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 itsallinthesoul
Joined: 11/22/2006
Msg: 1
The State of HumanityPage 1 of 2    (1, 2)
These are my thoughts, I cannot back them up with scientific proof.

Over the millennia that we have existed, stages of evolution have brought us to where are today. Over the last 3000 years (or so), our “truths” have been replaced by facts, our “values” have been modified as we evolve. Evolution is more than the physical changes humanity has experienced; there is also an intellectual evolution.

At least in North America there has been a real shift in my own lifetime in terms of “social responsibility” with a shift to “me-me-me”. The media blasts us 24/7 with the bad news in the world, the good news is just not as “news worthy” or so it would seem. The rate of crime is high, poverty is on the rise, apathy towards our fellow human beings is at an all-time high (at least in my lifetime), more and more we communicate electronically with each other.

I have been in the forums on POF for a while (months under a different nic) and what I see at times sickens me, when I participate in what sickens me, I am deeply ashamed.

Judgements
Generalizations
Cruelty towards others (bashing)
Hypocrisy

What I also see on POF at times is:

Compassion
Understanding
Acceptance
LOVE

That is what keeps me coming back to the Forums. It keeps my faith in humanity alive. The world we are creating for the next generation is going to be better than the one we lived in terms of technology (the trees). Will it be better in terms of humanity (the forest).

Are we losing sight of the forest? Are we losing touch with what really matters or is what really matters changing? I wonder what this stage in our intellectual evolution will create for future generations.

Religion - becoming less important
Family Values - have you seen the divorce rates, the stats on single parents...how about the elderly...are we doing right by them?
Social Responsibility - do we really give a crap about our neighbours or are we too wrapped up in our own wants and desires?

I am reminded of a song from my teenage years...Man in the mirror by M. Jackson. Nobody can change the world alone...

 itsallinthesoul
Joined: 11/22/2006
Msg: 2
The State of Humanity
Posted: 2/1/2007 8:43:25 AM
I guess this topic is not controversial enough to warrant discussion except in my own mind.......

Ah well....time will tell just where "humanity" is heading but I sure hope it isn't in the sewer.
 nice2cu
Joined: 4/16/2006
Msg: 3
The State of Humanity
Posted: 2/1/2007 9:58:44 AM
I would have to agree with you that there is a shift in our general values.
I'd be willing to bet that there were always underlying problems in society before the big technological boom but nobody was cognizant of the fact because communication was limited to things like the radio, tv, and the rotary telephone.
Nowadays we have instant access to information that we can act on immediately.
We can get to the bottom of things that are happening on a global basis now instead of relying on secondhand information from the nosy neighbor...
I'm not saying that technology is responsible for all of our problems but it does lend a hand.
Generally speaking it takes two incomes to run a household which puts extra strain on relationships IMO.
Seems everybody is caught up in the hustle and bustle trying to earn enough money to stay ahead of the bills, which takes it's toll on the family unit.
We didn't get this way overnight but sometimes it seems as though we did..
 kitchenerkat
Joined: 5/25/2006
Msg: 4
view profile
History
The State of Humanity
Posted: 2/1/2007 3:12:34 PM
appears there was a major shift in the 'state of humanity' when modern religion was introduced about 5,000 to 8,000 years ago

we shifted to a dominator patriarchial society where man is the decision maker, the father, the creator of all life ... where conflict resolution is managed by violent means and clothed as heroic...where more value is placed on 'hunting and gathering' ... sport, war, consumerism, capitolism, etc than on care giving and nurturing... compare the wages of child care workers with that of say, mechanics or plumbers... how many statues do you see around the nation of extraordinary people who devoted their life to care giving and nuturing?

prior to that time period when modern religion was introduced, archaelogial studies show humanity lived in more 'partnership' type societies where a community took care of it's weakest members (children, ill, disabled, elderly, etc) collectively... artwork of that period depicted all members of the community sitting equally around a campfire in discussion and communication and decision making... women and children were reverred (google 'the chalice and the blade' by rianne eisler - amazing book and very comprehensive)

additionally, we no longer birth nor bond with our babies in a natural nurturing manner as other cultures and most definately other species do...and i suspect most individuals in the western nations are probably dysfunctional in that they could very well have experienced the feeling of 'abandonment' in their most crucial and formative years... without a good foundation of self esteem in formative years, adults are forever seeking to fill that 'void'

fill it up with addictions - workaholic, alcoholic, drug abuse, etc

or fill it up with consumerism - buy that 'feeling', that seems to be missing

or even more likely, both

the issues the state of humanity needs to look at are not political, they are philosophical

wage peace, and let it begin with you
 xemicangirl
Joined: 7/18/2005
Msg: 5
The State of Humanity
Posted: 2/1/2007 4:49:10 PM
I am completely with you. In fact finding this thread does increase my hope on humanity.

