At this moment we are a species, which tells itself various stories about its origin, its development and its future in several parts of this world. The awareness about the past, from which we think will be useful and necessary for the future, is thus we call education. From many little fragments of written knowledge the self-conception of the literate person is made, with which it faces the world. Much, of which happens in reality, has been read or experienced through the lense of a fictional character. By this a kind of mental protection is made, a way to anticipate the most radical change in the real world by fantasizing about it. Anticipate it, to prepare the own being to which might encounter the own perception.
And this is the power and meaning of education and knowledge: We can (in theory) deal with situation, which we have never encountered before. But how do we spread knowledge – and live accordingly?
With all the diversity of cultural stories, which are spread all over this planet, one dominates almost the entire planet: The story of scientific research. The invention, that we can gain objective knowledge about the world, model the world surrounding us and are even able to predict it to a certain level. The power which we gain from this achievement is immense. For the first time in human history, potentially after we prayed to gods to have mercy on us, we seem to be able to rate our own actions to objective standards. In a certain way, we killed God according to Nietzsche. Humans are completely up to their own standards, we seemed to have power over the world.
But how long will this state remain intact?
Despite the huge amount of insights human is lacking something different in modern societies, which are driven by knowledge and technical development. Something which captivates peoples hearts. Something beyond the dull explanation of facts. Something more interesting, more thrilling than just a description of the world.
Mankind is longing for narratives, for stories. Stories, which provide perspectives, or a foothold in this world. So some of us tell themselves a story of a successful entrepreneur or the story of the nice neighbor.
Some people though get lost in the claws of their own story, they give up on their humane-nature, on their livelihood, in order to fulfill the narrative in their heads. To fulfill the role of a ‘successful’ human. To get closer to the dream of wealth. To escape their surroundings into a promise, into an undiscovered potential.
But what is behind the empty shells of words like success or wealth? How much does one define the very own definition of wealth, of success? How much let we determine ourselves by others?
How can we now establish a narrative beside, or beyond the common narrative of material wealth, which suits the current challenging situation of multiple crisis? Which stories could we tell to build bridges? How do systems and self-conceptions need to be changed, in order to enable people to get closer to each other and help each other again?
One step could be to feel our connection to the non-human parts of this world again. To feel how the sun rises and how it rises our spirit. To witness and anticipate how animals live together. To pursue the fascination that grips us at the sight of nature.
To trace the connection in order to recognize ourselves in the other and to feel responsibility. Responsibility for oneself and for every life that can be protected – whether human or animal.