The actual kick-starter was an article (PDF) on a TV series on Vietnam and in it, essentially, one historian disses another. The series quarterbacked by one historian apparently attempts to entertain and tell a story from a particular angle and the 2nd historian isn’t happy with the angle and so dismantles the series with well-written counterpoint.
HOWEVER, therein lies an aspect of our society that permeates pretty much all layers of economy as well as community and academia: we aren’t interested in listening the moment the dialog strays from our pigeon hole. The macro lens affords us leverage to direct (usurp?) conversation into pretty much any direction. After all, just as six degrees of separation bind us all together it is likely that any two topics are equally aligned. It becomes logical to reply to someone speaking of camping in the forest with complaints of global warming due to airborne particulates brought on by wood smoke. Logical, but ruinous.
The white noise which is our reality in 2017 is already oppressive. Our voices are muted against a wall of disinterest brought on by inundation via television, internet and social-media. This wall effectively robs us of our own identity – allowing the flood of stimuli to otherwise imprint and take-over. The “we are all sheep” cliché becomes manifest and the story of the campfire is lost to the riptide of noise.
Psychologists suggest that well-being is directly affected by identity and this in both positive and negative axes, and it becomes clear that our individual well-being is under assault from the barrage our identity is dealing with. I think with that in mind, it becomes clear that the white noise is going to continue and that unless something changes the course of things, our well-being is doomed and this in any of the aforementioned arenas of society. Without identity, we have no place in community – however small or big that may be – and without community we are lost. Without identity, our well-being is compromised and the hint of tonic provided by the story of a campfire in the forest becomes a tenuous tether to a well-being growing more distant.
Call to arms?
In this, the micro IS important. Let it persist. Sit by the campfire, if for just a moment, and bask in the glow of wellness.