Category Archives: Philosophies

Why I haven’t succeeded in reaching my goals (and maybe why you haven’t either)

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Why I haven’t succeeded in reaching my goals (and maybe why you haven’t either)

As a self-proclaimed improvement junkie, I have learned all the common productivity tips, SMART goals, and motivation hacks. Yet applying these techniques can take as much effort as working toward the goal itself. I often find myself getting caught up in the process and not actually achieving anything. Furthermore, if I had the motivation to honestly apply these techniques I probably wouldn’t need them in order to reach my goals, because I had the intrinsic motivation to stick to a technique as I would working toward a goal.

I am not entirely lazy. I have achieved many wonderful things in my life and am for the most part happy. There remains however some lingering goals that are permanently on my to-do list, as well as a sense of emptiness after all that I have done and become. During my latest episode of self-evaluation I have begun to realize why this may be the case.

I tend to group all of my goals into one single package – The Things I Want to Accomplish. I realized today that I must instead group my goals into different categories that must be treated differently. I will explain the three groups below and how they should be tackled.

 

Group 1: Goals that must become habit

This category includes all the lingering goals that are perpetually on my list: exercise, eat healthy, learn Italian… These are aspects of my life in which the goal is to make the activity a habit. There is nothing particularly measurable about these goals. Of course I could turn them into SMART goals: for instance squat 30 kilos by July, but once that milestone is reached I must create a new one in order to continue the activity in a measurable way. This is a perpetual state of walking a staircase with no top. To view these activities as goals is a mistake, as there is never any real sense of completion.

Instead of seeing these as large over-arching unreachable goals, I need to take these day by day by making small choices. I must be aware every day of the choices I make and whether they are in line with the habits I want to create. It starts with changing my thoughts – as the famous quote by Mahatma Ghandi:

“Your beliefs become your thoughts,
Your thoughts become your words, 
Your words become your actions, 
Your actions become your habits, 
Your habits become your values,
Your values become your destiny.”

Now it is only the chunk in the middle that I find relevant here, but I still use it as a motivating factor. Sitting on my bed and thinking I want to eat some ice cream instead of yogurt and actively trying to justify this action to myself will ultimately lead to the negative behavior. Making  a choice to actively justify eating healthily in those crucial moments will make the difference. It is only the small daily choices that will allow me to cross these “habit goals” from my list.

 

Group 2: Goals that allow me to live an interesting life

This is the group that I have always put the most focus on, and is the easiest for me to fulfill. These are the activities that are fun, unique, and interesting – usually known as “life experiences.” Examples include travelling, creating artwork, organizing events. These things make us feel great in the moment and have a sense of accomplishment when each activity is completed. It’s something we look forward to and usually enjoy planning.

Throughout my life I have put weight on these activities because the entire process is enjoyable and allows me to grow and develop throughout the challenges of completing them as well. An example I can take is planning a three-day workshop session with a co-trainer and two mentors. Through the ups and downs of the preparation and implementation I learned so much about myself, and felt an extreme sense of accomplishment and relief when it was finished. What I left with were skills and maturity that were invaluable and unlikely to gain in other situations. This is what life experience is for.

However there is something I have been noticing with these life experience goals. When the adventure is finished, it is behind you. It is a life lesson you have learned and have come out a different person, but it doesn’t necessarily take you anywhere. If you are lucky you gain some realizations about yourself that turn into motivating factors, but this isn’t always the case and it isn’t always directing. I have observed when coming home after a trip I had been looking forward to, the high from the trip lasts for a few days or weeks, but then I quickly begin to plan the next thing. I feel I am running on the wheel of collecting life experiences and I am not really going anywhere.

Because this kind of behavior is natural for me, I have to deal with this group with caution. I love to gather life experience and I want to continue in this way. However I need to be realistic in its effect on my future. This is something that will require more thought.

 

Group 3: Goals that open new doors

It was only today that I realized how these goals are distinct from the ones in Group 2. The goals in this group are the ones that have the ability to directly improve my future in a measurable way. Examples I can use from my life are when I opened my own photo retouching business and when I paid off my credit card. These are goals that must be worked toward, and the process isn’t always fun or exciting. However the result is the most significant as it provides an opportunity to live a better future. This morning a friend asked me, “What are your goals?” and I had to take a moment to think about it. I have plenty of life experience goals, and habit goals, but I realized I am lacking some “door opening goals.” It is partly due to my current situation, but I was able to identify that this is probably the emptiness I have been feeling.

