I have written a number of Posts that either allude to, or directly address, why we are… the way we are.
As an overview, it seems to be generally accepted that our perspective on our world is created by our upbringing. We raise our children intuitively which tends to be based on how we were raised. Our values tend be driven by our parents values. We may make small adjustments based on a desire to change but, basically, what was normal in our respective families will dictate what is normal to each of us. Our “script for living” therefore is the result of our upbringing.
Our script can be changed but, if our world meets our idea of “normal”, then why would we want to? Apparently it requires a “Significant Emotional Event” for such a change to happen, and I would expect that everybody reading this has experienced something significant which changed their perspective a little.
Yesterday (Oct 21) was the 50th anniversary of the Aberfan disaster. I suspect that most of you have never heard of it, either because it did not make the news in your country, or you are too young to know much about 1966 events.
Courtesy Wikipedia: The Aberfan disaster was the catastrophic collapse of a colliery spoil tip in the Welsh village of Aberfan, near Merthyr Tydfil, that killed 116 children and 28 adults on 21 October 1966.
Apparently it took 5 minutes for the coal tip to slide down the mountain and engulf various buildings which included the school.
On Oct 21, 1966, I had just turned 20 and, while my life at that time was working, socializing and enjoying my motorcycle, I remember Aberfan making the news headlines. That time in my life was very stressful in many ways because my “normal” was constantly being challenged.
In Peterborough, where I was living, there was an accepted East Indian area. We just saw them as visually different, but they were integrating very well and many were already established in the medical profession and in the restaurant business. We also had a Pakistani area which, again, was accepted in much the same way…. until the local newspaper screamed out “Racial Rioting in Peterborough”. It was a massive over-statement of the facts which were simply exaggerating a number of small India vs Pakistan conflicts however, this was very unusual for me. I had never been exposed to the concept of different cultures fighting after all, I was born just after WWII and so all was now peaceful. The enemy had been defeated… hadn’t it?
In that same era, Russia and America were both posturing their perceived importance, and nuclear weapons were the tools of choice to try and intimidate. Given the known awesome power of nuclear arms, I was now confronted with the possibility that one really stupid decision could result in a massive conflagration and possible total annihilation of our species.
The world in the 1960’s was nothing like the world that I accepted as normal. The Aberfan disaster was, by all accounts, man-made and therefore could have been avoided. I vaguely remember scandalous comments being made by owners of the mine and, if I recall correctly, the survivors of Aberfan were pretty much on their own to get their lives back together.
Clearly the “innocent little lad” (me!) of the 1950’s had a massive education on the real world. My “normal” was “abnormal” when compared to realities, but what really bothered me enough to write this Post is the fact that while I can now remember the heartbreaks and the unscrupulous components of the Aberfan disaster, I sadly admit that I had forgotten all about it until reminded by https://hughsviewsandnews.com. the other day.
We should never forget these disasters, whether natural or man-made. We should never forget the suffering that is currently going on around the world, and to deny assistance when needed is unforgivable. From my perspective, the world has not changed too much. We still have profiteering at the expense of our health and future. We still have political posturing with nuclear capability as the tool of choice. We still have cultural intolerance, and we still have innocent men, women and children caught in the middle of conflicts that have political goals and aspirations as the driving force. Has any progress really been made since the 1950’s?
Yes I believe there has! Given the population growth since that time, and accepting that “delinquent” behavior increases in proportion to the population, then I believe that there has been a reciprocal increase in the number of people that have a social conscience, as evidenced by the various organizations that respond to disasters around the world, and also those people who are dealing with the broad range of social issues prevalent in our own country. It is now inherent on all of us to express our feelings publicly and further the causes of peace and humanity in general.
Any free enterprise system is based on the law of supply and demand. If we are prepared to pay for something, then somebody is prepared to sell it to us. Conversely, if there are no demands, then production will cease. Our political world is no different in that politicians want your vote, and for them to be successful they must understand what is important to you. The onus is on you to make it clear however you can, what your desires are for the world.
Whatever disasters changed your “normal” and whatever significant emotional events are in your background, don’t ever forget them. Perhaps one day a child will grow up in a peaceful environment to realize that their “normal” is in fact “normal”! What a day for celebrating that would be!