Saturday, January 23, 2016

Solving the Problems of One's Own Living

It should come as no surprise to learn that each and everyone has their own unique challenges, problems and difficulties to overcome, and that is the ultimate meaning and purpose of their lives -- and in that manner, showing the rest, how it is done -- in their own efforts.  That is the value of learning from others -- and from everything in life.  All are engaged in their own unique struggles -- some more successfully than others, but we can learn from both the successful and the failings.  

Of course, we don't want to be the failing -- and not that we merely want to be successful at duplicating such failings -- in repeating what they do.  But many learn nothing else -- and that is why we call them dysfunctional: they fail to adapt successfully.  And if they persist, will soon become extinct -- unless the society enables such failures, rather than recognizing and favoring its successes.

It may be that instead of containing the failures and catastrophes it brings, society encourages its spread -- in ensuring that what has brought about such calamities, are the only way to go -- despite the disastrous results and consequences.  The people are implored to charge on -- as thought there are unlimited resources and lives to give to these hopeless situations -- until it is thought, that there must be another way.  And then history itself is changed -- and the memory of the failings, are extinguished and forgotten.

One doesn't have to remember and revere the failings -- lest people forget, because there are always a whole slew of new challenges to recognize and surmount.  Each generation's successes also sow their future challenges -- even as scarcity brings about abundance and a whole new manner of coping.  So in one generation, rampant starvation may give way to rampant obesity, and the strategies for dealing with that reality shift, is not just continuing what we've always done before -- as though that made sense anymore, and for all times and conditions -- no matter what.

Thus the ability to distinguish rapidly changing and different circumstances, is the greatest survival value and skills that need to be honed all one's life -- and especially, when one has grown immune from that responsiveness -- in thinking there is no more to be learned, and unvarying repetition will suffice -- no matter what.  That will not be a happy ending -- in anyone's life.  Those who will be most successful later in life -- who challenge the present paradigm of becoming less able, by becoming increasingly so -- whatever it takes.  It may take everything they have in life -- to ensure their own success.

What is more important for them to do?  Which means it can't be the end of learning and living, but a beginning for even better, and not a retreat and surrender -- that ensures their demise.  It's not that it is hard as much as it has not been done before -- but which is the only thing that makes sense to do.  It would not make sense to give up before one graduates from school, but it makes even less sense to give up when many feel that is the only thing they can do.  Then surely, one does not find out how it could have been otherwise.

That is the condition of aging as we've known it up to now -- and think it could not be any different, let alone better.  But the current outlook and prospects do not seem good -- so there is no harm in thinking any differently.  In fact, one has nothing to lose, and everything to gain -- in thinking differently.  So why not?  Nothing in life, has prepared us to think that way -- but that does not make it impossible, or even improbable.  It is just the way we haven't thought before -- but that has been true of every evolutionary leap in the improvement of life, both individually and collectively.  That is also the ending of the way we've always done it before -- and particularly if that's not working out so well and satisfactorily.

Defenders of the status quo will say that theirs is the only way -- even if it hasn't been working out so well so far, and their answer is that we simply have to try harder (increase funding) -- at what is not working, as though that is transformative at some miraculous point.  It's like dying doing what you love to do -- because that is the only thing one does.  But all that is certain, is the dying -- regardless of what they do, and then it doesn't matter.

Most never get beyond that resignation and acceptance -- thinking it is the ultimately wise thing to do.  But we are not talking about simply doing the same things we've done before without success -- merely thinking that we can get another result, but rather, doing what we have never done before, and finding out if there is any difference -- and that makes the difference!