When my fiancé was in bed next to me the other night reading one of my favourite books of all time, Sophie's World, she turned to me and said, "why are we here?".
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Philosophy is the topic Sophie's World tackles, and philosophy is basically asking the big questions. I answered her question by saying we are here to live the best life possible, to leave a positive imprint, and to ensure that we leave this world in a better way than we found it. This led to a conversation on why some people do good, and some do bad - the answer of course being that what is 'good' and what is 'bad' is largely subjective.
We then moved on to ask why certain people ask questions, and other people don't. This conversation then ended with me theoretically categorising humans into three boxes to illustrate the point that the world is unbalanced with those who ignore (the largest section), those who ask (slightly smaller), and those who act (smaller still... but growing!), which also means it is stagnant. These categories are as follows:
Category A - the ignorant/naive.
This could be split into the knowingly ignorant and the genuinely naive. These are the blinkered, narrow minded folk who are only concerned with that which enters their bubble. They do not join the dots from their lives to others, and therefore ignore all geopolitical, environmental, and developmental questions. Either due to a genuine lack of access to information, or because they would rather not know because it would interfere with the way they wish to do things. They tend to put profits before people or planet; through need, or greed. These people are likely to come from two polar opposite demographics; the urban rich and the urban poor. Both of which are also time poor.
Category B - the passively aware.
This too could be split into the completely passive, and those who take passive action. These are those with open eyes, but a pessimistic and submissive outlook. They think about the wider world and its problems, and use creative outlets to relate this angst and passively act - creative writing, art, dance, theatre. These mediums help them convey their knowledge of the world. They are however, resigned to the fact things won't get any better. Their creative endeavours do help some from category A, move up to category B, ergo some are passively active through indirect effects. These people are likely to come from the middle 'class' demographic, and have more spare time to ponder the issues of the world, and are comfortable enough to be able to put people and planet on level pegging with profit.
Category C - the activist.
This is the only absolute of the three categories. One is either an activist, or one is not. They are passionate about a lot of things, and they like to do something about the problems they see in the world. This can be small personal actions from choosing not to eat meat, or large campaigns through political or charitable organisations. They are effectively fighting to open the eyes of the Category A's and to inspire the Category B's out of their passivity. They live for the fight, and truly believe a better world is possible. The Category Cs are also harder to peg in terms of demographic, they can come from all walks of life, but generally would have experienced some form of injustice in their life to give them the motivation they need to live the activist lifestyle. They too are time poor, but this is through using every spare moment to further the cause.
People of course can transition from one category to another. Upward from A through to C is most likely. It would be incredibly hard for a C, or even a B, to become an A. Knowledge cannot be unlearnt, nor a moral compass reversed. The problem is that institutionalisation through the workplace, education, and certain cultural mediums is creating more As than Bs or Cs. So, as the As increase in number, the likelihood for change is reduced, and this is of course what the urban rich category A population want. They lose out from change, it creates risk in their eyes, which is something they spend their whole lives working to avoid. They therefore use propaganda to try and co-opt people into their category.
Therefore, the only way the world can change for the better, and all humans on earth can do what they were put on this earth for, is for category Cs to help break down the taboo of political and philosophical discussion in the institutions that shape future generations. When something is unbalanced, it is only a matter of time until it becomes balanced. I just hope that it happens within my lifetime.Suggest a correction