Personal Development: Intuitive Healer Katarina Winslow reflects on individualism versus humanism and argues the case: let us be human.
It seems we all agree that it is difficult to be happy in today’s society. Through the media, we hear of events and acts far beyond what most people feel good about. Of course, we must keep going, keep living, even if the rules are changing and new types of behaviour lacking in morality appear every day. There are those of us that keep going by practising the power of positive thinking: “If I believe I can, I can. ” Others take the approach: “That’s just how it is and how it’s always been.” Yet others go off and live on a desert island to escape all the craziness of this world. The general message is to be strong and believe in your own personal power to make yourself a winner in a society that is losing.
Part of my job is to make people who are unhappy, happy, so I have access to many life stories. Of course, there is our personal lives and the pain and the trauma we have endured in our own intimate circles, but there is more to it than that. There is also a lot of suffering due to how our work environment or society affect people. It seems no matter where people come from I hear the same stories repeating themselves, from the bottom to the top. Not the ‘top top’—the one percent— but successful people with high status, both educationally and financially, suffer too.
The common denominator is that people want to remain human. I hear stories from people in positions that they can no longer identify with as their roles do not resonate with their sense of integrity. Even if it is not outspoken, more and more people are aware that they hold positions as servants to the greed of this world.
i not only encounter this phenomenon in my one-to-one conversations with clients, I also see it in the simple act of shopping. The other day, I bought a new USB cable for
my phone. I admit it was a bargain (tired of the expensive ones that broke
down anyway). Tearing the seal open, I plugged in my phone, only to realise that nothing, absolutely nothing, happened. Not really surprised, still, of course, I was frustrated. Not personally so but ‘globally’ so. My individualistic need to have access to my phone would be put on hold for twenty-four hours. But my holistic concerns about where we are heading made me boil with anger.
What are we doing? Where are we heading? Manufacturing products that are useless straight out of the box when the earth is fighting for its survival. Having Mother Earth as my healing source, I’m sure you can understand that this upsets me, maybe even more so than most people. I am not much of a shopper, but it has happened to me once before, buying cheap stuff, being tempted to have something that looked good but that was just a pure trap, a consumer trap. Like the fake Birkenstock I bought that just lasted the walk from the aisle to the counter. Straps broke after three days and there was no way of repairing them.
Keeping up my positive thinking, I saw the benefit of being ‘phone less’ for the evening. The next day, going back to the shop, I was careful to explain that I was upset that products nowadays are broken even before you use them. The lovely lady at the counter fully agreed. She encouraged me to write to headquarters as she was very aware of the problem. Clearly, I was not the first to return a useless product. She said: “We tell management, but they don’t listen to their employees. The only complaints they take onboard are the ones coming directly from our customers.”
We live in a society where not only employees’ voices are no longer heard but many more voices are silenced. The voice of honesty, the voice of integrity and, more than anything, the voice of common sense. New, tighter rules seem to be introduced by the day, to keep the profits growing but sustainability and service declining. Most of all the voice of humanity is at stake. How far do we have to take it? The truth is nobody is happy to sell trash, nobody is happy to cheat and corrupt, nobody is happy to lose their humanity.
Reflecting on the trend to empower yourself to make it in an increasingly competitive world, I wonder if it is really the solution? Is the solution to accept a failing system and make yourself more powerful? Is the solution really for an already individualistic society to become even more individualistic? Is it human to think: “As long as I can make it, I don’t care if the system continues, the increasing injustices continue?”
Undoubtedly, if you empower yourself and you do your own thing, it is easier to set your own rules. The more empowered you become both as far as knowledge and finances are concerned, the more you can choose where you want to put your attention. You become freer to choose the ethical, the human and the sustainable. While waiting for that to happen, waiting for us to empower ourselves, to the point that we no longer must serve a system we do not agree with, let us be human.
Let us be human and kind because that is what makes us happy; we are not that different from each other. We know that real joy is to be found in real things and real connections are to be found in real conversations.
Meanwhile, I got a new golden USB cable with a five-year warranty. At the same time, I found out that somebody is developing a future for our phones void of cables. Now we just need to think sustainably in all the other areas of life, too. While waiting for the geniuses to get us back on track, let us remain human. Together.