When I look at ordinary people across the world, their values seem pretty similar. They care about family and friends, some degree of decency and honesty, respect toward others and they understand that nobody’s perfect. The details of what these things mean vary from culture to culture and based on ideological beliefs, yet basically the values of people are the same. However, the values of society are very different. Society values success, money, status, power and exploitation. There’s little room for kindness, respect or decency, except when you feign them to get ahead. You always have to compete to be the best, or at least be better than the guy next to you, so you don’t get trampled on.
The values of the people are at odds with the values of society. The social pressure leads to many kinds of suffering and confusion. To school shootings and suicides due to pressure, plastic surgery for not feeling pretty enough, addiction to drugs, alcohol or some form of entertainment. Because the values of the society do not represent the values of the people, both the society and the people are sick. Also when we run into problems, we don’t treat the cause, we don’t really even treat the symptom, we treat a rumour, a myth, a piece of hearsay. When someone shoots a bunch of people, we try to ban guns. When someone feels unwell we pump them full of drugs, so we can pretend we did something. We don’t bother asking why they feel as they do. It’s like if your car isn’t moving you beat it with a wrench and yell insults at it, instead of actually taking the time to figure out why it’s not moving. You can’t fix it unless you know what is broken. This is simply how we do things in our society.
The question is: why does society have these values, who put them there and why should we adhere to them?
I’m going on a trip for few weeks so I doubt I’ll be posting stuff here which must come as big disappointment for my hugely non-existent audience.