TED Conversations

Vera Nova

Director Research Analysis, NOVA Town Futuristic Development


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Colossal problems - we feel very helpless even when we suffer because of theses problems. However, why is it so hard for a single person to figure out what to do against madness, violations, mindless industries, commonly vicious "healthcare", poor useless education?

Why do we prefer to stay within brainless crowds doing Wrong, rather than do something different, making our human world a little better.

Can you share with your own thoughts?


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    Apr 17 2014: I think you can't fight every battle. And even within the battles you choose to fight, you have to be realistic about how much you can do, it's better to do something even if you don't entirely solve the problem rather than to do nothing.
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      Apr 17 2014: It is frustrating when we feel that the problem is so huge that it would be impossible to do anything at all, so we do nothing. For instance, one has to eat and feed her family, she goes to buy that questionable food in supermakets, or medications that should not be ever produced in the first place.

      But it is so great to see that some of us become little revolutionaries, on our individual scale, just by ignoring gigantic producers. This might do miracles, when each of us participates in making big changes.
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        Apr 17 2014: well, you might not have to buy food in supermarkets, most people live near some kind of farming area so perhaps they could travel to buy the food. In Glendale, the city where I live, there is a farmers' market on Thursday where all the farmers bring their food to sell to the city folks. In fact, these days there are farmers' markets all over Los Angeles County, they're in Hollywood, Beverly Hills, and so on.
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          Apr 17 2014: Yes, Greg. That is exactly what I mean - we always have the way to make our own choices. But millions among us are still asleep.
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        Apr 19 2014: well on any issue a person has many decisions to make. One is whether to get involved in trying to improve the issue. One is whether to try to convince other people to try to improve the issue. One might be what mix one wants, in other words, do you want to spend 60% of your effort trying to improve the issue yourself, and 40% trying to get other people to try to improve it? Or do you want a 90%/10% mix? Or some other ratio? But then one also wants to ask if one can convince other people to get involved, if not, then one can either try by oneself to improve the issue, or perhaps will decide not to try to improve the issue. Of course when one decides whether to try to motivate others, one will try to assess whether they are already motivated, and if not what it would take to motivate them. These kinds of decisions go on and on.

        Therefore if on any issue you think millions are asleep, the questions become whether you think you can do something to wake some of them up, or do you just want to do your little bit to make the issue better, or both, or neither.
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          Apr 19 2014: Good point, Greg.

          Your ratio samples are fine. As I personally see the situation - we cannot force anyone to help others, as we know, most of people do everything to survive on their own. It's our natural instinct.

          But in our postmodern time of colossal man-made disasters, it is impossible to truly separate ourselves from our crazy society We participate in creating or growing these disasters because we are ALREADY inside those systems, industries, political games...

          The reason why I've posted this topic is to find out what some individuals can do, or think, personally or as a group. Are they organizing some movement or just do something good on their own (as you describe the options)

          What am I doing? Since I was a teen I was doing a lot of charity, besides giving valuable things to struggling needy people, I tried to wake them up... I've learned that giving away money and things is not changing anything -- unless you get people involved in some meaningful work and learn.

          I see only one most effective way to change for the better where I'm very involved - is to create sustainable small communities, within our neighboring area.

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        Apr 19 2014: it does seem that we should give appreciation to people who simply do a job that contributes to society, whether they do it to help society or not. For example, there may be farmers who produce food not because they care about helping others, but only because they want to make money. But whatever their motive, they still produce food that we all need to go on living and enjoy life.

        A lot of times people may get involved in change not because they want to help society, but because they want to make more money. For instance, a farmer may start growing organic food because he sees there is more profit to be made. His motive here may not be extremely admirable, but he is contributing to positive change?

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