Saturday, November 24, 2012

There is No "One Right Way" to Live

Many of the problems facing our world today stem from our cultural myths.  Unlike the cultural differences such as "the East and the West" the cultural differences of which I speak are shared between all "civilized" societies.  These myths (the stories our culture believes and lives) are so embedded that like fish to water we are unaware of them.  One cultural myth that is driving our species to extinction is "There is only one right way to live."  Think about it for a second- how many religions think they are the "only way," how many people look at other people like they are crazy if they stand outside what they consider norm, how many houses do you see that are REALLY different (they all use the same basic building ideas,) all children must learn the same things in schools that look pretty much the same at the same rate, etc.  The more one looks at society the more one can see.....this is part of our cultural myth.

But, why is this a problem?  It goes against the Laws of Nature.  One law of nature is "Life thrives from diversity."  Although some may look the "cultural diversity" programs and say, "Hey, we support diversity."  But how many people go home to similar homes, do relatively similar things, watch the relatively similar television shows?

How many movies are about the one person who stands outside the boundaries and does something "against the odds"?  A lot.  And those movies are usually hugely popular.  But how many times are we on the side of the person who is going "against the odds" in our lives.............probably not very many.  Our cultural myth makes us believe "we all need to be the same."  So if anyone tries to go outside of that myth we get scared, we may ridicule them, we may fight them, and if they go far enough we may put them in jail or have them killed.  This one cultural myth is leading us to extinction.

Before civilization many tribes were scattered throughout the world- they were very diverse in their clothing, rituals, housing, languages, food, belief systems.  Part of their cultural myths was, "There is no 'one right way' to live."  While they may have thought their neighbors were weird, they did not think that their neighbors should live, think, or behave like they did- it lead the way for great diversity.

How can we change change our path to destruction?  I think part of it is realizing that there is no "one right way" to live, not condemning people when they try new, "weird" things, trying new things ourselves, and passing the word that until we change our ways we are heading down a slipper slope of extinction.  There is hope and we are it!

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