About - The full story (it's longer than most Abouts)
This can't be as good as it gets. Can it? Can this – daily life, the planet, everything – really be as good as it gets? If this is then nothing we've created will help us avoid eventual chaos.
It all sounds bleak eh, but there is Good News: no, this is not as good as it gets.
Yet here we are. How did we let this happen? Why didn't we do something to stop it? Why do we drag each other down, lower and lower by playing the vile games we do with each other? We appear to be sophisticated yet our barbaric behaviour proves otherwise. Where did things like honesty, kindness, integrity, and fairness go? What is wrong with us?
There isn't anything wrong with us. We are remarkable logical and loving beings, but we have royally screwed up. We have somehow become who we are not meant to be and subsequently created a civilization in which humans are not meant to live, but how? Hear me out. My answer will surprise you. This has happened because we have never understood change. The root of our predicament is our ignorance of change.
We believe change is something that occurs haphazardly or at our command instead of recognizing that it is the foundation of our existence. From the moment someone or something exists, its destiny is to change until it no longer exists.
We're not just living. We – and everything in the universe – are changing. We are alive and so yes, we are living, but with every breath we are changing in every way. So what is change? Changes are the phenomena through which existence unfolds. To human beings changes are how we experience life, but what about everything else? Change is inclusive. While we are changing so is every other living and non-living thing including every solar system, every rock, every artificial thing, every society, knowledge, every law – everything changes. Everything everywhere all the time! See…if you don't understand change your logical and loving sensibilities are bound to decay.
How do you think we arrived at this point in human history? Here's my take: we – the majority of citizens in dominant nations – are caught in a "worldview vortex" that is taking us closer to chaos. With every downward spin we come to believe that this new level of decline is the new normal therefore we believe that "this" is as good as it gets. This belief leads us to expect tomorrow will be worse (worse yet, tomorrow, when our prediction comes true, instead of regretting our accuracy we see it as affirming our perceived sophistication).
Being on the planet Earth – existence – can be better than it currently is. My goal is to show how to maximize what is helpful and minimize what is harmful.
Were you looking for something more titillating than maximizing and minimizing? Watch out! Perhaps your expectations have been moulded by slick marketing. My practical and humble goals are driven by the fact humans can't be perfect. Because we'll often do what we don't want to do and not do what we should, let's admit all we can do is maximize and minimize rather than claiming we'll absolutely this and absolutely that. We also need to be focused and realistic so let's avoid using empty, meaningless terms like 'change the world' or setting unattainable goals like "ending all wars." Not gonna happen; "this" can be better just not utopian.
Am I worrisome? Is this a fear mongering rant because, for instance, how do I account for all the acts of good that take place every moment? Yes of course there is "good" on Earth. Thankfully many persons do good, but even then there is far less of it than its opposite, and if my theory is correct, the imbalance will expand at an unprecedented rate. Alarmed? Good. Now you can approach the next hurdle. You need to admit humanity has a problem. Admitting problems exist has come to be worse than the problems themselves. It's like the social stigma of being a whistle-blower. You do the right thing and suffer for it. You try to help and are harmed in return (this is backwards and is a clear example of the type of bizarre behaviour that could only come out of believing this is as good as it gets). If you merely acknowledge a problem everyone expresses, for some unjustifiable reason, platitudes instead of agreeing. Whether the glass is half full or half empty the problem remains, i.e. perspective is irrelevant. Problem exists or they don't. Solve them or suffer.
Am I an alarmist? Let's explore this possibility. Perhaps I would have a different perspective if I joined the "problems are just opportunities in disguise" league. This faction gazes at violence, pollution, and prejudice eagerly because they know, they absolutely know that science and technology is the answer. These advocates urge us to believe in the Idea of Progress. They suggest we just look around and see what all the shiny new things have done for us. What I see are modern hospitals wherein patients pick up new ailments after being admitted. I see cell phones making it easier to sell drugs and explode bombs. I also see how the Internet built the pornography industry. The Idea of Progress is just that, an idea. Science and technology are tools at our disposal. They are not icons due our worship. Arguing that tools (e.g. guns) aren't inherently bad, but that the user determines whether it is good or bad is also arguing that the decline will continue because we, the users, will continue to taint the tools until we regain the logical and loving sensibilities we've been losing as a result of not understanding change.
If the Idea of Progress wasn't enough to settle our nerves then we could try to find solace in the theory of Evolution, especially the "survival of the fittest" interpretation. Right or wrong a majority of the majority of citizens of the dominant nations must believe it. I cite the dog-eat-dog mentality of capitalism as my proof. This outlook instructs us to find peace, and prosperity, amidst the greed and other inhumane outcomes of a selfish worldview because that's just the way it is. It is evidence that evolution is working as it should, i.e. if someone or something can't hack it then she, he, or it will be left behind. The "too bad so sad" attitude held by those movers and shakers also easily explains away the cries of the destitute as nonsense because those of us who are tuned-in, strong, and, well, to be honest, superior, will always be better off because that's just the way it is. Those empowered and enabled beings are having the time of their lives so they believe this is absolutely as good as it gets and are a little ticked by accusations to the contrary.