Upon writing this I just realized that I do have one current goal that could fit into this category: obtaining my Italian citizenship. Once this has been achieved it will open new doors as to where I can live, work, and travel; it will as well be a symbolic statement of my commitment to my new family.

It is this category of goals that I believe require the most steadfast focus and dedication. Unlike the small every day choices of Group 1 and the fun easy planning of Group 2, goals in Group 3 necessitate hard, steady work and sacrifice but have a big payoff. It is here where I can apply the techniques I have learned through all my self-development reading and measure incremental success.

 

Do you believe I have left out a crucial category? Where do your goals fit into these groups and what methods do you believe are best to tackle them?

The Shame of Having Emotions

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In the past it has been hard for me to admit my flaws, which I think is a normal characteristic of many people. We try to present the best versions of ourselves as much as possible, and when a bad part sneaks out we try to camouflage it, deny it, or become embarrassed. Furthermore, I have believed (and I think I am not alone) that having a mental flaw or bad personality trait is worth covering up more than a physical flaw, which may be more obvious. It is hard to hide a broken leg when you have a cast and crutches or wheelchair, and even yet, it is not necessarily embarrassing to admit that you have a physical ailment that needs healing. But I find it to be quite rare to meet someone who openly states that they are taking antidepressants or seeing a therapist, as this implies they have some taboo flaw that must be suffered and treated in secret.

Emotional distress is not something that can easily be seen, and shouldn’t have to be a source of shame, just as you wouldn’t be ashamed to have the flu.

This is something I genuinely believe in, however I don’t practice non-shame based on social rules. I have to admit it is not comfortable to hear an acquaintance talk about an emotional problem that goes beyond what is expected—of course someone would feel grief if a parent dies, or nervousness to give a speech—what I am talking about is to openly admit a fear of failure or obsessive lust. Meeting someone who reveals these deep inner characteristics so leisurely invokes an awkward “TMI” moment and makes me think they don’t understand social boundaries and the “onion effect” of relationships.

Part of the reason I write on this blog is to help me overcome my flaws by giving them shape and form. The thoughts are forced into words and phrases which come out of my fingers and I can read them in front of me on my computer screen- yet I present them in a public forum so I must edit them based on what I am willing to reveal about my flaws. Part of social intelligence is understanding where those boundaries are. But I also want to push those boundaries and be able to let a little more of myself show, as I have considered one of my personality flaws in the past as not allowing people to see the deep parts of me. At least here on my blog, only people who are truly interested in my thoughts will read this, instead of it being plastered on my Facebook friends’ newsfeed or said out loud to someone who may not receive the information well.

 

I felt like I needed this disclaimer before writing what I really wanted to talk about.

 

I had my first panic attack about 7 years ago. It took me a little while to realize what was happening to me, and after some weeks I was able to go back to my normal life, and after several months of various treatment I was able to avoid having a panic attack altogether. Now, I am proud to say I have found a method of controlling my anxiety without cost, therapy, or medication.

My baseline of controlling any general feelings of anxiety is that I have completely eliminated caffeine from my diet. This means I do not drink coffee, tea, soda, or any kind of energy drink, including those that contain guarana. Additionally, I do not eat chocolate. Even small flakes of chocolate in some desserts have been taken off my list for the simple fact that part of my anxiety has developed into anxiousness over feeling anxious. Therefore the psychosomatic aspects of the disorder give me panic just by eating tiny amounts of chocolate that wouldn’t normally have the caffeine content to produce any effects had I not known I was consuming it.

You can imagine that completely eliminating caffeine has not been easy. Not only has the internal struggle of dealing with cravings been difficult, but the constant offerings from people around me reminds me what I don’t allow myself and often forces me to give an explanation as to why I’m refusing. I’ve also had to deal with uncomfortable refusals such as my husband’s grandmother making a special tiramisu just for me and I have to pretend I am not hungry. After almost daily practice, I’ve learned that the easiest way to refuse caffeine is by saying I’m allergic. It almost immediately gets people to stop offering things to me. Only with close friends or people I can sense would not judge me I will reveal that I’ve chosen to give up caffeine to avoid anxiety attacks. Even when occasionally someone will ask “what happens” when I take caffeine I simply say that I cannot breathe (which is true, when I’m having an attack) but I do not elude to any emotional disorder.

