With the Doomsday Clock adjusted to one hundred seconds to midnight, it seems that the scientific community points a finger to the inevitable end which could engulf the world any day now. It is a narrative we are used to from history manuals and our recent past. Textbooks are full of numbers and data.
Unifications and destructions, wars and peace treaties, revolutions and resolutions. The collective conscious, mapped by dichotomies, makes better sense of realities when they are placed in opposition. It is a cultural binary thinking, focused on good-better-best and bad-worse-worst. It is easier to make meaning of things in conflict, as it is easier to understand war better than peace.
History always takes a closer look at how cultures come into being and how they are destroyed, and takes less time to look at what happened in between. The complexities of development entail, besides time, a higher level of engagement and perception. The consistent preoccupation with the specifics of our apocalypse is not just the measure of our own selfishness, but a fundamental thinking flaw, characterised by fear and apathy.
Looking at how communities got to meet their ends, without taking time to reflect on solutions, is bound to bring the finale even closer. Fear and adrenaline rush end up in apathy. They have done so for thousands of years, and brought us where we are today.
© Maria Stadnicka 2020
2 thoughts on “Binaries”
Thought-provoking as always Maria. This resonated with my background of supporting people who were labelled as “challenging”. Everyone focussed on the times when things went awry, rather than standing back and learning from what was going on when everything was fine!
Yes, you are so right, Rose. This predilection we’ve got does not help us improve practices nor change things for the better. It is used a lot. Pointing the finger…It is used in community work, social care, arts, and it is slowly beginning to be used when we talk about environment and climate change. Talking about how bad things have got without encouraging alternatives is not going to get us anywhere.
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