Wednesday, February 15, 2012

The world as we have created it

I was watching these beautiful young people from Greece being interviewed on the news the other night. They were so bright and articulate and attractive, so full of life in the midst of the harsh austerity measures and turmoil going on in their country. They seemed caught in looks of not exactly fear but of hesitation, of simply not being sure what will be next for them.

The world is going through a turbulent time of change and transition. So much of Europe is caught in furious winds of upheaval. The economies of Greece, Germany, England, Italy, and others are, like our own, shaky and unpredictable at the moment. We’re all facing enormous challenges.

People in countries like Egypt, Syria, Russia, and Libya are demanding a new way of life. The past for them is obsolete, intolerable. They want more freedom, a fairer economy, cultural renewal, and a political system that is open and without the domination of cruel and corrupt dictators and demagogues.

Africa, in spite of small signs of reform in certain places, is still a vast country of war, famine, poverty, political exploitation and brutality. The voices there are often silenced by an impenetrable wall of indifference from the rest of the world.

There is a very real, very palpable longing in people all over the world today for life experiences that transcend the difficult circumstances of their lives. And there seems to be a cry everywhere for brotherhood, for mutual understanding and solidarity.

We focus so often on all of the things that divide us from others. There is especially a fear of religious tolerance in our world. Why are we all so worried about how other people in the world worship? Or who they worship? Shouldn’t religion pull us together on some important level? Shouldn’t our faith cause us to be understanding of others, to respect the right of people to choose whatever expression of faith strengthens and sustains them?

I like the European Union’s motto: “United in Diversity.” Why can’t we all support that effort? It seems to me as though that would be the perfect approach for all religious groups in the world today.

All of this talk in our country about going to war with Iran. Does that bother anyone besides me? What are we thinking? Honestly. What’s wrong with us?

I understand all of the hype about Iran developing a nuclear weapon and so forth. But why is Iran not permitted to defend herself? Israel has hundreds of nuclear weapons. Pakistan and India have them. Russia of course has them. And we have enough of them to destroy the entire world many times over and we’re developing new ones.

I find a disturbing sense of arrogance in that. It seems like a very real abuse of power on our part. Of course people will say we are just defending ourselves? Really? Iran has not declared war on us.

It seems more like we use threats to control the destiny of other countries. Who gave us that authority?

“The world as we have created it,” wrote Einstein “is a process of our thinking. It cannot be changed without changing our thinking.”

Shouldn’t we be further along in our thinking about the world today? Isn’t it time we worked as hard and spent as much money on peace, cooperation, understanding and unity with other nations as we do on aggression, threats, and war?

I don’t know a single one of those lovely young people in Greece I saw on the news the other night. But I somehow feel linked to them. I want their economy to survive; their country to make it. I want that for Iran and all the other nations of the world, too.

What is so wrong with that?

© 2012 Timothy Moody

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