The environment is everything that surrounds a person and has significance and meaning for them.
The natural environment is only one part of the environment.
The environment is everything that surrounds a person and has significance and meaning for them.
The natural environment is only one part of the environment, but not the environment as a whole.
The environment should be known for several reasons. First, a person and their activity depends on the environment. Second, the environment depends on any human activity, their relationships, and attitudes.
In order to consider the environment, it is necessary to find quite a lot of points of view.
The environment (Figure 3.0.1.) is divided into three main groups: tangible, intangible, and virtual.
The natural environment is made up of all of nature — plants, insects, birds, animals, climate, air, etc.
The physical environment consists of humans as individuals who create an environment for each other and are in each other’s environment.
The artificial environment consist of everything created, made, or destroyed by human hands.
The spiritual environment consists of values and norms, myths, taboos and virtues, ideals and lofty ideas, attitudes and relationships — the foundations of moral behavior.
The psychic environment or situation is divided into two components — the objectified and subjectified situations (see 3.2.).
The social environment consists of human relationships, their prerequisites, results, and consequences.
In a virtual environment, there are meaningful systems of signs and symbols. There are three subtypes of the virtual environment:
Thanks to the electronic environment, the space of human communication has changed beyond recognition. Communication is now always possible and does not depend on location.
None of the parts of the environment alone can provide satisfactory communication, but the absence of any one of them can paralyze all interactions.
With respect to the natural environment, cleanliness, diversity, and self-recovery are important. As a result of ill-conceived or negligent activities, components of the natural environment or the natural environment as a whole can be contaminated or even completely destroyed. By protecting nature, a person actually protects themself. Future generations cannot leave nature in a worse state than we have received it from previous generations, despite wars and occupations, poverty, and general desolation.
The same is true for other components in the tangible, intangible, and virtual environments. Knowledge, skills, and understanding are necessary to preserve, create, protect, and use the environment, but moral credo and social control become the determining factors.
The protection of the environment is:
- an object of goal-oriented activity;
- a life culture indicator;
- an indicator of a person’s intelligence;
- a manifestation of the co-operation of the mind;
- a principle;
- a function of the living arrangements and level of development.
Only an interpretation of the environment that expands one’s ability to anticipate, discern, and think for oneself can be considered satisfactory, and that allows one to arrive at a solution whose fulfillment makes the environment more perfect. A decision is moral if it makes the environment richer, more expansive, cleaner, and more diverse, and thus makes people happier.
Protecting the environment through administrative measures alone is, in principle, impossible. Protecting and restoring the environment in case of pollution is only possible if people want it, if the pollution (careless attitude) is treated as an immoral act, and if the violators are subject to public censure.
The environment is changing, and the environment can be changed, but it must be kept within the bounds of its self-regeneration capabilities. Protecting the environment also contributes to preserving mutual understanding and the continuity of generations.
A person’s immediate environment consists of their home, relatives, friends, acquaintances, fellow athletes, club partners, and their work, study, and creative environments, etc.
All family members, their relationships, and the impact of those relationships are equally important to the protection of the family as an environment. The same can be said of life in any other intangible
environment. Everywhere it is important to preserve inherent
the environment is a single whole, in which it is unreasonable to ignore any of the components or consider a component the most or least important. A neglected part will soon need to be compensated, which could be expensive, time-consuming, or bring no result at all.
- is a prerequisite, result, and consequence of activity;
- is a resource and condition for the use of various resources;
- could be a problem;
- may be an aim, a goal, as well as a means of maintaining the course and achieving any goals;
- could be an object or factor of management, governance, administration, and connection forming.
The electronic environment requires special attention, which unfortunately has changed people not for the better, especially children. Smartphones and other electronic devices prevent them from concentrating, causing a habit of constant distraction from app messages. As a result, a superficiality of behavior is formed, as the influx of data creates a deceptive feeling that you are informed about everything. It begins to seem like there’s no point in studying, since you can always find human activity, a sense of responsibility, independence, and empathy.
Unfortunately, estrangement and alienation, marginality and deprivation, conformism and escapism, indolence and indifference, anomie, conflict of roles, violence, dissidence, etc., are quite common. (See 3.3.)
