Do you think the daily actions of average people have significant impact on the course of history?
care to help me with an essay outline, I'm drawing blanks...
"Support your position with reasoning and examples taken from your reading, studies, experiences, and observations."
Great assignment question!
Absolutely. Or certainly, the absence of them does. Take one "everyday" activity for example: Eating. Hypothetically, should the entire human race (perhaps absurdly) collectively agree to refrain from eating, we would all die - in the space of about 4 weeks. This would obviously spell doom for the entire species, but would also mean the "end of history" as all intellectual advancement in our species died with us. It's a little far fetched obviously, but I say it to demonstrate the prinicple that even the most mundane activity has an importance to it far beyond the scope of itself.
Another example I can think of (and i'm Australian here, so i'm not completely knowledgeable on the specifics), but I remember a few years ago (in california I think), a documentary was made about what would happen if all of the illegal immigrants stopped working for a week. Didn't watch the doco, but I heard the outcome purported in the documentary was that there would be widespread breakdown in services, as these people composed the bulk of the low-paid service and labour industries. An example of how people just making a living can impact the course of history by potentially bringing one of the largest economies in the world to its knees!
Moreover, the reptition of everyday tasks has encouraged the discovery of particular laws and theories. Take for example the laws of supply & demand in economics. Both are an exceptionally useful and powerful model for determining the future value of goods, and were discovered by intellectuals who simply observed the "markets" they knew best. Yet another example are political ideologies. Marxism and socialism in particular being born out of the dissatisfaction of "everyday people" doing thier "everyday job" in appalling conditions (during the industrial revolution), and seeking a political remedy for thier woes. Seems like a significant impact to me! Nearly every political and intellectual theory/ideology can trace its existence to observation or participation in "everyday activities."
(ugh, I still have alot of ideas, but it wont let me post them as an answer without turning them into a hub!)
I believe that the daily actions of average people have significant impact on the course of history. First of all, the United States citizens elected Barack Obama. Average people showing up at the polls demonstrates that average citizens care about our country and the new direction we would like our country to take.
Looking back as far as the American Revolution, average, everyday citizens formed the "Sons of Liberty" and created a new country independent of Great Britain, and signed the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776. Average citizens fought the American Revolution, and average citizens supported the movement to abolish slavery, beginning with their participation in the Underground Railroad. Average citizens participated in marches for more Human Rights for minorities in the 1960s. Many people feed the hungry and homeless at soup kitchens all over the country,..and not just in the U.S. Mother Theresa and her sisters fed the hungry in Calcutta every day. They were average people doing extraordinary things.
Each day, "average" people live out their lives according to what they care about most. Most people behave in ways that reflect their personal priorities. Those who feed into media propaganda watch lots of television. Others who would like to return to a simpler lifestyle shut off the television and grow food in backyard gardens and spend more time outside. Those who care about sports play on teams and attend games. Those who care about music gather in groups to play and attend concerts.
Overall, the math adds up. The more people who are willing to put what they care about most into action (or refraining from action that supports the groups they would like to see lose power), the less the groups who would impose their will on others may have a hold on a large group of average citizens. More people may need to care to reach the "tipping point" that favors the survival of our planet and our species at a level where it is noticeable, but the more people who believe that their actions matter, the more will take action and align their lifestyle with more earth-friendly means of completing everyday tasks.
Local newspapers often cover stories in the smaller sections that are worth paying attention to. Those stories are usually about people whose actions are making a positive, lasting impact on the lives of others, young and old.
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