Do You Have the Courage to Break Your Mindset and Be that Hero?

We don’t need just one hero to change our world but we can all be the heroes and change from within… 

Back when Marvel comics and motion pictures were still in its infancy, many a character was developed with one sole leading man, or lady. If it was a successful story, the main cast would receive praises and compliments from the global audience. Worship will follow thereafter from their legions of fans. But the story in real life is quite the contrary; we do not have men in fancy suits fighting crime in the dark alleys let alone leaping from one tower to the next. We also do not have superbeings jumping from one levitating machine to a hovercraft nearby without any harness latched on the back. We, at best, are still in the same colours of black, brown, yellow and white although our hair colours have gone on a bit of an overdrive. 

The reality remains more or less the same, amidst the chaotic battles and mindless trade wars, protests and the battle for 3, 4, 5G’s…

In case you didn’t know what the spectrum war is all about and here’s a funny take by Trevor Noah. (Video courtesy of Trevor Noah)

While we witness one of the most depressing sights of almost a 6-month long protest in Hong Kong that’s turning the Pearl of the Orient to more like Pearl Harbour 1941, elsewhere around the world is not spared from equally frustrating dramas, natural and otherwise.

The traumatic experience is endless, crippling the thinking minds…

Protesters stand amid smoke on a bridge over a highway leading to the Cross Harbour Tunnel in Hong Kong. [Vincent Yu/AP Photo]
Pearl of the Orient Hong Kong looking grim akin to Pearl Harbour 1941. (Image courtesy of Al Jazeera)
Unprecedented and rare view of the bush fire from the inside. (Video courtesy of news.com.au)

In a big part of Southeast Asia alone, and in fact in pockets of many developed countries, some of us continue to be trapped in third world enclosures caused sometimes by the environment itself and other times by the genuine lack of government’s ambition to turn over a new leaf. And so, regardless of the kind of schools we go to, the kind of clothes we wear, the kind of cars we drive or the kind of friends we have, the third world mindset epidemic can easily take residency in our minds and skew judgement inaccurately and impose bias preferences, and hostility in some cases, in the way we treat others.

The Third World mindset impedes growth and it is a killer of our future. But what can we do right now? How about moving into the First World mindset? 

But the First World’s definition was originally…

As defined during the Cold War, the term first world referred to a country that was aligned with the United States and other western nations in opposition to the former-Soviet Union and its allies. Since the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, this use of the term has largely evolved. More recently, the term first world has been used to describe a developed and industrialized country characterized by political stability, democracy, the rule of law, a capitalist economy, economic stability and a high standard of living. (Source: https://www.investopedia.com/terms/f/first-world.asp)

The original First and Second Worlds no longer exist.

Then what about the Third World?

“Third World” is a phrase frequently used to describe a developing nation. Despite its current usage, the phrase emerged during the Cold War to identify countries whose views did not align with NATO and capitalism or the Soviet Union and communism. The First World described countries whose views aligned with NATO and capitalism and the Second World referred to countries that supported communism and the Soviet Union. Third World countries referenced the nations, mostly in Asia and Africa that were not aligned with either the United States or the Soviet Union. The United States was considered a member of the First World, and Russia was considered a member of the Second World. Now, because the Soviet Union no longer exists, the definition of “Third World” is less precise and, thus, more open to interpretation.

Developing Nations and Third World Countries.

Third World countries are typically poor with underdeveloped economies. In these countries, low levels of education, poor infrastructure, improper sanitation, and limited access to health care mean living conditions are inferior to those in the world’s more developed nations.

Alfred Sauvy, a French demographer, anthropologist, and historian, is credited with coining the term Third World during the Cold War. “Three worlds, one planet,” wrote Sauvy in a 1952 article published in L’Observateur. (Source: https://www.investopedia.com/terms/t/third-world.asp)

And if so are the definitions, then getting into the “First World Mindset” may seem to be inaccurate in this day and age because what we’re fighting against is although “low levels of education, poor infrastructure, improper sanitation, and limited access to health care and inferior living conditions”, but the direction we’re headed to and deeply yearn for is more than just “political stability, democracy, the rule of law, a capitalist economy, economic stability and a high standard of living”. 

  • Ask a Bhutanese, they’ll want to continue living happily in the only carbon negative country in the world and in fact the only country that has a Gross National Happiness Index to measure the mental health of her citizens.
  • Ask any struggling individual, they’ll tell you it’s not sympathy they’re after but empathy.
  • Ask a greenie, they’ll tell you it’s about environmental preservation and responsible use of natural resources and its multiplication.
  • Ask genuine industrialists, they’ll tell you it’s change they’re after but rewarded with future sustenance of the business, not the other way round.
  • Ask a medical practitioner, they’ll tell you let them heal and not care for money because lives are more important than insurance.
  • Ask a teacher, they’ll tell you they need more students because the aim is to impart and equip, not be burdened with compliance and overbearing syllabus.
  • Ask a citizen, they’ll tell you they need to make ends meet not with their knuckles but to reach equilibrium of governmental duty and progressive human needs; both satisfied and attended to without flaws nor lopsided favouritism, cronyism.
  • Ask a baby, they only need your cuddling and love; protection is a given, it shouldn’t be demanded or worse, compelled by law.

And if these and more are truly what we’re after, are we then working round the clock for a First World status or are we forging ahead in search of a mission ideal enough to celebrate life truly without fear and animosity but instead with confidence and conviction to only do good to and for each other, and also to the world? 

Are you courageous enough to shape your mindset and with that your future as a new hero that will go down in history that you and your children can stand to be proud of? It’s not the type many lace with monetary ornaments but the ones we remember are often anything but.

bhutan is the only carbon negative country
Tucked in the Himalayas, Bhutan is worth its weight being the only carbon negative country in the world and uses the Gross National Happiness Index to gauge the happiness of Bhutanese. (Image courtesy of GVI)

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