What do we do? Think about it. What are the things that rise to the top of our intentions list to actually get done? In our daily, weekly routine, what things do we do from the inside out? What things do we do that actually start inside us?
The majority of our actions (our doings) will seem like auto-pilot. We do them simply because that is what we do. But if we look closer even the most routine thing we do has someone’s thought imprint on it. Someone got us to that action.
Manipulation of public opinion (crowd psychology) has left an indelible mark on our “auto-pilot” habits. The things we do because we think we have to or “should” are usually the result of some hard fought argument about something.
Few people think about brushing their teeth as an optional activity. We know that if we don’t there will be (or could be) negative consequences. We create an almost a priori certitude about so much of life that has not and is not really that certain or necessary.
Or at least has not always been (or is not currently is many cultures). We have a “way” of doing things. Of course we feel like it is the best way or we probably wouldn’t do it? Or would we? Obviously unhealthy habits are powerfully addictive.
In a culture with incredible freedom and limitless information, we also run into a bottom line reality over and over again: our will (or lack thereof). Knowing what is good, or even why it is good, is not enough to get us to actually do it.
Even the stuff that gets beyond social manipulation. Basic truths. Truly self-evident things: being healthy is good. Moderation. Some physical activity is important. Mental health is often a result of our choices. Still we are subject to our wills.
Every AA meeting in the world is full of very great people who ran into that reality (“powerless” to control their own wills). People who could (and would) sarcastically dismiss self-evident truths for commercial fabrication to continue their own denial.
In other words, recognizing the vast web of brokenness, greed, manipulation, and so on in the world can easily lead to cynicism (or the right to withdraw from our own battle). We can almost absorb the disenchantment into our own life.
With it comes a convenient sort of justification for not trying. “Why bother, everything is determinedly against the good guys making it.” Behind every success story we find some economic advantage that keeps us further out from the pie.
This is scarcity thinking at its best. There is one pie, and we are kept far at bay. The world’s wealthiest guard the pie with only their closest family and connections getting to it. No matter what we do, how hard we work, how talented we are, we can’t get in.
That thinking of course leads to absolute powerlessness. We believe the lie that we can do nothing. We accept some version of reality far from what we once believed we could do. Soon we make friends with despair and the rest is a sad history.