After-Midnight Thought

by gumilangra

The present world is complex and it keeps on growing to be more complex. Almost every aspect of our world develops that way: increasing biological complexity as the result of evolution; present’s more complex society than we had before, the tribes which consisted of dozens members thousands years ago now has grown into massive nation-states—which possibly turn into world’s single stateless society; economic development which turned simple barter-based economy into globalized finance; and digitization of massive amounts of information and development of smart systems that communicate interdependently.

As the world’s getting more complex, the problems around the world itself also seem to be more complex too. Besides all the civilization’s development we have, we still have neverending war, poverty and economic inequality, oppressions, drug crimes, environmental issues, hate crimes, and many others that could be an essay just by listing all of them. The perplexing nature of the problems seems to frustrate anyone who thinks about them. Caring about such issues is already overwhelming for some people, let alone thinking about the best solutions. But thanks to our empathic trait, we are hardly being able to not care.

Another problem arises when we can’t avoid to care about the issue, yet we’re too overwhelmed to try understanding it as a whole—and critically: we take mental shortcuts that often lead us to the wrong way. Instead of thinking clearly and identifying the root of the problem, people tend to just seek someone to blame. We blame other religious group for ours lack of development, blame immigrants for our country’s economic problems or infectious disease, blame the poor for simply being poor—which associated with being lazy—and being the burden for our country, and we’re satisfied as our government executed prisoners as if it would solve the actual problem. We don’t even bother to look at the context, at the bigger picture to understand what’s really happened.

Of course because it’s exhausting to put such effort on every problem we see. But, what upsets me the most is how people could easily say cruel things within their nescience. And it led me to realization on why being kind, saying kind things, is a valued quality. It’s because being kind is not only to avoid ourselves doing things that are basically evil, but also require ourselves to go against our inner prejudice, to look from varying perspective, and keep reevaluating what we want to express, and it’s not an easy things to do. In our crumbling world, I guess it’s worth the effort to take a break and give some time to listen until we find out what is the wisest action we can take. We might not solve the world’s problem, but at least we don’t make it worse. We can overcome our biases better. We can be kinder for anyone out there who needs our kindness. The question is, do we want to put the effort?