There is a considerable amount of resentment among people in the United States, Canada, and much of the West that their children will not experience a better quality of life and a more optimistic future than they have. Along with the resentment comes the cynicism that fuels desperate grasping at populism and authoritarianism. The oppression that is an ingredient in authoritarianism will only lead to a lesser quality of life overall. This is the conundrum our society faces today.
The fact is that depriving others of a good quality of life eventually causes higher levels of resentment, entitlement, and civil unrest. The bankrupt mindset of “what’s in it for me” is a mindset that actually harms civilization. The beliefs in particular ideologies and theological constructs serve only to separate peoples and further degrade the human condition. Divisiveness never leads to a good quality of life.
I’m not an economist, theologian, sociologist, or other expert about the nuts and bolts of civil society. At best, I sometimes think of myself as an amateur, armchair anthropologist with the accent on amateur. I can only offer a limited point of view regarding my personal observations. I don’t believe in happy talk as it might relate to the greater population. I do think happy talk and its corresponding optimism work on the individual level. Such positivity does tend to rub off in some degree, onto the people in close proximity to the optimist.
Of course this attitude regarding optimism and positivity is an ideological belief in and of itself. While such a belief appears constructive and wonderful to the people like me who adopt it, there is the vast majority of humanity who does not accept it. We cannot simply force people to adopt our opinions and beliefs, such actions negate freedom and encourage such evils as tyranny and theocracy. History has proven over and over again that tyrants and theocrats are negative, harmful agents.
Trying to force others to believe certain concepts and certain beliefs is counterproductive to society. Persuasiveness may work in the short-term, but it comes up empty when it comes to overall quality of life individually and collectively.
Perhaps we’re trying to resolve the delicate concept we call quality of life with a sledgehammer approach. One ideology nor one belief system fits all people. We have individual, subjective points of view. Depending upon our situations, we have different personalities, inner natures, orientations, and needs. Hammering peoples into particular beliefs tends to result in equally strong opposition movements.
The problem of social unrest becomes ever more impressive when we consider the crisis of global environmental degradation. How are we to improve the quality of life for the 7.8 billion individuals who currently inhabit our planet? How can we do this without completely ruining the environment in our attempts? Right now, there is no app for that. About all we can do now is to be mindful of the world at large as we live our daily lives.
There are young and old people who are using their creative, inventive minds to come up with solutions to some of our quality of life problems. Their work and research are not superficial. This activity is admirable and should be encouraged.
Meantime, there is a small, yet growing movement of people who are experimenting with ways to live a life of quality. The grammatical shift in word order is one option that seems to work for them. Living a life of quality is the inside-out of the quality of life. One of the beauties of the life of quality idea is very customizable to individual situations. It is not a dogmatic belief that can be force fed to others. To live a life of quality is optional. If a person makes the conscious decision to live a life of quality, she or he sets the parameters, and behavior that works for her or him. A life of quality is attainable by anyone who fervently seeks it.
For traditionalists, the concept of a life of quality has been around for centuries. For progressives, the concept of a life of quality allows plenty of room for continual advancement. For egalitarians, a life of quality is available to anyone who sincerely adopts it. For people who value freedom and liberty, the concept of a life of quality is not an ironclad dogma–it can be adopted or rejected as anyone deems fit.
The life of quality is an idea that is worth thinking about.
The Blue Jay of Happiness quotes motivational speaker and writer, Zig Ziglar. “Fact: If standard of living is your number one objective, quality of life never improves. But if quality of life is your number one objective, standard of living invariably improves.”
The bankrupt mindset of “what’s in it for me” is a mindset that actually harms civilization. – I strongly agree and the biggest obstacle to meaningful change is people. We need to start thinking about the long term consequences of our actions starting with our own and then educating our children to think critically about their opinions and decisions. I think encouraging more critical thinking is the key to a better future.
We’re on the same page.