Yes, it’s a dream. The perfect world. Utopia. World peace.
Some of us want that, anyway. It’s something to ask for for Christmas that never gets old.
But is it what we want?
Certainly, we want some of it. There is way too much anger out there. Way too much senseless, pointless war/violence/crime/hatred/intolerance/injustice. Most people would agree. (Although there are people that bring up statistics that talk about how we live in the safest time ever. Ever… Statistics are fun, but not always that useful. Unless you want to prove a point with no real benefit)
In any case, most people look at a violent at and say: ‘I don’t really think that needed to happen.’
Or: ‘Probably the world would be better off if that hadn’t taken place.’ (Or to the real cynic: ‘Certainly the people that were slaughtered would have been better off.’)
Is that a consensus?
We don’t really need a consensus. It may be as desirable as utopia, which is to say, not very.
What are we getting at?
That’s right. The utopian fantasy. Is it what we really want, or just something nice to think about?
First off, what is it anyway? It’s abstract. It probably varies person to person. It likely involves a beach somewhere. Frolicking. Few cares. Booze. Sex. Golf. The absence of toil. Great art. Living forever. Fast cars. Sunshine. Flowers. A gentle breeze. Provocative television.
Sure, most of that sounds good. (I’m not really a car guy.) But is that where we want this ship headed? Or would it make us bored? Crazy? Would we want more?
Would there be more anger/hate/violence etc? Or would we be content to be content?
History would argue that we would never be content to be content. We raised ourselves up from our roots as foragers where all evidence points to the fact that we pretty much had it all. Low stress. Health. Ample food. Ample sex. (No golf, TV or cars…) We wanted more. Or we accidentally planted some plants, and then we wanted more. Our quest to make things even easier made things much, much harder.
The problem is that we’re better off when we have something to do. I’m talking about something with some purpose behind it. Something that makes things better for our fellow travelers. (I’m sure there are statistics that show this…) We don’t do well when we’re bored. And we don’t do well when we’re only looking out for #1.
Once we give up on the idea of the perfect world, we can start thinking about creating an interesting, meaningful world. A world where we work, struggle, give, take, love, laugh, learn, teach, grow, age, die. Where we do what we can make someone better, healthier, happier. To lift them up, alongside us.
Or is that a perfect world…?