Why am I so ashamed to admit that I have an emotional problem that I treat, while covering it up as a physical problem? For some reason, an allergy that is not my fault is less shameful than a panic disorder that is not my fault. Even though I have it under control now, it is viewed by society as I have some kind of defect just because it cannot be seen with the eye or be explained by scientific research (maybe there is some research of nerves in the brain but I think if there was something conclusive there would be a known cure or definitive treatment). I have found my own treatment: eliminating caffeine along with breathing, controlling stress levels, and practice in erasing bad thoughts. I am more proud to say that while admitting I have a “defect” than sharing my cold remedy. And I cannot even remember the last time I had a panic attack….years ago for sure, although I still occasionally feel some panic feelings that I am normally able to efficiently suppress within seconds or minutes.

Although it is cliché, instead of feeling shame for this I have decided to feel proud; I have overcome a challenge and have been able to transfer those techniques into other areas of my life and become a more effective and strong person because of it. It worked for me, and might I suggest trying to gather the strength to eliminate something in your life that is doing more damage than comfort?

The Great Return

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Throughout my years of moving and searching, I have recently left a place that I have called ”home” for a place that should feel like home. Due to Luca’s work, we have left Sweden temporarily to live for a few months in USA. My…..home. Okay, we all know that the United States is a big place, and since I come from Minnesota, no one expects me to feel at home in my current residence of California. But the “Americanness” of it all should feel comfortable.

My goal when I first arrived was to not make the same mistakes I did in Växjö. I would immediately get a job, start making friends, and pick up various activities out of the house. Two months later I can account for the job as well as doing some biking around the area for an activity. I attend a coffee hour once a week at the university to try to meet some international students, but so far I haven’t made any connections that result in a meeting outside of this coffee hour. I haven’t quite figured out how to make “adult friends” apart from the university setting. Well, the point is not to complain. I have a multitude of friends around the world, just none in my current place yet. To be honest, I haven’t really tried to the best of my ability.

Ultimately, I have been trying to figure out whether or not I truly miss Växjö as a place to live, or do I just miss the lifestyle I had there and the great friends I made. During the few months immediately before I left Växjö I was participating in an organization that helps with the integration of international students. With my position in the board I was able to meet and socialize with many interesting people who were open and excited. I became invigorated by their energy! Every social engagement was a new and exciting adventure, as if I was experiencing it for the first time again along with them. Often I actually was experiencing it for the first time. For instance I led a group of students on a trip to Russia, a place I had never been to before. I also had many great opportunities with the other board members by going to conferences and platforms in many different places and meeting interesting people who had a similar lifestyle to mine. I finally felt like I had a “place,” and there were people who understood and respected my international lifestyle as a peer.

Yet, now that I have left that place, and have a more “normal” lifestyle: early to bed, early to rise, go to work, make dinner… I crave my time in Växjö. When I left, I felt like I was being ripped away from that place, however I expected that feeling to go away by now. Still I feel a part of me is waiting there, and I can’t let go, and I am waiting to just…..go home. I believe that if I had left during the summer or sometime before the last months, I wouldn’t miss it nearly as much. There is nothing particularly special about Växjö… I don’t miss particular places (except the ones where I have great memories with friends), the weather is gloomy, the administration is frustrating… What I crave the most is the time with the people I had become so close to, some of which I fear I may never see again. Those who say that if someone was a true friend you will see them again doesn’t really understand that life gets in the way, and I cannot realistically see all the people in the world who I consider to be a true friend. Additionally, sometimes it is the special place with a special group that makes a friendship strong, and to remove those elements reduces the caliber of the feeling. For instance, playing a board game with the same four friends in the same apartment….. moments that I will miss, and I would miss even if two or three of us were to meet again under different circumstances.

I often say to myself, “Well, this is the life I chose!” which is mostly true. I always dreamed of a vagabond lifestyle, but I never understood the consequence of making deep connections with people that have only a temporary placement in my physical life.

Addiction

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Addiction is something I have always had trouble understanding. I have always prided myself on having control over my thoughts and behaviors, and I didn’t think my ability to control myself was extraordinary. I had always told myself that I could never have an addiction, because I am aware of my body and my behaviors and I would be able to stop it before it gets out of control.

The product of this, unfortunately, is my systematic prejudice of everyone who has an addiction.

