I have noticed a trend pervading society. This trend is based on paradigm blindness, or the idea that we are blind to anything outside of our perception of the world. Our desire to strive for onward and upward is disconnecting us from helping others.
In searching for the pursuit of plenty we train ourselves to ignore failure, sadness, depression, and setbacks and then do not see these things in others.
I’m guilty of it. I know that when I become wrapped up in the world I’m creating I lose connection to others. My ambition pulls me away from people. There is an inherent paradox in this.
I worry that we are setting ourselves up for a great let down when we age, that some day further down the road when we look back on who we’ve become we’ll think “is that it?” As someone who has travelled the world, and relied on the generosity of others, I am nagged by the thought that maybe we aren’t doing a good enough job on the things that really matter.
The Global Dream- Pursuing Plenty
Maybe when our empires are built, when we have acquired more shit than our neighbors (because that is the goal isn’t it?) we will discover how truly empty for anything real we are. We are undergoing a cultural shift, a change from the American Dream to a global dream.
While both dreams are about bootstrapping and pulling yourself up through hard work and creativity, today’s endeavor relies on using technology, outsourcing, and efficiencies. Many of these efficiencies involve either no humans whatsoever or a dynamic where we’re just paying someone we’ve never met and only connected with via email to do a job for us.
In many ways, this version of the global dream is more in tune with the rampant individualism than the original concept of the American Dream in James Truslow Adam’s The Epic of America. Never before could we create a job or do work that does not involve developing strong professional relationships with others.
Today you can develop an online business at home in your pajamas, and that is precisely how I know you aren’t interacting with other humans face to face. While we have always preached individualism as an ideal, in the past the logistics of running a business or having a career have forced us to enter in to commune with others.
But, we can work remotely today. We can utilize the resources of wherever we happen to be. With money you can buy anything these days: followers, business, contractors. While having the internet at our disposal is amazing, I wonder the effect the pursuit of wealth in conjunction with isolationism will have on humans.
Part of me believes we’ll all turn in to scrooges. But, the optimistic part of me thinks that if we taper our pursuits with appreciation we’ll be just fine. If we stay in touch with the things that matter our humanness will live on. I do not know of a better way than practicing thankfulness. So pursue your passions. Grind. But, don’t forget to appreciate the world around you and everyone in it.