So if we cannot change the system, how can we get more power, control and social status?
This week we will look at how we might do this.
These posts will all be about each of us as individuals. For the revolution starts with each one of us and not out there. On Monday we will look at the most extreme example - how Viktor Frankl kept his power in the death camps. For he could not change his world he could only control how he reacted to it.
“I did not know whether my wife was alive, and I had no means of finding out (during all my prison life there was no outgoing or incoming mail); but at that moment it ceased to matter. There was no need for me to know; nothing could touch the strength of my love, my thoughts, and the image of my beloved. Had I known then that my wife was dead, I think that I would still have given myself, undisturbed by that knowledge, to the contemplation of her image, and that my mental conversation with her would have been just as vivid and just as satisfying. ‘Set me like a seal upon thy heart, love is as strong as death.’” pp. 56-58.
We today are also confronted by a culture that can overwhelm us and is bad for us. It has taken us away for being human. For the centre of the Industrial Culture is “Work” and “Industry”. We ask each other – “What do you do? We tend to answer by giving our work role – “I’m an engineer” or “I work for Bell”. We almost never say “I like to garden” or I am a dad. The Question “How are you?” is usually answered with “I’m so busy!”
Work not life is what our culture is all about.
From our earliest years we are taught that paid work is the centre of life. We have to work hard at school so that we can get paid work. We have to focus at school – because we have to give the right answers to the set questions. If we do get paid work, we have to focus all the time. For it is focus on the expected results that is the way – isn’t it? We have to try and balance work and family and usually work wins. if we dont have good work and pay, we are also doomed as failures. So we cannot win.
Our industrial culture means that every other part of life than work and industry is secondary. By giving up the rest of ourselves and our world to this meme we have to get stressed because we know we are missing out on important parts of ourselves. We have next to no power or control.
So how do we get our power back?
Do we have to take to the streets? Maybe. But even then we have no power or control.
The irony is that power and control and social status does not come from outside but inside. Like Dorothy in Wizard of Oz – the way home is always in our control – all we have to do is to ask.