Although I always thought I would never have an addiction, I am very prone to obsessive binges. If I find a new thing that I like, it is common that I go overboard and have this thing in excess until I get tired of it and find a new thing. For instance, I discover a new cheese I like, and I buy and eat this cheese every day for a week. I never considered this addictive behavior because after that week, I wouldn’t eat it anymore, or I would eat it in moderation. I am aware of this compulsion even when it is happening, and if it interferes with my life I control myself.

When I meet people with addictions, I try to understand that there is a psychological problem behind the addiction, and I don’t understand why they can’t get out of this problem. I don’t want to be so harsh, but I can only know my own thoughts, and I can never know how other people think, and why they cannot work through their problems.

I’ve always thought with enough self-control, one can give up whatever they want. I used myself as an example in my journey to give up all caffeine from my diet. When I was 19 I started to get panic attacks and since then I have been searching to relieve myself from them, as it is a horrifying experience. I hated the side effects of medications so I wanted to try to find a natural way. From then I decided to start reducing my intake of caffeine. It was difficult at first and I relapsed a few times on chocolate binges, while deeply regretting it later. It took about four years, but I finally was able to say no to all coffee, tea, chocolate, and soda (I love sugar, and you don’t realize how much chocolate is used in desserts until you start to read all the ingredients!).

When I refuse any caffeinated product, I do it with pride. But looking objectively at myself, I never really liked coffee, tea, soda, or chocolate. How would I do giving up something I really love? Have I ever successfully given up something I really enjoy but that I can recognize is harming me?

There is a silly thing I do, that is always in the back of my mind: cleaning my ears with q-tips. I started to do this when I was a teenager, before I knew the damage it could do. I cleaned my ears so much, whenever I got out of the shower or felt any kind of dirt inside my ear, it would be unbearable until I stabbed it with a cotton stick. Sometimes I just wanted to feel the massage of the q-tip so I would clean two to three times a day. After many years of doing this I now experience extreme pain in any cool wind, and riding a bike on a cool day is a nightmare if I am not wearing ear muffs. Yet still, when I feel some water or dirt in the ears, or even just to relieve some stress, I poke my ears. So stupid! I recognize how ridiculous this is. When I have tried to stop, I last a miserable few days before going back on the ‘tip. It is especially bad when I am under stress and I need my moment of massage.

I try to rationalize by saying I haven’t dedicated myself to quitting, and if I did, I could stop. But something is preventing me from dedicating myself to quitting. The truth is, I don’t want to stop getting the nice feeling, I just want the pain to go away. But I know the pain will not go away. I guess the pain is not interfering enough with my life to give the issue a serious thought. Now the joy outweighs the pain. When I think of my life, I never want to be comfortable in my pain. I always want to strive to change things that are not good in my life. So why not the ears?

I am not so naive that I don’t realize my comparison of the urge to clean my ears is nowhere near a heroin addiction. But since I have never used hard drugs, this is the only thing in my life that I can use as a reference. Although it is a heavily muted desire compared to a hardcore addiction, I can possibly begin to understand the feelings of an addict, and why it is so difficult to stop doing something that gives one pleasure.

Gay Marriage: the other side?

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I believe that all humans have value, and they deserve to be treated as such. It’s silly to think that because of some invisible man-made borders, or slight differences in facial shape or which shade of brown a person’s skin is, there is some fundamental difference between humans. In every community there is the brave one, the comedian, the outcast, the nurturer, the gossip. I think many people can agree with me on this idea, and it is not so radical to make such a claim.

I also try to constantly understand others. If someone has a belief that I don’t agree with, I find it incredibly intriguing to find out why they think that way, and maybe they have some facts or life experience that help me in my journey of knowledge.

Even as a child I believed that homosexuality was “okay.” Maybe because somewhere in my childhood, the first thing I ever heard about gay people was something like “Sometimes men like men, and sometimes women like women, and that’s okay.” Even though my immediate family was not as open to homosexuality as they could be, somehow I always had heart for gay people. Maybe it was because I grew up with the value to love everyone, and I felt extreme empathy for anyone who was ridiculed. Even today, when I see that someone is in pain, it is as if I can also feel that pain. I am not sure if this is something I have developed consciously or unconsciously, or rather it is a trait I was born with, but it really helps me to relate to people and show grace and understanding.

Although gay rights is something that I “know” to be right, I still want to try to understand why some people do not believe it is acceptable. I have been thinking about this for awhile, with a concentration of thoughts over the past few days, so I am hoping that by writing my thoughts it will give them some sort of order.

