Understanding the Past Pt. 2 | Brian Mackenzie

We have become hopelessly dependent on a system that removes us from true autonomy and education. This is not to suggest that advances in medicine and technology do not have their place, they do! Or that an education is not important. It is! There is plenty that our current systems have helped advance and cure that we should be grateful for and push for more advancement on. The problem couples when we can’t biologically meet the demand of the stimulus, work, or lifestyle for these “advancements” and we become dependent on them for the basic functions in life. Feet that don’t work like feet, teeth that need to be straightened in jaws that used to fit said teeth, immune systems that responded and didn’t overreact everytime a different piece of food or thing we came in contact with, sleep patterns that resembled sleep, metabolic function that worked like every other animals. 

Consider that education in the United States has increased tuition anywhere from 280-1000% in the last 100 years with zero guarantee to a job. We’ve convinced the lower class that in order to survive and thrive they need to somehow get to a college that they cant afford and leaves them further in debt than most will ever be in their lives. The irony being no class, no course, no education in any college can not be found on the internet for virtually zero cost. Meaning, if you really want to learn, you can start chipping away at any moment. But if we dont jump into the system, a system the intellectual deems as the only equalizer then we can’t play the game. Seth Godin did a TedX talk on “Stop Stealing Dreams” and asks the question, “What is education for?” Well worth the watch. Why do we have so many convinced they need to attend something that guarantees everything, but really nothing?

Our guarantees and promises are not new things, in reading of the American Frontier and Native American culture, the United States and its guarantees on convincing a culture of people to follow it’s ideas failed on just about every single delivery of those treaties, and agreements it made to these people. On almost every recorded marker not a single agreement that was signed was followed through on. It is not that we have never been well intended, we have. We just do not take responsibility for our sometimes implied, and oftentimes “promised land”. Our businesses are bailed out, our agricultural system is subsidized, and we promise those who strive for this American Dream that if they too get into the system, they too can have it all… A gun, with no ammo, and a checking account with more debt than cash. This simply implies we are highly opinionated, stick to those who support our current idea, and can not be criticized. This is an inability to critically think, and find our own creativity. That is how things evolve and become less fragile. 

When a natural disaster commences, not long after civil violence skyrockets. Never has an animal been so disconnected to itself when something it has no-control-over it gets angry at the system it bought into. The misdirection of understanding our own psychology is playing itself out in front of our very eyes, and we pretend as though we aren’t all “buying in”. So we blame the other political party, and those that don’t fit into our way of thinking. Instead of taking the time to listen and understand why someone would go in that direction, and what can we learn from that. Nothing more telling of this than the complete flip with the next candidate we elect. 

We’ve put major cities in floodplains and then acted like we had no idea a hurricane could make things difficult for cities like New Orleans, or Houston. And it’s perfectly fine if you disagree with me on looking back on Native American Culture, but look at this hard fact, no indigenous culture sets up permanently in floodplains. Nor did they or do they currently (those left in S. America) destroy the land they live on. They do what the specialized intellectual does not, they listen, they learned, they did not memorize. They listen not only to what the plants and animals are doing, but the land and weather, and most importantly they listen to their own biology. No advanced biology course needed. Can you imagine?!?!?! 

Sure many Native Cultures struggle with disease, and things western medicine can and does help with, but where did those diseases and viruses come from? They fought to an extreme death and delivered an even harsher death to those that tried to take their way of life from them. Until the eradication of the American Buffalo. We are an interesting lot that thinks in the short term, as today we begin to swing full circle with the damage we’ve inflicted on not only these cultures, animals, or this planet, but also to ourselves. 

No, we can’t just evacuate cities with millions of dependents in floodplains, but we sure can start to pay attention to what people before us were doing. We can also start to repair the damage of the past by helping bring back the rich history and knowledge these people had. Why they wanted to stay in the wild.  Why they spoke so little, but with intent. Why their teeth were straight, and clean. Why they hunted, slept, and mostly breathed through their noses. Why they remained in moccasins instead of boots. How did they know when storm’s were approaching, and why weren’t they afraid of being so exposed. How did they handle being exposed to the sun and not get skin cancer? These are statements that imply we look for others – mostly a medical system –  to provide relief because we lack the ability to understand a past in which people of that past tried to destroy because they did not want to understand those who were here before them. 

Every answer we need is in understanding. The problem is we simply seek relief and avoid the painful past. When we come to terms with the difficult nature of our past, we can then talk about it, and start to recognize those who came before us and what they learned. I am sure once that begins, that many will then want to understand why we hide this so well.