Change Can and Must Happen Quickly
The world has terrible problems. As these web pages demonstrate, I may have a solution — I’m sure I do. But I may not be around to apply that solution for very much longer, so I feel a sense of urgency, a need to communicate what I know quickly. But I’m not the only one feeling an urgent need to communicate. This world has many people who are starving to death, right now, as you read these words. It has many people dying of diseases we know how to cure. There are also many who will perish from violent crimes and wars that could be prevented. And for each person who actually dies from these causes there are many more who will suffer intolerable agony as a result of them. These people also feel an urgent need to communicate, to call out for help. Most of them won’t get any help. This is an awful situation, but I think I know how to resolve it .
The solution is not to send donations to some charitable organization. For all the good such charities undoubtedly do, they are only bandaid-solutions which at best treat the symptoms and often just cover them up — they almost never treat the underlying causes. Genuine solutions only, no bandaids allowed. For this is the old SocialTechnology logo:
It might be better to express this positively, but there doesn’t seem to be a suitable word that means ‘non-bandaid’. (‘Surgical’ is too threatening, ‘systemic’ too obscure). Words aside, the idea is to find genuine solutions that treat the underlying cause.
As I write these words in the summer of 2001, I can look back on a decade of relatively few social changes in the rather contented North American society around me. This calm fools some people into thinking major changes don’t happen or don’t happen quickly. People in eastern Europe might have a very different view, looking back on thedecade of dramatic social change that followed the collapse of communism. But people in African countries that saw more of the political coups, wars, and famines that have plagued that continent regularly for a very long time would certainly see the pace of change much differently — especially if their own family was involved.
Let not our present situation delude us into thinking change is rare or slow. It can happen very fast. Nor should we believe only bad changes happen fast. A young child born in western Europe about 1939 would probably have experienced life in an ugly and dangerous war zone almost from birth, and by 1945 might well think that the norm. The rapid recovery and dramatic changes of the next decade would surely have been a marvel. Positive change can also happen quickly.
The very positive changes I am predicting and trying to bring about could happen quite quickly. By way of illustration, I’d like to consider the reactions a young person of 2010 or 2020 might have to the television and movies of today. I’m sorry if some of this sounds implausible to you, but to help you see the whole picture I’m inserting links to more sober explanations for each point. So here are possible reactions or questions from the children of another generation:
- “Why was there crime? Why would anybody do that? Nobody does now .”
- “Did they actually let people go hungry? And why couldn’t those people get food for themselves, like today ?”
- “Why were so many people lonely?” “Nobody thinks it’s hard to find true love now , do they?”
- “War is so stone-age! There haven’t been any wars for ages , right? That’s what I thought.”
- “School? Classrooms full of kids all getting the same treatment? No wonder education was so bad then !”
- “What was a job? Why couldn’t people just work together like now ? Did they really have bosses?”
- “You mean there were places where kids didn’t get any education at all?” ” Why not? “
- “How could people be unhappy — didn’t they have lots of friends to cheer them up? We all do .”
- … and so on.
I hope you followed the links. This is not just fantasy — I have genuine solutions ready to implement — and when they are realized the children of the future, your own children or grandchildren, may very well ask such questions.
Copyright 2001 Douglas P. Wilson