The Modern Manifest Destiny
The Modern Manifest Destiny
The Modern Manifest Destiny
I use the term “Manifest Destiny” to define the current mental direction modern society seems to desire to be its destination. We seem to be “stuck” in a self centered and self destructive mindset that we are either unwilling or unable to change. The term “Manifest Destiny” immediately takes my thoughts to when the early American settlers were pressing westward to California and Oregon in the 1800’s as we took this land away from the American Indians. This “theft” was simply termed our “Manifest Destiny” and incorrectly made righteous by saying it is inevitable for modern man to take over the world. Today I see the term as defining our ways of thinking and our actions as we look toward the future as a society in general. We are selfishly taking all we can get from each other - both physically and mentally as we also devastate the very planet that sustains our fragile existence.
By the way, this writing is not dedicated to the sole purpose of stating my point of view on “saving the planet”, even though it is a relevant and negative by product of modern societies’ methods toward reaching its current and almost inevitable destination.
I believe there are two old sayings that help sum up modern societies’ general mentality.
1. “With knowledge comes sorrow.”
2. “Keep up with the Jones’s.”
“With knowledge comes sorrow.”
As for this first adage, I believe that even the most brutally selfish have at least a minuscule sense of conscience. Sometimes it can be brought out by hypothetical thoughts of a family member being the recipient of a dastardly deed committed by this same “conscious less” person, or, possibly by hypothetically putting themselves as the recipient of the dastardly deed.
My point is that even the most ruthless of people have some sense of conscience, or thinking to themselves - “what if someone did that to me?” I will admit that most psychopathic serial killers have been proven to have absolutely no conscience for committing dastardly deeds. And, with this, I must admit that ruthless business men are also capable of not retaining a sympathetic conscience towards their fellow man either.
However, I believe that if a businessman actually feels absolutely no emotional direction against committing dastardly business deeds, their wicked actions will eventually lead to acting upon fantasies, whether they are sexual or criminal or the like in nature, and that person will eventually become a “person of interest” to some faction the law enforcement community.
I also must admit that with a high level of intelligence, a cunning criminal can stay well ahead of the law and avoid detection for many, many years. Though, even the most “savvy” criminals eventually make a mistake, for one reason or another, and are at least investigated to the point where continuing the criminal activity will cause exposure or capture.
My point is that the mindset of the modern capitalist society has become too relaxed in self centeredness. I too am guilty of being more selfish today than I was in my earlier years. I see the obvious similarities between our modern social mindset and the Roman Empire. We are too comfortable in our beliefs and inaccurate sense of security in our current, modern lifestyles. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and it didn’t fall in a day, but as time passes we don’t realize the subtle, however, constant changes going on around us.
Just as the earth’s crust is in constant motion, so is everything else in the universe. It is such a slow progression of material and events, that it happens un-noticed as we blindly forge ahead with our daily lives.
As for “with knowledge comes sorrow”, I can make a direct connection to our current, and probable future. The human mind, especially the modern human mind, has a funny way of accepting changes and adapting. This is due to evolutionary survival skills in all life forms. However, the human mind is especially particular in how it perceives change. For instance, a tragedy in a foreign country will at first seem horrific to a citizen thousands of miles away across the planet, but soon the mind will avert any potential danger by dismissing the long distance as a safety barrier. This is also true even in extremely close proximity, such as if our next door neighbor were to be directly hit by a tornado. The human mind will find a way to pass it off as being a close call, which is all we can do, consider ourselves lucky, hope for the best and move on into the future.
However, when it comes to daily habits and comfort, the human mind will go into denial to dismiss any negative consequences of desired actions and thought patterns. In other words, when we become comfortable, we do not want to change our selves, our surroundings or our thought patterns to implement more work, stress or unwanted actions and thought patterns. We strive to be comfortable and happy, even if there are extremely negative consequences for doing so.
It has always been so in human history, especially in business. We feel bad for those who suffer because of our decisions and actions, but that’s simply the way it works, right? In other words, we are aware of the negative consequences of our decisions and actions for others, but we are trained and programmed to believe it is the “manifest destiny” to continue with these immoral expectations as we have for decades.
