It’s gotten too complicated.
“What has?” you ask.
Legislation, rules, requirements, regulations, taxes, disclaimers, ingredients, instructions, assembly, guidelines, labels, games, parameters, codes, wills and codicils.
We have over- emphasized, protected, contained, explained, briefed, covered, controlled, programmed, denied and lied about…. legislation, rules, requirements, regulations, taxes, disclaimers, ingredients, instructions, assembly, guidelines, labels, games, parameters, codes, wills and codicils.
As a result, we need lawyers to unravel, negotiate and approximate what is fair and legal. We need tax preparers to unravel, negotiate and approximate what is fair and legal; we need more law enforcement, more upper management, more brokers and more regulators to….you get the point.
Who can I blame for the complications that have become my life?
People on the right will say, without hesitation, that it is the left because the liberal agenda to even the playing field and to bring justice along with opportunity creates more laws and lawsuits to regulate the encroachment of privileges and prejudices.
And they would be correct.
People on the left will say, without hesitation, that it is the right because the conservative agenda to de-regulate and individualize creates more unfair practices, pandering, cronyism, and opportunism that infringes upon the rights of others.
And they would be correct.
I was in a conversation with a couple of guys, good friends but of opposing ideologies, and we were discussing a trend in secondary schools to limit, or do away with, contact sports. They blamed the left for “wuss-i-fying” America.
I replied, “Believe me, it isn’t just liberal parents suing schools when their children are injured, it’s everyone.”
We’re all in this. When the lunch meat is bad and our kids get sick, conservatives are as vocal as liberals when it comes to demanding answers from local, state and federal government.
When toxic paint poisons our children it doesn’t discriminate between the children of Republicans and Democrats, and we all demand new rules for manufacturers, importers and new accountability standards.
When a plane goes down, or the bridge collapses and a school bus crashes, there are no political ideologies coming to bear, there are only families and friends, demanding to know why, and demanding new or better rules to protect us in the future.
Is that how we got here?
The population in America has grown, since the time of our founding, from 2.5 million to over 315 million and, yes, our conflicting interests have grown alongside.
We have evolved from a nation carrying one shot muskets to assault weapons with 30 round magazines.
We have seen horse drawn buggies become racing machines that travel at 250 miles per hour. Traffic in America has gone from 40 million automobiles in 1950 to 250 million today.
With all of these innovations, the problems, confusions and conflicts, grow exponentially and so does our fear of myriad ways we can get hurt. A litigation industry was created and has expanded in order to help us (or encourage us) to navigate these waters, with less risk and less accountability.
Which brings me to a conclusion for what may have seemed like a, more or less, rhetorical question: What do we do about this?
Once upon a time, bad things just happened. Mistakes were allowed, or at least absorbed into life’s vulnerabilities and foibles. Now we litigate because we have lost our acceptance of life’s pain.
There is a meta-physical solution here that we may never again be able to realize. As the Buddha says: “Life is dukkah” which essentially means that life is all of the above.
Somewhere in our history we decided that progress includes the elimination of pain and we affix blame onto whatever timeline of events fits our claim to it.
This is not to say that we should tolerate the suffering of anyone or any group, or that we should not do everything we can to help those who have been dealt a vulnerable hand, but an acceptance of life’s trials and tribulations, could slow down a runaway train.
It is also not a solution for poverty to hold the under-privileged more accountable for their plight, but by narrowing our own claims of victimization, we might improve the ability to improve. The social services, education and safety nets that a compassionate society should provide could become more effective.
The Simplicity Revolution could, over time, make our lives less complicated, or at least more manageable.