By Haralambie Athes
Using the word “strange” to describe the contemporary world is already overrated. Supposedly, we all live in a cultural environment where anyone is allowed to speak his/ her mind, has the right to protect property and individual freedom, and, above all, has the right to a future. And not only a future for him/her, but for the next generations. This is what nowadays is called “sustainable development”, and it is a highly praised concept in almost all fields of environmental research, as well as in the business area. Yet, one minor detail seems to have been lost along the way. The vast majority of the human population is too inept to think for themselves, let alone acting. Drowned in the everyday media propaganda, millions of individuals undergo the same routine existence every single hour, every single week, summing up a sad way of “fulfilling a destiny”.
Celebrating a meaningless way of life, based on consumerism and endless (and usually hopeless) attempts to rise up to the demands of society, lost in a sea of clichés and mottos, they try so hard to build a future that they forget an essential aspect of the whole matter: their inability to get out of their petty space-time-money continuum (meaningless movements meant to carry them “from rags to riches”, to adequately fit into the perversely designed image of success described by contemporary propaganda). What people ultimately forget is this whole “theater” of becoming someone and climbing up the ladder of social (read financial) success has one basic need, beyond all human-constructed rules, needs and strategies: it needs a stage.
As unbelievable as it would seem based on the humanist and anthropocentric views which coordinate people’s existence, we still need a proper place to make whatever dreams come true, a spacious environment for being able to pursue our ideals. Shockingly, the human heaven still needs the earthly ground, even though this basic fact is overviewed on a daily basis by obtuse, simple-minded, TV-addicted crowds, who seemingly have one primary goal, one final purpose: to consume as much as possible. In fact, the whole contemporary economic culture is based on a media-induced need to consume as much as possible, regardless of what we are leaving behind. That is, billions of tons of garbage, and a natural environment that starts to look like a wasteland.
While making every effort to make sure their children will have a “good life” (the degree to which life is good being calculated with a rather simplistic formula, generally involving money and nothing else), they actually deny their children and their grand-children the simple right of living a decent life, in a functional natural environmental. The arrogant detachment from nature has led to an ever-broadening disaster all across the planet, and things are changing for the worse with each passing second. Our relationship to the natural world (including animals) has never been so twisted, and its effects will soon become too potent to be mended by our highly praised science.