Milgram’s 37 (we do what we are told) by Peter Gabriel from the wonderful “So” album is related to the Milgram experiment. This was a social experiment by the late Stanley Milgram that showed how many people were actually prepared to give a possibly lethal shock to another if told to do it.
Within this one line is one our biggest crimes. With this excuse we have committed the worst acts throughout history.
We do what we are told…
This beautiful song came to mind when watching something that turned me back onto my original course and not take the easy way out.
It feels so much easier to give it all up and use the ethics and tools that are laid out in front of me, knowing that I just need to follow them and my immediate problems would go away. Well proven techniques begin used by so many that make money by selling nothing but hope to those that need money. With the problems that face anybody in this world and recent failures then thoughts were going through my mind about giving it up and not caring for others. Nobody would judge me if I built up on the thin moral ethics of selling empty promises. It seemed apparently obvious to me that no one would care for us, so why should we go without? The whole system that is possible reminds me also of the Mannfred Mann’s “Angel Station” lyrics , “We’ll make the needy pay. There’s more money that way!” in Resurrection.
But my heart went out to the real problems of the world and why I should never be so self centred.
I caught the end of a program on the television about just three children in Zimbabwe’s Forgotten Children.
Jezza Neumann was the Director and Cameraman and Xoliswa Sithole the Producer of this documentary telling the stories of the children living currently in the now infrastructurally destroyed Zimbabwe.
This is a story that reminds you that there really is something worth fighting for out there. Something that needs to be done and cannot be ignored. The story is only of three children and it is worth keeping this in perspective , it is but a tip of the iceberg. It does give you a very personal insight into what is going on in the world that must be put right.
There is a website especially set up for this documentary at http://www.zimbabweschildren.org, it went down just after the program was shown on TV last night but I see it is back up now. Useful at time like that to add “cache:” to the front of the URL in Google to see any sites that are floundering in heavy traffic.
The documentary is available on BBC iPlayer for the next several days but will be removed after. Luckily it is available on YouTube and can be found here (but the author has disallowed embedding so I couldn’t conveniently have them all on this page) :
The images and suffering are striking:
- Seeing a little girl in pain suffering from starvation.
- Seeing them suffer from their mother slowly and eventually dying of HIV/AIDS and no one to look after them.
- Seeing the children being forced out of the only schooling they can ever receive because their parents have no money to pay the school fees.
- Seeing the only remaining teachers struggling without pay to keep on teaching the children with dwindling resources.
- Seeing the children digging up cow bones in the hope of selling them to a sugar refinery nearby to be used in bleaching the sugar white (What is that all about! I am sure a few Vegans will want to know!).
- Learning of some of the children that weren’t recorded killed by their grandmother who poisoned herself and two girls because they couldn’t live through this hell.
- Seeing the representatives of the government and its system “Doing As They Are Told” and blinding themselves to the suffering that they cause by making the excuse “What Can They Do?”
We Do As We Are Told…
Under these words lie the most horrific atrocities in history. Following through fear the ones in power and causing pain, anguish, loss of life, cruelty and hopelessness. There is so much that can be written here considering the horrors of the recent and the World Wars that still have their impact on people living today.
We Do As We Are Told?
We are worlds away from this aren’t we?
What can we do about it?
We are the most fortunate generations in history. Never before has everyone in the developed world had the chance to organise themselves instantly and globally to work together. Information is becoming freer, hopefully one day absolutely free.
Every person has within them a degree of empathy for the life and people that they see around them. Empathy for people never seen or known before.
If you see a loved one in trouble you would move heaven and earth to put things right for them.
Why are we so removed from these children that we allow this to happen?
Why do we allow any unnecessary suffering to take place when collectively our voices can be organised with such a strong force that we can remove any of these injustices.
We are going through a phase of social gathering joining up collectively in innumerable ways to communicate, share ideas, play and work together.
We have seen the selflessness of the developers of the world join up in ways to create things like Open Source and most of the infrastructure of the web.
For the first time in history we have the ability to join together to create a system, not owned by anyone, but everyone.
Not commercial, not corporate, not governmental but ONE absolute sharing of our world and beyond.
To expand on Peter Gabriel’s lyrics, I hope he doesn’t mind, we must stop doing as we are told but do as we feel is right, using, creating if need be, our highest ideals possible to give direction to the whole system. Every person that ever existed has inside them the same basic ideals, we just need to agree with each other on them. On what they mean.
