There are realities that hurt, that’s why we prefer to look the other way, pretending they do not exist, with the secret hope that they vanish while we fill our mind with other things, less important but also less uncomfortable.
However, when “don’t think” becomes the password, we have a problem. Both personally and socially. Socrates had said it centuries ago: “There is only one good: knowledge. There is only one evil, ignorance”.
Pawel Kuczynski, an illustrator of Polish origin who has won 92 national and international awards for his work, is one of those people who do not look the other way. His illustrations do not leave indifferent those who have a minimum of sensitivity and an eye sharp enough to capture what happens in our society.
His drawings are extremely revealing, they bring up the same inner demons of which we do not want to take note, those liquid relationships that do not give anything to us, the dependence on technology and the subtle but terrible forms of social manipulation to which we are subjected, sometimes without realizing it, sometimes with a subtle consent.
Perhaps what hits us most of his work is that his images are as real as life itself, they are that other face that we do not normally see, or do not want to see. In fact, the artist himself said: “I consider myself an observer of everything that happens around me”.
1. Think for yourself. Search, investigate, read… If you don’t do it, someone will do it in your place, teaching you what to think, say and even feel. Remember that educating is not filling the mind but freeing it from its bonds and many times the most lasting and profound learningi are those that we do on our own.
2. More and more connected, but also more alone. Social networks “satisfy” our imperious need to escape from loneliness, but contradictorily, make us become an island locked in ourselves. While they encourage us to connect, they take away our social skills. While they scare away the ghost of marginalization, they isolate us from those around us.
3. “Television can give us many things, except time to think”, said Bernice Buresh and Fellini went a step further by stating that “television is the mirror that reflects the defeat of our entire cultural system.”
4. There are toxic relationships that hurt us a lot, but even so, we continue to maintain them. Perhaps for habit, for fear of not finding anyone else, or simply for dependence…
5. “Whoever holds the mobile phone as a symbol of power is declaring, instead, to the whole world his desperate condition as subordinate”, said Zygmunt Bauman. Are we sure that we use the mobile phone or is it technology that uses us? Sometimes the line is so subtle that it fades.
6. There is a new God and a new truth that is shared on the Internet and imposed by technology, around which it ended up turning our lives. This new alternative reality ends up supplanting the relationships in the real world, serving as food, often of little nutritional value, with which satisfy our hunger for knowledge and intimacy.
7. Being the black sheep is not that bad, it only implies thinking or acting differently. In fact, Marc Twain warned us: “Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect.” And Albert Einstein said: “The personwho followsthe crowd will usually go no further than the crowd. The person who walks alone is likely to find himself in places no one has ever seen.” It’s up to you.
8. The false sense of freedom fueled by society that the writer Étienne de La Boétie had already warned us in the sixteenth century, by explaining that the supreme principle of the new times was that people had the “freedom” to do what they must. Little has changed in recent centuries.
9. “The Internet is designed to give us more of the same, whatever the same is, regardless of what is most important, and also to close ourselves to what is different, to everything that is different”, said Bauman. In an era where everyone looks down, who looks beyond trying to see the horizon can become a problem to eradicate.
10. The sensation of false security fueled by the society that Bauman had already alerted us to when he said: “Uncertainty, the main cause of insecurity, is the most decisive instrument of power”. They sell us security as a remedy, while robbing us of our true value, leaving us to face risks without being prepared.
11. Liquid relationships, a love from we connect and disconnect with extreme speed and easily as changing shirts. It is about that liquid love that we seek to not feel the bite of loneliness and insecurity, but in which we are not willing to invest more than the minimum effort and the least possible sacrifice.
12. The siege of technology; calls, incoming messages, notifications and emails become dangers that haunt us, challenging our attention, preventing us from relaxing.
13. Carlos Cataneda said: “As long as you feel that you are the most important thing in the world you cannot really appreciate the world around you. You are like a horse with blinders, all you see is yourself apart from everything else.” Internet, and especially social networks, generate that terrifying effect, preventing us from enjoying the things and people around us.
14. The confessional of social networks, where the rupture between the private and the public is clear. As Bauman said: “The public space is where the confession of private secrets and intimacies takes place”. The dividing line between both worlds has been blurred, emptying the public sense of meaning and subtracting the power to unite people to the private.
15. “The vocation of the politician in career is to make of each solution a problem”, said Woody Allen, but we cannot expect anything else in a society that entrusts its government to people who have been prepared in a production chain for not having their own voice or ideas.