I wanted to use the term “fishbowl effect” but that was already taken.
If you are raised in an aquarium, those colorful rocks, neat toys, routine feeding, aerated water, the GLASS, all seems normal and OK.
Some mysterious force moves you for a few hours now and then and when you get put back, the rocks are nicer and there’s a clearer view of that weird stuff on the other side of that thing you keep banging your nose on. Yay. What could possibly be better…
…without having the slightest care or concern about what’s actually on the other side of that glass.
Could be a bigger, nicer aquarium.
Or maybe a stream or lake, rich with food and new friends and mates.
Sure, maybe it could be someplace full of predators!
But many of you will never know.
We are not fish or lizards though, and we do have the freedom to look more objectively at the rest of the world, move around, and maybe find examples of places that do at least some things better.
With just a touch of humility, we can accept that we don’t in fact do everything perfectly, at least maybe not the first time around. And we can be smart enough to choose among the best possible practices sooner or later, and adopt some of them.
Why do we not do this more?
Mindlessly cheering the status quo and caterwauling about “utopia” is not what makes a country or its people “great”.