During the year 1814 over 96,000 people visited Bethlam Royal Hospital (also known as Bedlam), to laugh at the mental patients. The visitors felt justified in doing so as the patients were considered to be “already destined for hell”.
Many clever people commented on the definitions and causes of madness. One could cast blame on the education system, the Government, family upbringing or financial security, but it came to pass that mental illness was thought ultimately to be caused by moral weakness. Due to this, photography was seen as having a use in treatment and delusional patients were confronted with the image of their real selves. It was thought that issues of morality should be addressed with methods of moral awakening and reason.
Despite the development of thought over the last 200 years, our perception of life remains a product of our understanding of life in general, at any point in time.
Every generation generally believes its wisdom to be advanced. However, this perceived advancement is purely relative to prior generations’ wisdom, so it follows that in numerous generations time our understanding of life will be far more advanced than now.
It is not that our current understanding is without merit, but instead that our current understanding is unlikely to be complete. This incompleteness is not solely horizontal across a timeline of history, but also vertical in terms of whom, at any point in time, has the most authentic, relevant and useful information to form the most complete understanding.
Let me explain.
We have challenges in society that must be addressed and in Great Britain it is the Government who has been elected to guide this. The understanding of life that they must apply can only be a combination of experience and thought (i.e. information) from the Members of Parliament, Civil Servants, and any other organisations or individuals they call upon for advice.
Thus the quality of Governmental decision is directly proportional to the authenticity, relevance and usefulness of Government’s understanding that in turn is directly proportional to the authenticity, relevance and usefulness of the information provided to Government.
Many announcements we see that relate to present issues happening in society are based, understandably, on solving real-time challenges – and to these, everyone has an opinion. Following that phase, the announcements will move towards the wider and deeper issues. Again, these will be met with opposing opinions to which we are totally granted the right to have.
We are charged with having faith that those who will guide us forward are armed with the authentic, relevant and useful information from which to form an understanding and make the best quality decisions.
There are options available if that faith isn’t within you and one of those options is to use the tools, platforms and channels we are armed with as citizens.
Maybe the collective voice of people can make a difference to how we move forward. After all, we have the ability to express ourselves more affordably than ever before.
Another option is to create or identify a political party that you do believe in, and either run for Parliament (if it is yours), or join/vote for it (if it is someone else’s).
We all have options and we all have accountability for our happiness and contentment. However, something that is not an option in a civilised society is violent, criminal destruction.
I defend anyone’s right to opinion and expression within the law, but when it manifests into ruining people’s lives and turning once safe streets into war zones, any opinion becomes invalid.
If one wants things to change, one must use the facilities available and allowed.
All else is mindless thuggish bullying that I find deeply repelling and ridiculous, primarily in its immature ineffectiveness.
“When we show our respect for other living things, they respond with respect for us.” Arapaho Proverb
Taken as an excerpt from ’28 Thoughts On Digital Revolution’ available from Amazon as a paperback and for kindle: http://jonathanmacdonald.com/books/