Wait! We might be experiencing nothing more than a system-wide glitch. This just might be as good as it can get with our present "System" – our consumer way of life that has been guided by evolutionary concepts and tweaked by the Idea of Progress. The issue isn't that our System isn't working properly; the issue is that we are "using" the wrong one therefore there's nothing to fix only something to throw out. Wait! There is a third option. It is possible we have never used the System properly. The System is intrinsically right for us, but we've never used is properly. We might be like the lumberjack who returned his first chainsaw claiming it didn't work any better than his saw only to shout "What's that noise!" when the sales clerk started it as a test. The only way to verify the third option is to give the System one more try. Try using it after understanding change. This is not a vain, wasteful notion because if even after trying to use the System properly we conclude it is the wrong one the experience of working this through will have helped us identify the one we need and also we will have prepared ourselves to easily discard the wrong one and enthusiastically embrace the right one.
Of course some will utter "there is always room for improvement." I think their intentions are honourable, but I feel their intentions are dangerous. Probably this nice gesture is meant to calm us by implying "don't worry." Their nice words betray them and expose their subscription to the "this is as good as it gets" worldview. If someone is frightened by reality and is inherently arrogant their ability to confess their fear is hindered and their tendency to concede, to join the crowd, and hence perpetuate the spiralling decline is expedited. Their apparent voice of reason is actually a trumpet call for the blind to lead the blind.
Obviously there is always room for improvement, but it's premature to declare it. Timing aside it is a dangerous retort because it doesn't lead to action. It inspires complacency. To fix a problem you must act. Problems aren't corrected by only talking, reading, or studying. Many words are spoken, read, and contemplated and still we plummet. Of course life is complicated so rushing off under the banner of "action" can backfire and further complicate matters thus we need to act logically and lovingly, but the key is to do something. We need to stand tall and shout "This sucks! It isn't human! Make it better! NOW!" and then after you do something to improve the human condition you can reflect and say "This is better, but there's always room for improvement so now let's…
Sorry if my strategy and these arguments seem corny and cheeky. If you feel that way do you also believe that by somehow not contributing to the problem you are contributing to the solution? Do you justify your "non-action action" by blending in and not interfering? Do you avoid getting involved because "that's what the police are for" but do you ever call the police? You see I don't know how righteous and radical I might be compared to how entrenched and scared you might be? What I do know is that if you are healthy you can act and so you should. one has power – it takes only one and you're/I'm the one. If the thought of taking action is upsetting try accepting your fear, losing your arrogance, and believing in yourself. one has power.
Come on people fess up: we can be and do better…we need to. Wouldn't you like to be a beneficiary of the Golden Rule? Wouldn't you rather be content, appreciated, and safe instead of being fearful, pressured, and unfulfilled? Wouldn't you rather feel the joy that we are capable of instead of following the miserable herd and perpetuating the harm? Sure you do.
Change, change, change, all this talk about change and yet not once have terms like Technological Change or Personal Change or Quantum Change or Incremental Change or Systemic Change come up. That's because we've been talking about any and all change. It's difficult to appreciate the difference between understanding any and all change versus understanding some popular compartmentalization of change, Political Change for instance, because we haven't yet learned the fundamentals of any and all change. To most of us change is change, right? Yes, sort of. What I mean is while it is true that "change is change" nothing has so far been published about the intrinsic characteristics of any and all change so we're putting the cart before the horse. We've built multi-storey abstract structures without a foundation and now they are crumbling. Perhaps Changeology will act as a Unifying Theory of Any and All Change. In any case Changeology won't replace any of the excellent books written about what's generally called change management or something like a 12-step program, so after learning about change you should re-read any books on change management to uncover any hidden gems and expose any fallacies.
Do you think "this is not as good as it gets"has a religious ring to it? Kudos for knowing salvation theology, but there are no religious statements here. Even though I am an Anabaptist Christian, you will find that this work is based on logic and love because we are created as logical and loving creatures.
So why am I doing this? What's this site/endeavour about? Well to start with I firmly believe in one has power so I am confident my work is reasonable, well-grounded, and robust even if I don't have a post-graduate degree in anything, am not a celebrity nor serial entrepreneur. Specifically the reason I defined Changeology, defined Head Heart Coordination, and am writing the Delta Manifesto is because I know this is not as good as it gets so, since I love you, you know, in that agape way, I want to help us get to that better time when we can become who we are meant to be so we can build futures that we thought were imaginary. This good work begins by re-examining existence through the lens of change. It's all about change.
Please learn the characteristics and principles of any and all change. Soon you will be able to read the Delta Manifesto. In the meantime, whenever you are disillusioned or you need some inspiration please visit good'ole LaughJag. Peace. Kevin
CONTACT – kevin at kevinstumpf.com