It began somewhere, but I hardly think it began with technology. Don't get me wrong; it has certainly decreased the need to be personal anymore.
As human beings, we are conditioned to be our own worst enemies. Have you not notice how many times throughout the day our thoughts involve ourselves? Now count how many of those times were to do or feel something healthy or positive?

It certainly looks as if though it happened overnight as one of the Gent's above said; because regardless of our character decay we continue reproducing more than ever!

We are raising kids that don't know half of the times we as parents don't know what we are doing, we are as lost as they are, yet we are directing them...
Almost everything has been figured out, except how to live...

I grew up in a completely diferent environment, you know the small town bit...
But still, I don't expect the clerk at the grocery store to remember my name, but his inability to make eye contact with me, let alone smile just to smile truly amazes me...

It is certainly a cold place and it keeps getting colder over time...
 sum1reel
Joined: 6/5/2005
Msg: 6
The State of Humanity
Posted: 2/1/2007 8:30:58 PM
^

it would take a social quantum leap, or a cataclysm of sorts, to knock us humans off the path that we comfortably walk upon.

if one goes against the grain then he/she risks being emarginated.......and this is typical human behavior.......because in the days of early man, survival was predicated by the success of a close knit clan (group of families) led by the chieftain

this concept still exists but the 'chieftain' is now consumerism and icon-ism.....we've allowed ourselves to be led by false leaders who are void of spirit and substance yet captivate us to such a point where we are unable to break out of its hold even if we wanted to!
 pansatyros
Joined: 3/24/2006
Msg: 7
The State of Humanity
Posted: 2/1/2007 10:32:17 PM
I have been in the forums on POF for a while (months under a different nic) and what I see at times sickens me, when I participate in what sickens me, I am deeply ashamed.

Judgements
Generalizations
Cruelty towards others (bashing)
Hypocrisy


In fact that is what makes me come back to the forums...


What I also see on POF at times is:

Compassion
Understanding
Acceptance
LOVE

That is what keeps me coming back to the Forums. It keeps my faith in humanity alive.


that is all good and dandy but what is interesting is how quickly it turns to the former and more expected behavior the first quote describes...

The state of humanity is very simple: There has never been any state of any "humanity". I don't know many people alive nowdays that deserve to be called humans. I don't know many people in the past that deserved to be called humans. So since humanity can not comprise only the 10-100 persons that truly deserved to be called humans, humanity has not existed yet...

...the above syllogism leaves only one question unanswered: If humanity never existed then what do you call these humanoids walking around and acting like humans?

Answer:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Weisshandgibbon_tierpark_berlin.jpg
 xemicangirl
Joined: 7/18/2005
Msg: 8
The State of Humanity
Posted: 2/1/2007 11:27:08 PM

...the above syllogism leaves only one question unanswered: If humanity never existed then what do you call these humanoids walking around and acting like humans?

Answer:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Weisshandgibbon_tierpark_berlin.jpg


Every single one of us not only deserves to be called human but honors his/her humanity; hence our imperfections.
Our humanity is still there, I choose to believe that we could use a bit of civilization, kindness, compassion and tolerance to mention a few...
I do not argue that we have transformed our society into nothing but its decay of what it once was, (or they tell us it was), but what are you suggesting by posting your link?

 discombobulated61
Joined: 12/30/2006
Msg: 9
The State of Humanity
Posted: 2/2/2007 10:00:43 AM
To the OP

I came across this thread by accident after reading someones profile. And I read the persons profile because of something they posted in another thread. This will make a good thread but because it's under Off Topic it doesn't get as many people viewing it. That's a shame.

Where I once saw only ugliness I now see beauty in all its splender.

So much of what we see depends on the goggles we choose to wear. If we choose to wear glasses tinted by resentment and unforgiveness, for instance, then we will tend to see things in a different light than someone who is less jaded by past experiences.

