When she was a young teenager, our older daughter professed that she wanted to be different, like everyone else. The search for individual identity is a challenging one and fraught with difficulty. She solved hers in time and has become a very successful adult.
“Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.” George Bernard Shaw
Do all people go through the stage of finding the limits and thereby creating themselves?
If a government must create itself, it seems there are things they must try. Perhaps governments are doing A/B tests just like they should. If they are they are doing them at a strategic level and not a tactical level and that’s why we have trouble seeing what they are creating.
Here are two thoughts on this that might provide some help in addressing the question.
“The reasonable man adapts himself to the conditions that surround him… The unreasonable man adapts surrounding conditions to himself… All progress, therefore, depends upon the unreasonable man.” George B. Shaw
“Only those who risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go.” T.S. Eliot
If I observe how governments are behaving in Canada, the United States, and elsewhere, I can identify two possibilities.
I, at least, would be forced to vastly expand my faith in government to accept #1, but I admit my viewing point may be too narrow.
Governments have become opaque when transparent would help us understand and perhaps support what they are doing.
They have become more adept than usual at avoiding questions that would challenge their activity. In Canada recently a fairly innocuous question under the freedom of information act received a time estimate to comply of more than 1950 days. That one is for about a week’s worth of emails. That is not near the record though. In 2018 the time extension requested was 80 years.
Consider Climate change, covid-19, and racism, and ask yourself:
It is like a child trying to explain why they are trying something that is off the normal playing field. As long as the reasoning is supported only by ever louder rhetoric, our trust should fall.
There are two general areas of information presentation.
Neither is reliable nor useful.
Social media has been co-opted to sell the then current government story. They do so by censoring that which does not fit. When the story stops selling it is necessary to sensor alternative stories. The idea is that people believe lies they hear often enough. Part of that method is to restrict access to alternatives.
Corporate media has their own business plan. As we all know, fear sells advertising for the media giants. In our world clicks.
The news is curated to avoid good news and exaggerate bad news because that gets people to pay attention. It has always been so and likely will not change.
“Newspapers are unable, seemingly to discriminate between a bicycle accident and the collapse of civilization” George Bernard Shaw
Try to understand the fabric of the fear.
Understanding the fear allows you to progress. Fear is the worst possible counsellor when it comes to problem solving. Emotion does not beat intellect.
Avoid activists who use fear to support their career. Some are politicians, some are some are social activists, some are media. Especially avoid those who present themselves as saviours. All of them, every one, uses the future vision to establish their value. Be wary of prophets who profit.
If you cannot see their proof, and expert opinion is not proof, you are not meant to see the proof. Generally, that means there is none.
Use your experience and common sense. It will tell you that people are careful of risk without help from the government, people know how to address problems, people are ingenious, and over time people find solutions to very difficult problems.
Avoid the urgency. Eisenhower pointed out the urgent is seldom important and the important is seldom urgent.
Be grateful. Take a look around and find the good. It settles your mind and helps you understand what is objectively happening.
Governments are behaving like young teenagers. Trying to create themselves as adult people. Deal with them the same way you would with teenagers. Lover and support and acceptance of their experiments.
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