Recently, I have become an avid follower of Tom Bilyeu’s YouTube channel, which features interviews with entrepreneurs, thought leaders and innovative creators. While the range of personalities that Bilyeu has interviewed are diverse, each interviewee offers wisdom and immense insight on how to become a better and more dynamic person.
After meditating on the ideas from speakers like Seth Godin, Jay Shetty and David Goggins in collaboration with the ideas of prolific philosophers of a time gone by, I have come to consider the current conditions of man and the implications of these conditions.
If each person were to be operating at their highest, elevating from whatever circumstances that may have challenged their mobility and practicing the actualization of "the good" in which kindness ruled over greed or ego-based practices, I am curious as to what our world would look like.
In Jean-Jacques Rousseau’s romanticism evaluation of the original state of man via his work in The Origins of Inequality, he presents an argument in opposition to his predecessors and the frameworks set forth by Hobbes on the inherently violent state of man. Rousseau purposefully strips away the preconceived notions of what man once was that we had formulated with the biased lens of that moment in time and without the capacity to perceive man as far removed in his state to the civilized and domesticated form.
In order to unpack the nuances that surround the roots of inequality in the Western world, Rousseau examines how the savage man was in his non-competitive mode. He moves to realize that through our own inherent ability and desire to become better and problem-solve, we created systems of hierarchy that have compiled into the vast intersecting class barriers, discriminating forces and methods of institutional oppression, today.
I regret not having the space nor time to explore in greater detail the theories presented by Rousseau. However, I wish to use his explorations as a means to facilitate my line of inquiry into the idealist world and the challenge of maintaining justice in a growing economy. It seems that in order for inequality to arise, the commodity of power must be at stake and therefore, the power must be related to some exterior physicality.
Once there are limited resources, competition is created and those who gain access to the valuable assets are given access to an entire world of privilege, such as to better schooling, better healthcare and more options for direction in life path. The basic idea of limited resources can be applied throughout history and it should be noted that when a certain group of people may hold the form of power over generations, the privilege becomes compounded.
There is an immense amount of theory, research and work that could be spent going into greater detail on the expanse of “haves” and “have nots” across cultures, the role of colonization and the correlation between capitalist ideals to inequality.
However, my focus in the line of inquiry lies more with the question of how we negotiate idealism.
Which systems of organization seem essential to the "best" functioning of a state? How should companies operate to the cost or benefit of the masses? What would it mean for each person to be granted equal opportunity, considering the effect that pre-birth and birth conditions hold for every individual?
If every person were to be dynamic, highly productive and operating at their own personal best, would a form of equality prevail?
As a self-identifying optimist, I reflect often upon what I wish the world around me looked like, what I perceive "the good" on a monumental scale to look like and I have found myself in a deeply curious place. If we should deem that each person largely wishes for happiness, but also for a sort of large scale happiness represented by peace on earth, then is it not the purpose of each of us to find meaning in the pursuit of happiness?
Should we not then relish in the great game that it is to find love and joy in the mundane as humans who are designed with an inherent desire to be more/do better? Throughout every generation, individuals have the power to use their lives to act with love, spread kindness and consider what it would take for radical justice to be employed.
It seems to me that with each plunge deeper into the realm of civilization and technology, more disparities in access and equality mount. Potentially, it is the most fulfilling work of life to locate how society can advance and serve reparations. We must each ask ourselves what is of necessity and what is of excess, we must look within to find a pathway to altruism that serves the self and the whole (as the self is connected perpetually to the whole).
I question if that existence is a game in which we are challenged to find where we lend ourselves most profoundly to the balance of progress and equality.
Each of us has the means to be an agent of change on whichever scale we may have exposure to and each of us must make a choice on whether or not we feel compelled to utilize our gift of life for bringing light to all of the places we go.