We Have No Purpose Anymore..

Banner Having Y Say    I have to admit up front that for much of my life I just didn’t really know what I wanted to do when I “grew up”. Strangely, it wasn’t until several years into my retirement that I finally put that question to rest. So, I am NOT the poster child for gaining purpose in life, but maybe my shortcomings in this area might be a lesson for others.

canstockphoto2256888.jpgA fundamental problem with this country and many others around the world is that too many just don’t have any idea what the meaning of our country is supposed to be about? Without this foundation, every bad thing that happens causes ever-increasing cynicism and selfishness. There is no hope because there is no overall vision for what we want our country to be. Positive thinking seems to have almost vanished in the world today. Maybe even more tragically, there are those who have come to a conclusion about purpose and their answer is simply too self-centered to be of value.

You would think that a country where so many claim it to be a Christian nation they would use the words of Jesus to find their country’s purpose. But that just doesn’t seem to be a reality even in those who consider themselves to be religious. Too many seem to be able to lock the teachings of Jesus into a neat bundle that is brought out on Sunday and then locked back in a box on Monday. Too many others have turned their religion into a political agenda that excludes any concept of “brother’s keeper”and is about making enemies rather than brothers. But there is hope in this area as religious organizations, especially those of the Radical Right variety are shrinking due to lack of young people buying into their convoluted rhetoric. They label them as hypocrites, as they actually are.

When purpose is lost, especially for a country, hope is usually also lost in the process. I think that’s kind of where we are today.

Fear vs Hope..

Banner Having Y Say It seems my recent brush with death has left me with a different attitude toward life.  We are tragically wasting our lives with our obsession with fear when instead we should be celebrating all the reasons that hope is on our horizon.

This should be an age of hope. We are advancing so rapidly in the areas of medicine and technology as to make our future a bright one. Soon we will no longer have to worry about cancer or any number of other infirmities. We will be solving those puzzles with our knowledge of the genome.

Technology is replacing the need for human manual labor in so many areas. Once we text-2055651_640.jpgrecognize that a person does not need to put in a 40 hour week to be determined valuable we can move beyond that 100-year-old paradigm. Voice recognition has made major improvements in the last year or so. For me, that means closed captioning is almost real-time and more accurate than it ever has been. Anyone that uses a smartphone knows that voice-to-text is also getting much more accurate. I suspect that in the near future a universal translator will be on the scene. That will mean that we can go anywhere in the world and fully communicate despite language barriers. Our future is bright indeed.

fear-2083653_640.jpgBut for far too many of us our world is a world of fear. We fear others that are different from us. We think their overlying purpose is to do us harm. Republicans hate Democrats, progressives have conservatives. Our fear list is almost unlimited. The current U.S. Federal administration is all about fear. They are seriously considering drastically increasing an already absurd military budget while making some draconian cuts to brother’s keeper issues. Everything seems to be about fear now. Hope has moved to a back burner when it should be on the forefront.

What will it take to turn this around? A paradigm shift probably. Generally, you can’t decide to do a paradigm shift, it just happens when the right circumstances occur. Instead of letting our fear dominate our lives we need to just “get over it”. We were much closer to armageddon when I was a child in the 1960s than we are now. Almost everything was more dangerous then. I am a big believer in learning from history so we don’t have to constantly learn the same lessons over and over again.

Yes, a handful of bad guys killed a few thousand of us almost seventeen years ago but that is a very small number considering many other things. Let’s not fixate on bad guys, they have always been around and always will, be but being paranoia consume us is really letting them win. A terrorist’s sole purpose is to strike fear in those they hate. We are giving them exactly what they want by our obsession with fear.