There are many contentious issues in the world today, as always, although I particularly don’t understand why some people are fighting so vigilantly against gay marriage- a thing that I believe would not affect their lives in the slightest. If they are worried about the message it would send to their children: preventing gays to get married does not prevent the couple from being gay. Either they are gay and unmarried, or gay and married. And there many examples of children being aware that gay couples exist and do not turn out to be gay or immoral people.

But as I become more and more frustrated with these people, it does not help me to understand them. Because it becomes clear to me that this issue goes beyond pure reason. If everyone used purely rational thinking, I believe this wouldn’t be a problem. So I must try to identify which emotions are at play here. The most prominent one I can recognize is fear. Fear is a very scary and legitimate emotion. I have fears every day: little ones like when I fear looking silly for saying the wrong word in Swedish, or big ones like driving on a rural Italian road. My constant philosophical/worried thinking produces several fears on a constant basis. I deeply understand the power of fear. Will this help me to understand the fear of anti-gay activists?

When I started to write this post, I supposed that I would end up talking about lack of education being the cause of anti-gay thoughts, but my fingers directed me to go in another direction. I want to touch on this subject for a moment though before I continue because I think it is an important idea. By lack of education, I do not mean formal education. We have all seen ivy league graduates in powerful positions expressing anti-gay views. Additionally, we have seen young children who know a gay couple and have learned that there is nothing wrong with it. This dichotomy of views is likely passed down through the family, but I believe it is not static. In an anti-gay family, if a family member is brave enough to come out, it has the possibility to change the views of the family in a positive way (unfortunately this is not always the case).

I have a new theory through which I have been working, so it is still fresh and ill-defined. There is this idea of “the loudest”…you know, where people only pay attention to the loudest ones and see them as a representation of the whole. It is shown in the case of Muslims, with radicals being the loud voice, and the peace loving moderates get pushed into the background and are not seen. It could be this reason that people have the wrong idea about gay people. They see representations of lesbians in porn films or in the stereotypical tom-boy dress and think that lesbians are only over-sexualized or bull dykes. They see the attention seeking “fabulous” gay men making out during the gay pride parade and think all gay men are horny transsexuals. Any gay distant relative or co-worker that does not fit this stereotype is the “exception” and is ignored as a piece of evidence against their idea. They have no time or desire to research otherwise. Therefore, they are content with their negative view of homosexuals.

What many do not see, are the “average” people who do not shout to everyone “I am gay!” because it does not define who they are as a person. I think when homosexuality started to become okay in society, it was because of those loud individuals, and therefore they are necessary for the cause, but they are only part of the whole.

Maybe I can write more on this later after I’ve developed my thinking. But back to fear.

I can suppose there are two main arguments against gay people, which are either tied to religion, or that it is “unnatural” and “gross.” Perhaps the people who have religious-based opposition have the ultimate fear of going to Hell if they allow homosexuality to become acceptable. For The Bible says that no man should lie with another man; when this action becomes a part of our society there is Hell on earth. I cannot argue with this person, for their irrationality goes far beyond a simple explanation of gays being okay. For the person who thinks homosexuality is unnatural and gross, I can imagine their fear being something like having to witness public displays of affection, or that a homosexual person of their same sex would have sexual feelings for him or her. As someone who has experienced unwanted sexual advances, it is something very uncomfortable, and has caused me to avoid certain situations out of fear of this happening. Although I think it is uncommon, I don’t doubt that someone has misinterpreted a situation to believe that it is okay to begin flirting with someone who does not want it, and I can understand this fear. Perhaps they are afraid if they become sympathetic to gay people, they themselves will be considered homosexual and receive unwanted sexual attention. Even though I am an advocate for gay rights, it took me some years to not get immediately offended if someone asked me “Do you like girls or something?” (Maybe because I was shocked at the inappropriateness of the question.)

Anyway, this seems like it is becoming more about gays’ right to exist more so than the initial goal of talking about gay marriage. But it is always interesting where my mind ends up when I do stream-of-consciousness writing.

This topic is becoming a bit tired, because I feel annoyed that it is even an issue. To me it is so obvious that gay marriage should be okay, and it is obvious that homosexuality exists and shouldn’t be condemned, and I am feeling out of energy to hear arguments about it anymore. It is for this reason that I feel anyone who is arguing against it cannot be changed by shouting louder than them or giving them facts because the facts are already there and they refuse to look at them. Its deeper than facts. All I can do is continue trying to understand individuals and their situations and live my life in peace.

