The Way

Even if we knew the solutions to our impossible problems, (racism, sexism, crime, poverty, hunger, illness, violence) we would not be able to solve them. Our system is not built for such radical change.

Picture this. A man sleeps in his bed. He is visited by an omnipotent cosmic creature that wants to help mankind. The creature whispers in his ear the way for man to live together in peace and harmony. Where suffering is minimized and everyone can eat as much cake as they want without gaining weight. The man wakes up.

What can he do with that divine inspiration? How best could he reach the world to show us the way?

The man could try out politics, the game of compromise. But to enter politics, he’d need money and a good reputation. He’d need to appear to be what the people wanted so they would vote for him. If he had a stammer, showed weakness or was born the wrong race, he could fail right out of the gate. He’d have to shake hands and kiss butts for a long time before he could start enacting any change.

He’d have to be able to withstand the media and the mud-slinging from other politicians. His solutions would be radical therefore controversial and dangerous. He’d have to keep them bottled up or he’d end up scaring off voters. Even if he were completely right, he’d end up losing. Being right doesn’t guarantee you votes. He’d have to learn to smile for the camera. He’d have to join one of the two major parties if he wanted to really get anywhere.

Even if he made it to the top and became President, he’d have only eight years at most to stir America the right way. And that would be only America. The rest of the world would be lost to him. If people didn’t see results instantly, he’d be out in four years for someone else pretending to know what he knew. He’d face difficulty from the corrupt for his entire life if radical change did come. He might end up assassinated. Then the way would be lost.

He could try his hand at religion. He could create a church that worshiped the divine creature that visited him. . Persuasion would be a necessary tool to get started. A community would have to be born that believed in him and his way. But without the inertia of tradition, why would anyone listen to him? What separated him from the mentally ill and insane?

If he were charismatic, he might be able to start a cult. H might be lucky enough to build a grand church out of that. But the way would end up lost when he passed away. His disciples would interpret his teachings as best they could. But they would be human and therefore selfish. The way would be stained by their desires. Changing whenever it benefited them.

Academia is another path. He could write down all he knew. He might end up in peer-reviewed journals. His message would reach an elite group of intelligent people but be lost to the public. He’d receive awards for his brilliant writings. He could become so noteworthy that people would teach classes about him and his philosophy. A few students might end up inspired to do their best to carry on his way. Others might see his way as a reason to hurt others.

The man would best be suited to going right back to sleep and pretending he never heard a thing.

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