I Wonder If You Can

Think about any random man-made problem that the world faces; financial meltdowns, corruption, greed, poverty, inequalities (of various types), ethnic violence, crimes against women and children, certain ‘man-made’ natural disasters, and so on.

Wouldn’t it be easy even to just grasp the magnitude of these problems perhaps if they all had just one or a few common and simple causes? Then just preventing those causes would cause miracles. If only life was that obvious, huh?

No, I haven’t been drinking (or just blabbering). In an endeavor to find simple answers to problems, after much brooding, I have concluded that most of these man-made troubles have two common causes or roots. Yeah, just two.

They are, Perspective and Imagination [the lack of both, I mean].

Imagination is the faculty or action of forming new ideas, concepts, etc., of external objects not present to the senses. Perspective, simply put, is a point of view.

Putting it into simpler examples, say you’re waiting patiently behind the wheel, say fifth in line at a signal light. Another vehicle, drives past you in the wrong lane, and as the light turns green, tries squeezing into your lane, increasing the chance of you missing the light. You’d get pissed, right? Now imagine another situation where you are with friends, it’s Saturday night, and you’re late for a party. Taking all desperate measures to reach sooner, you find yourself revving away in the wrong lane, hoping to cut your way through the fleet of cars waiting at the light. That would surely tick off some drivers around you, right? That’s about perspective. You identifying wrong when you are being wronged, but you choosing to ignore wrong when you aren’t affected (or rather, when you are benefited) by it at someone else’s expense.

Perspective 2

image: link

There are situations where perspective may not work, because ‘perspective’ requires two or more people to be involved in the same or similar/related situations. For instance, you may have been born into a comfortable middle-class household. You wouldn’t have the faintest clue about what it would be to stand in long queues merely to collect water for home, or about what it is to wait in line to use a common bathroom. When employers haggle over salaries with employees, it may be difficult, or impossible for them to have a reasonable perspective of the employee’s standard of living, their hardships, etc. That’s where imagination comes in. What you don’t have much clue about something, you need to discuss, probe, get more information, and then create an image to better understand another’s perspective.


image: link

If people could imagine or have perspectives on the implications or repercussions of their actions on other individuals, they would most likely not do something wrong. Simply because, by way of perspective or imagination, they’d know what it would be, to be at the receiving end of their inequality or injustice, and that wouldn’t make any logical sense.

[Imagine – Lennon]

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