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Matthew Taylor – 21st Century Enlightenment Essay

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Updated: May 22nd, 2021

The video 21st “Century Enlightenment” (The RSA) is devoted to the issues of the Enlightenment process in the past period and the perspectives for the development of this phenomenon within current realities. It observes the philosophical and historical sources and backgrounds of the Enlightenment project. Matthew Taylor, Chief Executive of the Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (RSA), examines the reaction of people with different social backgrounds to understand the nature of the phenomenon. The process of the enlightenment is relevant, and it undergoes changes and qualitative metamorphoses due to the needs and demands of society. The speaker describes this process as cultural psychotherapy (The RSA). The development of new technologies, economic progress, and educational reformation affect the consciousness of contemporary society, thus influencing its enlightenment. The author introduces the idea of individualization of the informational and educational processes for a more profound understanding of human nature. He claims that it is of vital significance to realize the essence of the ethical component of progress.

Regardless of the heterogeneity of humanity, its representatives are facing common problems day by day. He suggests people reconsider their role in the transformation of the modern world with its constant crimes, disasters, political and business tricks. Do we want to remain the observers, silent passersby or do we need to take an active part in the solution of these global issues? Every person should find the answer to this question to change his or her life quality for the better. For this purpose, people should learn to feel empathy for other people and their experiences (Morrell 134). Individuals are to be more engaged with the problems of others. People should not be slaves of their passions and desires; they are to learn to control them effectively.

The speaker provides the idea that by influencing our close people we can influence unknown people. So, we have all chances to change something, being happy we can make happy people surrounding us. This interaction is maybe even more effective than one can imagine. Social change is the reaction of people that relates to the community issues of different levels (Jimenez 123). These are some community-based changes that can implement more global changes in the economy, policies, fairness, laws, and norms. They are presented as the collective action of individuals that are closely connected with these problems. For this purpose, there is an efficient tool for community organizing. It unites people with common problems for the effective solution of their problems and establishment of progressive social changes within the community (Shragge 78). It empowers powerless people for effective social activity. Progressive community organizing includes theoretical concepts that will be important for efficacious for the members of the community.

It encompasses the principles of efficient management over human feelings, perception, and consciousness (Pyles 21).

One of the most appropriate methods for the solution of social problems is the involvement of people concerned with these issues (Hadar 12). The best motivation for people to be engaged in the decision-making is their involvement in the implementation of social changes within their community that are of the vital need for them. To stimulate people for some global changes, they should see the effect of some minor modifications. Thus, by uniting people in community organizations, involving them in social activity, there are chances to avoid various possible challenges and solve existing problems. There is a multitude of possibilities to influence significant public decisions through individual citizens’ activities. Very often, people decide to take a passive position in the solution of urgent issues only due to the pessimism of their expectations. However, life shows that every single action aimed at the creation of positive alterations contributes to social progress. There are numerous ways to participate in the solution of urgent social problems.

A person may provide some information and sound ideas, support the community in significant decisions, avoid conflict situations, just be friendly and responsive to the problems of other people, be ready for interaction, and trust others. Every person has numerous opportunities and instruments to help others. Helping others, we enrich our inner life and make social changes possible and real. Thus, activism should be aimed not at the satisfaction of personal values and needs but the fulfillment of some social or personal duties. Mutual assistance in the solution of individual issues and challenges can significantly contribute to global social changing. The analysis and profound understanding of our personal needs and norms may lead us to the realization of the nature of the problems of other people. Sympathy to other people makes us involved in the solution of their problem. Thus, social activity is over someone’s values; it is the instrument for penetration in the essence of various challenges. Comprehension is the first step toward the effective contribution to the process of reformation of modern society’s nature. All of us can make a difference. However, not everyone is ready to realize it. Thus, enlightenment is one of the most effective methods to provide people with insight into current problems.

Works Cited

Hadar, Uri. Psychoanalysis and Social Involvement. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2013. Print.

Jimenez, Jillian. Social Policy and Social Change. Los Angeles: Sage, 2010. Print.

Morrell, Michael E. Empathy and Democracy. University Park, PA.: Pennsylvania State University Press, 2010. Print.

Pyles, Loretta. Progressive Community Organizing. New York: Routledge, 2009. Print.

Shragge, Eric. Activism and Social Change. Toronto, Canada: University of Toronto Press, 2013. Print.

The RSA. Matthew Taylor – 21st Century Enlightenment. Full Edit with the Audience Q&A Session, 2010. Web.

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