Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Taking Better Care of Ourselves

If things don't change, the coming crisis will be the lack of caregivers to take care of other people -- caused greatly, by people not taking better care of themselves -- first and foremost.  If people did that, the need for others to care for them, would diminish greatly. 

There is nothing inevitable about decline and deterioration at any time in life -- except that it is an accepted "normal" in many -- especially those who were never very good at it at any point in their lives.   Naturally and predictably, they just got worse -- as the only way they knew how to live out their lives, because they didn't see good role models of anything else.  They saw only self-destructive types, who inevitably self-destruct -- but there is nothing normal, or desirable about such a path -- no matter how much help from others -- that might entitle them to. 

Such individuals do require greater guidance and assistance throughout life -- not only in harming themselves, but others around them -- creating a path of destruction in their wake.  It used to be much worse -- but is improving with time.  The progress and evolution of human society, is that people become better -- even if they have to make themselves so

That doesn't necessarily create more jobs -- in the traditional sense of doing something for someone else, of which caregiving is the ultimate manifestation of.  "Caregiving" may be necessary for babies -- but the object in life, is to become more self-sufficient, self-reliant, and self-sustaining -- rather than increasing one's dependence on others, even if that is socially approved, condoned, and provides many jobs for others -- even as the fastest growing industry.  That is not a good measure of progress.

It is obviously moving in the wrong direction.  When it takes ten to look after one, or even one other to look after one, that is a zero-sum game, no matter how much time, energy and other resources are put into such a scheme.  Then those caregivers, haven't the time, energy and resources to devote to themselves,  and the most dependent and/or dysfunctional, call the tunes -- for the rest of society to dance to.

Therefore, the only thing that makes sense, is for everyone to become more proficient at caring for themselves -- so that they don't require that attention by others.  The obvious cases are bicyclists who believe that it is everybody else's job to watch out and ensure their safety -- as though they don't have that primary consideration for their own.  Criminals and other social deviants are a similar drain on everybody else's resources.  They think that is the primary reason for everybody else's existence.

That is an immature (erroneous) view of the world, and the place one has in it.   The question then, is not what one should do for another, but what can one do to better themselves?  That is the most meaningful action any human can take.  But that does not mean exclusively for one's own benefit -- and nobody else's, even to being in conflict with everybody else -- for everything.  Even to thinking that one is in competition with everybody else, for everything, all the time -- which is even thinking about being in competition with oneself -- to justify and disguise such ignoble intents.

The most productive action, is that which benefits many others -- as well as oneself -- as the first and prime beneficiary.  But if one cannot provide that benefit even to oneself, it is a stretch of imagination to think that they are providing that benefit to everybody else but themselves.  That was what they called, "sacrificing" oneself for another.  A healthy world and outlook, does not require such "sacrifices."  The healthy world is where no one sacrifices and subjugates themselves to another -- especially by their own choice and deliberation.

That would be a sustainable and growing society -- and not one consumed by the obsession, "Where will all the future caregivers come from -- when it is my turn to become the chief beneficiary?"
Hopefully, that day never comes, and one dedicates their lives to ensuring that as much as possible.  That would be especially true in retirement -- when people have to justify their lives beyond the usual affiliations and occupations.  At that point, many lives implode because they've never thought of these things before -- and have to justify their own existence.  Life then, is what every individual makes of it -- but their entire life before then, has preparation for.

For many, that will be a disaster -- as they realize they are totally unprepared, and everything they have done, has been a dissipation and waste of every opportunity that ever presented itself -- even to the most underprivileged.   That is to say that even privileges, have become everyone's entitlement.  Unfortunately, reality is seldom as generous as to be fooled by such sophistry.  It demands real results.

The world hasn't seen such actualizations before -- because that is the work of the present generation.  That is why we live.