

    How would you propose to fix the problem that you most aptly defined?

  3. I have also thought of this many times… The word that sticks is devolution I’ve said this so many times… We have become so reliant on the things you speak of that we don’t look within… I believe humanity could have evolved a completely different way if we would have looked within out senses our capacity to understand ourselves and our planet better without the use of external things such as technology… I could get deeper into this but I’ll leave that for when we catch up next…

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