Everyone has the potential to have a large and positive impact on society and the world. Albert Einstein once said , “Everybody is a genius, but if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.”
Contemporary society currently limits a large group of our population from reaching there full potential. Social norms, our educational systems, and capitalistic/materialistic incentives limit human’s ability to reach there full potential. In other words, society creates a setting where only certain people can succeed and rise to the top. This allows only a small percentage of the population to produce ideas, makes changes, and influence the world in a positive way. Ultimately limiting our nations growth and dirversity. Here is an example:
A friend of mine named billy has always been known for being “stupid”. I am no outlier, I have called him an idiot on multiple occasions. Im sure every stereotypical American friend group has there “idiot” friend. If I had a quarter for every time I insulted bill’s intelligence, I would be able to pay off Americas debt. Despite this, there are times that I have seen bill’s true gift. When I am blessed to have the chance to see it, I am left in awe. He is someone who never has had to read instructions, he intuitively can see how something should be put together. He is someone who could learn a complex topic quicker then I ever could if it required hands on focus, was stimulating, and was challenging. When he overcomes his low intelligences stemmed confidence issues, he will tell me about industriative and brilliant ideas that make me envious. The moral of this example is that billy has never had the opportunity to succeed and the chance to grow. He has remained in a stagnant state due to societies con-formative norms and our outdated/biased educational system. (industriative should be a word, it currently is not… it is now)
Our society operates in a very convergent manner. Social norms and subconscious societal rules push people to converge. This convergent is further incentivized by the fake concept of popularity and acceptance. It causes people to become similar, act in similar ways, and it strips human nature of its creativity and individualism. People like Billy, who could have been a influential member of society, will never have the opportunity to express is ideas and expand his mind. (This has no political reference of biases, I have never watched or payed attention to politics)
Besides social norms, our educational system favors a certain demographic of people. The people who don’t fit into that demographic, will develop slower and reach a point of stagnation as well. The people who excel in this setting are usually the people who move to the top and are deemed “intelligent”. This is a major problem in our educational system. It leaves people like billy and many other who don’t learn or benefit from a linear educational mechanism. The educational system is outdated and unfit for contemporary society. Change needs to happen. Change need to happen where people can be put into programs (not specialization) but educational systems where they will benefit the most based off there interest, personality type, learning style, IQ, emotional intelligence, and a plethora of other factors. These can be based off the applicable research which is currently an exploding area of exploration.
Materialistic and capitalistic incentives (money, luxury, and capital) are the primary drivers for society. Money is everyone’s ultimate concern, it takes advantage of human natures greed and exploits it for benefit. Benefit that only effects the people at the top, the wealthiest and most influential people. This is currently the biggest problem with our society . An example for how a materialistic society effects the people who live in it is like this: Think of a bottle with a thin neck which leads to the lid. In the bottle are all of us who live in the United States. Social norms and our educational systems create the neck of the bottle. wealth , influence, power, and fame are earned when you get out of the bottle. To get out of the bottle and reach gain these benefits, you must be the best at societies game. This game is to be the best at fitting social norms, succeeding in a linear and biased educational system, and earning capital. People who are also brilliant and could have an abstract and beneficial influence on society , but do not fit social norms, the educational biased learning style, will be trapped at the bottum. This is to preserve the power the people at the tops have. This philosophy called the Rack effect is correlated with the distribution of wealth in the United States. It is also correlated with intelligence and education levels. The fact that it correlates with education level is a huge indicator that the better fit you are to succeed in America’s educational system, the further up the bottle you will get. It is a trap to keep people on the bottom and keep society ignorant. It is a huge problem and has to be realized by people for change to occur. I understand that money has an extremely important role in society, it incentives people to work hard and push there limits. On the other side, It also causes people to realize there “potential” and settle. Potential is not a real thing, it is an abstract idea created by society so that people won’t reach to get to the top of the bottle. The distribution of wealth couldn’t agree with the Rack theory any more. If social norms developed in another manner and our educational system was fit towards a different demographic, then the people currently at the top could be at the bottom. We need to find a bottle that has no neck. We need to reform society to create a world where everyone can embrace their genius and benefit society. Imagine a world where we could operate like this. It would be the next leap in human ingenuity.
Now changing these concepts and ideologies will lead to many problems and before change is done a multitude of variables have to be considered. If anyone is reading this they probably think I’m some communist or something since I’m indirectly attacking capitalist and materialistic incentives. I am not saying that we need to change, but as a society we need to make these realizations. We need to take them into consideration when we interact with people . We need to take them into consideration when we make educational reform, alter our economic models, and when we act socially in the world. Never settle. Everyone is a genius, believe in yourself, and climb the tree. Human’s are believed to originate from fish (not entirely accurate I know). If you’re currently a fish, you may one day be able to climb the tree. You just need to grow legs. Please keep these ideas in mind when the topic of social, educational, and economic reform pop up. Also this is just my opinion, I would love to hear yours wether it agrees or disagrees. None of this was meant to be offensive , but if it was , I don’t give a fuck. Thank you for your time !