- In using nature, a person must consider that they have no right to harm it.
- The boundary of nature’s use is its ability to regenerate itself.
- In society, every person must not harm the environment, including society and culture, as well as the rights that are equal for every member of society.
Every activity needs the right environment. At the same time, needed data online. But permanent knowledge will not be formulated in this way.
Among the holders of diplomas and certificates there are many who are unable to define and delineate, unable to systematize and classify and are incapable of modelling, analyzing, generalizing, and extrapolating.
Humane learning involves all actions (activity system, see 7.0.) and proceeds in the unity of the rational, spiritual, and emotional. It is already known that an educational process that is centered around the use of electronic devices radically changes the upbringing and learning system. It is not yet known what the results and consequences of these changes might be. Electronic devices are powerful learning tools, and the more dangerous they are, the less we can anticipate and account for their possible effects. The dangers can be listed one by one, but they are all formed together and at the same time, mutually feeding off each other. People need to be educated about behavior in the virtual environment, including a good understanding of the basics of preserving personal safety and the safety of others in these new conditions for themselves.
At any given moment a person is in some circumstance, conditions, and situation. The ability to see the unity of all three components, and to consider their interaction, is one of the key issues for understanding human behavior in society. Whatever we are going to do, it is necessary to take into account both the circumstance and the conditions, as well as the situation in both an objectified and subjectified way. Otherwise, it will be difficult to understand opportunities and dangers, relationships, intentions, and assessments.
An objectified situation consists of stereotypes — culturally fixed notions of behavior in known cases (see 5.0.). People gain self-esteem under the gaze of others, so they try to behave in a way that conforms to the expectations of others as well as to the concepts that have developed in society and culture. This requires an understanding of what is right and wrong, appropriate and inappropriate, beautiful and ugly, proper and improper.
Stereotypes are holistic concepts about culturally ingrained patterns of behavior.
Stereotypes are holistic concepts about culturally (and sub-culturally) ingrained patterns of behavior.
Socialization (see 2.2.) involves mastering a system of stereotypes. As mentioned in the previous chapter, even before attending school children formulate some idea of how to behave in class, at recess, on an exam, on a hike, at a concert, in church, at a wedding, at a funeral, on the bus, in a store, etc. At every moment of our lives we are in some objectified situation, and we are considered reasonable if we behave according to those unwritten laws that have been formulated and consolidated from generation to generation.
- The environment is a unity of circumstances, conditions, and situations.
- When in a role, one must be aware of and consider the circumstances and conditions, as well as the situation.
The rules of behavior in different situations in every culture and in every community within a culture have their own nuances. These rules contain both universal and natural, as well as national and local features. Some stereotypes are solid and have a rigid impact, while others are flexible and localized. Everyone should be able to distinguish them independently.
No one can say exactly when, how, or why the stereotypes arose, but everyone knows they exist. If someone is careless about the established rules and does not orient themself in an objectified situation, they may not be accepted as themself or may face misunderstanding.
A subjectified situation arises in the unity of circumstances, conditions and stereotypes (objectified situation). Thus, when entering a room where people are engaged in some activity, one should determine as quickly as possible the current situation — real or a game, problematic or absurd, calm or extreme, conflict or friendly, stable or volatile, coercive or enabling choice, etc. If a person entering fails to orient themself to the situation, they can easily embarrass themself.
It was noted earlier that at every moment of life a person is in one role or another (1.5.). How they behave in a particular role depends on several factors. On the one hand, it depends on how adequately they perceive the situation and how well they understand what is reasonable and acceptable in their own culture and society as well as in other cultures and societies that interest them. On the other hand, it matters how accurately they adhere to their role and react to the behavior of people in opposite roles.
A person either models the situation themself or has to get used to the situation created by others. They will behave appropriately (that is, according to their role) if they understand and see in the interaction the circumstances, conditions, and situation in which they find themself.
In a real (true) situation, a person feels that what is happening is genuine, clear, and reliable and that much depends on the result. Therefore, it is worth taking seriously both every detail and the whole, and you need to focus to participate in what is happening.