I make a conscious decision everyday to influence my circumstance rather then allow my circumstance to influence me. I choose to be happy and to see the good in most things rather than the negative. For this reason my perspective on this issue is different today from what it would have been a few years ago. I see wonderfull acts of compassion and interact with caring and empathetic people on a daily basis.

So, while the big picture may seem bleak it may be because you are standing too close. Take a step back, exchange those old glasses, and have another look.
 wvwaterfall
Joined: 1/17/2007
Msg: 10
view profile
History
The State of Humanity
Posted: 2/2/2007 11:24:40 AM
As soon as I found this thread I was reminded of a philosophical piece I wrote recently after spending some time pondering the state of humanity. I think it might fit well here:

Whether by evolutionary quirk, divine intervention, alien manipulation or some other cause, the human species presented itself to this planet with a unique mix of intellect, competitive spirit, and an opposable thumb. Depending on how you measure things, we've been here quite a while, or not long at all. I've seen it expressed that if you were to condense the history of the planet into a single calendar year, humans first showed up around December 15th, and all of recorded human history took place on the last fifteen minutes. I mention this to put our collective actions the last century or two into a realistic perspective.

Our intellect and manual dexterity allowed us to develop and utilize ever more complex tools. Our competitive spirit has the positive effect of driving us to continually improve on what we've done before, and the negative effect of inspiring us to distract and impede ourselves with an endless succession of wars and petty squabbles.

But I think a solid case can be made that all things considered we've come a long way compared to other species that long predate us and/or have long since met extinction. And rather than compare our history to 15 days or minutes, I often find myself comparing the life to date of human civilization to the life of a single human.

When an infant enters the world, he or she can't think much beyond feelings of hunger and thirst, and the need for warmth and security. For much of human history, our cultures focused most of their energy on meeting those same basic needs of food, water, shelter, and creating a secure home, community, or country. In fact the majority of the world's human population is still immersed in the struggle to do just that.

As an infant matures into childhood, interests expand and needs become more complex, but although a few responsibilities start to present themselves, there's generally a parent or other adult to pick us up when we fall and continue to ensure that our basic needs are met. The planet has treated humans much as a parent treats a child. We've had a few environmental wake-up calls and lessons learned along the way, but for the most part we've continued to enjoy limitless natural resources, including plenty of drinkable water and breathable air.

Then come the teenage years, when in many ways we look like adults, and occasionally act like them, but for the most part we spend our time testing our limits, driving too fast, experimenting with relationships, and often drugs and/or sex. I view the last two centuries as essentially the 'teenage era' for the human race. With development of the steam engine, printing press, and cotton gin and continuing through splitting atoms, space exploration, and the cyber world we've developed with much the same reckless abandon demonstrated by many a teen or young adult, with unlimited dreams yet little thought for the future, and countless instances of misplaced priorities that somehow have conspired to leave us much further along than we were such a short time ago, but still not at all sure what we want to be when we grow up or how to get there.

As a civilization the dollar (or Yen, or Euro, or whatever) is our drug of choice. Some manage it responsibly, many don't, and almost all of us continually crave more and skew our decision making as a result. And just as a teenager has some sense that he or she can't live rent-free with mom and dad much longer, Mother Nature and Father Time are starting to send strong signals that all that natural bounty will no longer be free for the taking without paying a price. The message hasn't really sunk in yet, but the day is rapidly approaching when the true value of all the natural capital we've been taking for granted for so long will become evident.

And the human species equivalent to the teenage sex drive is, well, sex, or more accurately reproduction. After thousands of years of maintaining an essentially stable global population our numbers have absolutely exploded, dramatically increasing collective demand on ever dwindling resources.

And that means it's time to grow up. Our carefree youth is drawing to a close. A few decades ago humans consumed on a daily basis about one sixth the potable water available on the planet. Today we consume half the available drinkable water, with demand continuing to escalate. A similar situation exists with oil, (it's quite tempting to draw the analogy to a 'designer drug') although there is less certainty exactly when demand will outstrip supply, but little doubt that day is coming within our lifetimes. And all that fossil fuel burning has directly impacted the quality of the air we breathe, the water we drink, and the delicate climate balance that makes planet Earth so uniquely habitable.

