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Is real life what we want? Could we cope with reality?
It often appears that we—that is modern people living in developed nations—live our lives through images of other people. Some seem to want to live their lives through their children, wishing they live as their parents would liked to have done. Could any of us cope with "real life," whatever that means?
We elect governments in the expectation that once elected, the people involved will act in the best interest of ourselves, our loved ones, and the nation for the future, but how realistic are these expectations?
We all have our favourite film stars and favourite characters in books and TV shows. Many of us follow the careers of particular sports people or teams of sporting endeavour. Many follow the antics of “reality” celebrities on various forms of media. We may, subconsciously, wish to identify with the images or parts played; we would like to be the one speaking words written by a favourite author. We revel in the success of sports players and suffer when they have failures. Do those who have belief in religion or powerful spiritual forces wish to hand over the responsibility for their lives to God? Do they live by religious laws and observances, simply in order to avoid “life” decisions?
How connected to the reality of life are we? Very few of those of us who live in western nations feed ourselves by our own efforts, totally removed from any form of supply or support that comes from others. We are governed by rules and laws made by other people; some rules and laws made so long ago that the whole perception of life has changed since they were made. These rules and laws are made by people with the same disconnection from “life” that we have ourselves. Governance is carried out—by definition—by those with power. Power to alter lives of others. The vast majority of us who are the governed have no power, and so there is an immediate disconnection between our lives and those who make our laws. The media often resorts to claiming this or that politician is “out of touch with the common people,” since the elected person works in a place, and a way, that very few people will ever experience, it is certain that all politicians are out of touch. The very nature of their power and their methods of working, make this to be expected.
How can we connect with real life? Do we even know what real life is? and even if we can reconnect, do we want to? People are often happier with their images, you only have to consider the weeping and wailing on social media, if some icon of perfection is shown to be a long way from their generated image and so far from perfect. It is the same with politics. Does anyone really expect a far-left socialist to work towards an economic climate where enterprise can flourish? Does anyone think a far-right multimillionaire will lead the country to equality and togetherness? Why is there surprise when people, who have moved from a university study of politics, to work for a particular party, then become a candidate financed by the same party, and end up a puppet to the bureaucrats and party machines. In the 21st century political arena, there is no room for the independent thinker, no room for a newcomer to party politics, no room for anyone who actually is directly connected to the real life of voters. If such a person existed, where would they get the money to pay for an election campaign, and even if they could finance this themselves, why would they bother? A truly independent member of any elected body would find themselves alone, isolated, without the slightest chance of influencing government.
Being connected with real life is a disadvantage in modern politics. Being able to generate and manipulate false images are the big assets. George Orwell was the pen name of a writer who wrote so prophetically that so much has become our reality. Our connection to real life is as limited as that of the characters in Brave New World. Being in connection with the real world is now a disadvantage since it breeds a discontent that cannot be smoothed away. Life has changed, reality has changed. The rural ideal of tending livestock and crops to feed the family is nonexistent. Tax collectors, health and safety officers, water boards—not to mention ecology protection enforcers—have destroyed the myth of a rustic perfect life swathed in nature's harmony. Reality is now whatever part of the TV output we choose to believe.