In a game situation, it is clear that people think one thing, say another, and do a third — that is, they only seek to make an impression. If someone is staring at the ceiling while scratching behind their ear, it may seem as if they are thinking. Similarly, seriousness, concern, participation, understanding, love, responsibility, decisions, etc. are played out. A game situation should not be confused with a game (see 7.1.)!
A citizen must see and distinguish when people are doing business and when they are depicting business, when the consultation takes place and when they are playing a meeting.
In a problem situation, a person is concerned about something, and feels confident that a solution will be found, just that initially it was not possible to find the best way to do so. A clever teacher will place students in a problem situation and assign them the task of finding the best ways out of it. If the teacher succeeds in creating a need for knowledge, skills, and experience, they can joyfully watch as children diligently search and explore the problem, becoming more exacting and intelligent in the process.
- A problem is a conscious contradiction.
- A problem can be formulated by a person who knows how things are and how they should be.
Along with the problem situation, the problem itself should be understood. As mentioned above, unfortunately, there is confusion about the meaning of this word. The word “problem” is used more and more often, but in most cases a problem (see Figure 0.3.3.) is considered to be a difficulty or obstacle, a shortcoming or confusion.
In an absurd situation, a person feels that there seems to be no satisfactory way out. You can do what you want and how you want, or you can do nothing — with each action, the situation will only get worse, and there is no satisfactory solution. If a person does not believe in the existence of a way out, they become indifferent to themself and to the world around them, or even to the desire to escape.
Unfortunately, it can happen that, being in an absurd situation (a desperate situation), a person becomes aggressive. Much of the domestic violence and self-aggression occurs in absurd situations. Psychiatrists would probably say that depression is the cause of this behavior, psychologists would say apathy is the cause, and sociologists would conclude that estrangement or even alienation is behind it. As a treatment, they will prescribe … pills!
- Decision making is only possible in a situation of choice.
- A sense of responsibility and activity are formed in the decision-making process. That is why a situation of choice is of fundamental importance.
The person who feels they are in an absurd situation should be helped to return to a problem situation. The goal in such a case is to restore faith in oneself, a sense of perspective and trust. It is necessary to achieve that the person can discern and formulate the problem, and then discover its causes. Then it is not difficult to reach the stage where you will be able to look for all new opportunities, realizing that each of them is simultaneously a prerequisite for subsequent searches and discoveries. Life can go forward provided the factors of stagnation and degeneration are identified and eradicated.
The situation of choice in this book has already been mentioned in connection with the decision-making process.
A person feels in a situation of choice if:
In a situation of coercion, a person finds themself lacking the freedom of choice; if it is clear to them that they should do only what is ordered, when it is necessary, and from what is prescribed, etc. Being in a situation of coercion, it is impossible to decide anything independently: that is, the need to take responsibility is out of the question. This begs the question: why then learn and think, seek and find optimal solutions?
In a situation of coercion, relationships become cold and hypocritical, and sycophants, snitches, and slackers get the upper hand. Moral criteria may lose their regulatory impact.
In a stable situation, a person feels that everything happens the way it has always happened. No need to worry about how circumstances, conditions, or situations may change. People behave calmly, make long-term plans, decide to have a home and a family, and think about offspring.
Stability is not stagnation; it means that everyone understands the changes that are taking place.
In an unstable situation, people are in a state of nervous anticipation and do not make long-term plans.
People feel at ease when everything goes according to customs, rituals, and traditions, and there is no reason for unnecessary worry.
In an extreme situation — for example, a fire, an accident, a storm, a battle — people behave completely differently than they would in a calm and stable situation. Orders and instructions in such a case are categorical, directive in nature and prescribed for immediate execution. The one giving the order must be sure that they are understood correctly. That’s why in an extreme situation, you should rehearse commands and report on their execution.
Those who are able to assess the situation quickly and accurately are able to behave and react accordingly. Transitions from one situation to another are especially important. Roles and status change accordingly. By role-playing, children are thereby practicing life, learning to be in different roles and situations.
People depend a great deal on what their social status is, the social environment, and social tensions within and around them. Social tensions must be understood and reckoned with no less than other tensions. Unfortunately, none of them can be eliminated or reduced by direct action. To some extent, it is possible to reduce tensions, but only if we know what causes them.