Writing the War on Terrorism passage

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Here is a passage from the book I am reading Writing the War on Terrorism by Richard Jackson. It made more sense to me than anything I have ever read about the topic:

“In reality, terrorists have never truly threatened a state, or democracy, or freedom or the way of life of an entire people; nor have they ever threatened the peace of the world or the existence of any civilisation. On the other hand, there are numerous examples where the reaction of the authorities to terrorist attacks has endangered democracy and freedom by withdrawing civil and political rights, and where the state’s eagerness to suppress dissidents has led to miscarriages of justice and human rights abuses by the security forces. In reality, it is not terrorism that threatens the essence of our societies–terrorists are tiny groups of desperate people able to do little more than commit symbolic acts of violence–but rather counter-terrorism and the dangers of over-reaction.”

I really recommend this book. Jackson does not ignore that the September 11, 2001 attacks was a horrible and atrocious event. He simply analyzes the language the United States government and media constructed after the attacks to justify the global war on terrorism. Some of the reasoning is a bit sketchy to me, but maybe I am still stuck in my American upbringing (or maybe I am just adequately cynical). Overall the book has made me question the way the attacks have been presented to me by the media and government. I am not a conspiracy theorist, and this book simply presents facts and passages from official statements and analyzes them. It does not even touch on the cause of the attacks or by whom they were carried out (honestly that stuff really annoys me), but questions the government’s idea that the war on terrorism was the only option. A really interesting read!

“Coordination Failure”

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Today I have attended an inspiring lecture that was given by an experienced man who has worked for SIDA, the UNDP, and the IMF. I am very honored to have been able to attend some of his lectures and today’s particularly sparked my brain. Although he didn’t explicitly use the term coordination failure, I have been reading a bit about that concept insofar as aid givers and I thought that it applied to this discussion quite nicely.

There are some things we are aware of. -let’s disregard epistemological problems with my statements for a moment-

  1. We know that human actions affect the environment (people disagree over whether these actions are a negative thing, and to what extent the environment is affected, but logically, we know that we can plant a tree and it will grow, and we can put a chemical into a lake and kill the fish).
  2. We know that diseases cross borders (also that diseases are becoming less and less resistant to antibiotics).
  3. I think we can also agree on some human rights abuses are not culturally relative (for instance it would be difficult to find a person who advocates genocide that isn’t mentally deranged or power-corrupt).
  4. There is another problem that is still considered just a theory: “peak oil,” meaning that the world’s current lifestyle is not sustainable given our availability of the natural resources required to maintain it.

There is a great consensus that these points are true, in a general sense. These are all global problems that cannot be solved by one nation. If Sweden decides to enforce very strict environmental policies, it will do nearly nothing compared to the amount of environment in the rest of the world. Surely there are also disease-carrying animals crossing the very closed borders between North and South Korea. What will it take for everyone to work together for the benefit of the world? We have tried to set up global governance such as the United Nations, but the problem is that they have no real authority, and the superpowers are too busy fighting over political power to actually accomplish things. And let’s not forget what happened when the UN failed to act in Rwanda twenty years ago.

It’s becoming increasingly clear that the superpower-politics and East-West divide is preventing the world from transcending. We claim to have democracies yet the huge common problems we face as humans on Earth are washed over by short-term economic crises and questions about reproductive rights that politicians constantly distract us with. How can the United States be an informed society when they have two almost identical political parties claiming all the media attention by talking about stupid things and creating problems instead of looking at the existential problems we face. And that this government is one of the five permanent Security Council members making decisions for the whole world. How is it possible for us to have a one-world viewpoint when the people teaching us how to behave are driven by economic profits that exploit faceless people?

There is something seriously wrong with the powers of the world today, and I am not trying to offer any solutions. I don’t know it all, just like everyone else who doesn’t know it all. But I think if more people start to ask these questions, the world will begin to change. How can we get more people to ask questions?  We are already seeing revolutions happening, and I am so excited to see where it will lead. I feel so lucky to live in a lifetime of extreme world change, which I think is happening. I know I don’t have much experience in the world, I am still young and have only traveled to a few places, but if we look at history, the past few hundred years have been a constant rollercoaster, and I don’t expect these next hundred years to be any different.