We all have the ability to change our surroundings, but effectively it can only be done when we have truth on our side. By that I mean that the actions you take must ‘click’ in the minds of others, and thus they then start to “broadcast” that same message.
There will always be disagreement, but through dialogue the consensus and truth tends to rise on the surface. Anyone is positively contributing to the society as long as he honestly believes what he preaches and actively tries to seek out information. At the moment when someone deliberately starts to spread lies he will become part of the problem. The good thing is though, that those lies would be proven false and no further attention would be paid to him.
Why then are we surrounded by lies and false beliefs? It’s because those who want to spread them around have realized that in order to effectively do so a manmade structure is needed. These structures are top-down managed institutions, businesses, and organizations that centralize the information flow. The biggest ones I can think of are the state educational system, mainstream media, the universities and their intellectuals, and organized religion.
Anything that is top-down controlled and pushes information down the throats of people is part of this engine. It was built to “guide” people, or to steer the mankind to a specific direction, or to outright brainwash people. The ‘engine’ can be used to change public opinion about war and control the overall narrative. For instance, it can make people fear the “enemy”, cheer for their slaughter, and praise the killers.
What if we could spread some goodness into the world through this type of centralized organization? I’m sure many good men have thought to do so when they take part in such a system. For example, a priest might use his position and organization to “guide” the sinful people to more holy life. But by doing so he might leave something untold, and incorporate a couple small lies, and then watch the other way when his organization is caught in immoral actions.
Now I must get back to the original topic: people believe that the only way to create change is through these centralized institutions, i.e. become a politician, control the media, vote, etc. As long as the majority of people believe this, there indeed won’t be any change. But they are wrong! An individual can cause change!
Human society is in fact a peer-to-peer system that is made from people. Each of us has our own mind that can be connected to other minds. We cannot connect to all the minds at once, but instead we must choose to which ones we pay attention to. Most people have wired themselves to these top-down institutions, and thus they set their world-view. Myself I try to keep a healthy balance between the brains I “connect” to, and so should we all.
One of the greatest realizations a man can have is that we are not on a ‘read-only’ mode, but we can and do broadcast our own world-view and influence others. There is no limit to how many people can connect to your mind, and thus a single person can cause a lasting effect. As an example I could give any great name that is still being read. Furthermore there was a study that found every person to be connected through 6 people.
Who else could change your life, your surroundings, and the world to a better place if not you? You are responsible for your own life, and your community’s life, and even how the whole society functions. No government, dictatorship nor republic, sets rules that would upset the public too much. Instead of raw force the public opinion is controlled by these centralized organizations.
We are in trouble, because people pay attention to the wrong people and meaningless things. A man either fights or decides to do nothing, in any case he is committing an action that has consequences. An attitude of “let’s go along to get along”, and “yes sir, no sir” won’t create a positive change. Staying idle is a deliberate and conscious action too. Such action would show a bad example and pass all the information through to others without any filter.
Going back to the ‘peer-to-peer’ allegory: I would say we either broadcast truth and goodness or then we broadcast ignorance and lies. To begin the transmission of truth you must pay attention to individual people rather than organized institutions; read books rather than news; and seek wisdom from yourself, not from the crowd. The change starts from yourself, as before we can help others we must help ourselves.
We create change, positive or negative, even if we try not to. If you are reading this, I’m sure you want to create positive change, so do as Mahatma Gandhi said: “Be the change you want to see in the world”.