Societal consciousness

Earlier today I’ve rewatched the movie The Imitation Game (2014), which is a historical drama directed by Morten Tyldum and written by Graham Moore. His writing is based on the biography Alan Turing: The Enigma by Andrew Hodges. Benedict Cumberbatch is playing the lead role.

The movie tells the tale of Alan, a genius mathematician, who is recruited to work on a very challenging puzzle, to break the code of Enigma, a machine the Nazis use to send encrypted messages. I don’t want to go into details, for if you have not watched the movie yet, it would almost certainly ruin your experience. 

One of the elements of the movie that intrigues me is how it represents the worldview of Britain during that time, what some might call societal consciousness, the norms and beliefs of the British society during the 2nd World War.

I wonder how norms in regards to what is acceptable behavior and what is not, even by law, evolve. How do they actually change and who are the people who make it happen? What exactly determines how fast norms change? How does culture change and how does it manifest?  

We humans

We humans are remarkably different, e.g. in what we look like, what we think about and what we feel. We build our worldviews through nurture and nature and come to create a life so distinct from one another. Beneath all this there are a lot of similarities, though. According to Abraham Maslow,we all crave to satisfy our physiological needs, our need for safety, for love & belonging, for esteem and for self-actualization.

What is particularly fascinating is how differently we humans we can respond to the same occurrence, e.g. a serious illness. As Viktor Frankl wrote in his book Man’s Search for Meaning: “When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.”

I recently watched a documentary named Dealt. Its a story about Richard Turner, one of the world’s greatest card magicians, despite being blind! Its a magnificent story about resilience, determination and about how tenderness and vulnerability open up a path towards being more human.

Addendum, 17 December 2018: here is a link to a podcast interview with Richard, Episode 124 of The Human Experience podcast.