Ideals of love, honesty, truth, equality and many others are all irrefutable and permanently embedded within all of us. We need hope, imagination, caring and empathy to bring it all together into existence and remove tyranny and unnecessary suffering forever.
Let’s all have “one doubt”, that so far all the systems that have ever existed before now have allowed inequality and the ruthless power of one over another. We have ended up doing as we are told because we are scared of the consequences and the ones that have the power. Together we can share this world. We are at the point in history of having “One Voice” to fight “One War” agreeing to “One Truth” and having “One Dream”.
This war is against anything that causes pain and suffering. It is against anything that causes any one of us to hurt another. This one truth is the agreement of what is right between all people. This one dream is to be able to equally take part in everything that is important to the whole world and not the select few.
This is a global problem but I found it to be closer to home than I imagined.
I can see this system is inherent between ourselves to cause us to ignore the plight of others. The question to ask yourself is – If you were desperate, you needed help, advice or assistance, then who would you ask? What would be their answer? Do you even think you will get an answer? I have tried this in different forms myself and realised that there is something seriously wrong with the way we care for each other.
“We Do What We Are Told” because we fear the ones who have the power to affect us. Either financially or physically. They are in their position because they have the power and either have become hardened to anyone but their own gain or afraid of losing it.
Well they certainly would lose it if everything was made equal. They are fewer in number but causing the problem. What system made them this way? Are they naturally like this? Or does a system exist that removes their empathy with those around them. Like me I feel, going through this phase, you must look after yourself right? I don’t blame them, I cannot, I am the same, it is so easy to succumb to this. The excuse maybe that no one cares for you anyway and you must be like this, you have to look after your own family first?
The world isn’t really like that, honest, just think of the reaction you get when you see someone in distress. Watch the videos, how do you feel, you want to help don’t you? If you could do something immediately you would wouldn’t you? This is our nature, we need to do things at the moment, to know that we are doing something that immediately helps the target, not later, when other matters will fill our mind but right away, when the help is needed. The world communication and collaboration will hopefully one day collapse upon itself into a singular purposeful system as I suggested back in Beyond One World. You will one day be able to have the power and the ability to immediately set off a process to help those in need. This will be without having to cross someone in power, they will not exist, but for the power of everyone equally making decision. When a disaster occurs, we will all be able to set of chains of events to immediately help those in need, no governments to cross because the system we all agree to will replace it.
Now I consider where I am – the reason I am here now. My goals are wrapped up in Beyond One World, it is something that I truly believe in and have thought about in one form or another since childhood. However, I am here now in the Internet Marketing world to learn how to communicate, to learn the technologies and social systems that are needed to form the basis for it.
I am probably unusual in the respect that I see many Internet Marketers as pioneers and actually philanthropists in some cases. They are testing and pushing the boundaries of a new world that exists but mostly doing it for commercial return, that is just the state of the system we live in now.
I must keep to the principles that I believe in going forward, I must find a way of doing this honestly and for mutual benefit, to build up an empire going forward that can be given back. My idealism has been painful, I have had my own personal obstacles to beat as does anyone embarking on this journey. We all have to beat the constant learning and doing nothing problem, we all have to overcome disbelief and failures, we all have to find out what works and what doesn’t in this ever changing market. We all have to learn how to survive and feed our families if we do it full time.
The real question comes when you have found a way forward, how will it change you? Will you hoard it? Use other people, just because quite simply you can easily? If someone asks you for help in trying to find their way will you ignore them? Will you use your resources to help others find their way?
The final leaders in the world going forward will be the ones who help the most, they will be the ones who most will listen to and respect. The only power centre that will remain will be the one of contribution.
I nearly changed direction completely and gave in to examples of work that although profitable would have only taken money from the ones who really needed it. Strangely looking back on the journey I realise I wouldn’t have learned a few important things unless I had experienced the failures that I have had. With what is out there in front of me I do still feel like I am the hungry mouse squeaking defiantly at the moon to stop, believed to be made of cheese, to stop and feed all the mice in the world – a certain evolution and learning has to take place first.
Now for me it is back to work with some urgency or I will lose everything. To leave this subject for a while until I am self sufficient enough to be able to spend time on it and to learn from others.
I certainly am not clever enough to know, even possibly naïve about what is to be done and don’t have the answers.
But I have the direction…
I am certainly going to learn from what others tell me but I will decide when and where and how I will do as I am told.
Here we go… Some hard work to get on with.