Is it really the case that, behind closed doors, people treat our lives as if they’re not quite real? As if hypothetical or projected outcomes aren’t really lived through, felt and experienced by actual individuals.
Maybe it’s simply the nature of thought and how we apply it to our lives? Thought often “being” this detached, logical, impersonal way of seeing things: deconstructing, labelling, theorising, planning and executing. Is there something about plan-making that’s inherently inhuman, in that it relies on treating complex realities as abstract datapoints we shuffle around to gain profit or reduce loss? (Notes One)
Life “can” be analysed, grouped, observed and predicted. We can casually walk around the room as big as this world and place our labels on everything we see, confidently expressing our understanding of it all and explaining how things should be. Thought “has” that power and we’re taught to wield it from the moment we’re born.
So perhaps it’s “natural” we get to the point of governments and businesses coldly looking upon us as data, as patterns to be managed or exploited; letting research, evidence, modelling, projections and proposals inform policy-making. So much in life’s being directed by the kind of thinking that sees those involved as if they’re simply abstract elements of broader intentions.
But doesn’t everything very quickly become personal? Aren’t these offerings, services and interventions essentially dealing with the realities that make up our lives? It’s always going to be someone’s hopes, feelings, self-worth, and journey through life. All of that’s very real and can’t be discounted (Notes Two). There’s personal – therefore, social – cost to it all.
Just because we “can” look on life with the calculation of thought, does that mean we’re right to? It seems the world’s being set up as these vast, interlocking systems with so much effort being made to influence our behaviour within them. And, within it all, there must be people who know “what’s happening” – what’s being created, allowed and encouraged – but apparently don’t care for the human side to that picture.
Can we do that? Even in the name of business, profit or efficiency, can we disregard all the lived realities and attitudes around human worth we’re serving to reinforce? Can we choose the mindset of commerce instead of concern, seeing the eventual outcomes as “worth the sacrifice” for this future we’re aiming to create?
Is the individual human life not deemed worth much in that vision of progress? We may not see the humanity of it all, but it’s there. Everyone carrying within an incredible richness of unique gifts, insights and challenges; all deserving dignity, respect and freedom.
How aware do we let ourselves be that these will become intensely lived experiences for people? How often are we carried away behind the mask of planning, acting as if the realities playing out are mere simulations of lives unrelated to ours? Isn’t everybody part of this same system? Can any life be folded into another’s plans without that being problematic on some level?
Notes and References:
Note 1: Those who are leading us
Note 1: Ethics, money & social creativity
Note 1: Thoughts of idealism and intolerance
Note 1: Strange arrogance of thought
Note 1: Where do ideas of evolution leave us?
Note 1: Caught in these thoughts
Note 2: The difference humanity makes
Note 2: Economics & the realm of culture
Note 2: Attacks on our humanity
Note 2: Any escape from cause & consequence?
Note 2: This thing called love
Maybe, within all of this, all I’m really talking about is What it is to be human.