“What is the stars?,” asked “Captain” Jack Boyle in Irish playwright Sean O’Casey’s famous work “Juno and the Paycock.” In that case, it is mindless drivel offered by a brainless character with no ability, or desire, to explore deep themes in this world or any other.
Such exploration can be undertaken, but it is challenging for anyone who wants to try it, and in her book “So Far From Home” Margaret J. Wheatley offers several views on the world, the dark details, that she maintains are simple, if negative, observations about our world.
Wheatley’s hope, in outlining an array of gloomy facts, is that readers will engage with them, even if they disagree strongly. The point is not to send off a fiery email to the author but to ponder the ideas, looking for new roadmaps. Here are some dark details about our present world:
- It is a world of intensifying emotions and positions moving to extremes, where anger has become rage, opponents have become enemies, dislike has become hatred, sorrow has become despair.
- It is a world in which critical thinking scarcely exists, where there is no distinction between facts and opinions.
- It is a world that discredits science as mere opinion, yet still wants science to give us health, long life, security and a way out of our problems.
- It is a world growing more meaningless as lives are taken over by values of consumption, greed and self-interest.