The Short-Term Conundrum

in shortterm •  5 months ago

Complete the race, finish the test, life in the fast lane, the need for speed … our lives in the goal driven society frequently pushing for the achievement, the conquest, the metric, the numerical signifiers.

Capitalism is about building and growing the fastest and beating #2 to the chase. Education is about rising to the top of your class, the others be damned. Relationships can even become a numbers game, how many friends do you have, how many likes, how many “followers”, etc. (What kind of society gleefully promotes people as “followers” anyways?)

The emphasis is on the quick fix, achieving for oneself here and now, measuring outcomes within the framework of ourselves, not concerned about the greater picture neither in time nor space. It matters not what is left to the future or the situation in other lands, it’s about the signifiers I’ve accumulated today, this month, this year.

The corporation is bought and raided, leaving a hollow shell for employees without pensions, benefits or futures. The homes are bought and flipped before the prices crash. Equities are traded in a dizzying computation of calculations to turn a profit or a loss in microseconds. Political movements and social trends blaze for some months before a new phase subsumes the old. Trending topics, controversies, and gossip flip, sputter, and die between the rising and setting of the sun.

Into the great vacuum cleaner of our superficial commerce and societal chatter enter multitudes of empty thoughts and empty containers to be disposed of daily. As we try to preserve a contrived system salivating on greed and possession, we lose the long-term sustainability which is now easily obtainable via our present knowledge and technology, if only correctly applied. Only through a greater trust will we be collectively able to see… and go the distance.


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