No longer can we be content to let the planet take care of itself, assume it will always take care of us and will eternally forgive whatever insults we heap upon it. It's time to take responsibility for our actions and their impacts. We're not ready, but we have no choice. The time has come.

Some options are quite clear, many not at all. If we are to succeed we must start by identifying our core values, (health, an assured steady supply of food and water, respect for other people and the planet, to name a few) clutch them like a lifeline, then utilize all those wonderful tools and our unique ability to design new tools to build the better future we know we want, understanding that our financial systems, communities, and environment are completely and intricately integrated, even if we don't fully grasp exactly how.

We've become adept at thinking and speaking in financial terms, so let's make the economy our servant, not our master, assign REAL values to the full life cycle of the resources we depend on, and move toward a world where we live off the planet's interest, not the principal.

One way my analogy fails is that in relative terms, we've had a long protracted childhood and an incredibly accelerated adolescence. That makes the challenge we face even more daunting, but that's the hand we've dealt ourselves.

I do believe that things will ultimately work out well, but I'm pretty sure the road will be rough and take us places we can't even imagine. I think a bumper sticker I saw not too long ago summed it up nicely.
It read simply: "Oh, evolve!"
 itsallinthesoul
Joined: 11/22/2006
Msg: 11
The State of Humanity
Posted: 2/2/2007 3:56:59 PM
Thank you for all your comments/opinions so far. I have a few comments to make with respect to what some have said:


Generally speaking it takes two incomes to run a household which puts extra strain on relationships IMO.


This may be true but it is entirely dependent on the "kind" of life you want to have and the relative importance of income vs emotional bonding. One can choose not to be materialistic by not buying into the whole "keeping up with the Jones' mentality". It may be more accurate to state that in order to live, a household must have an income of $XX,XXX, which can just as easily be earned by one, not necessary for two to work to achieve the result. It is in the personal choices we make. Are we not choosing material possessions over relationships at times?


Seems everybody is caught up in the hustle and bustle trying to earn enough money to stay ahead of the bills, which takes it's toll on the family unit.


Yes we sure are much busier....but we still make choices, some good and some bad, don't we? We can work full-time and still have family time...it is again in the choices we make. We could choose to just turn off the tv and the computers, in some cases, cutting back on the activities outside of the home that separate us from our "loved ones", eat meals together and talk...not watch tv or listen to a radio while eating. Play games instead of watching tv or just talk with your children/significant others.


appears there was a major shift in the 'state of humanity' when modern religion was introduced about 5,000 to 8,000 years ago

we shifted to a dominator patriarchial society where man is the decision maker, the father, the creator of all life ... where conflict resolution is managed by violent means and clothed as heroic...where more value is placed on 'hunting and gathering' ... sport, war, consumerism, capitolism, etc than on care giving and nurturing... compare the wages of child care workers with that of say, mechanics or plumbers... how many statues do you see around the nation of extraordinary people who devoted their life to care giving and nuturing?


Well said...I tend to agree whole-heartedly that the value of what women traditionally have offered...the care giving and nurturing has been devalued by those that prefer a patriarchial society. When we realized we were undervalued by society, women fought to change the status quo....I truly believe that if women had felt valued and respected for their contribution, had felt they were equal partners and the quest for "equality" would not have been necessary (women's lib). I'm really surprised that as yet, there has been no blaming the state of society on the women's liberation movement.


But still, I don't expect the clerk at the grocery store to remember my name, but his inability to make eye contact with me, let alone smile just to smile truly amazes me...

It is certainly a cold place and it keeps getting colder over time...


What amazes me more is when I see two people not making eye contact or smiling in that scenario. People have "forgotten" or were never taught that making "pleasantries" is a good thing...we were instead taught never to talk to strangers. If we never talk to strangers, it certainly narrows our choices for friends etc... I choose to make pleasantries at all times and I've never been ignored by any person I've made verbal contact with. Smile at someone and most times, they will smile back.



this concept still exists but the 'chieftain' is now consumerism and icon-ism.....we've allowed ourselves to be led by false leaders who are void of spirit and substance yet captivate us to such a point where we are unable to break out of its hold even if we wanted to!


or perhaps we have simply allowed ourselves into being brainwashed by the constant attacks on us through the media in the form of product advertising into believing to be truly happy, we must have this and that....

pansatyros - perhaps I am but a monkey hangin' from a tree....you may need to provide some more explanation on your position because I'm just not getting it!