- It is necessary to understand social tensions and their factors, to do everything so that they do not grow into a destructive force.
- For this, it is necessary that each force be balanced by an opposite force, each phenomenon by an opposite phenomenon, each process by an opposite process. Otherwise, conditions will arise where some cannot and others do not want to live the old way.
It is important to keep in mind that we can only list and discuss these tensions separately, while in life they interact with each other as a syndrome (a set of factors). This means that tensions can reinforce or constrain each other. Social tensions will be discussed below. It is necessary to do everything to prevent such tensions: in their place there should be opposing phenomena and processes balancing each other. A description of tension factors has the same purpose: the focus should be on avoiding tension. In cases where excessive tension does appear, it is necessary to discover its causes, and to find measures to get rid of these causes and cause the opposite processes and phenomena.
Alienation occurs when the result of an activity turns against the executor, becoming a hostile force for them. Work, management, creativity, performance, government, a partner, one’s own child, etc. can alienate. The result of an activity could alienate because its participant, for whatever reason, ceases to be related to it and cannot influence what will happen to the result of their activity further.
For example, work could alienate the worker if the result turns against the worker. The management or government could alienate the people. In the process of alienation, people can lose their sense of proportion and boundaries, and could act insane. Alienation caused by confrontation can have dire consequences.
Alienation can be avoided, but it is almost impossible to stop and reverse the process. If adequate measures are not taken, it will only be a matter of time before disaster strikes. The people who caused these processes, as a rule, do not understand their role very well.
The people who have caused the alienation, as a rule, can no longer fix the situation; they could be useful, but somewhere else (3 + 5 law, see 13.4.). Alienation causes a crisis, and a crisis can be accompanied by the death of the system. In fact, there is also the possibility of preserving the system, but in an unhealthy state. There is also a probability that it will be possible to overcome the causes of the crisis, and it is thanks to that the recovery or ascent to a qualitatively new level will begin.
Estrangement means a break in a relationship, detachment, stepping aside, or inactivity in relation to something. You can get away from work, school, home, a spouse, friends, creativity, family, etc.
There can be many reasons for estrangement. Every citizen should know what can (in principle) make people estranged. This will be easier to understand if you ask yourself the following questions:
If a person finds that they are constantly being lied to, given partial information, then it is only a matter of time before they lose faith and trust, give up and do something else.
- The social in society is an intangible macro-environment that is formed depending on social relationships and interaction.
- Social tensions form in a subject when their conception of themself and the ideal, or at least the norm that others want to see in them, differs significantly from reality.
In fact, no one is eager to participate in the next meeting, because it makes no sense, since no one considers arguments when forming a decision. A game situation arises. The question “why did the dialogue stop?” is correct. But the reason is that those in power do not listen to the other side’s arguments.
Escapism is a social tension, from which one prefers either a physical escape to another place or an escape from oneself, including through alcohol, other intoxicating substances, or substitute activities. Suicide can also be an escape.
You can escape to the unknown, to the beautiful, to the past. It is also possible to go into the woods and live there according to the customs of previous centuries.
- One of the sources of strength in social connections is alternatives.
- Those who have no alternatives are practically powerless.
Alternatives are empowering, liberating, and shape attitudes and relationships toward something. People leave their homeland not because they really like other places, but rather because they have lost faith and hope in their homeland. Only those who have an alternative can take a confident position.
Anomie is the social tension that can formulate from the idea that there are no norms. If there are no norms, neither cooperation nor solidarity are values. Law and justice are lacking in society, as well as in the community and family, where even though one knows the rules and regulations, one does not actually follow them. Anomie usually occurs during various crises and transitions, when the ability to maintain the unity of the members is already lost. The weaker the connection between people and social groups, the more anomie grows, accompanied by violence, indifference, madness, and destruction.
Anomic tension can also arise when a person is forced into roles with values and norms that contradict each other. This tension can also appear if a person works two jobs at the same time and does not want to give up one of them — the more immersed in the work of one position they are, the less energy and time is left for the second. In a severely anomic state, a person may stare numbly into the distance, with a glazed look, seeing nothing in front of them.
