How often are we waking up in life thinking, “What am I going to contribute today? In what ways might I invest in and strengthen society through my attitudes and actions?” Not simply through work or payment, but through the manner in which we live our lives and the things we’re choosing to support. To what extent is our involvement in building up the fabric of society active and intentional?
Because isn’t that what all our moments play into? Each word, thought, decision feeding into the social, economic, interpersonal reality we’re all a part of (Notes One). Almost everything we’re choosing to do must strengthen certain aspects of society or, potentially, weaken them. Each choice becoming an example, an encouragement, a condonement of whatever courses of action we’re putting our weight behind.
Almost as if we’re all permeating the space around us with what we’re choosing or allowing ourselves to share with the world. Each person perhaps serving as a beacon by way of the example we’re setting and values we’re upholding throughout our lives. Everyone having encountered the world, its forms and opportunities, and decided what they’ll bring to life through their presence within it.
There must be countless opportunities each day to improve things – making more of life than what we came across; weaving something valuable into our shared existence; taking a stand based on a judgement of what’s best. Don’t all the small, accumulated actions and interactions of our lives inevitably add up to “something”?
Not to say we should just willingly “fill” society as it currently stands, adopting whatever ideas or assumptions might’ve been handed down to us, but that our engagement seems to make a difference (Notes Two). Undoubtedly, modern society still has a way to go in bringing essential ideals to life through the systems and structures surrounding us all; and perhaps an important part of that is our role in insisting upon them.
Don’t the choices we make all sit within and contribute towards this overall picture of a “reality” we’re all sharing? Much as that might now take the form of transactions within systems hidden from easy observation, they still all fit into something our actions are serving to sustain. Don’t we still need to “see” that picture and be clear on what matters within it? Even if it’s of a scale that humans before us never needed to imagine.
Maybe it simply comes down to what we think life’s about? This sense we might have of what matters, what’s acceptable, what’s admirable, and so forth. We perhaps each have different – often, personal – priorities guiding all these choices we’re making, but the sense of how it all comes together into something humans everywhere have to live with is both intriguing and daunting. What is it we’re all taking part in?
Once again, this has drifted a little from the course I’d imagined these thoughts might take. Ultimately, though, isn’t it true that we’re all offering life “something” through the choices we’re making?
Notes and References:
Note 1: True relationship within society?
Note 1: Having confidence in complex systems
Note 1: Mutual awareness and accommodation?
Note 1: Society as an imposition?
Note 1: Does anything exist in isolation?
Note 2: Shaping the buildings that shape us
Note 2: The stories that we hear
Note 2: Authenticity & writing our own story
Note 2: The thought surrounding us
Note 2: Whether we make a difference
For more thoughts on human creativity, there’s Living as a form of art.