By Elena and Lily
The world we live in is always changing. It seems as though every day, there’s something new going on, or a new idea floating around. The modern world isn’t for the faint of heart, but the future is even less so. In just the past year, we’ve seen so much change in our societies, so many different ideas and movements taking shape, that sometimes, we need to take a moment and breathe. Take a moment to realize how lucky we are, that we get the chance to be part of change for good.
Change is something that can be simply defined as becoming different. Change itself isn’t good or bad, it just is. It’s just something that exists in our lives, and as hard as we might try to fight it, change cannot be stopped. Change takes on a life of its own. Sure, you can try and kill it, but ultimately, change breathes in every single one of us.
There’s something every day in our lives that changed, somehow. Something that changes our viewpoint on life, even if just slightly.
Take the pandemic, for example. There’s no one who can say the pandemic hasn’t changed their lives. Sure, it’s ugly, ugly change, but at the same time, the pandemic changes our outlook on life every single day. We realize we can’t take anything for granted, realize the connections we have with people can’t be superficial, even realize what it means to lose something.
Change itself isn’t good or bad, but some change can be good, while others are not.
We, here at A Beginner’s Guide to Overachievement, believe we have the moral obligation to create as much good change as possible. Our actions don’t just affect us, or people in our era. They affect future generations, other species, maybe even extraterrestrial life.
We can’t just stick to what we’ve had before because it’s “comfortable” just because change can be scary. Yes, change can be scary, but it can also be beautiful. Imagine future generations, not having to worry about the trivial things that make up our anxieties today. Imagine a future where we’ve created enough good change where no one is afraid of being out too late at night, or being true to themselves in front of others, or where no one is afraid of being in a situation because of their race, gender, ability, or sexuality.
We’ve come a long way from where we were even a hundred years ago, but we still haven’t come far enough. It’s absolutely necessary we let good change continue to happen. We can’t just look at how far we’ve come without realizing how much further we need to go. Staying in the moment for just a minute longer can be detrimental. Not allowing good change to happen due to the comfort of the moment also means letting others live in comfort.
Although there’s good change, there’s also bad change. Change that has us slip back.
You’ve probably heard the saying, one step forward, two steps backward. Often, when we have good change, we don’t realize we need to keep pushing, so we allow bad change to happen while we relish in our victories. Something good happens, but then something bad happens too.
Bad change is something that is unfortunately going to be part of our lives. We can’t avoid it, but we can try to minimize it. And if we can’t minimize it we can try to make the most out of it. We can create good change from bad if we keep pushing, similar to how good change can turn to bad.
We have a moral obligation to minimize bad change in our world. This kind of change hurts and dehumanizes people, and can make life miserable for those all over the world.
Think about it; when the pandemic started, and even now, people were so afraid of any sort of change, that people didn’t want to change their lives. We let bad change happen when we didn’t take concrete actions.And, we see improvement in places that have concrete actions in place like a mask mandate than from before.
Bad change can have a huge lasting impact on the quality of life for many people for years and years if we don’t make steps to change it. For example slavery was a bad change that we still see today. In the USA, we went through a war, and still had continued segregation and people didn’t have rights. Even now, we still have slavery, segregation, and decades of racism prominant in our societies.
If we aren’t working to create good change, we are supporting bad change. And every time the world changes for the worse, the impacts linger. The pandemic will linger in history books, in the lives lost because we refused to act, refused to believe it could harm us until people around us were dying. And we still believe that.
We have a moral obligation not only to minimize bad change, but work to create good change after the bad change has hit.
Morality of Change
Our lives change largely because ideas of morality change. Once more people decide something’s “wrong”, or what their ideas of “right” change, our societies inevitably change.
Just think about how much of our lives have changed just because our ideas of morality changed. Our societal structures are completely different, social hierarchies have begun to crumble. So much has changed because our morals have changed.
We have to let change continue, even if it’s scary. Living in the bubble of the moment forever will only keep us from letting our societies get to their full potentials. Staying in the bubble and not letting change for the better happen will only contribute to worsening other’s lives.
Sure, some change happens due to our morals changing, but other changes happen due to technology.
50 years ago, no one could’ve imagined some of the technology we have today that we can’t imagine not having today. Our phones we keep within hand’s reach whenever we can, social media, the cars we drive today. The lives we lead now are completely different than anything anyone could’ve imagined.
Of course, not all aspects of technology are necessarily good. Using cheap labor to put together our laptops, increasing emissions to be able to keep up with the demand of new goods.
Our technological innovations did bring our societies up, but they can also be our downfall. The changing world we live in isn’t sustainable. It’s not sustainable, let alone ethical, to keep stealing raw materials or make people work for pennies, or even for free. Unless we make other changes now, innovation will be what destroys us.
So much of what we own are products of exploitation.
One of the few things about our societies that hasn’t changed is exploitation, though most people can agree exploitation is wrong. Why?
We continue to hurt people for our own comfort. We continue to exploit people in the name of “progress.” How is that progress? Our societies seem to find new ways to get cheap labor, new ways to steal from others. Sure, the methods are different, but the idea is the same. We can pretend our societies have changed, that we’ve gotten better, but the backbone of our societies is exploitation, just like it has been in the past, and it will continue to be. Unless we work to change it.
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