The world we live in is falling apart – you don’t have to look far to find proof of that environmentally, economically, politically and socially.
If we’re going to change the world we need to rethink certain key ideas, and find out of the box solutions to the problems we face – without upending the entire system or the 8-billion people it has to support.
Change the history we teach
As media consumers, where we all start out in life, we take on and believe anything and everything we are fed. School makes it worse by forcing us to remember and regurgitate facts – when school textbooks are governed by the ruling political regime.
The Allies won World War II, and as a result we’ve learned that Adolf Hitler was a brutal and violent man, hell-bent on world domination. In fact, denying that the Holocaust happened is an offense punishable by imprisonment.
If you dig a bit deeper though, Hitler was an incredible politician who facilitated phenomenal economic change, delivered on his promises and had the respect and loyalty of all his people. There also seems to be no concrete evidence of the Holocaust having had taking place – except in our movies.
Yet there’s not a person alive today whose life has not been shaped by the events of the war, with a vast majority of us coming to know Hitler only as a brutal and ruthless dictator, responsible for unparalleled genocide.
Genocide took place on all sides of the war, with Hitler originally marching on Poland in 1939 to assist Germans who had become the victims of ethnic cleansing in Poland – or rather on previously German land annexed into Poland after the First World War.
So now ask yourself… how different would our history books look if Hitler had won the war?
Could it be that we’d hear horror stories of Churchill, of Allied and Soviet concentration camps, of the horrors that many lived through because of brutal nuclear attacks by the Allies?
How different would the world we live in be if Hitler had won the war? What would we be teaching our children about that period in history?
There are two simple principles we can apply to changing the way we present history: first, we can limit anything that happened less than 50 years ago from being included in history books.
The key behind this concept is that politicians would not be able to use history and schooling as a means of indoctrinating children into a way of thinking. It would eliminate the ability for ruling classes to perpetuate a political agenda.
The second approach would be one of transparency and balance: if you include a story about German concentration camps, then you have to investigate the other side, see if there is an equivalent story and teach the two stories in tandem. This would offer a balanced approach that would allow the reader to form his or her own conclusions.
One of the extraordinary decisions Hitler made during his time as a politician and leader was to ban usury, or the practice of charging interest on loans.
If you go back and look into this, it’s really where the animosity between Hitler and the Jewish community began – Hitler attacked the Jewish banking system, as well as the depravity of the Jewish community living in Germany. Berlin at the time was said to be a cesspool of sin, and a birthplace of pornography, erotica and open homosexuality.
So when Hitler came into power in Germany, he made good on his campaign promises and banned the practice of usury in Germany.
In return for this, the worldwide Jewish community issued a ban on the purchase of any goods that came out of Germany, severely limiting Germany’s export income.
Can you imagine a life without debt?
Let’s get really honest here… wouldn’t it be nice to not have an endless amount of money you owe, in a world where you are basically required to incur debt in order to have any quality of life?
How different would your month look if you were not paying debt and all the attached interest? How much less stressed would you be?
Debt is such a common feature of our lives that we take it for granted. But would you be surprised to know that one of the reasons for the business success Muslims often achieve is Sharia Law, which prohibits those of Islamic faith from loaning money or paying interest when money is loaned?
There are ridiculous statistics flying around, for example that the world owes more in debt than there is actually money in the world. How is that even possible with our supposedly backed currencies and professional financial system?
We are teetering on the edge of economic collapse – and we have a miserable and depressed society because of it.
We have to start making practical changes to the system that remove money as an industry, or as a way to make more money. No more trading, no more derivatives, no more interest, no more hoarding of wealth by a powerful few.
If we’re going to make it as a species, and have a brighter future, we have to open the money conversation with a vengeance.
Ban legal compensation for grievances
Speaking of the money problem, we need to eliminate the idea that you can be financially compensated for a grievance or wrongdoing.
Justice systems around the world have become frivolous and childish, with the aim of justice now being to make money. Law has been reduced to nothing but a get-rich-quick-scheme.
The concept that you can accept financial recompense for an injustice or wrongdoing could stem from Islamic teaching, where followers of the faith are encouraged to accept financial compensation instead of taking revenge, or in exchange for forgiveness.
Justice is meant to be about justice, and if we take away financial compensation then we’re left with only two options – social service or prison time. If you really want justice, and those are the options available to you, then you will be happy with them.
The raw and bitter truth is that as a collective we are greedy and selfish, and the lure of quick money leads many people to court when they do not need or deserve to be there.
Lawsuits cripple businesses and individuals, and the lawyers themselves are really in it for the money too.
If it’s about justice and principles, then let the person be found right or wrong, but eliminate the system of monetary compensation. Let the guilty parties serve time or do community service instead.
Cap wealth and asset accumulation
Money really does make the world go around – and every single person on earth is scrabbling to have all the money. But there just isn’t enough to go around.
