A Question of Survival

News & SocietyPolitics

  • Author June Stepansky
  • Published August 12, 2021
  • Word count 739

Recently I was watching the movie Conquest of Paradise with Gerard Depardieu, a movie about Columbus and his discovery of the new world. As I was watching the cruelty that occurred in those days (1492)– the Spanish Inquisition and the brutality of what was done to the native populations when soldiers from a foreign country came in and killed them at will and took everything they possessed, I realized that although more than 500 years have passed and our world has changed in so many ways, we are still killing each other at the same pace and for the same reasons as we did so many hundreds of years ago.

Why, when the world has become so modern with the invention of cars, planes, new medical techniques our enhanced communication through the internet and so much new knowledge about psychology and the better understanding of the subconscious motivations and drives of human beings, why then are we still functioning in this primitive, brutal way.

With vast numbers of smart, educated people able to achieve so many modern inventions and innovations to make our lives safer and better and our astronauts exploring the vastness of outer space, why is it that these same smart, educated people still cannot figure out how we can learn to get along with each other better both in our families or in our world.

I think perhaps the answer is that no one is really willing to make the effort and spend the required money to try to solve these most important and crucial world issues on which our very survival is ultimately dependent. Our scientists have already warned us that we have now come to the tipping point in our civilization. We will either begin to collectively work with our world partners to face the real problems of our world or we will all continue to go on as we have with blinders on and go to our destruction together in the not too distant future.

Why are we not facing our world problems with wisdom and determination to find solutions? I think that our leaders and our citizens are just so ill-equipped and frightened to look at the reality and the challenges of the future that we all just want pretend that everything is fine and there are no problems. It is called denial! To solve climate change will mean changing our society in many new ways. It will mean changing from fossil fuels to renewable energy, with the loss of old ways and old jobs and the beginning of new technologies and new jobs.

“Humanity will have given up on planet Earth if world leaders cannot reach an agreement this year to stop the mass extinction of wildlife and destruction of life-supporting ecosystems.”

Elizabeth Maruma Mrema, the acting executive secretary of the UN Convention on Biological Diversity, has implored governments to ensure 2021 is not just another “year of conferences” on the ongoing ecological destruction of the planet, urging countries to take definitive action on deforestation, pollution and the climate crisis. “Humanity will have given up on planet Earth if world leaders cannot reach an agreement this year to stop the mass extinction of wildlife and destruction of life-supporting ecosystems,” the United Nation’s new biodiversity chief has warned.

Change is always hard and is resisted by many, but when survival is at stake we don’t have any more options. It must be done and as Elizazbeth Maruma Mrema warns it must be done now–this year– 2021.

Another challenge that is destabilizing the world is the intermingling of people of different backgrounds, religions and race. Many populations are being displaced because of internal conflicts, climate change and natural disasters. All religions teach us to be tolerant and respect our fellow man. It is time that we followed our oldest values of love and respect. It is often difficult to tolerate others who look and think differently than we do, but if we respect each other and strive to learn to understand each other better and to live together in peace, than although our world will look different and be different than it is now, it will be one of stability and harmony.

If every citizen and every leader dedicates himself to working toward these goals now, addressing climate change and dealing wisely and humanely with displaced populations than perhaps we can still avoid the imminent disaster that is awaiting our world in our lifetime.

June Stepansky is a published writer and poet who writes books and articles about happiness, self-improvement and social and political issues. Her poetry has been published in the literary magazine Vol No 21 Childhood and in Vol No 22. Poems that Need to be Explained.

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