COLLEGE PARK, MD –
Let’s define the term ‘status quo.’ It usually has a negative connotation, but, by definition, it simply means the current state of affairs.
For the purposes of this post, I am working off the connotation. Overall, I would say the existing state of affairs in our human world is governed by the use and oppression of others.
So what is there to do? How can we avoid a feeling of helplessness?
The way I suggest to do so is to cultivate vision for improvement and to act on it.
Those with vision tolerate the status quo until they’ve worked long enough and hard enough to challenge it with any chance of real improvement taking place – a process best actualized at an individual then family level.
It is extremely hard and tedious work.
Those without vision work long and hard, too. They work as agents of the status quo; they ensure its consistent adoption at a communal level – and ostracize those in opposition to it.
Those that lack vision work for their own perceived benefit. They are dangerously selfish. Their lack of vision renders them unable to understand that whatever benefit they see themselves obtaining by oppressing others is a mirage.
By maintaining the status quo and acting as agents of it, these people’s lack of vision becomes self-evident (God protect us from that miserable state).
Agents of improvement
As stated, agents of the status quo work hard, very much so.
We have a common discourse in our society encouraging people to become ‘agents of change.’ I prefer the term ‘agents of improvement.’ Change isn’t necessarily good. We can note many ‘agents of change’ that focus their pursuits on negative changes.
Many of those agents work very hard to make changes to our freedom, health, food supply, understanding of life, education, entertainment and the like for the worse.
I assume all of us here shun that plight and prefer to act as agents of improvement – people who focus on improving their level of freedom, health, food supply, understanding of life, education, entertainment and the like.
Setting aside agents of negative change, the issue with many well-meaning agents of positive change is that they are not empowered in any real way to challenge the status quo they take issue with.
This is not for lack of resources or sincerity.
In my estimation, it is due to a lack of realness. Agents of positive change haven’t lived the improvement they talk about. They don’t tolerate structures and frameworks of oppression until they can improve them – they unknowlingly prop them up.
Agents of positive change, too often, end their efforts when conferences, discussions, and panels are over. Thus, their discourse and platform is usually dictated by those they claim to oppose.
I think there is a reason for this: it is much easier than addressing issues from their roots.
To challenge structures and frameworks of oppression is a monumental task. It is a transgenerational undertaking that requires proper diagnoses of the underlying issues at play as well as a commitment to act on the vision that results.
That requires many hours, days, months, and years of toil with no one knowing our names. If we are willing to accept that and get to work, we will become our real selves in the process.
When we become our real selves, we’ll have qualitatively improved and have gained the capacity to be agents of improvement in society who can substantially challenge the status quo.
If we do it right, the degree to which we can improve ourselves, then families, and, lastly, societies will increase with each passing generation. To take part in that multiplier effect all we have to do is start improving – no matter how small the improvement.
Put simply: the path to empowerment is paved with improvement.
Toiling for tomorrow,
P.S. I don’t know about you, but that was a heavy topic for me. I’m lightening the mood with Cat Stevens’ “Peace Train“.