Knowledge Does NOT Equate Action

19 Aug

I am furious. I am one of the most privileged people in the world. I’ve grown up in Canada, the son of two hard working parents. As an Albertan, this life has been made possible by industry. I spent a couple summers driving haul trucks in a coal mine; the same thing that my father did before me and his father before him. I’ve been raised in a sheltered world where my I struggled not for my basic human rights, but for approval from my peers. I have had the opportunity of a post secondary education. I’ve never gone hungry & I’ve never been without a home. Yet, I am furious. I am one of many whose heart has been lit. It feels like hunger mixed with adrenaline. The more I tap into the infinite knowledge that I have at my disposal, the more this feeling grows. The polished panoramas of the society in which I live offer a view of incredible vibrancy and happiness combined with the blatant ignorance that is required to fully enjoy it.

I admit that I am biased. I have not lived through the poverty and war that millions experience each day. The knowledge that I am constantly consuming bears with it truths and untruths. It’s impossible to escape influence as an individual. However, I know that in a world that has solved its problems the volume of this disparity would not be so deafening. Perhaps together, we can sift through this mountain of information and construct an image that represents the reality of what we all face.

It’s become increasingly apparent to me that more than ever before, we have the ideas, the structures, the technology, and the systems in practice or in development necessary to proactively solve almost all of humanity’s greatest problems. Furthermore, we are increasingly aware of that potential. I believe that it is essential for these ideas to be put into reality, yet doing so requires significant determination. The tenets of our current system do not place value into new solutions and possibility. A solution for the universal benefit of humanity is not one that guarantees control & capital for the provider of that solution. Similarly, the alternatives to many of the systems we rely upon simply cannot amass the funds necessary to compete on a global level. Knowledge does not equate action. If humanity was a patient in an operating room, diagnosed with a terminal illness and they knew that there was a pill they could take that would instantly cure them & ensure their long term health and well being… the simple solution would be to take the pill and get on with it! Yet, because of the system that we find ourselves in, this is not the reality. Barriers in law, funding, research, investment, practice and the like often prolong the introduction of this treatment and may even prevent it. The awareness of its existence has little power. For this reason, I am furious. I wish to live as this were my life in the balance.

If our possible progress is caught in the hypocritical barriers of our current system, then we must climb these walls. Good enough is not so. We should strive to be as good as possible. Whatever lies within the realm of human potential we should optimistically strive towards it. Hand in hand, we can create this positive movement. Hand in hand, we can fight the overwhelming complacency that burdens us each day. We can face this storm together, and from it we can enter a new age where possibility is only limited by our choices. We can do this together, and we must.