Anne Louise Germaine Necker de Staël-Holstein by artist Marie-Eleonore Godefroid
On the precipice of a country revolving backwards to embrace the worst of past atrocities I am left with one word that signifies the last 6 years of back-peddling. Disillusionment. The present should always represent hope, a mirror of reflection that informs our daily journeys and morals with a keen eye to bettering our future. I have never been so disillusioned or distraught about our future as a species.
We’ve somehow lost true understanding of key definitions of human nature: kindness, empathy, chivalry, character, and moral fiber, to name a few. I’m not talking the Disney movie type, but the flawed kind with dirty hands, no white horses, moments of anger and immediate remorse. That is real, that is human. We’ve replaced these aspirations with greed, gluttony, self-righteousness, self-centeredness, and bullying pulpits of arrogance. We have centuries of lessons on why religion should not have power to dictate behavior, yet the hold and destruction continues without accountability. No one NEEDS religion to be good. That is a fact.
Disillusioned masses cannot help a society function if stuck in the fear of rebuttal. Divided we are conquered, pure and simple. Prostate we are harmful to the most vulnerable. Clearly, I do not have the answers for what will make us work together for the betterment of human kind. This is where we all sit in our disbelief, our shame, our utter demoralizing fear.
I write, because screaming at the top of my lungs remains unsatisfying. We have a crippled world right now, because gluttonous wealthy soul-less creatures have found out that philanthropy will no longer puff their egos, charity work no longer lift their external facade. So money is horded in off shore accounts, loaded into accounts for offspring to spend on million dollar birthday parties. We see them wholly and it is the most frightening presence we cannot seem to comprehend. How do we make philanthropy stylish again and hold businesses, no matter how large, accountable and rewarded for good, punished for bad.
It is important that we all openly question where there are no clear answers. This is the time for philosophy, art, and historical oratory and performance in every medium. The humanities are called upon when there is no clarity, there is only darkness. We can be led out of the gloom, but we need brave souls mirrored from the past of flawed characters who passionately stood up against the odds and said “no more”.
Social media and lack of strong journalism from our networks and news sources have left us rudder-less. Social media has become our only fast reliable source, but it is also our most cut-throat, evil mean spirited medium.
This should be a time of invention and creation. There has never been a time where access and exposure to information, regardless of economics is at an all time high, yet few take full advantage except in the game playing, suspending reality venue. I see nothing wrong with escapism in moderation, if weighed with deep learning, deep questioning seeking sources of wonderment.
Who are we, really? What are we actually capable of? Is the answer going to be destruction or greatness. It is literally ours to decide. Germaine Necker de Stael died on her return to Paris after a sojourn through England and Europe in disillusionment. She disliked Napoleon immensely. Things don’t seem to change much when progress is met with tyranny. I’m with you Madame de Stael.