The more you allow your mind to dwell on the negative consequences of your decisions and actions on others, the more guilt you feel for doing so. So, we are mentally trained to block out the negative consequences and reap the benefits of what we have done. We do this on a daily basis, but it has become such an accepted politically correct way of life that we block out the negative consequences before we even allow our minds to acknowledge they are inevitable.
The knowledge of the negative consequences is there in each of us and the sorrow toward the afflicted is also there, but we have trained our mind to override the guilt with denial and excuses.
This can be directly associated with our legal system. In other words, the law is designed to protect the “politically correct” criminal and crimes. If you can’t prove it’s illegal in court, then it must not be illegal or immoral, right?
This is where “keeping up with the Jones’s” comes into the equation. The human mind has a funny way of desiring to mimic what the senses perceive. What we see, hear, feel, taste, smell, and just the things we know to be happening - tempt us into coveting. For example, if I were to roll a ball a few times in front of a toddler, what will the toddler want to do? Roll the ball as I did. It is human nature from birth for us to desire the “monkey see – monkey do” mentality. The problem stems from how we turn this from simple acts as children into more devastating acts as adults.
For example, we see, or know, our neighbors took a vacation by racking up debt on a credit card – and we should be able to do the same, right? This coveting, or monkey see – monkey do mentality is true with most things in our daily lives today. From cloths to vacations, and material items at your local Wal-Mart, we all want everything available to anyone, and we want it right now.
The modern Capitalist system has evolved into an insatiable machine that is perpetually dependent on the un-necessary commerce of humans for it to continue to exist. If the system is drastically changed, for any reason, it will quickly collapse or there will at least be masses of people suffering with life threatening problems and situations. From banks to hospitals, we all depend on the system functioning with the “business as usual” mechanics. If drastic changes are implemented too quickly – and without the majority of the people agreeing to or openly accepting these changes – there will be either chaos or devastating consequences.
What is my point now? My point is that unless we are all willing to change our current “manifest destiny” we will drive our very existence into an irreversible self destructive end. We hope and pray that we can continue as we are, or with “business as usual”, without reaping the negative consequences of our actions, and inactions, in our future.
The Romans became so lazy and confident in their way of life and ways of thinking that they were too preoccupied with self centeredness and self righteousness that they failed to see the obvious downfall of their very existence. The acknowledged threats to their way of life seemed to be too primitive to their advanced intellectual minds and system to have any real impact to their society or civilization.
To me, that is the real lesson to be learned. No matter how smart or advanced your system, civilization or way of thinking is, there are always threats that will either be ignored or deemed unimportant enough to cause serious damage or they will be threats that were unpredictable at all.
We have to also remember that Mother Nature can throw our entire planet into ecological chaos and subsequently impact humans with a chain reaction of devastating events. The physical damage from a single or possibly numerous, simultaneous or closely consecutive massive world wide ecological disasters will inevitably be devastating to the human population.
There is nothing we can do to prevent some of the natural occurrences of our planets (or the universes) events, but we should be doing all we can to prevent ourselves from causing distress and harm to each other from our “business as usual” mentality.
We should also do all we can to prevent our actions and inactions from causing natural disastrous events from occurring. Yes, we as an intelligent species should be able to do all we can to insure our planet remains a stable ecological environment, but even if we were able to do everything humanly possible to prevent human activity from causing natural disasters, that doesn’t mean Mother Earth won’t throw some at us anyway.
I guess I am just saying that it is sad to see such a highly intelligent and evolved species refuse to willingly become morally responsible toward each other. I guess its human nature to remain with a “business as usual” mentality until a much larger threat has materialized to impact us as a species. We tolerate the daily immoral acts toward each other because we know tomorrow is another day for revenge, or vindication, whether it be realistic or simply a mentally satisfying fantasy in our selfish imaginations – but when all of our tomorrows are in a real physical and imminent danger of ceasing to come, only then will we pull together as a species and strive to ensure our distant future.