What do you really care about? I asked myself that question recently, and I was surprised by the results.
Firstly, it seems that I care about quite a lot of things. And secondly, although I care about these things, they’re generally not the things that I spend most of my time talking about, writing about, reading about, and taking action on.
So it was a useful exercise. I’d recommend it to anyone, writer or non-writer. Just ask yourself what you really care about, and list what comes to mind, as quickly and roughly as possible, without over-thinking it. Trust your gut.
Here’s my list:
- the treatment of refugees
- the demonisation of immigrants
- climate change
- the meaning of life
- the hypocrisy of privilege
- the loss of traditional values
- the breakdown of society
- the infantilisation of people
- the shallowness of pop culture
- the emptiness of materialism
- the rightward lurch of Britain and Europe and the US
- the inherent stupidity of divisions based on religion/nation, etc.
- our basic connection
- the illusion that we know things when we don’t
- the way we make decisions based on gut feeling and then use reason to justify them
- our fundamental irrationality
- the dishonesty of tourism
- the commodification of culture
- what happens when you step off the prescribed path
- the clash of desire for freedom vs constraints of social rules
- the possibility of radical change
- the contradictory desire to make things permanent in a world of constant change
- the power of corporations and the rich, the way they own our democracy
- the hollowing out of democracy
- the gutting of any opposition to neoliberalism after the end of the Cold War
- the reduction of elections to choices based on personality not issues
- the conflict people feel when placed in impossible positions, the way they rationalize it
- the way corporations and other big organizations spread the responsibility and dilute the guilt so that they can act in horrific ways that no individual would dare
- the state as a source of violence and corruption rather than a moderator of it as most believe
- what would happen in an apocalypse, the essential way that people come together because they can’t survive as individuals, the way this would happen post-apocalypse rather than people roaming around eating each other
- the formation of human societies and how it’s flawed and often violent and exclusionary but still based fundamentally on cooperation and mutual aid for mutual survival
- the way the internet is frying our brains, encouraging slogan-based thinking and making us incapable of sustained logical thought processes
- the erosion of nuance
- the attack on free education and even the concept of education as something valuable in itself and not just as training for a job
- the failure of left-wing alternatives but their continued appeal
- the pursuit of utopian solutions or even the creation of utopian mini-societies within a capitalist super-structure
- the clash of ideals vs practical reality
- the impracticality of practical solutions
- the pursuit of infinite growth in a finite world
- the appeal of simplicity and yet our urge to complicate things
- the limitations of large-scale solutions
- the anomie that results from living in large cities/corporations/governments/NGOs etc
- the way individuals get made small and feel insignificant and surrender their power
- our enduring failure to understand that we can do anything, that most of what constrains us is completely made up and can be changed
Quite long, huh? You may see me writing about these things in future—here on the blog, in articles elsewhere, and in my books and short stories. You may also see me writing about other stuff I don’t care so much about (see that item above about “the clash of ideals vs practical reality”). But I’d like to spend more time on the important stuff.
What Do You Care About?
What do you care about? Leave a comment below, or write your own post and link to it. Or, if you prefer to communicate the complexity of life in 140 characters or less, tweet at me.