It seems to me that beyond the technical chic of the twenty-first century lie corrosive doubts about the things we do and why we do them. We should be entering a unique period of human history where freedom and fulfilment ought to be realistic goals for ordinary citizens. But something still saps our human potential – a subtle something not widely recognised in simple words. Doubts crop up in a huge number of questions that we find easy to ask but cannot easily answer. Questions such as…
- Am I living ethically?
- Did I actually choose my lifestyle?
- Why do I believe the things I believe?
- Can human beings make sense of everything?
In spite of our ever increasing wealth, many of us have a peculiar sense of dissatisfaction. It is not only the violence, political stupidities and human tragedies and the plight of those less fortunate than we are. Appalling things go on in the world but there is also something else, something more elusive that has gone wrong.
There is a powerful sense that life is not as good as we could make it – as if something dark lies within us. We have the freedom to build a lifestyle but don't quite know how to choose one. How many of us have a horrible sneaky suspicion that we never made the best lifestyle decisions? Lifestyle should be linked with belief – yet belief seems to be fragmenting into matters of opinion and points of view. Many seem to get by with a loose point of view not even robust enough to convince their children.
The obvious cliché is that we all have our own point of view, but your point of view is not a cliché and neither is mine. Everyone has their own point of view because it is the curse and joy of human life that we cannot quite share the same point of view. The same universe touches your mind and mine, but not in precisely the same way. Otherwise we would not be individuals because nothing would set us apart. Minds, it seems, must be unique and therein lies a problem.