By Beau DeCourcy
Doesn’t it seem we are missing a deeper connection to each other? It appears the “easier” our lives become, the harder it is to trust, love and support one another. As we close the gap on eliminating our basic struggles (food, water, shelter) through technology and government welfare, do we distance ourselves farther from each other?
Enter the Ancestral Context:
We evolved bleeding with and for each other. We either feasted together or starved together. We knew each other’s strengths and weaknesses. Reality, hardship and sometimes just bad luck revealed the true character of each person. So we relied on one another so deeply we had no choice but to bond at the deepest level or part ways. But what happens when we believe we don’t need each other anymore? What happens when we are removed from any communal responsibility or bonding spurred from primal struggle?
Today it is becoming less and less the job of the neighbor, family member or friend to help those in need. We are increasingly transferring and sterilizing this responsibility through the “system”. Social welfare we call it. Now, I’m not writing this post to entertain anti-socialist rhetoric, rather to expose the need for a line to be drawn; a clear definition where we must care for ourselves and our own on a personal, physical and emotional level rather than immediately deferring to institutionalized, mechanized and sterile methods.
There are, indeed, inherent problems with an accelerating population growth, that I believe has already far exceeded a healthy number of humans, and certainly a government is needed to handle such a large population, but as we continually grow our “safety-net” through public policies, laws and institutions, it seems this safety-net has now become the permanent lifeline to the majority. As a consequence, day-by-day our self-reliance atrophies amongst the broad reach of the nanny state. Indeed we may be becoming 7 Billion Children, but we don’t have to.
Nowadays, you can’t discuss government policies without accusations of liberalism or conservatism. I’m not interested in party lines or assuming I know what political strategy works best, my focus lies in developing strategies in self-reliance, and creating my own freedom. I wish to explore the deeper and insidious consequences to a systemic nanny state that now takes precedent over familial and personal intervention. I argue there is a primal need for all of us to struggle and overcome our problems as a family, community, individual and culture. Because the system does not have the warm touch of a mother, wise words of an elder or the tough love of a friend. It is an inorganic machine, sterilized from humanity, and often driven by capital, and there are implications to its human deficit.
Certainly, mainstream medical, social, and financial services are often necessary. But true situations of necessity are not the latent indifference and deference I am writing about. Instead, I am speaking to the normalcy with which we surrender our dependence on the state to be the sole source of education of our children, care for our ill, preservation of our environment, producer of our food and medicine, and protection of our families and culture.
It seems the more prolific our welfare services become, the less we need to interact and rely on each other and even ourselves. The more the state provides, the less we need each other, and in turn, the less we may actually value each other.
The Disappearing Human Connection:
Lately the news is littered with examples of this interpersonal and social indifference covered up by a false sense of global connection. People stand around, some filming with their phones, and watch as we beat, stab and shoot each other to death. “Hey, I’m not a cop.” We may say to justify ourselves. “What’s in it for me to risk myself for them?” But, as chilling as those statements sound, can we blame ourselves? There are so many of us that we can’t all know each other. And although we may live, career and vacation together, we have been given little impetus to truly bond, and to choose to sacrifice our selfishness for one another.
It’s not that we don’t want to help each other, rather we have developed methods, sterile techniques, to help without getting our hands dirty. The majority of us woefully believe the best way we can help each other is by transferring our money to organizations, hitting “like” on a Facebook post or running a 10k for cancer research. But we all know inherently there are better ways to contribute to humankind. Methods that require little money, just more time, more personal and emotional pain and sacrifice. The people that need this help have familiar faces to all of us. We are surrounded by them, but most of us can’t be bothered; after all we have careers to build, aren’t qualified professionals, and have 10k’s to train for.
The consequences of community indifference are abundant. And they actually have begun to rust the connections of even our most sacred relationships. Look at the statistics; more people get divorced today than stay married, and it turns out it is not strangers we really need to worry about, as most of the interpersonal violence and thievery are attributed to our “friends” and “loved ones.”
But how can we develop and understand love and friendship if we do not recognize our primal needs of caring for each other? If every struggle is settled with a monetary exchange or social worker rather than a bonding experience, then why should we assign any value to our relationships beyond fun or fornication?
Re-Establishing the Human Bond:
If you are a child of the nanny state, you are living out of context of your primal needs. Lost, you may select a spouse only because that is what is expected of you. You may join a club because you are infinitely lonely despite being surrounded by the masses. But friendship and love cannot be obtained or designed like the blue-print of a dream house. These relationships must be born of a primal connection and tempered by shared human struggle.
The reminders of our need for deep primal connections are everywhere. Infants need to consistently and adequately feel the caring touch of another human or they will fail to thrive and die despite adequate nutrition and a safe environment. Adults are no different, we just have the ability to extract meaning out of a counterfeit source; friendship out of a workplace or network, happiness from a pill, and love out of a strip club. And while these surrogate means may suffice to eek-out a trite existence, you will not thrive.
There will always be struggle in our lives. Every moment you are alive is the consequence of life thwarting disaster. But we must realize an “easy” existence is almost never an ideal existence. If we consistently strive to insure our safety through social insurance, defer our primal responsibility to one-another, and atrophy amongst the back-drop of a nanny state, we will suffer in other ways. For many of us, our humanity has begun to rot in our stagnation and our relationships are suffering for it. By believing we can elude, transfer, and dilute our struggle through a bureaucratic system, we are cheating humanity.