I am both a realist and an optimist, so I am not looking for a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ response, rather trying to start a conversation about how we can ensure that future world conditions will be viable for our descendants.
Between the pandemic and global warming, the situation is not looking so rosy!
I was born in the UK, 3 years before WWII, so my awareness of the possibility of living under government dictates and restrictions is something I can take for granted. The rationing and restrictions experienced by the British – which were no doubt shared throughout Europe, but with the UK avoiding being occupied by enemy forces! – were way past those experienced in Australia. We could not even buy petrol for our own cars!
I was brought up in a non-Conformist Christian household, but am now an agnostic.
Despite BBC programs like the Father Brown series, the only part of the British Isles which is firmly Catholic is Eire, and Guy Fawkes ‘bonfire night’ is still enthusiastically celebrated!
The ethics taught by Jesus, as recorded in the Bible, were the basis of religion as I knew it, growing up, and the actual official church in the UK is the Church of England – which generally allows its Ministers to marry.
Because the UK was originally Catholic, and Henry VIII wanted a son, the resulting mish-mash of religions in the UK, as in the world, are many and varied.
At least the UK was enlightened enough, when it decided to use Australia as a convict colony, to ensure that the Australian government could not dictate a religious framework in its Constitution! And that was before Islam had become a major world religion.
So we have conflicts over religion, affecting internal and external relationships within and between countries.
We also have countries seeking to take over control of other countries, and – as currently in Myanmar – military juntas deposing elected leaders.
Looking at the mess that human beings are making of their own immediate environment, plus China and Russia seeking status by means of force and deception, I am left wondering whether the world really deserves to survive at all – let alone in peace!
And now we have a worldwide pandemic, with established nations looking after themselves first, and throwing the scraps to the undeveloped countries, all while we are recognising the effects of climate change, but keeping our heads in the sand when it comes to taking really serious steps to at least slow down global warming.
Do we deserve to survive?
We obviously would like to – but we equally obviously have not a clue how to persuade our nations that the wealthy nations need drastic changes in their lifestyles.
Everyone now seems to centre entertainment and convenience as the essentials of life.
Unselfishness is sneered at and acceptance of difference is also more obvious by its absence than its acceptance.
Discipline is essential for survival, and that, too, is despised.
As for our national leaders, the POTUS is trying to restore the USA from the damage done by his predecessor, whose legacy is a cohort determined to resist. The UK and Australia are among a group of nations where the electors have failed to understand what a leader should be. India’s resistance to religious tolerance, plus its size, is destroying itself, while China is travelling a dangerously authoritarian path.
I shall be long gone by the time the final outcome is resolved, but it will not be a good one unless and until people realise that acting for the common good is the only way to survive, sharing is good for everyone, helping other people is incredibly satisfying, and having all you need is much better than having all you want.
Now we need to take a good look at who we are electing to lead us!
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