The Segmented World
I find myself in a strange place these days. Let me correct. I find myself in the whole of the world which is a strange, unfathomable and fearful unknown place for many people. This phenomenon of segmented worlds has hit me hard the past few months as I’ve been on my road trip. I’ve talked to a host of random people in different stages of their lives and indubitably most have carved out a comfortable segment of the world and disregarded the whole in order to make sense of life. My bet is most of you do, also.
Sure, some of you may argue that you’ve traveled, you’re open to new experiences, you have a multitude of friends from different cultural backgrounds, you’re open-minded, etc. However, I ask some critical questions: Looking at your associations, how many share mostly commonalities versus vast differences? As a person, how many walks of life do you naturally flow through fully engaged? If aspects of your life were to drastically change without your consent, could you adapt quickly? How many living preferences do you adhere to? and more…
You may be able to give some high level answers to these questions, but let’s dig deeper.
Flowing Through Circles
We make associations/friends mostly based on commonalities and shared experiences or perhaps even intrigue and mystery. If you take a look at your circle of friends, I’m sure most adhere to many similarities in age, income level, preference of activities, conversation points, etc. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with this. It’s how we feel like we belong in a community and in turn give others a community to be with. However, at some point the community becomes a self feeding cycle of information and experiences. How many of you break this circle and venture into others? Could you flow easily between friends in poverty to those living affluently to the young and old to those with complete opposite living points of view? I suspect most don’t have the level of understanding of each segment to be able to flow fluidly and be accepted. I see the young dismiss the old. The old dismiss the young. Those at polar opposites economically have no understanding of each other. I see those born into privilege lack any compassion or commonality with those of poorer heritage. They betray themselves with platitudes of understanding in order to feel like good people. I see those in poverty harbor spite, anger, and bitterness towards those in better economic situations, and perhaps rightly so as they struggle in a downward spiral with limited ways out. I watch as philosophers, engineers, scientists, religious scholars, captains of industry, common people all argue from disparate positions without finding commonality or consensus. The flow is chaotic. It is a perpetual battle of segmented worlds.
I have sat with my entrepreneurial circle of friends and listened to them make vastly wrong assumptions about how the world works around them. I have talked to those on my travels and heard vastly wrong assumptions of what goes on in Silicon Valley. Neither take the time to find out the truth. The assumptions are convenient and require less energy to process.
I have had conversations with my affluent friends about those in poverty and listened to proposed solutions that don’t fix anything because they don’t understand first hand what it is to have limited economic freedom. I have in turn sat with my friends who lack in finances and heard them wail about their destitute situations and throw blame everywhere out of a desperation to search for answers to their lives.
I have witnessed my engineer and scientific friends pursue the alter of data to solve every aspect of life without understanding the intuitive aspect of life. I have listened to my hippy friends rail against technology and how it is bringing an end to the human condition.
I sit with the young and listen to their hopes and diatribes about the world and their limited understanding of it. The old exacting upon the youth hardened rules of a long life lived that cannot be adhered to because of the simple principle of generational change.
Those of opposite polarities point fingers and wag, failing to see the capacity for consensus or change in each other. No one truly knowing how to bridge the ever growing divide that is the hidden, unspoken secret.
Cultures clash. Nations war. Consensus is agreed upon out of economic expediency, but the rivalries still bubble underneath. It is a tenuous peace of convenience at best.
Will it take something as innocuous as global warming and climate change to fully unite us under one cause of survival? Even with this looming upon us we fight and quibble. How despondently discouraging this is.
Live in THE world
This is the segmented world and most of us are content to occupy the segment we can process best. Our own slice of the pie. All of this vexes me. Seldom do I watch us come to the round table of the world and listen. Simply listen, watch and learn without agenda or self conceit. Is it possible to bring nothingness to the table and take away everything?
Live in the world. Bring together the multitude of segments and find the true commonalities that bind us as humans, the conditions that move through all of us in similar fashion. Listen and observe the language of desperation that we all carry, a desperation for a world united under an aspiration to be greater, communicating as one. Is this not what we are ultimately striving for, something to take us all away from the doldrums of fending for our basic physical and emotional needs?
Challenge yourselves and exert your conscience towards a deeper understanding of the connections that are there and simply listen, watch and learn. If there is a god, wouldn’t this exercise bring us closer to understanding the machinations of omnipresent creation?
This is to live beyond existing.
– Worldly Rabbit