Just a thought if you look at all the politicians we have in the world to-day and look at the general level of education a most have attained, (there are medical doctors, PhD’s, lawyers, sportsmen and women veterans and people who have had practical experience in successfully attaining very senior positions in industry) then look at the problems and issues surrounding our daily lives.
How is it possible that they are not able to solve the many very simple problems like balancing of budgets and enacting laws that will address the problems at hand. I think that a poem of Rudyard Kipling call “IF” is more to the point and really we should follow the essence of this poem, it is as relevant as it was when it was written.
If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too:
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or, being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise;
If you can dream—and not make dreams your master;
If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim,
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same:.
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build’em up with worn-out tools;
If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings,
And never breathe a word about your loss:
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: “Hold on!”
If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with Kings—nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much:
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And—which is more—you’ll be a Man, my son!
This simple model can make it all work, but the poem has to be read and read again until the full understanding is achieved.
Unfortunately everything boils down to this: we’re each of us responsible for everything that happens to us at a certain point. It may not be ‘fair’ as life may deal you smarts or none, a life of ease or tragedy, physical prowess and beauty or not, but at a certain point we each of us must rise above that circumstance, even the seemingly ‘good’ ones. But how many do? So few. The work of politicians, priests, scientistists, conquerors, teachers, parents and friends, is of little consequence compared to the decisions each individual makes. I suppose I am making the case for existentialism.
Really, has the world of man changed In the last few thousand years except for the setting?
I agree with your observations Meredith, the older I get the more I am struck by the fact smart people (formally educated people like lawyers etc who are in high places) do stupid things. And as you say it has been going on for thousands of years, but it still baffles me why it should be so, why it can’t be better. Is it that formal education is not the yard stick by which we should measure these Leaders? Is it the degree to which they use their common sense, that stands out as a failure. Or is failure too strong a word and we should use a word such challenged? Is it because the gift we all posses “free Will” kicks in and then a different agenda takes over, the need for power or money or both and this then leads to greed.
Short story; In my travels one of the countries I worked in was under military rule and the population was asked to vote in a referendum. The country was asked if they wanted to return to democracy? I spoke to may of the locals and said this must be exciting for you to return to democracy; and the answer was really very ambivalent “maybe we should keep the generals because they have everything power and money, and if we return to democracy we now have a new set of people to plunder our resources until they become rich and powerful”
I know that we do not live in a perfect world and none of us is perfect, but we can certainly do better. Maybe, I think too much about the world around us, and that is why I continue to have these nagging thoughts of why?