Socially Unadventurous

DW TV (Deutsche Welle – German international news source – which, BTW, is very refreshing – you get a varied picture of what’s going on in the world as opposed to American news sources which focus on a limited number of news events and repeat them over and over 24 hours a day, as if that’s going to make me a smarter person) has an interesting program called, GLOBAL 3000, where you can learn how globalism is affecting ordinary people. It’s a program that could easily make you smarter. Here is a description of the show from their website:

GLOBAL 3000 – DW-TV’s globalization magazine looks at the issues that are moving us today, and shows how people are living with the opportunities and risks of globalization.

American toddlers learn Chinese. Afghans study Thai ways of doing things. Mapuche Indians from Patagonia want to take Benetton to court. And what do sheep in New Zealand have to do with climate change? We live in a globalized world. Events in Asia have repercussions in Europe. European reactions have knock-on effects in South America. The situation in the Amazon Rainforest concerns us all.

GLOBAL 3000 – widening horizons by examining the global consequences of local actions – and vice-versa. We bring you news, reports and portraits on globalization issues. Viewers can contribute to the program by sending in their personal stories and experiences, helping shape a weekly broadcast that gives new insights into the world-wide community to which we all belong. Globalization is all around us – and every week we give it a face with GLOBAL 3000.


A segment aired last year where they interviewed a man from Prague who runs a news stand. The interviewer asked him questions like: What do you do for a living? What do you hope for your future? What worries you? What makes you happy? What is your favorite food? His most interesting reply was about his future. He said that he does not want to grow old, live alone, get sick, and have no one to take care of him.

According to the latest U.S. Census, more than half of American households have only one occupant. This is a new trend. The majority of us are living alone. Hmm… why is this? Should we accept this as simply a new direction in our cultural evolution?

Living alone has its pros and cons. The pros that I hear usually have to do with the freedom to do what you want when you want. The cons, on the other hand, are problematic and profuse. Aside from the obvious trouble that could happen to anyone regardless of age, like injuries, illness, or intruders, living solo can create other problems much more subtle in nature, but with more far-reaching consequences.

You’ve probably known of people who have lived alone for years and years, sometimes referred to as being, “set in their ways.” Their daily routine has little room for flexibility. An uninvited guest is never welcome. Their world is socially unadventurous.

What would the world be like if no one was adventurous? social or otherwise. The word adventure comes from the Latin word adventurus, ‘about to happen’ from advenire, ‘arrive’. Without adventure, life would be restricted to happenings already had, ventures already anticipated, arrivals already taken. Nothing new. No way to grow. Static.

Life is supposed to be an adventure. We’re supposed to venture out of our comfort zones. We’re supposed to advance. That is the beauty of evolution.

Is our new single life style restricting social progress? Is our species threatened by this? Should our main social interaction be with television, radio and the internet? People can get so attached to television personalities and virtual friends that their sense of a social reality becomes a fantasy.  When something is not real, we do not feel responsible toward it nor have a reason to care.

Should we care about the news stand merchant in Prague? His fear of growing old and suffering illness alone is real. Can our civilization advance if we continue to ignore* such social disconnections?

* have you ever noticed that ignore is the root of the word ignorance? Ignore comes from the Latin word, ignorare, which means to “not know or disregard.” I’ve got more to say about this topic. Stay tuned.


About Kathleen Franks

Kathleen Franks is a writer, artist, storyteller, and community volunteer based in Berkeley, CA
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