(Theodosia, MO) – Is our society healthy? How would we know?
Jay Jacobs, of Dora, presented a method for determining the health of a society at the Oct. 5 meeting of the Ozarks Neighborly Exchange (ONE) in Theodosia.
Jacobs said requirements for a healthy society are surprisingly similar to those for a healthy person.
A person operates mentally (thoughts), emotionally (feelings), and physically (actions). Thoughts have the goal of generating understanding; this requires truth and freedom. Emotions are the expression of feelings; their goal is safety and comfort. This requires trust in something or someone.
Our bodies are sustained physically by the flow of energy (air, water, food) through them, Jacobs said. When that stops, the body dies.
Society is similar, but with functions institutionalized. The societal parallel of thought is culture. Institutions (religion, arts, science) are designed to help provide understanding. Again, truth and freedom are essential.
Collective feelings of safety and comfort are provided by laws that specify our rights and responsibilities. However, if it works for some and not others, trust is missing and society’s operation is unhealthy.
Society’s “body” is its economy. Money is the “blood,” invented to facilitate movement of commodities throughout the society.
Jacobs said society’s health went off the rails when money became an object in itself, not just a means to acquire necessities. Once needs are met, he noted, those with extra money could buy the newspaper and put their own articles in, or influence a Congressman to pass their own laws. Today, the eight wealthiest people own as much as half the people on the planet, he said; “It’s like all your blood going to your left foot.”
“This disables the other organs,” Jacobs said. “If this were your body, you’d be looking at amputations.”
With this imbalance, he said, our society is not only unhealthy — it’s dying. “If we can redeem truth, freedom, and equality, maybe we can pull out of it,” he said. “But it’s doomed if we keep giving money as much power as it now has.”
In the business portion of the ONE meeting, the date for the next work party was confirmed for Oct. 27 at 8 a.m. to finish gathering the firewood supply for one of the members who has suffered from illness this year. The next ONE meeting is Friday, Nov. 9th. To join, call Chuck at 816-665-6610.