We’re born in this world with absolutely nothing. We spend the rest of our lives trying to acquire as many things as possible. We want the coolest looking Tickle Me Elmo toys to play with. We want the freshest clothes to wear with all the Nike sneakers we’ve been collecting. We want to get the fastest luxury car and the beautiful home overlooking the beach. We want stacks and stacks of cold hard cash sitting in our basement. And we want to get the perfect model wife or husband to share it all with. We’re essentially playing “Who can hoard more things: The video game”. Society has conditioned us to find satisfication in acquiring as many things as possible.
But when you start to look around at all the things we’ve garnered, we don’t need it all. We don’t need three hundred pairs of shoes and four different girlfriends. In fact society in general has a lot of things we don’t need. Society doesn’t need millions of guns and the ammunition to use them. Society doesn’t need tens of millions of gas guzzling cars to the point where roads are congested bumper to bumber. Some things that we have actually do more harm than good for us in the long run. We’re just so stuck in the “Get, get, get…” mindset that we are oblivious to the harm. But sometimes all we need is one person to be aware enough to realize that certain things will help us more if we do away with them. So in your opinion, what could society do without?
Here’s my thoughts on what society could do without.
Our society has accomplished some amazing things in the last few centuries. In fact, we’ve accomplished some impressive things in the last few decades alone. I don’t need to lay out the list. The internet alone is such a mind-blowing breakthrough. But through all the progress that we’ve enjoyed there has been many different setbacks. In fact, there’s so many setbacks in society as a whole that it can be very discouraging at times. The lack equality can discourage even the most optimistic of people. The unprecedented amount of crime would give the calmest of people anxiety problems. And the toxic focus on finances would cause depression in the most self-secure of people. The things that we can do without is a long list but I’ll just share a few.
Social media has been a lot of fun for the world to explore. At least it was a few years ago when it first started. It was fun seeing pictures of family and reconnecting with old friends from school. We felt good sharing a photo from our summer vacation and having friends ask about our trip. Now social media is a constant feed of vacation photos and a never ending pissing contest. It’s become a very addictive experience rather than one we enjoy. We post pictures highlighting all the best things we’ve done in life. We search for likes, comments, and people admiring the image that we’re sharing. We get addicted to the validation and get very depressed when we don’t get it. And our depression only worsens when we see the fancy lives of celebrities and peers that seem to be doing better than us.
Another thing that we can do away with is drugs. Drugs have been a hinderance to society since day one. We’re all addicted to something in this life. Some of us love watching Netflix all night long, some can play video games for hours on end, and others can’t start their day without a fresh cup of coffee. Addiction is inevitable. But we can pick and choose those addictions. We can improve, alter, and replace certain addictions to enhance our lifestyle. Drugs have always been the one thing that are easily destructive to our lives. And when we get addicted to drugs it is often much more parasitic than other addictions. Drugs literally alter the human body or mind and change something about who we are in our core. Some drugs do good but most drugs, especially recreational ones, harm us in the long run.
Weapons are something that feel necessary to the success of humanity. I understand that point of view. If we didn’t use stones and sticks to develop spears who knows where the human species would be today. We have to make an effort to protect ourselves. But there’s a difference between a weapon to protect yourself and a whole arsenal of equipment that could kill millions. The overindulgence in weapons and weapons technology has become a detriment to society. Nuclear weapons in particular are so destructive they could eradicate the human race. That’s a different level of obsession when the weapons you’re creating for protection, can easily destroy everything you hoped to protect. Now many people are living on the edge of their seats with anxiety on when and where the next nuclear weapon will be used.
The last thing I think society could do without is constant entertainment. It’s become normal for us to be entertained at all times of the day. We keep our phones, or pocket computers, on us any and everywhere that we go. We’ll pull them out to text a friend while at dinner with the family. We’ll use them to watch a movie on the commute to pretty much everywhere. And we’ll even pull them out to play a game while in the middle of church. It’s not that we shouldn’t be entertained. It’s that we’ve conditioned ourselves to be narrow-minded in the ways we entertain ourselves. There’s more to do life than Instagram, Candy Crush, or texting. But also it’s the fact that we’re now very uncomfortable with time alone or not explicitly having something to focus on.
Society has a lot of work to do to get back on a productive and positive track. We’re always so focused on creating, and acquiring the very best that life has to offer. But little do we realize that we have to let go of some things to receive things that are better. Society can do without the toxic nature of social media. Society can do without the numbing recreational drugs we use to numb all our pain. Society can do without the overpowered weapons that threaten our very own existence every day. And society can do without the instant gratification of being entertained twenty four hours of the day. That’s just the tip of the iceberg. But I know society as a whole has so much more potential than we all realize. We just can’t hold on to the things that we know we should let go of.
I hope I live to see the day that we let go of these four things. Or at least one of the four. Baby steps.