So much of what we see depends on the goggles we choose to wear. If we choose to wear glasses tinted by resentment and unforgiveness, for instance, then we will tend to see things in a different light than someone who is less jaded by past experiences.


I agree that one must choose to see the positive. There is more to it than perception though, there is apathy...too much of it. I will not stick my head in the sand. How can I ignore the suffering in the world, the poverty, the wars, the violence, the lack of compassion that is in my face? I am a positive person but I do not and will not wear rose-coloured glasses and ignore what I see happening in the neighbourhood, the city, the country, the continent, the world. I feel small and somewhat powerless to change things though so I write a thread like this one.

wvwaterfall - I really enjoyed reading your paper and it did sort of put things in perspective a bit from a different perspective. Good to have an open mind so I can appreciate the perspective you brought.


If we are to succeed we must start by identifying our core values, (health, an assured steady supply of food and water, respect for other people and the planet, to name a few) clutch them like a lifeline, then utilize all those wonderful tools and our unique ability to design new tools to build the better future we know we want, understanding that our financial systems, communities, and environment are completely and intricately integrated, even if we don't fully grasp exactly how.


That might be a good place to start.....
 DonkeyPimp
Joined: 11/5/2006
Msg: 12
view profile
History
The State of Humanity
Posted: 2/3/2007 3:31:56 PM

At least in North America there has been a real shift in my own lifetime in terms of “social responsibility” with a shift to “me-me-me”.


Yeah, the "Roaring 20s", Prohibition, and the increase in irresponsible sex that led to the AIDS epidemic were all really good times, weren't they? Don't forget two major Worldwide wars.

Just because people used to do the same things they do now OFF of myspace doesn't mean that the condition of humanity has gotten any worse.


The media blasts us 24/7 with the bad news in the world, the good news is just not as “news worthy” or so it would seem.


Was it ever?
 natural energy
Joined: 9/23/2006
Msg: 13
view profile
History
The State of Humanity
Posted: 2/8/2007 6:34:34 PM
Rather than commenting on the current state of humanity, I'd like to share a quote I ran across recently which captures for me what humanity should be:

A Humanist Code of Ethics

Do no harm to the earth, she is your mother.
Being is more important than having.
Never promote yourself at another's expense.
Hold life sacred; treat it with reverence.
Allow each person the digity of his or her labor.
Open your home to the wayfarer.
Be ready to receive your deepest dreams;
sometimes they are the speech of unblighted conscience.
Always make restitutions to the ones you have harmed.
Never think less of yourself than you are.
Never think that you are more than another.
- Arthur Dobrin
 johnnnyjohnny
Joined: 12/25/2006
Msg: 14
The State of Humanity
Posted: 2/8/2007 6:47:42 PM
Great topic and nice writing by eveyone.
 Woodstar
Joined: 2/16/2006
Msg: 15
The State of Humanity
Posted: 2/9/2007 8:56:41 AM
The inhumanity of our species continues to amaze me. I try hard not to feed the idea in my head that we are doomed by our own selfish stupidity. Instead, I take a deep breath and hold it deep in me and slowly exhale the beauty that we could all be.

I try to live the code that was mentioned a few entries above me. I continue to believe that if I can keep "my space" sacred, I'm doing it right. Now, if I met others who kept their space sacred and we all stood together...ahhh....together.

I know it can be done. I have friends in my circle that are not JUST like me. We respect each others differences. We are all trying to learn and practice the art of listening.

Listen
 MS1970
Joined: 6/29/2005
Msg: 16
view profile
History
The State of Humanity
Posted: 2/9/2007 11:23:25 AM
Here is a story I heard about recently. Whether true or not I can't verify but it does seem to give us an insight as to who we have become as a society and as human beings.

A 45 year old man wakes up to his alarm clock looking at another day of repitition in his life. His wife passed 10 years before and they had no children. He gets dressed, walks out of his apartment and gets on the subway. Finishes his day at work and grabs the train home. On the way home he has a heart attack and dies. Noone notices. His body isn't discovered until some time has passed, almost 17 hours actually. For 17 hours his corpse has been circling the city, passengers getting on and off the train, people sitting next to him. Noone notices a thing.

