Are we a humane Society?

There is so much strife in the world today. Sixty-five million people are refugees and looking for a better place where they could bring up their children in safety. The refugees often assume the nations of the European Union are shining examples of a “humane” society.

I wonder where they got that idea from? We, in the West, believe that the Western nations have indeed achieved a high level of human existence. We convinced ourselves, that since the end of the 18th Century, and the birth of the Enlightenment, we had turned the corner to a better world populated by enlightened people. We thought we had become more humane.

The educational reforms following the Enlightenment produced a better-educated populace. Research and inventions pushed us progressively towards a capitalist society in which the majority of people were indeed better off in the material sense. But the seeming progress also brought extreme poverty in its wake. Henry George wrote about the reasons behind this development in his Progress and Poverty.

The rise of capitalism brought us two terrible world wars and we still live in the aftermath of those wars. That there is something wrong with Capitalism was recognised by a group of people who were members of the so-called “Frankfurt School“. Capitalism is not interested in a humane society. Its interests lay in making a profit in the shortest of time possible. Never mind the victims of this system. Exploitation does not lend itself to “humane” behaviour. The two world wars and the ideologies espoused by some societies surely put an end to the notion of a humane society.

Seventy-one years after the end of World War II we can see the inhumane behaviour of our fellow men in action all over the world. In the Middle East, every group attacks any other group with a ferocity that reminds us of the Middle Ages.

Nevertheless, people all over the world are still dreaming of a better, peaceful  world in which they  can expect humane behaviour. But we are still waiting for such a humane society.

Can we ever hope to achieve a humane society, where love and kindness rules?

The reality of the present is always against such a hope. The reality of the present demands struggle. And as we struggle we alienate others and therefore create the conditions for future struggles.

We struggle because of our pessimistic view of our future. This view is the result of our fears. Our imagination regarding the future has two sides: a positive one, hope and a negative one, fear. Fear is a more instinctive emotion. Hope is an act of faith and not so easily achieved.

The people with a negative view of the future will build barriers, physical or psychological. For some people, it pays to nourish and spread fear and keep the masses bound to the grindstone of debt and consumption.

A humane society would be a simpler one than the one we have now, that is for sure. Perhaps we would have to throw out the smartphones first. We are addicted to the modern world of gadgets and apps. We are hooked on technology and are not a humane society. While we look at the flickering screen of our smartphone we don’t even notice the person next to us.  A recent power blackout in South Australia, due to a massive storm, started a political discussion along party lines because someone has to be blamed.

We lock up people in detention centres when they flee to our shores because life in their own societies became intolerable,  partly  because of our actions and interferences.

All this shows that our “humane” behaviour is just a thin veneer covering our inhumane capacity for greed and domination of others.

No, we are not a humane society. Not yet by any means.

Love and Time

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Love can only blossom if lovers give time to each other and fertilise love with time.

They have to stop and look into each others eyes, make the moments, that exist between the chores of daily life, count and extent them to mini eternities.

Love only exist in those moments where time stands still for lovers; in the cracks between past and future.

When you come out of love you will notice that time has  really moved on  and you will not recognise the world any more. You have a lot of catching up to do.  It is similar to time travel and you get confused and disoriented. 

When in love one lives in a timeless bubble. The outside world becomes peripheral. Therefore communication with the other is concentrated and unimpeded. Nothing else matters.

I like to think of love as total communication, mental and physical, and when one finds a special person, one has that great feeling of togetherness. One discovers, that one is not alone on this Earth and both can form ‘the Us’, a new entity.

But remember, love is a beautiful coloured soap bubble, likely to burst any time if not kept afloat and can ultimately sink to the ground and touch reality.

Normality is a killer of time and love. If you allow the relentless, daily grind to dominate you, then both will eventually disappear.

Fill your time with love !

 

Object of Love

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Men can very easily transfer their love from one woman to another.

They seldom grief long when their partner dies, goes away or is otherwise unavailable. They love what women are doing or providing for them. They love  women, because they feel women love them and they love them back for it.

Some people might think this kind of love is shallow. But it is not. It is not the person they love but the giver of love they love. This love can be enduring  –  till death do us part –   but it also has survival value, because it is easily transferable.

Men’s love is more a loyalty program. A lot of women died during childbirth and men must have had the ability to find a new partner quickly to look after their earlier brood. If the man was able to love his new wife and his new wife felt that love and was able to reciprocate  then they could live happily ever after.