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What really matters

In life there’s so much we could care about, all these causes people are rightfully crying out over and pushing forward onto local, national and global agendas. All the things people give voice to are important, they all matter, but how it all fits together and what the best overall response might be seem these almost impossible questions.

Perhaps it’s a case of needing the bigger picture? Being able to hold all those concerns within a larger, more comprehensive understanding of what’s going on (see Notes One). All the words, opinions and solutions constantly unfolding within our giant, worldwide conversation seem to be grappling with exactly that: trying to make sense of it all, to find the right perspective from which to chart manageable, inclusive ways forward.

But then, when everything matters it can also seem as if nothing does: how can we do anything about it? All these disparate, competing, and sometimes contradictory problems almost create this stalemate of paralysis and conflict. It’s disheartening to feel powerless and overwhelmed. It’s stressful to think everything’s an argument and human interactions must be ‘won’. It’s exhausting being so aware of things.

The awareness brought by the internet is absolutely astounding: knowledge and connection are at our fingertips; timeless ways of being can be altered by well-thought-out ‘solutions’. And, of course, the ease of that could lead to us undervaluing those very functions. Living a life of constant updates or emotive personal insights into distant realities could quite easily desensitise and distract us from the stuff of everyday existence (Notes Two).

All these things matter. Our attitudes toward others and the relationships we have with them hold great meaning about the significance and value of human life. The choices we make shape the world around us, informing economic, social, environmental, and political realities. All the aspects of our lives are rippling out into this shared environment, impacting all they find there.

We’re really sharing this one space; especially now tech is bringing everything so closely into our own personal spaces. There’s this strange contradiction of things seeming so personal yet also being so remote: events are announced directly to us without much social mediation, echoing within our psyche as we process them, alone, disconnected. The paradoxes of technology are fascinating, if mildly terrifying, to consider.

Holding our own within it all, keeping a firm sense of what matters and how much, is daunting. Everything about life is seemingly being tested by this relatively new global perspective and all the ways we’re trying to master it on the personal level (Notes Three). And, of course, I’m not entirely sure what the answers are here either.

Ultimately though, it does matter – anything impacting human life and all that sustains it matters, both individually and systemically. In every area, our lives intersect with the interests of others; how we negotiate all those competing priorities seems a powerful opportunity. If we influence the world through all we do, then power, almost undeniably, rests in our hands.

Notes and References:

Note 1: Ideas that tie things together
Note 1: Who should we trust?
Note 1: Can we manage all-inclusive honesty?
Note 2: All that’s going on around us
Note 2: Desensitised to all we’re told?
Note 2: How important is real life?
Note 3: Values on which we stand firm?
Note 3: Making adjustments
Note 3: In the deep end…

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