What does that say about the state of humanity? Each day we are bombarded with scenes of death and violence on TV. We hear about car accidents, crashes, hundreds dieing at a time and we feel nothing. When it comes to the type of car our neighbors have in their driveway and how much better it is than ours though we take notice. Have we become a society so greedy and so worried abotu appearances that the thought of one more death doesn't touch us at all? Have we become so absorbed in what we see as important that we won't notice a dead man on the train next to us?
 quietstorm8
Joined: 10/22/2006
Msg: 17
view profile
History
The State of Humanity
Posted: 3/6/2007 2:19:41 PM
its self awareness and logical thinking which
made it possible for humans
to survive better than other species....as a result though our egos

also got bigger and bigger until today just about
everyone in the developed world feels like a queen or king.

its not all negative...this extreme display of self interest will eventually polarize
people to search their souls and develop
a longing for the opposite...
 jimi77
Joined: 7/13/2004
Msg: 18
The State of Humanity
Posted: 3/6/2007 4:01:18 PM
I don’t personally subscribe to the theory of evolution. In my opinion the farther we drift from god the worse off we are. man starts creates God in his own image making his own rules and it goes down hill. In this country (US) we seen prospers times, hard times but we didn’t see the crime, and evil we see in the world so wide spread now. Not matter if you’re a believer or not -I think we all see the world getting worse.
 Genuine Hope
Joined: 1/25/2007
Msg: 19
view profile
History
The State of Humanity
Posted: 3/6/2007 5:35:52 PM
Yes, the glasses with which we view the world makes all the difference in our love or hate of "humanity."

I guess I take the view that there is bad and good in all people. I tend to look for the good, and beware of potential bad... because, in ME AS WELL, there is a streak of self-serving, immediate gratification seeking selfishness... that I try to keep in check.

I thought for a time, that the world was going to hell in a hand basket, particularly with the youth of today. But, I have run in to some young adults who really have it together; they have good sense, compassion, and motivation to make things better and contribute to the world. So, there is not all bad either.

I know that I have a hope and optimism that God is in control. Being Bible-based in my belief, I know that He is all loving and all knowing and has His hand on the ultimate outcome. So, I have trust in that! I know that ultimately, things will get worse in the world. But, I have peace about it.

Overall, yes, things are a mess. But here we are. We keep moving forward. I CHOSE to have hope and love and be a contributer, rather than a taker. That is what is important and what makes the difference... not what everybody else is doing. I just take the action to protect myself from the "wolves" in this life, and try to contribute good to humanity. In taking an active role in growing and maturing into a better, more responsible person, I can also have hope that the world is a little better off because of the day I just lived.

We can drive ourselves crazy looking at painful things, and be filled with resentments. But, what does that help? Having a resentment is like drinking poison and expecting the other person/people to die. I do know, one of my favorite sayings is:

If you don't stand for something, you'll fall for anything!

I could go on... but nuf said for now.

Ann of IL, U.S.A.
 Farkis McSwifflebum
Joined: 6/14/2006
Msg: 20
The State of Humanity
Posted: 3/6/2007 6:01:02 PM
A couple a suicide bombers just blew themselves and over a hundred fellow souls to oblivion in Iraq. Anybody else remember a time when that didn't happen every other week?

Truly the world is in a difficult jam right now. There is no simple way out of any of it either. We've got war without end, environmental issues, MacDonald's.

I think if we all give it some effort humanity will pull through. It will be a substantial effort but I think we have it in us. It will all be okay. Humanity will be alright... in five hundred years or so.
 XCheryl
Joined: 9/25/2006
Msg: 21
view profile
History
The State of Humanity
Posted: 3/6/2007 7:36:09 PM
We see more bad stuff because that is what sells and it is everywhere now....TV, radio, newspapers, internet, etc.

I don't think humanity is any worse than it always has been.

I do not believe in organized religion.

Family values have changed simply because we have access to faster travel. Family members are spread out around the world now.

Caring for the elderly has become a business instead of a family responsibility.

Social responsibility....I have serious doubts this has ever been a concern, except for "keeping up with the Joneses."

As for your question "Are we losing touch with what really matters...?" that's something we can only answer for ourselves. I believe that I keep in touch with what really matters to me.

