There has to be a better answer.
At least that is what I keep telling myself.
For the longest time, I have asked myself why there is so much misery in the world and what can be done to change it. Much of our misery seems to revolve around getting and having or not getting and not having. In other words, it is coming from our perception of deprivation.
We have had many answers to deprivation in our human history, but often they fall into one of three categories:
- do without and learn to like it
- indulge yourself
- consume moderately which is a little of everything, no extremes of self-denial or self-indulgence.
I am not pointing in a spiritual direction with this post. I am raising practical considerations regarding material existence, how to live our lives and how to live with each other.
I have often thought that there is a problem with being focused on answers. Too frequently we reach for them quickly without the process of discovery that can lead to great problem-solving. Our answers often take on a life of their own as an approach to life, and so can do us more harm than good.
I don’t think we get off so easy as to have a fixed answer to life challenges for a number of important reasons:
- Answers adhered to religiously do more harm than good. They cause us to respond to a situation as a threat to our answer. Blind loyalty to answers reduces cooperation by closing off the intelligence and experience of others. Whenever I am around someone who operates from their answers, I can feel that I have been shut out which is a very uncomfortable feeling.
- Answers expect a result. They have no room for changes of circumstance, people or conditions. If you were accustomed to living in a tent in the Sahara desert, would you expect that same tent to work equally well in Antarctica?
- Answers demand continuity of experience. Have you ever met someone that acted deprived no matter what they had? That person is demanding a certain experience at all times and acting deprived when it does not happen.
I say, “Ditch the answers!” Answers should be the organic result of asking questions and considering all kinds of information. They should not be a foregone conclusion. They should allow imagination in and give it its proper place. So ditch the answers and let some surprise into your life and you may find that life works better as a result.
Just a hunch.