Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Loss of Value in Our Dystopian World

I woke up sporadically during the night with 'value' on my mind. Specifically the value of human beings but realizing that's the root of the issue that causes so much 'trickle down devaluation' resulting in the dystopian society we've created.

Yeah....this stuff keeps me awake at night.
So if you're looking for eye candy today....sorry.

We tend to think of 'dystopian worlds' to be just something of fiction.....and there are a lot of those worlds being written about and made into movies these days, think "Hunger Games" or "Divergent". (Interesting that so often it's a teen age girl who is the a time when women are having to fight for their rights again).

"A dystopia (from the Greek δυσ- and τόπος, alternatively, cacotopia, kakotopia, or anti-utopia) is a community or society that is in some important way undesirable or frightening. It is the opposite of a utopia. Such societies appear in many artistic works, particularly in stories set in a future."

I read a lot of dystopian novels simply because they feel more realistic to me than some Hollywood, happy ending, Prince Charming-saves-the-day, product placement drivel.   Also like the comedy of 'The Daily Show' and 'The Colbert Report' they are based on what is actually happening in our society right now.

If you aren't frightened by what's going on in our society right now and don't find it undesirable then you aren't paying attention.

The value of human life and the quality of it has dropped immensely in the past few decades. Money has become 'God'. Love is now for things not people. People have become expendable, dignity and personal choice...collateral damage. If you don't believe me go work in a long term care facility...the people doing the caring are so underpaid it's ridiculous and that means the level of care suffers. The elderly and sick are cast aside like waste. 
People are stepping stones to be used up and tossed aside, it's survival of the cold hearted, the ruthless.....the people who will make you promises and throw you under the bus in the next second.

And we often don't even wait to be devalued by others...we do it to ourselves. Every time we allow someone to treat us without respect, watch them treat others without respect and say nothing, do nothing we are contributing to the dystopia. Watch for people who accuse you of hurting them or being a terrible human being because you shared the bad thing they did with someone any abuser they don't want their 'sin' shown and they will accuse you of anything and everything in an effort to make you seem unbelievable. I've always believed people with nothing to hide, hide nothing. what has this got to do with beading you ask? Because this is a beading blog...right? 

The beading world is part of the rest of the world so it's relevant.
I did an experiment with my new store to see how I could offer free tutorials, which in future will be offered to my customers and not the world in general. Once I found that my store did not allow downloads without payment I was really happy and changed the section heading to "Free with Purchase" and that was working fine....people who bought from me were able to add the free tutorial to their cart.  However, a couple of people have found a way around it....and are disregarding the "with Purchase".  It totally saddens me. They place no value on me or my work. And that's just means I'll do something differently...figure out how to lock that door to the free loaders.

Now don't get me wrong....I do believe in people seeing what they are buying...a style of writing that works for them. However, I want to reward my paying customers...because I value YOU!  

I could have called this post "It's a Two-Way Street" because that's how I feel these days.  Enough of the "I don't want to feel beholden for everything you've done for me" meaning "I just want to take not reciprocate" attitude. 
I am so guilty of mis-placed generosity it's frightening.

How else do we devalue ourselves?  I often get messages or emails from people because I complimented a piece of their work saying "coming from you it means a lot".  Is that because I'm so gosh darned brilliant?'s simply because I don't go around ooing and ahhing, "Awesome!!!!"-ing everything I see posted on Facebook. I really look at the design sound, colors well done, does it move me? Is it original? I don't say something is bad, I keep my mouth shut or fingers off the keyboard.
My point is: If everything is "awesome" then the value of "awesome" is gone. It  can be a great feeling to have someone compliment your work by saying "It's beautiful, brilliant design" and then you see them say the same thing to the most ugly, bad designed thing you've ever seen or the most simple, trite thing and their opinion diminishes.  It's lost it's value.

The generation that came after mine seemed to get so much of this....being told they were great when they were just average...or worse. I'd feel badly for them....set up for a life of not making the grade when they hit the real world. But it seems to have bred a sense of entitlement and a lowering of standards, it's rare to see good work ethic any more.  I remember 10 or 12 years ago hiring for a seasonal position and a sixteen year old showing up for an interview with an application form stating he expected to be paid $15 an hour plus full benefits...I laughed.   

A good thing I saw yesterday....cos let's finish this ramble on society with something hopeful. 

The local news was actually encouraging trade schools, saying not everyone needs to get a bachelor's and a master's degree. They compared salaries of someone coming out of university after 4 to 6 years with that of someone who learned a trade...and I'm sure a lot of people changed their mind about university.  They showed people working with their collar stuff...wonderful!
Because....if our world goes the way of the dystopian novels those are the people who will survive and flourish....the people with skills. The people who know how to spin wool, weave fabric, make clothes over those who know how to swipe a credit card and buy something. The people who know how to feed themselves, hunt, forage, grow. The people who can make and fix things. 

And there is a rebellion coming. History tells us that. 

I'd love to say that we could turn it all around by valuing each other but I think it's too late. I'll continue to value people, see their worth and reward it as I can but my time of valuing the people who only see worth in what they can get for free is over.  I relocated to "Two Way Street".


  1. I admire that you care. I confess that I am no longer the Pollyanna I was in my youth and I was such a Pollyanna. She still come out once in a while but no longer do I think positive and hopeful about society. I've pretty much lost that and exist mostly within the holes of my beads. I'm thankful that I have no children except the fur kind. Society is depressing and I despair of change for the better in my lifetime. So I will continue to escape into the holes in my pretty little beads.

    1. Yes! We escape into our little pockets be it beads, clay, whatever. We have to. If we do see what is happening and know what happened in history (The French Revolution for example) we know it's just a matter of time. I chose not to have children except the fur kind and am definitely thankful I made that choice.

    2. Agreed, I think revolution is coming too. If the powers that be are wise they will see the writing on the wall and perhaps start to change society into one that cares more about people than about dollars, but I don't see it. The English were saved from revolution in part by Dickens who woke the aristocracy to the plight of the poor. I wonder if anyone can do it for the West today. At least I have no children, except furry ones, whose future I need worry about.

    3. My daughter is expecting my first grandchild in December and I really worry about this babies future as well as my daughter's . What sort of a world will this baby grow up in? Not the one I did unfortunately. To-days society sickens me.

  2. Very valid post Mikki, I totally agree with you.


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