I have always found the diversity of our society and the world in which we live absolutely amazing…
Just think of all the natural and manmade wonders of our world, the history and cultures of different nations, the values and beliefs of differing societies, the range and quality of different foods and drink, the artistic, literary and music talent of so many different genre. The seasons, climates, flora and fauna and I haven’t even started on the politics.
Because of all of that, I also find it incredible that despite the internet, 24/7 media news coverage and the ease and availability of foreign travel, how little people (in general) actually know about anything outside their own individual microcosm. Why is this?
One of the first reasons that comes to mind is, society’s almost continuous propensity for trying to wrap our kids in cotton wool and shield them from reality. We allow them to grow up expecting and (usually) getting everything, we teach them to express themselves but very rarely teach them boundaries of acceptable behaviour. We teach them to be ‘loud and proud’ but very rarely respectful or show understanding about the impact of their actions. Add to that an apparent ‘dumbing down’ of our education system and you start to see how from birth, we are almost conditioning our kids into being insular and self-important. To have little or no interest in anything that happens outside their own little bubble.
The level of apparent apathy in society, in relation to social, trade or political issues in any other country beggars belief sometimes. Our behaviour as a nation when visiting other nations is (in general) embarrassing. We are more ignorant as travellers today than we actually were hundreds of years ago… “What you see is what you get Johnny foreigner and if you don’t like it, you can fcuk off”! Yet another legacy of our children’s upbringing.
Today people say that the Colonial History of the British (and other European nations) was wrong or, it was wrong to think we had the right to go invading other countries willy nilly or indeed, try to impose our values on others? That may well be correct however, British Colonialism did actually bring some social advantages and benefits to society as a whole. Irrespective of any morality issues and all those years ago, the British nation apparently had a far broader understanding of the nations and people that make up our world. At least more comprehensive than it appears today?
British society is developing into a far more pompous nation than perhaps it ever was during colonialism. We really need to do something to try to slow the process down by ensuring our kids receive a more complete and rounded education. We need to develop better levels of understanding and do something to negate the high levels of apathy and ignorance in our society. If we don’t, we are going to end up as arrogant, insular and self-important as some of those other nations renowned for such traits.
Living in insular bubbles does however offer advantages… It gives you the right to call every sporting occasion you hold an International Event or World Series, even if you’re the only nation in the competition!