For the People, By the People
Laws are written and passed with the supposed intent of protecting and benefiting society. In simple terms, they are passed because people want them. Whether due to the inability of existing laws to effectively address a need, or the desire to revise established laws to reflect a people’s social evolution, communities can mobilize, generate pressure, and demand change.
At least this was the theory and potentially, the practice. Unfortunately, it doesn’t always work out this way. Not because the people can no longer effect change, for they still do wield the ultimate power, rather it is that the vast majority may have become jaded and dismayed at their seemingly limited individual capacity to make a significant impact. Perhaps the sheer number of peoples and institutions attributed to modern globalization has weighed down upon the individual to the extent that it is believed that one can no longer jog and rattle the entrenched political machine.
Meanwhile those that were elected to represent society carry on with their daily affairs. In the best of cases they have the long term interests of society’s well being at heart, and will pursue this mandate ethically and persistently. In the worst, they are influenced by the pressures and corruptions that surround them, and succumb to self-interest, greed, and delusion. This might seem a wicked balance, but there is hope!
Freedom through Education
The solution to many of the social and environmental challenges we currently face is an educated and informed population. Indeed, as a species we possess the right tools for solving the innumerable problems that face us, however we have also set in place a number obstacles that work to inhibit our capacity to solve them. As a result, the critical components to overcoming so many of these issues is combination of relevant information and a desire for continuous improvement.
From the moment we turn on our screens in the morning we are bombarded with so much information throughout the day (and well into the night), and the future seems set on feeding us even more. Consequently, it is paramount that we as a people learn what to do with it all, how to define reason from nonsense, and ultimately make the best choices that will continue to lead us towards some form of progressive evolution. In addition, beyond the cold hard facts, we also need the hope and optimism that our ideas can be manifested, the intrinsic hope that motivates exploration and innovation. It might sound like a lot to ask for, but we are capable! Education is very much the tool for continuing to develop both these practices, for growing in all of us the critical approach necessary for tackling the world objectively as well as nurturing the spark of hope and creativity.