MYTH 1: Industrialization is the Plan of Happiness; Competition Breeds Success
The sense of well-being has been dwindling the more the global culture shifts towards industrialization. Depression, divorce, division, poverty, crime, and corruption seem to go hand in hand with fast-paced, stressful, urban living. Symptoms of complex PTSD such as stress, anxiety, and loneliness are on the rise. The industrialization plan of happiness myth re-shaped our culture from a family focused society to a work focused society. If industrialization is the plan of happiness, cities should be full of the happiest people on earth. Alas, Gallop polls show that this is not the case. Stress is 23% higher in America, the most industrialized nation in the world. Industrialization does not ensure happiness.
The workplace is described as a competitive environment surrounded by people who have the stated goal to “crush the competition.” Emotional deprivation is common in such an environment. In times past, families worked together plowing, haying, canning, tanning and other productive activities. The people you worked with were family members who loved you. In an industrialized society, the workplace has replaced the family for the majority of the hours of the day. Replacing the family with the workplace has had dire consequences on our collective sense of well-being. A competitive environment will never provide our Essential Human Need for belonging.
MYTH 2: Health Care Keeps You Healthy
Energy and vitality is depleted when people are under a lot of stress. The Health Care Industry and pharmaceutical companies profit from you being sick and in need of their goods and services. They feel no obligation to prevent illness, only treat it for you. They feel no obligation to teach you self-care strategies or to lobby against harmful side affects. The foods provided by the corrupted food industry also plays a role in illness and disease. One seems to feed the other. In any case, no one is one your side, but instead they have agendas that are a conflict of interest with your best interests. The Medical Insurance Companies take your monthly premiums but often have agendas that work in conflict with you rather than being on your side. Self-care is the only way to prevent illness and disease.
MYTH 3: It’s Best to Separate into Age Groups:
When society’s focus changed from the family to the workforce, members of the family were geographically divided during the best hours of every day and the best years of every life. Not only are we separated from our parents and grandparents at an early age, but we are also separated from our siblings. Children are handed off to the childcare and school systems to be separated into age groups rather than developing family bonds. A teacher-student ratio of one to 30 is supposed to be better than one-to-one loving care from parents and grandparents at home. Children are educated and prepared by the school system to take their obedient place in the workforce, rather than to discover and develop their life purpose. The workforce is then separated into cubicles and not allowed to talk to each other. Family members are not allowed to work together, or it is called “nepotism,” as if family members are to be avoided. Retired adults continue to be separated by age groups into senior communities and assisted living facilities.
MYTH 4: It’s Best Not Talk to Strangers:
In my lifetime the social standards completely changed. We once believed “It takes a village to raise a child.” Now we teach our children, “Don’t talk to strangers.” Which actually means, “Assume all people are bad and may want to harm you.” We teach our children to fear any interaction that was not pre-arranged. This is the perfect description of “hypervigilance” that often follows abuse. Cultural trust is at an all time low. Why is society as a whole acting like they have been abused? I remember as a child I would enter a store by myself and would encounter friendly store owners who knew me. Now I walk into a corporate-owned superstore where I never see the same person twice and certainly don’t know anyone by name. The village that once raised a child doesn’t exist anymore.
MYTH 5: It’s Best to Live in Single-Family Dwellings:
In times past, multi-generational households in tight-knit communities worked well for everyone involved. The grandparents offered their households childcare, meal preparation, gardening, food production or handy man help around the house while their adult children carried on the “mom and pop” businesses to support the household. The entire family worked towards a common goal of financial security and there was much for the next generation to inherit. The community also helped raise the children to feel connected and productive. Today, the financial strain of maintaining separate households for every member of the family is one of a multitude of pressures that go along with industrialized family life. The helpful community was replaced by faceless government assistance programs.
MYTH 6: It’s Best to “Get a Job” and Move Out at 18:
Parents no longer own a family business to hand down to their adult children. Children do not learn their father’s trade. The pursuit of a life purpose has been replaced by the development of “marketable skills.” The only guidance offered to the next generation is to “get a job,” because the corporations that ousted the “mom and pop” businesses have become the only source of financial opportunities. Young adults are encouraged to plug into the corporate machine to help move the gears forward. This myth states that “any job is honorable” and as long as you have “a job” you are an upstanding member of society. However, to support a system that might be preventing highest well-being rather than promoting it, makes no sense. This industrialized cultural myth says that each rising generation must be forced to start from scratch with no spring board to jump from. It has become a cultural shame to live with parents past the age of 18, however according to a 2008 University of Oxford study teens in multigenerational households had fewer emotional and behavioral problems. Living in a multigenerational household shoulders the financial burdens of young adults as they grow and develop skills that will support them throughout their lives. When a young adult is expected to move out into the uncertainty of financial independence at the beginning of their financial careers, there is undue stress and pressure that can impact the well-being and potential growth of our young people. These young adults should be valued as the bright future and hope, bringing funds into the household as soon as possible, rather than considered a burden that should be separated from the family as early as possible, to make his way on his own.
MYTH 7: Retire at 65
In the past, grandparents and great grandparents were treasured by the community as the trusted wise ones with the greatest amount of practical and spiritual knowledge and experience. In an industrialized culture when things get old, they are no longer useful, and are therefore disposable. Elders are no longer of use to “the workforce” and must go into retirement where they often live at poverty level. Our elders die alone and lonely, or if they have enough money, in a facility with others who are in the same predicament. It wasn’t long before the corporations saw this niche as a money-making opportunity, offering a variety of levels of assisted living facilities. The honor that should be given to the wisdom of age goes uncelebrated. The precise time when people are at their best and most valuable based upon their accumulated wisdom and experience, they are replaced by younger people in the workplace. The consolation is that one day retirement will be one long vacation. In reality, the majority of retirees don’t have the money to go anywhere. This is the perfect age to take leadership positions in the community and the family, but in our culture we set them aside.
Making a New Plan
Arc7.org is an alliance of people planning to build an arcology that gives those who live there the ability to re-think and re-design a new socio-economic governance system. People who join us will have the luxury of creating their own social norms. They will be able to function separately within a global society without abandoning it, being controlled by it, or trying to change it. They will have the rare opportunity to advance into higher thinking without being held back by those who are not ready for change. They will create a new way of life for those who want it and allow others to make their own choices to join at a later time. Loved ones are welcome to visit the arcology for vacations until they desire to contribute to the financial security of the arcology and reap the benefits of arcology living.