A FB friend asks how we can teach our students to be hopeful, when we are living in a system of exploitation, elitism, and utilitarianism.
These are the same questions that occupied my mind in my younger days. “What’s the point of trying hard while so many unjust and evil things are going on in society, day in and day out? What hope is there that I can change the world even in the smallest way? In fact, why bother about living a meaningful life when so many other people are hurting humanity in one way or another, and there is nothing I can do about it?”
There was a time when I was living in the doldrums – I had little interest in anything, and would just go through the motions day after day. But I was fortunate as for some unknown reason, this period of despair finally ran its course.
Here are my thoughts at the present stage of my life: The perfect world where there is only love and equality will never come. And it’s not even a battle between us (the good people) and them (the bad people). As long as there are human beings, there will be exploitation, hatred, inequality ..The problem lies in every one of us – our dark side, our ego, our prejudices …Remember “The Life of Pi”, “Animal Farm”…? And of course I myself am not exempt from that.
Under the circumstances, what can we do? We can wait until the world becomes perfect so that our effort will then become worthwhile. Or we can acknowledge the world’s endless imperfections, stay hopeful, and try our best.
As Jeff Bezos said: “In the end, we are our choices.”