If you do the real maths, then there’s technically only USD 10,000 per person on the planet right now. So somebody with a worth of USD 1-million is hoarding the share of 100 other people.
No wonder we have such rampant inequality.
If you cap the maximum amount of money people can earn and accumulate, you will force people to fit their lifestyles into a smaller amount of money. Prices will come down. The reason we have such ridiculous pricing for stuff, and such a high barrier to entry, is because there are people who can afford it.
The second benefit of capping wealth means that there is more to go around, so you will have even more people reaching the upper limits of social standing, reducing the massive class inequality we see right now.
You will thirdly make the gap between rich and poor much smaller – because the rich can’t get richer than a certain value. So yachts won’t go away – they’ll just be cheaper, with more people who can afford them.
Introduce ethics committees into media and advertising, including for news distribution
For years we’ve spoken about the effect of advertising on women’s self-esteem issues, but we’ve also created a rampant plague of consumers worldwide, all of them demanding instant gratification in every area of their lives.
The rampant greed perpetrated by corporations around the world needs to be checked now, and the easiest way to do that is to introduce ethics committees that oversee media, advertising and marketing activities around the world.
We need a body that can step in and check media and advertising activities, offer guidance, standards and best practice, and basically monitor the national and global temperatures.
Media and marketing have become all-powerful tools that drive the lives of billions of people. We need to start taking that seriously and checking the greedy profiteers before they destroy our very existence.
Prohibit or limit medical treatment for anyone over 66
I can already see the backlash for this comment – but we have to open the conversation now.
Every year, the number of people 80 or older doubles. The biggest challenge facing most future economies? Not enough people in the working generation to support the top-heavy class of retirees at the top.
As a collective we have become obsessed with the idea of living forever – immortality. Fear of death, and aging, drives a majority of much of what our society does. We want to be relevant, remembered, immortalised – we want to live forever.
But here’s the reality:
There are 8-billion people on the planet.
Life expectancy has doubled over the last century.
The planet is straining at the seams trying to support us and we don’t have the resources to be able to look after everyone.
We don’t have the medical facilities to get to everyone.
We have an ever-growing population of aged people who contribute little to nothing of value to the economy or society – most are just an economic burden and strain on the medical system.
The lives many of these aged folks are so desperately holding onto are empty and lonely and sad. They don’t have the resources to do much of anything, and their ingrained fear of death prohibits them from attempting anything outside the norm.
We’ve become so obsessed with living long that we’ve forgotten to live while we’re alive. We’re so obsessed with staying alive for a long period of time that most people fumble through their lives in absolute fear and stifling boredom.
We need to change this and help people live more in a shorter period of time, to live freer. We need to help people become okay with, and accept, death.
Every great spiritual teacher encourages you to accept death, and as you climb the spiritual ladder it become obvious why: when you accept death, you begin to live – because you realise every moment is precious.
Right now you’re so worried about just staying alive that you’re basically missing out on your entire life and all the wonderful adventures you could have.
Eliminate equality programmes for elements that are within people’s control or involve sexual preference, e.g. weight
Equality and equal rights has gone way too far – you can’t turn around without offending someone nowadays.
51% of the world population is considered obese. That’s not the world we grew up in, because the social stigma of being fat forced people to consider their weight more.
It’s like a crying baby: if you pick the baby up every time it cries, eventually you have to carry it around all the time. If you leave the baby to cry, it learns to self-soothe.
By not allowing anyone to speak about issues like weight, we’re making it acceptable for people to get fat, because there is no stigma that holds them in check.
Likewise sexual preference – it should have nothing to do with your lifestyle. But people wear their sexual preference like a huge banner or mask, defining their entire lives around it.
The very fact that we have equality and discrimination controls in place for stuff like this makes it an issue in society – and makes people thin-skinned and easily offended.
Accordingly we’re fighting more, seeing more divorces, seeing more wars, more breakdown of relationships. People are scared to be honest with each other and they are driven by fear and doubt.
We are paralysing ourselves into inadequacy with what we can and can’t say or think or feel or express – and we have to turn the tide before we paint ourselves into a corner we can’t escape.
Ban concepts like trigger words and political correctness
Politically correct speech and not being allowed to use trigger words… well what better example of thin-skinned can you actually get?
By pandering to people’s pain and trauma, you worsen and deepen it, enabling them to take it even more personally and creating a bigger hole for them to have to climb out of.
There is not a single great person whose life has not been fraught with trials and challenges that they had to overcome in order to reach greatness. That’s how you learn – challenges and mistakes.
We are taking away people’s opportunity to grow and develop and become valuable members of society by allowing them to wallow in their pain, pandering to their childish demands and expectations.
We no longer force people to grow up and become adults.
As a society, we have to begin pushing back now – we have to start making the changes that we need to make in our daily lives before we land up in a catastrophe of epic proportions.
If we want a great world to live in, then the onus and responsibility lies with each and every one of us – it’s no longer somebody else’s problem.
It’s one minute to midnight now, and it’s time for us to change.