Harmony and conflict of roles. People usually understand that within their own role, everyone has rights, responsibilities, and obligations. It is also easy to understand that it is possible to be in any role only when someone is in the opposite one. The significance of the role is manifested in the relationship with the owner of the opposite role. In your role, you should do as best as possible what others expect in accordance with the established system of ideas in culture and society. A teacher can be in the role of a teacher if someone has the role of a student. In the teachers’ lounge, the teacher is in the role of a colleague; on the street, they are in the role of a road user; at home, they are a spouse and parent. Everything is normal when everyone perceives it as natural.
Mutual understanding is important. Each person should know not only themself and their own roles, but also the people around them and their roles, through which they can fulfill their own role. Knowledge and recognition of reciprocal roles, as well as the mutual creation and preservation of the prerequisites for each other’s success, serve as a source of satisfaction.
Unfortunately, it may happen that the relationship with a person in the opposite role will deteriorate so much that it will be impossible to continue living the old way, and there will be neither the desire nor the ability to renew the life. It is worth remembering that antipathy is mutual. In history, role conflict in society has almost always led to revolution, mass repression, and bloodshed. Role conflict in the family can provoke a divorce, to a strike in an enterprise, etc.
Conformity as a tension arises in society if people do not dare to be independent and want to behave like others, trying not to stand out. Some “authorities” have identified behavioral stereotypes, and people behave in accordance with them, neglecting their own views.
For example, copying one’s mannerisms, clothing, speech patterns, attitudes about and relationships to something in order to please someone. In order to show they belong, as well as to increase the sense of belonging, it is customary to wear badges, clothes, and other elements that are also possessed by those people with whom it is desirable or necessary to relate to.
In Nazi Germany, it was necessary to wear a red armband with a swastika, and as a greeting to put your hand forward and exclaim, “Heil Hitler!” In the Soviet Union, pioneers had to wear a red tie and salute each other with “Be prepared! Always prepared!” With the help of each detail that emphasized belonging, through each such act, boundless and selfless love for the dearly beloved leaders should have increased. The shame felt by many who performed these procedures for the first time was subsequently replaced by fanaticism under the influence of cognitive dissonance (see 2.5.).
If a person is able to interpret such actions as a game and feel themself to be in a game situation, then the negative consequences of conformism could be avoided.
Conformity in an authoritarian environment forms a personality-destroying force.
Indolence is the tension a person feels when they realize that what they want and seemingly have been promised is not actually available to them. It may happen that they will begin to convince themself that in fact they do not want and do not wish to participate in anything, and will not do what they were advised or instructed by others.
A person who feels that the future destined for them and their personal dreams cannot be realized feels deceived. They may become apathetic and depressed or aggressive. On top of that, the indolent personality begins to instill in themself and others the opposite of what they still feel in their soul, what they hope for and what they really want. This position, for example, is taken by a boy who wants to have a bride, but with whom no girl wants to go even to the movies. If the boy keeps explaining that he is completely uninterested in girls and has no plans to date any of them, then we are probably dealing with indolence. People who are subject to indolence become lethargic and indifferent. Escape, or escapism, is often a consequence of indolence.
Ivan Krylov’s fable about the fox and the grapes is a typical example of indolence. When the fox cannot get the grapes, he reports that they aren’t ripe yet and he did not want them anyway (“Having made it through an hour for nothing, he left and said with annoyance: ‘Oh! You aren’t even ripe yet! I don’t need any sour grapes.’”). At a certain stage of indolence there are university graduates who have been taught that all doors are open for young people, but who have discovered that in reality no one is really waiting for them. Without occupational and cognitive training and knowledge, profane people in the sphere of society and culture will need another three or four years until they can be entrusted with a responsible position.
Loneliness overtakes a person who believes that there are no more people with whom to discuss, think over, and implement something serious. A person feels lonely if they think that their activity was meaningless, because everything once new is already outdated, there is no one to share joy or sorrow with, or no one considers noteworthy what seems significant to that person. In the absence of a systematic and comprehensive approach in this situation, instead of real achievements, the person begins to focus only on individual details and visible successes. They get involved in trivial matters, leaving aside the really important ones.
