The Struggle Of Our Age

The Struggle Of Our Age

In the 2006 movie The Devil Wears Prada, Anne Hathaway plays the role of Andy Sachs, the fashion ignorant assistant of the powerful and merciless senior executive of a fashion magazine, Miranda Priestly (played by Meryl Streep). In one scene titled Cerulean Sweater, Andy laughs at two assistants trying to decide between two seemingly indistinguishable belts. Miranda retaliates, mocking Andy's blue sweater: "You go to your closet and you select out, oh I don't know, that lumpy blue sweater... But what you don't know is that that sweater is not just blue, it's not turquoise, it's not lapis, it's actually cerulean. You're also blithely unaware of the fact that in 2002, Oscar De La Renta did a collection of cerulean gowns ... then cerulean quickly showed up ... [in] department stores ... [and into] some clearance bin ... You're wearing the sweater that was selected for you by the people in this room".

What is selected for us by others is not just limited to clothes. What ve are taught, what we think, how we "view the world" and our most fundamental assumptions and ideologies are also selected for us. We learn to conform, be complacent, and even be complicit. We wear the "blue sweater" as if we chose it ourselves, with our own free will. We rarely examine our deepest assumptions which determine our outlook, which in turn shape our thoughts and actions.

Political and social scientists attempt to categorize our outlook. Even when we don't necessarily self-identify as such, they frame our ideology using terms like conservative, libertarian, liberal or radical. They postulate that the source of most human conflict is attributable to ideology. They may be partially right when they assume that the struggle of our age continues to be a struggle between competing ideologies, perspectives, religions and priorities, but it may actually be more than that; "All" unknowingly assumed ideology is most likely dangerous...

In the early 21st century, we are facing imminent ecological, social and economical issues that threaten our very existence as a species. We need to wake up. We can not continue to blindly follow ideologies selected for us by others. The true struggle of our age is not between competing ideologies, but rather, whether or not we free ourselves of all ideology, wake up, and reconsider all our assumptions and priorities. That is, if we do care about our children and our grandchildren.
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