How to Change the World: Building A Post-Pandemic World | Avneet Singh
To change the world, imagine the world you want. Don’t limit yourself to what is practical, or worry about what is achievable. That will come later. Imagine without any inhibitions or limiting yourself in any way.
It is human imagination that put a man in space and on the moon, eradicated diseases like smallpox and polio, and brought about the food revolution which ended hunger for the first time in human history. There was no magic silver bullet which made all this possible. It was technology, new inventions, engineering, logistics, public trust, political support, corporate involvement, and money, all working together. We have a recent and glorious history of achieving what seemed impossible.
Imagine how poorer mankind would be if the legendary men behind these endeavours had limited their imagination to what is practical, or had been overwhelmed by the scale of task at hand, or had lacked the courage to change the status quo.
When we imagine and think of something often, we eventually want it. Our mind compels us to act to achieve it. Have you noticed that when we think often about something we like, how badly we want it, and how far we are willing to go to achieve it? This is the psychology advertisers use. They flood all channels with their product so you can never escape it. Those who want it are constantly reminded of it, and are eventually compelled to act to get it.
Don’t misuse this psychology to sell trinkets, but imagine and dream big, and then let your mind and imagination drive you to achieve it.
Don’t just accept the status quo, don’t believe things cannot be changed, don’t believe it is the best it can be, don’t be a devil’s advocate for those trying to change the world, and don’t expect someone else will do it.
Our failure to solve global problems is due to our failure to imagine a world without those problems. Imagine a world where there is authenticity and meritocracy without hypocrisy, experts are treasured, media blares useful and interesting stories rather than corporate propaganda, politicians are masters of the art of achieving the impossible rather than opportunists, and the planet and community are not trashed for the benefit of the privileged few.
It is expected that the pace of climate crisis and pandemics will increase in our modern, connected globalised world where we are destroying our environment at a staggering pace to give the privileged few the lifestyle they don’t deserve. How will we cope when once in a hundred-year pandemics, economic and climate crises occur every decade?
Pick global problems you would like to rid the world of, and then imagine a world without them every day. Very soon, you will be doing something about it. Thinking about it every day is crucial as that is what compels you to act. Just toying with the idea once in a while is not enough.
As George Monbiot says, we need a new Political story to replace Neoliberalism. How do we want our communities, governments, corporations, institutions to run?
We are the owners of our country. The government is not the owner, they are merely the caretaker and manager we hire. The government’s sole interest is for us to keep paying our taxes, while they keep the status quo. Seeing yourself as owners of your country is not just a philosophical and moral distinction, but also an economic and legal distinction. When you realise that you own your country, you open your mind to the possibilities and feel empowered.
Do we want a big government that uses every crisis to enrich itself and its corporate masters while promising to help those in need? Or do we want a small government that creates a level playing field where meritocracy and entrepreneurship succeed? Yes, the Government can take care of it, but will charge you an arm and a leg. For every $1 the government takes as taxes, $0.17 trickles down to the needy.
Revisit all your assumptions: is diversity really good, and for whom is it good? Why is our life in the Westernised world so good? Why do refugees and immigrants come to the West? Why are we always busy? Are smartphones to blame for our polarised and individualistic culture? Is religion irrelevant in the modern world, and does it divide us? Is capitalism a failure or a success, and for whom? Are charities and non-profits effective? Do we expect those who succeed in the current system to change the system that made them successful? Our assumptions and behaviour affect global events.
When you set out to change the world, you will have to change yourself. When you set out to change yourself, you will change the world. They both need to happen at the same time and in parallel.
Talk about this new world with your friends and at every social occasion. Provoke others to think and ignite the creativity every one of us has.
“We need to think in terms of creation, production, innovation, desire, invention, and we need to eagerly begin the project of building another life together. Negation, critique, protest, resistance, struggle – we have been using the wrong tools. They are making us sick. What we need instead are invention, desire, production, creation, delight, joy.”
“Until you make the unconscious conscious, it will direct your life and you will call it fate”
It is partly our intellectual laziness, decades of propaganda to blunt our sharp mind, and the easy pickings from our entitled privileged life in the Westernised World which prevents us from imagining.
“Rarely do we find men who willingly engage in hard, solid thinking. There is an almost universal quest for easy answers and half-baked solutions. Nothing pains some people more than having to think”
-Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Most of us struggle to think deeply. “People will do anything, no matter how absurd, to avoid facing their own souls”
All of us don’t have the time or inclination or capacity to reflect and think. Therefore, it is crucial to have a mentor or a Guru to guide you. Just as we have a doctor, accountant, financial adviser to guide us, we need a mentor and a Guru. Choose them wisely, for they can transform your life. Choose them wisely, for your support of them can transform the world around you as well. Such great mentors and Gurus exist today. The world produces a steady stream of Gandhis, MLKs, Mandelas, and Dalai Lamas. The Deep State doesn’t allow them to be popular, and most of us are not aware of their existence and their work. So, they can’t help us, and we don’t support them in their quest to make the world a better place for all.
It is crucial we don’t limit our imagination by the reality of what is possible. Politics is the art of achieving the impossible. You will find a way when you want it. Wanting it, and imagining it often is a good first step.
“Throughout the centuries there were men who took first steps, down new roads, armed with nothing but their own vision”
“Almost always, the creative dedicated minority has made the world better”
-Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Imagine and think big without any inhibitions or worrying about practicality of it. You will change the world.
Voice of Mankind is a non-profit Think Tank working to influence public opinion on issues that affect us all. We are here to make sense of this changing world. We provide original analysis, provoke thought, and enlighten on issues relevant to all of us. Our ideas are battle-tested in the real world everyday by us. You should too.
Photo by Charly Keating on Flickr.