Take care,
Cheryl
 DouglasInMotown
Joined: 8/9/2006
Msg: 22
The State of Humanity
Posted: 3/6/2007 8:42:43 PM
The very same laments (absent, of course, the Internet) were circulating in 1965.
 colt8301
Joined: 10/25/2006
Msg: 23
The State of Humanity
Posted: 3/7/2007 5:01:11 AM
well its all in the soul that's where we are alreay, the sewer. and you know what? we are going to stay, I don't know if we will stay there forever but things always are worse before they get better that's how life does it, it pounds you until you give in or you resist and become something different.
 lane splitter
Joined: 3/4/2007
Msg: 24
The State of Humanity
Posted: 3/7/2007 3:24:51 PM
It may help to remember that when we look out to contemplate the state of the world, we are really just building a small model of our experiences inside our own imaginations. As we wander this model musing and supposing, it's just like strolling among Japanese bonsai trees and calling it life in the real forest. The paths we take are our focus on specific aspects of experience.

For example, let's say you drove home from work in heavy traffic, someone cut you off, it was tense, seemed unfriendly, and on a very real level underneath, your life was on the line; there was some real danger. Then after you start to relax at home, alone, you turn on the TV and there you see a news story about war, or murder. If we were to wring from these couple of hours an emotional truth, it would be that life feels bad, dangerous, unkind and depressing.

Now we let the TV noise move to the background as we head down a path in our mind's model of the world. We head down the path that begins by the question: What is wrong with people...? Along that path we see, to the right and to the left, memory's examples of people behaving badly. The emotional theme is borne out. We wander deeper into the thicket of a funk. Now, have we been clever detectives uncovering the actual truth about the world, or have we sat down after some unhappy experiences, and dressed our dismay in examples, making a private idea of the world we can use for how we feel?

I find the world is pretty much the same year in, year out, century after century. Part of the human condition is to create personal views, being conductors of the orchestra of perception. We can summon from countless examples those best suited for whatever emotion we're having at the moment. We can happily recall all the times strangers stopped to help us, or, if we are pissed about something, we can remember all the evil **stards who did us dirt. This same selective filtering of memories works when we aim it at the world. We can see the good, or just the bad.

I wonder if a person whose personal life is sliding downhill might also tend to see the whole world as headed that direction. Maybe it's not so much the state of humanity as it is the mood of perception.
 sombient
Joined: 2/7/2007
Msg: 25
The State of Humanity
Posted: 3/7/2007 3:57:30 PM
I keep going back to Msg 4. Its logic rings true.

There is a very interesting view, called genetic altruism. In essence, we have what we might call, 'self genes' that motivate us towards mutual sacrifice with the expectation of matched returned benefits for sacrifices made in the interest of sustaining a close relationship - spousal, with children or with near family members.

In other words, you reap what you sow. Now, we also have, in our advanced fore-brains, a burden of excessive stress when living at the margins of existence.

Think about that for a moment. That was the truth of living circumstances for the vast majority of the population over 10 thousand or more years of human history. Anybody in todays world will tell you this truth: its harsh and stressful, living "hand to mouth". So relationships, close ones built on trust, respect and honor, of give and take, will tell you that NOT being alone, of having someone at your back during the hard times, makes a world of difference in the quality of that survival.

Thats where spiritual strength, as an important stress modulator asset, comes in.

So, whats the difference between the world of the mid-1960s, that DouglasInMotown mentions, and the present day, 40 yrs later?

That would be:

* The loss of family continuity over the period of child-rearing.

* The loss of closeknit, permanent habitation in stable, multi-generational communities.

* The loss of reliance on spiritual practices underlying religious belief.

* The change in gender role expectations and its confusion in social obligations in relationships.

* Physical mobility and disconnection from identity with place and traditional culture and family history.

* Relative anonymity and relaxing of social strictures that used to be part and parcel of family, cultural and community identity.

What then is the purpose of an on-line forum like POF?

Its a virtual community that helps us find connection with others that would be missing in our lives due to frequent moves and distance from family, lack of faith practices, lack of interpersonal local identity and interaction within our neighborhoods, and for some, a basis for friendship in this very anonymous and mobile world we inhabit - regardless of our cultural background, family identity, socioeconomic status, location, career, or spiritual beliefs.

Never, in the long and varied course of humanity, have we had the ability to form relationship bonds across vast expanses of distance, culture/ethnicity and beliefs.

Its unique in the experience of man. Its perhaps our saving grace, where so many stable influences have been slowly eroded in our lives.
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