A Christmas Edition

  • Posted on február 17 , 2020

A Christmas Edition

There is no doubt that youngsters like Greta Thunberg give us hope for the future.

There she is, leading the fight against global warming, as evident by her statements at the most recent COP 25 Climate Change conference in Madrid.

Then there was Malala Yusufzai, leading the charge for equal education opportunites for women in Pakistan and across the globe.

Before that there was Nikosinathi Nyathi from Zimbabwe, Africa, who also spoke at the COP 25 conference. Although there have been many activists who have championed this cause and many other causes over human history, what is remarkable about Nikosi is that this is not the first time he has spoken up about climate change. He first raised the alarm on global warming at the age of 11, after watching the garbage dumping site in his community in Victoria falls.

One of the conclusions of COP 25 was that despite many of the promises by the leading pollutors of the world, nothing much has been accomplished, if anything their commitments have regressed. In fact, the US, a leading contributor to global warming, is actually withdrawing from the Paris accord.

This tells us that while such conferences and activisms bring some awareness to the public at large, they really do not have much of a lasting impact on the real problems being highlighted.

Of course, the ultimate litmus test of success or failure of such movements must be whether humanity as a whole is better off or not. It is a well-documented fact that 1% of the world population controls over 55% of the global resources, and this gap in financial prosperity is increasing - by almost all measurements, this generation is worse off than the previous one. Which is exactly the opposite of what it should be.

We are supposed to leave a better world for our children and grandchildren ,not leave it in the worst of health care, with enormous financial debt, emotionally deficient and void of spirituality.

The lesson for future generations must be that they cannot rely on their predecessors for their wellbeing but rather have to fend for themselves.

They must recognize that they have been bequeathed a toxic culture, which has prevailed over generations, whereby a minority group takes over the resources of a majority, usually by force or coercion, such that that minority group becomes prosperous. As this prosperity increases, within that group it expands and becomes the majority, but also becomes complacent, leaving an oppressed minority in its wake, which in turn rebels - and the cycle continues.

History is full of examples of this. The rise and fall of the Mongolians, under Genghis Khan; the rise and fall of the Moghul dynasty; the rise and fall of the Roman empire; and, more recently, the rise and fall of the British empire. And finally we are watching the dominance of America on the world stage. The observation of note is that this process uses a lot of resources for destruction and the cost-benefit ratio is always in favor of the few and at odds with the majority of the communities involved.

The lesson here is that this culture of prosperity through oppression is effective for a minority at the expense of the majority thus contributing to the increasing prosperity gap.

Clearly then the solution to the increasing prosperity gap is to change this culture by changing our mindset from competition to collaboration.

Collaboration is often confused with collusion or even socialism.

It is neither. Socialism rewards some unfairly and has been shown to be unsustainable in the long run. Collusion is when a particular community gives preferential treatment to member of its community, simply because they belong to it rather than based on merit. Some of the most well know forms of this culture are the Jewish communities, Bahai communities, or most recently the US Republican party, which has been basically hijacked by the white supremists.

Collaboration is when people work together to generate value for the human community as a whole, and the contributors in generating this value are rewarded fairly, in proportion to their contribution.

The truth is that collaboration is a basic human instinct. As children are growing up they have the desire to make life better around them. It is for this reason that, in spite of being constantly indoctrinated with this toxic culture of competition throughout their growing up, the youth still want to make a difference and make the world a better place, as evidenced by the numerous activisms initiated by the youth.

However when they are actually in a position to make a difference they get overwhelmed by the powerful forces of the competitive culture in which they have to function that in order to survive, the smart and the talented ones choose to play the system and actually become the system. A majority simply resigns and gives in to the system, and finally a few who still aspire for a better world and choose to oppose the system, find themselves at the wrong end of the prosperity spectrum.

It has been said that all good things must come to an end. Perhaps it is time for this toxic culture, which has been so good for the 1%, to come to an end, too.

Perhaps the words “I want to make a difference to make a better world” from the mouths of babes would finally take life and they will replace this toxic culture of competition with the nurturing culture of collaboration.

Perhaps they will realize that their goals in life should be the ones they aspire to, based on their passions, rather than those established by the system for its own self-serving purpose.

Perhaps they will recognize how to learn what needs to be learnt rather than being taught what the system wants them to learn. And even better acquire the ability to discard many of the antiquated and irrelevant teachings.

Perhaps they will recognize that this toxic culture is solely responsible for many, if not all, of the conflicts in the world which often result in wars between communities who can ill afford it, requiring arms which they cannot afford making them poorer. The arms are provided by the already prosperous communities making them even richer. It might surprise some of these youngsters to realize that top five leading producers of arms are also the members of the security council. Talk about a rigged system.

Perhaps in their quest for the truth, they will recognize numerous other hypocrisies from the past as the true evil.

Perhaps they will recognize that simply seeking to remove the heads is counter- productive, it is the toxic culture that needs to be routed out.

Perhaps they will realize that there is no quick solution to this crisis - it requires a well thought out, disciplined and sustainable approach built on transparency and accountability with many checks and balances.

And perhaps, then and only then, will they be able to say to their future generations, we sought to make a difference, took the hard road despite being tempted by the easy way out, and succeeded in making a better world for our future generations.

From the lips of babes to god’s ears….

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