Hard to have hope

9 07 2012

I was recently asked what my hopes were for the future. Honestly, I had to think about it for a few minutes because it was a question that I do not ask myself very often.

If I were to have any hope, it would be hope that enough of humanity can come together to create and conserve an environment where future generations can grow and live in good health. I would hope that we use our knowledge and intelligence to avert disasters and minimize one another’s misery.

Unfortunately, that would involve other people, many others, most of whom are strangers to me and my worldview. Pinning one’s hopes on another’s actions or change of heart is ludicrous. The best I can do is do what I can from my end but not necessarily expect recognition or cooperation from others.

Perhaps the fact of the matter is that we are sad, tragic animals. We have our collective future in our hands but do not realize it. Maybe those of us who do genuinely realize the nature of our environmental and political situation are doing the best we can and it just will not be enough. There is no rule written that says the human race has to survive.

Any hope that we can make the world a better place is a hope that other people will practically do an about-face and make radical, difficult changes in their lives. There is hope and then there is false hope.

If had to hope for something, it would be that this blog post has been an illuminating and uplifting experience for you.

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The ghost of the über-mensch

23 11 2009

Friedrich Nietzche once advanced the idea that there are two mentalities in groups of people: slave mentality and master mentality. Slave mentality is characterized by willingness to cooperate and lack of desire to seek power or take charge. Master mentality is characterized by the desire to take charge of a group or people. In the past, especially when slavery was prevalent in western civilization, this master/slave mentality was less metaphor and more reality.

Nietzhe said that most people in western society have adopted a slave mentality, while a few have adopted the master mentality. It is the people who have adopted the master mentality that tend to be the most driven and ambitious. They are the CEOs of the world. They are the leaders.

The majority of us have adopted the slave mentality. Few people want to take charge. No one wants to rock the boat. A person with a master mentality is almost like a wolf among sheep.

If you find yourself hesitating to take charge of a situation when it is necessary, remember that most people in modern society have the slave mentality. They are ambitious only in their personal lives and in the lives of those close to them. A truly ambitious person concerns themselves with the lives of everyone, not just themselves. They want to have some measure of control over what everybody does or how they live.

Case in point would be tech industry CEOs. They want to make sure that their product is being used daily be everyone. Those CEOs have ambition. Most people do not really care what brand of computer they use or if they use Google, Yahoo, or even Lycos for web search. It falls to the master mentality of the CEO to try to get as many people to use their stuff, rather than the competitors’ stuff.

If one adopts a master mentality in modern society, they have a better chance of getting ahead of his or her peers.