August 29, 2007

Changing the World is Not Enough

It's strange sometimes how the world conspires to present a wealth of thought strands which I then fail miserably to weave into anything beautiful. At least this time I've got as far as writing something down about them, rather than just flail about in my mind before giving up.

A Sense of Purpose

Number 25 of Mike's 25 things to do before I die is "[c]reate something which people can remember me by". Tom Coates has been bemoaning the degeneration of commenting systems and writing a well thought-out piece about advertising. Jeremy Paxman has urged his fellow broadcasters to rise above the obsession with the bottom-line.

On a national, or even multi-national level, it feels as though capitalism and consumerism have won, and all that matters is how much money you can make with almost no regard for how you make it.

Yet individuals everywhere seem torn between an underlying need to feel a sense of purpose, a sense of meaning; but which is at odds with their day-to-day pressures to fit in and work with the world around them.

Facebook has an app called "My questions", which lets you pose questions for your friends to answer. I'd had to install it so I could answer the questions my friends were asking, but resisted its attempts to get me to ask a question. As a result it has defaulted to some random poser - "What is the one thing you always take with you?"

On Friday, given that a few people had taken the trouble to answer it, I decided that if people were going to the trouble of answering "my" question, it should at least be something worthwhile. I changed it to "How do you change the world?"

Today I've decided that that isn't a good enough question. Although it has a noble aim, and easily converts to a great slogan (as shown by Hugh in the Blue Monster "Change the world or go home" campaign) there is scope for misunderstanding.

Changing the world isn't enough we need to strive to improve it.

Improve the World, or Go Home

What a great idea. No-one's thought of that before... And that's the problem isn't it - How?

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Posted by Adrian at August 29, 2007 11:42 AM | TrackBack
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