lucila soto

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Whole Earth Catalog + Visual Thinker Essay Inspired. September 22, 2008

Filed under: Heartfelt — Lucila Soto @ 1:29 pm

We are as gods and might as well get good at it. So far, remotely done power and glory ”as via government, big business, formal education, church” has succeeded to the point where gross defects obscure actual gains. In response to this dilemma and to these gains a realm of intimate, personal power is developing ” power of the individual to conduct his own education, find his own inspiration, shape his own environment, and share his adventure with whoever is interested. Tools that aid this process are sought and promoted by the WHOLE EARTH CATALOG”.[WEC].

photo 2(4)Two different input sources became in hand to me recently thanks to 2 close and influential persons. First, the graphic appropriation via a switch-plates of various quotes from The Whole Earth Catalogue. Then, an email containing a link to Douglas Coupland essay “Visual Thinkers” for Granta Magazine.

Given the environment I’m currently in, I became confronted with the thought of excellence and exceeding as human being. These might mean a wide range of things to the ever-prone-to-self-indulgence-and-non-committed human race, but where I really want to take this diatribe is to the radical importance of efforts and initiatives to positively transform, or at least influence the thought, belief and habits of large groups of people as means of producing a better world. Sounds dreamlike right?

First, I totally agree with the WEC on that we have to take, each one of us individually, the educational growth of oneself, leaving it to 3rd parties makes life easier but produces large amounts of cattle-mentality thinkers, no matter how prestigious or “exclusive” that education might be the only real education begins with what we learn from our family and then from what we procure to ourselves. I know visual thinkers are formed over the years thanks to input from very early years: inquisitive thinkers are as much.

We, as species are naturally curious, kids with lazy parents might get scolded for asking too many whys? instead of getting their curiosity satisfied. I think that is why at some point in adulthood one loses its will to fantasize and speculate. Other than philosophers or scientists, few of us theorize on a daily basis and more regretfully, the vast majority loses even the awareness of their surroundings.

This awfully sad and eye-opening experience happened to me just the other day. I went to the nearest cheeseburger chain, just wanted to get my combo for lunch. It was lunch time so the place was packed and the service was slow. All of the sudden I spotted an old guy – and I mean old as in 75 years-old – on uniform just cleaning the self-service refreshment machine while a kid was making a mess of it, just pushing the buttons randomly and splashing Sprite® all over the pace. Of course the mother didn’t even notice. Shish! Just remembering the sad-tired face of that guy makes my heart ache.
I turned the other way, just to notice that behind the counter an old lady was assembling the burgers, working her arthritic and delicate hands like crazy to keep the costumers happy. No sooner had I spotted this, when I noticed a man with a lame leg dragging a broom & bucket beside him, cleaning all the trash the kids and parents were throwing around, mostly without even noticing. The worst part is that all the while, everyone there except of me was oblivious to these sights. Everyone was just there munching, screaming, playing, having the nicest time ever.

To my right, 2 costumers waiting -such as I- for their order started complaining for the slow service between them, saying that they better complain to the manager. At this point I was really annoyed and disgusted. I’m usually prone to the laissez-faire, laissez-passer philosophy but couldn’t refrain myself, turned around and told the bitches something like: Hey, have you noticed the lady making the burgers could be your mother?. That got me a couple of nasty looks but at the same time they looked at the old lady and finally zipped. Really the poverty level in people’s minds was frightening, they were totally blind to their surroundings and the real meaning of living in a poor 3rd world country with a 2-book average per year, and a total lack of respect or even awareness of the crude reality of others. Total lack of consciousness, that is what we have come to. I don’t know if this kinda stuff only happens here or if it’s a world wide phenomena but it really makes me wonder about staying here for long.

To close-up, I do agree the very best education is the responsible one we can give to our children and all the people we cherish, and I mean education for being a good human being, this means tools for understanding and keeping the eyes wide-open all life long. The perfect state, as I see it. is to maintain the curiosity all life long and to expand the learning stage as far as possible, be critical about knowledge but always humane.