– Northern Dragon © 2019. All rights reserved.
“So yes, we are not experiencing the best times, but there is reason to hope that we will see a better day.”– Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Supreme Court Justice, political figure
We live in the age of reason. The gods have fallen and turned to dust and science has taken their place. We no longer worship at alters lit by candles and the uncertain flames of burning offerings, and we no longer heed the advice of mystic oracles or those who claim to speak for the gods.
Or so we think.
And yet, despite it all, so very little has changed.
We may no longer worship the stars, but we still reach for them. We bring no gifts or offerings for mystics and seers, but we consult the Internet and listen to its wisdom. We no longer believe in magic, but venerate the magic of technology.
Yes, it looks very fair and pretty, does it not? This thin veneer of rational thought and reason with which we paint our world.
But in the dark depths below, the great beasts still lurk… Emotion rules far more of our choices than we would like to think. We choose and act, often on the flimsiest of pretexts just so we can tell ourselves that what we did was logical and reasonable. And we will instinctively – for this lies embedded deep within our psyche – try to conform to the expectations and behaviour of any group with which we identify.
I do not say this to try and cast aspersions on our emotions and instincts. Without feelings, we would be little better than machines, cold and uncaring and utterly devoid of empathy – or love. But there are questions which are better decided by reason than by groupthink, and the unreasoning choices we make may have a drastic impact on our lives – and society.
Nowhere is this more apparent than when we deal with politics. And politics is, at least in the Western world, something which we all have to deal with at times – if nothing else, then because we live in democracies, and democracies have elections.
And the outcome of those elections… well, that is our future, isn’t it? That is the way it works. If you do not like the world you live in, go out and vote. If sufficiently many people agree with you, the world will change direction. You may not get exactly what you voted for… but the direction will change.
You can see it in effect, even today.
It is, after all, why we have Trump…