Where do we go from here?
Last night I decided to go to the movies, apart from the fact that parking my car cost almost twice the cost of my entry I looked forward to my chosen film.
Without revealing the name of the movie, the storyline revolved around the financial crisis that occurred in 2008; the producers were awarded an Oscar for their efforts and rightly so, it was raw, confronting and the mark of its impact was the sight of a number of shaking heads moving from side to side around me.
So why when I alighted from my seat why did I feel a sense of loss, a fear for my family and for that matter the world; strange phononmen for me as I have always prided myself in seeing the upside of things, in this instance as hard as I tried I could not find any solace to cling to. Why, because the people featured in the documentary pulled away the last splintering support of a thing called trust; something that has sustained our society for ever and now we are faced with the herculean task of finding a way to restore it.
The detoriation of trust has not been defined by this one event rather a series of behavioural episodes over recent decades. We have been blindsided and only when it has personally invaded our lives have we begun to notice what a precarious position we are in.
Driving home I commenced my post mortem of how we arrived at this place, not a sensible thing to do, when one should be concentrating on the road ahead as my emotions were running riot; I wanted to pinpoint and expose those scurrilous individuals. Not normally a person embroiled in anger rather the opposite relying on myself taught skill of mediation and balance, i could envisage myself being part of a snarling foaming mob ready to dispense its own version of justice.
Carrying on this mental tirade, i honed in on the strength of modern day media and cursed their operating methods, how could we bring them to account. Had successive governments let us down, knowing full well in their hearts they had made promises they could never keep with the only motive to secure their tenure and hold on to power. Corporations getting larger and larger to secure a bigger slice of markets, leaving behind them a trail of destruction of people’s lives as rationalisation kicked in; bonds that have been broken which have existed for years, all in the name of globalisation, with the promise of a largess for everyone.
Was that bright shiny concept “Capitalism” which encouraged us to be bold and take risk to blame? Like a discarded cuddly Christmas toy it now sits in the corner unloved by its owner, wary that it may again be refreshed and morph into some kind of real life monster.
Recalling how in the November US midterm elections politicians rallied around to revive the model of capitalism and vehemently stating that it was the world’s only saviour and free markets must remain intact, Using that word again “trust us we know what we are doing”, I think like lemmings jumping over the cliff we seem mesmerised to their calls. Correct me if I am wrong but are these not the very people who thrust the final dagger into the heart of the issue of trust.
By the time I pulled on to my driveway I had made no progress in finding an answer, it was not until I woke with a start at 1.32am (I looked at the clock) that clarity took over.
I was looking in the wrong places, of course those individuals and governments and corporations have culpability for some of the things that have perpetrated, but we need to objectively look closer to home.
So where does the blame lie? It is us, you, and me!
In our thirst to acquire assets and a better life, we were seduced into believing that these chattels would bring greater meaning into our world, the investment property, a new car and the latest technology. Let’s call it as it is, we have become engorged with greed and as could have reasonably been expected opportunists stepped in to help us fuel the fire of our insatiable appetite. I don’t think I need to name the culprits and besides the list would be too long.
Maybe there is nothing we can do to stop this juggernaut from plunging into the precipice, the signs are not encouraging. History tells us a society which does not recognise its shortcomings is doomed to fail.
Whilst I paint a picture of a rather depressing landscape, I return to the words of that famous anthropologist Margaret Mead “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.
Let’s hope we can find enough of those committed citizens to stem the tide.