A person experiencing loneliness as tension avoids communication, avoids others, may fade away or simply disappear. We are talking about loneliness as a dejected state (not as an achievement); its consequence can also be suicide. If there is no more faith, trust, and love, then thoughts arise about the meaninglessness of continued existence. Many find a way out of loneliness by turning to the Creator. If a person feels that someone is concerned for them and takes care of them, they can cope with the dejection that accompanies loneliness.
At the same time, it is important how the person themself feels this concern for themself.
Deprivation is the tension that arises if a person cannot accept the fact that people to whose circle he or she belonged have suddenly turned away from him or her or have disappeared altogether. For example, a toddler who has been taken to daycare by her parents, or a worker who has received a layoff notice may simply be inconsolable. The tension that has arisen in this way can leave a mark for a lifetime.
The consequence of trauma resulting from deprivation can be a person’s complete loss of trust and faith. Of course, by rejecting others, the person themself becomes an outcast. Having no friends and like-minded people, a person can become an object of ridicule, and bitterness will accumulate in their soul, which can be vented out on others at some point. Deprivation causes a desire to hurt someone and, unfortunately, a tendency to rejoice in the suffering, pain, and sorrow of others. In this way, a person can develop into a psychopath, and if they are unable or unwilling to take appropriate measures, they can also become a sociopath who seeks power and is indifferent to the suffering they inflict on the nation.
- Antipathy is enmity, repugnance, and disgust. The feeling is usually mutual.
- Sympathy is amity, affection.
- Empathy is a person’s ability to understand other people’s feelings.
- Mimpathy is a deep form of empathy, which can manifest itself as both hatred and love.
- Compathy is the ability to empathize with the sorrows and joys of others. The ability to share deep feelings is a means of multiplying positive feelings and reducing negative feelings: shared joy and happiness will be many times greater, shared sorrow and grief will be many times less.
- Apathy is indifference, nonparticipation in what is going on around you.
Marginalization is the social tension that arises when a person cannot self-determine: it seems to them that they are no longer what they were before, but they have not yet become someone else. Marginalization is generated by the various transitional periods that occur in a person’s life. At some point, immigrants and emigrants, as well as children and adults who have changed classes, schools, or jobs face marginality. Figuratively speaking, being between two stages feels a bit like sitting on the floor between two chairs and not being able to choose an appropriate seat. It’s bad to sit on the floor, especially if everyone else is sitting on chairs. This seems unfair to the person, and they become moody and volatile, get irritated over nothing, respond harshly, think negatively, and say stupid things, without understanding to whom and why. If it is not possible to overcome marginality, then a person can withdraw into themself, become unsociable, lose hope.
For example, if a person has just been hired, it is very important to introduce them to their new colleagues (and not the other way around!), to arrange an informal meeting, so that the newcomer can quickly overcome embarrassment, gain a sense of warmth and trust, to feel that in the new place the new person was accepted as one of their own.
Frustration is the tension that occurs when a person is given tasks that are too difficult to accomplish, when they have too many obligations, or they are extremely unpleasant for them, and when they are subsequently ashamed of doing them. Incompetence and inadequacy can also cause a state of frustration.
Too much stress can cause a person to burn out, become neurotic and aggressive; including the possibility of showing aggression toward themself and their loved ones. All this is one of the causes of domestic violence. To alleviate frustration, people use intoxicating substances, but under the influence of drugs or alcohol, they begin to behave indifferently and rudely.
Dissidence is the tension that arises when the environment and the actions taking place in it are fundamentally unacceptable to the person. Dissidents are individuals who do not recognize the current state order, who revolt over virtually everything that happens in a given state, because they do not consider it possible for them to support the improvement of an immoral system that has fallen into disrepair. A dissident sees a way out only in radical changes.
To succeed, dissidents fight both against immorality and for the formation of the necessary conditions. Activities in both directions are considered necessary. The bravado and audacity of dissidents are an essential prerequisite for social action, but bravado alone is not enough to achieve success. Without theoretical, methodological, and methodical foundations, only very unintelligent people can be enticed, but it is impossible to build a state in which the people would live well.