Busy People – Busy Towns
Do you feel like you are to busy? Do life and the people around you seem to be moving at lightning speed? Are you rushing from place to place? Chances are pretty good that the answer to these questions for many people is YES!
I remember reading Richard Scary’s books to my kids and the other day I thought about how busy the world has become. Someone always seems to be racing by me on the freeway or running to catch the bus. Here are some titles of Scary’s books:
- Busy, Busy Town
- Busy, Busy World
- What Do People Do All Day?
- Busiest People Ever
This is the world we created when we moved from a more cooperative society focused on community and in which we net our needs through hunting and gathering to a one focused on capitalism. I am not sure I would want to turn back time, but I do wish that more people had time in their lives to spend with family, spend time in nature, help others, and be more involved with their communities.
Problems and Solutions
Much as been written about the ills of capitalism and what should be done to fix it now that we have entered an era in which inequality has reached epic proportions. Should we have a Universal Basic Income (UBI), Baby Bonds, Free College, a Maximum Income, and/or a cap on the CEO to worker pay ratio?
Solutions that will please all are hard to come by. Our nation seems more divided than ever. You have probably heard the saying “complaints without solutions are worthless.” Here are a few wise sayings about complaining from the website wiseoldsayings.com:
If you have time to whine and complain about something then you have the time to do something about it.
Be grateful for what you have and stop complaining – it bores everybody else, does you no good, and doesn’t solve any problems.
Excuses are only for those people who are unwilling to find the solution, who find greater solace in the loudness of their complaints rather than in the action they are taking to implement the actions that carry them steadily forward to their achievement.
You don’t make progress by standing on the sidelines, whimpering and complaining. You make progress by implementing ideas.
Wise sayings indeed. Even so, it is easy to feel powerless in our complicated world. How can I, a single person, help make the world a better place? There is no shortage of organizations you can join or politicians to support. But, perhaps it is simpler than that. Perhaps it is as simple as picking up the litter on your block. Helping an elderly neighbor with yard work. Volunteering at the local school or library. Our actions are contagious! When litter piles up, others see no reason not to add to the mess. It becomes acceptable or normalized.
Malcolm Gladwell’s book The Tipping Point delves into this phenomenon of how a small idea or habit can develop into a habit or trend. He examines the tipping point that turns a localized outbreak of a disease into an epidemic. I believe that the vast inequality in our country has reached a tipping point and is creating chaos and disruption.
When people are unhappy and feel hopeless, they are more vulnerable to extremist ideologies. The current systems controlling the world they live in do not seem to be working for them so they look for an alternative. At times people start to blame others for the problems and the blame game becomes contagious. Instead of uniting to seek and implement solutions, we are divided by hate. Those in power want to stay in power. It is to their advantage to create divisions in our society.
When people are struggling, the thought of sharing with others must seem unbearable. Even so, history has shown that people will band together and help each other during tough times. Tragedy brings us together.
The opposite side of this coin is that those who have worked hard and reached a certain level of comfort seem to live in fear that if other people’s fortunes are improved, somehow theirs will be diminished. People hold on tightly to that piece of the pie they have earned. Why should my neighbor get any help? He doesn’t work as hard as I do!
Unity, Respect, and Love
In a world of abundance such as ours, it is time to recognize the tragedy that inequality is and unite to create positive change for all. We unite when a tornado or hurricane hits a community. The devastation that inequality creates is just as serious and widespread.
It is time to put aside our differences, fears, hate, and jealousy. None of those things will help us climb the mountain we face.
Yes, we are busy people living in busy towns, but we are all PEOPLE.