It’s Time to Wake Up The World

The world is in dire need of a wake up call and there’s now a lot of noise being made about how quickly life as we know it could fall apart. It’s easy to become overwhelmed by all the doom and gloom and difficult to know what, if anything, we can do about the situation. My response has been to turn to my area of expertise - music - and to address some of the key issues in what has become my debut single, Wake Up The World.

In many ways this song encapsulates my thinking about the current state of the world. Here’s a potted summary of those thoughts:

Much is made of the diversity of culture that humans have created around the world. Our achievements as a species are incredible and are largely down to the cultures we’ve developed which provide a framework for working together on a massive scale. We’re not the biggest, strongest or fastest creatures on the planet but we do have an unique capacity for cooperation.

So it’s horrifyingly ironic that the dominant culture now pervading the world is one that eschews cooperation and glorifies competition and a ‘winner takes all’ mentality. And that’s because it’s governed not by life but by money. The current neoliberal ideology is pushing capitalism towards an extreme form that says that all areas of our lives are best governed by ‘market forces.’ In other words, it all comes down to money. There are convincing arguments to say that this system is a better way of organising ourselves than others that the human race has come up with and it’s certainly a beautifully simple and concise concept.

The trouble is, it doesn’t work in practice. It depersonalises everything and leads to a highly individualistic, selfish, me-first culture where everyone is pursuing their own interests at the expense of everybody else. The result is an increase in inequality as the rich and powerful plunder all the resources they can get their hands on in a desperate race to ‘have the most’ and ‘be the best.’

The sad thing is, we’re destroying the planet for the sake of this system and it’s not actually making anybody happy. It may be making a few people’s lives more comfortable on a superficial level but when we talk about meaning in our lives, we invariably look to more intangible things like family, community, creativity, spirituality.

So, if these are the areas of life that people really care about and give us fulfillment then surely we need a governing system that puts them centre stage. That’s easier said than done, though, especially when the majority of people are struggling just to survive within this current system. But, however difficult it is, we must shift our mindsets and values so that we overhaul our governing culture. We need to stop glorifying money, status and ‘things’ and find other aspects of our lives to value. If we stop focussing on the rich and powerful and start to build a new culture based on alternative principles then we weaken their power and our societies will transform from the bottom up. The Covid-19 pandemic has given us a preview of some of the ways that this could happen and it’s shown us how quickly change can come about if we all embrace it together.

In Wake Up The World, I’ve cited 4 key values that I would like to see as foundations of a new shared culture: balance, respect, cooperation and hope. A society based on these principles would surely be fairer and happier than the current one. But the most important thing is that we all start to shift our mindsets. Covid-19 has given us all a shock and, as elements of our old lives tentatively start to return, I would implore everybody not to simply lapse back into their old lives. We need to learn lessons from this and that means thinking about what we really want from life and then actually doing something about it - all together.

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Socially-conscious writer & musician exploring pressing issues at the heart of 21st century life. Check out https://faronsage.org - music for a better world!

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Faron Sage

Faron Sage

Socially-conscious writer & musician exploring pressing issues at the heart of 21st century life. Check out https://faronsage.org - music for a better world!

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