Ignorant of Ourselves and Our Potential

Humanity is a funny thing.  We have so many amazing abilities and potentials.  We have been able to do some amazing things together, despite many of them coming with unintended and destructive consequences.  Our ability to focus externally is impressive.  Technologies, medical treatments, exploration, physics, and many other fields have so much more information than ever before.  It’s truly remarkable what we’ve been able to do.  While our maturity in these areas has become so advanced, I wonder when our humanity will receive the same amount of collective focus and popularity.

This question has been on my mind for nearly 25 years.  We’ve increased our collective knowledge on some fronts but what concerns me is that I’m not seeing how this has led to improvements in our daily lives.  The more advanced our technologies come, the more we pack in and the less time we spend reflecting.  In fact, so many things have become cliche now.  Wisdom has become more cliche than ever before.  And this really concerns me.  It concerns me because I fear for our future as a species and as individuals.

Most people that I come across assume that they know how they work.  I don’t doubt that they have very valid ideas and experiences but how humans work, individually and collectively, is a very complex subject with many different answers.  It’s ironic to me that we study so many subjects throughout our education but there is minimal focus on teaching kids and adults how they work.  What is the mind?  Where does it come from?  Why do you do the things that you do?  Did you know that we’re mostly running on automatic and that freedom is generally quite an illusion?  So many questions like these are not asked and the vast majority of us are not inclined to reflect on possible answers.  This is really too bad.

When we start to explore how we work and increase our awareness, the possibility of experiencing a deeper contentment in life increases.  It means having to do a little work and develop some healthier mental habits, but the benefits are quite amazing.  Yet, so many of us squander our lives and fail to tap into our potential.  As a result, we cause ourselves so many more problems.  It’s kind of like someone who owns a really, really nice car.  It can do some pretty amazing things and it has the potential to last a long time.  Yet, they never learn how to care for it.  The first time they get a flat tire, they decide to just leave it where it is and stop using it.  How many of us approach our psychological and social lives is not much different.  We go through the motions but when stuff breaks, we just move on without pausing, really pausing, to think about what happened inside of us and around us.

It would be amazing to see more and more people start to study the human condition for their own benefit…but I’m just not sure that we will make this a trend any time soon.  I wonder, will we ever be ready to advance our collective and individual maturity and evolve?  I sure hope so because the amount of pain, suffering, and problems we cause ourselves by not knowing how we work is so heartbreaking to watch.  It’s especially hard to see it happen in the moment, and these moments are not in short supply.  I just hope that all of us start to see that there are other options, questions to ask, and things to reflect upon.  We would be so much better off if we really tapped into our innate abilities and slowed down a bit.  Harmony and wonder are just so much more enjoyable in the end than aggression and rigidity.  With a broken heart, I wish us all, I wish you, contentment.

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