My mind is in a state of turmoil this week, for between university classes and what is happening in London with the Occupy movement, it has created some very strong reactions and responses in me. After many long-winded attempts on this blog entry, I think I have written about what is most important to me, right now. In support of Blog Action Day as well, I think that it is apt that I have a thinking entry and I hope that it will get your thinking juices going.
This weekend saw the Occupy movement come to London, to St Paul’s (actually Paternoster Square where the London Stock Exchange is situated, though because it is actually private property, protestors were not allowed on it and thus spilled to the steps of St Paul’s Cathedral instead), which is just five minutes away from our flat. The protest looks at the bailing out of banks a few years back, which caused governments to have to consider other financial management strategies, now affecting public sector cuts and so forth. The issue of the Occupy movement is one that would take up an entire blog and more, so I will not look at it here, other than to just say that I do not wholly agree with it. There is too much to be considered in this situation, but we can safely say that whatever is happening right now, is the effect of what the governments did during the economy downfall in 2008.
This cause and effect is something that historians will probably tell us that has happened over and over and over again in the past. Look at colonisation or imperialism. There are many arguments to how effective it was in the past, how necessary it was and/or how good or bad it was. But really, if you look at the big picture, unless you can actually tell what the alternatives would have been, we can never know. Coulda shoulda woulda isn’t very helpful, ever. What has been done, is done. The question is what we do with the current situation that is more important.
Protesting about things could give a voice to those who otherwise would not have had the opportunity, but yet, what is the message? It is at the end of the day, a question of identity. Who we are makes us consider different messages. My husband and I are both educated to a post-graduate level. We work hard and we think that we deserve the salaries we are/were given. We strive to be better. Is that wrong? Does anyone have the right to judge us?
I do sympathise with those who have found it difficult to gain employment. I have friends who have taken six months to do so and they are educated and highly skilled. There are jobs out there, just not enough. With everything, it is cyclical. Do we complain when there are too many jobs and not enough people? No. Do we complain when it is an employee’s market, when the employees are able to dictate terms. No. We only complain when things are not going right for OURSELVES. This is part of being human. We are selfish and greedy. We are survivors. We complain.
Darwin’s ‘struggle for survival’ rings true even in this day in age, in both inter-species as well as intra-species, although intra-species struggle is probably more prominent at the moment.
So, how do we deal with identity and survival issues? Some of us arm ourselves with knowledge, for knowledge is power. Others go for money, for money is power too. Identity may affect how others perceive us and how we perceive ourselves within society, so we struggle with our national, cultural, ethnic, professional, corporate and private identities. We chop and change ourselves to suit what we need to be, or at least what we think we need to be.
This is something that could be said to have been inherited from the Victorians. The question of identity. During the Victorian period, there was a boom in knowledge. People were talking about the theory of evolution, cities were becoming more populated than the countryside, division of labour took off with a bang, transportation and technology improved rapidly, there was just too much happening. With all these new discoveries and religion starting to be questioned, there was a general anxiety in the air, people were anxious for they were being pulled in too many directions, they were unsure of their own identity, their community’s identity and what to do with it.
So, to survive, we struggle. Whether this struggle is a physical one or not, whether this struggle is painful or not, it does not matter. We all struggle. In third world countries, the struggle may be as simple as a struggle to get enough food to live, or to have a roof over one’s head. In developing countries, perhaps the struggle is one for a job, or a political struggle. Anywhere in the world, people may be struggling with religion, with family, with knowledge. This struggle makes us human and those of us who manage to come through this struggle, survive.
As much as many of us pragmatists in the world would like to see the world as a straight forward yes/no place, this is impossible. The world is subjective in too many ways. Vulcans are just an imagery, a concept that humans think would be what perfect beings or a perfect race would be like, but the more you learn about the world, the less that rings true. We cannot be removed from our experiences, for they are as important as they are potentially bad.
Our conditioning, our identity, our paths make who we are. Yes, we can choose future opportunities, we can choose a new identity, we can choose new paths, which can mould our future selves, but we need to always remember and realise that our actions, whether it is choosing, reacting or even just going with the flow of things ultimately come from the parameters which our past has set-up and conditioned us to be.
Don’t like it?
Good. Awareness is after all the first step to change.
Think about it.