In recent months I’ve been discussing politics more and more with a few coworkers of mine and it was interesting seeing where our viewpoints were parallel and where they diverged. One coworker’s viewpoints leaned socialistic, the other one was more in line with the current Democratic Party and the Establishment Democrats. My viewpoints were somewhere in between those viewpoints. I definitely agreed with the Socialist that the system is corrupted and that money needs to be taken out of politics for the betterment of society. I even agreed with him that the global economic state of capitalism is the root of all the suffering because the business model is the pursuit of profit at the expense of everything else. All the wars and suffering and climate change can point towards capitalism as the cause and effect. I however, don’t have his optimism of belief that a global social consciousness will erupt out of all the economic disparity and turmoil that is currently happening. At least, not in our lifetime.
Over this past week, while I was sick in bed and not being able to do much of anything except get better, I came to a realization that has finally given me inner-peace. The irony is that these same four words use to be a source of frustration at the injustice of society and the world at large. “History always repeats itself.” It used to frustrate me because it boggled my mind how today’s leaders seem to repeat the mistakes of empires and recessions past and so on. I mean if every empire collapsed within itself because of overextension and maxing out on resources that were eventually too costly, how can we be doing the same thing again?
The reason is of course that “history always repeats itself”. Nations rise and fall. Most of them become forgotten. Few are ever remembered but the end result is the same. Same thing with people. We live, we grow old, we die. Only a few of us are remembered and only a very minute few get immortalized (at least for now). With this mind, nothing I can do will change anything and so I should cease from needless worrying.
Some may see this as fatalistic and to some extent they are right. However, at least for myself, it’s also a very realistic point of view. Ideals are good things to sought for but the reality is never close to achieving them. Just look at socialism and capitalism. They’re both idealistically beautiful in their own way but the reality of those societies are more dystopic than utopic. Suffering and inequality are both a part of our societal paradigms and they can never be expunged.
That is why, instead of constantly worrying about the problems of today and possible problems of tomorrow I now just try to make the best of my days. Work to eat and enjoy comforts and pleasures whenever I can get them. Luckily for me I don’t have any offsprings or this mindset would be a lot harder to achieve. And I am human and as such I will falter and gripe about some news headline someday. But as long as I keep that four-word phrase withing my consciousness (history always repeats itself), I’ll find my path again and continue on my way to the end.
I remember in a previous post I had made a promise to do an entry regarding all the weird and ironical things that had transpired over this past year; however, I’ve decided to talk about this topic in my podcast with my wife. So look forward to this discussion in upcoming episode 50 of my little podcast.