By Zak Morgan
WEST HARTFORD, Connecticut, U.S.A. – There are approximately 7 billion people living on this planet today.
Eighty percent of the population lives on less than $10 a day. Nearly a billion people entered the 21st century unable to read a book or sign their names. Water problems affect half of humanity and more than a dozen countries are under the control of a dictator.
Currently, the United States alone has approximately 5,000 nuclear warheads. This is enough to destroy the world four times over.
The question that arises is: where did we go wrong?
In an ideal world, we must strive towards the goal of a world community with peace, liberty, and justice for all.
As humans, it is in our nature to dislike differences.
The reality is that our species is comprised of millions of different ethnicities, religions, backgrounds, tribes and countries. The only problem we as humans have faced over the last several thousand years has been accepting that fact.
One essential task the human race must accomplish is bonding together as a world community.
In the movie Independence Day, mankind joins together to fight off the hostile alien invaders. In the novel War of the Worlds, the human race allies to fight off the imperialist Martian attackers to protect the future of mankind. In the movie Signs, the world teams up to find a strategy for fighting the alien invaders.
Is it possible for humankind to unite without facing an alien attack?
In the current world, I do not even believe an alien attack would do the job. In a world of so much difference, we must develop acceptance for one another. Only through acceptance can we move towards a global community.
Martin Luther King wrote, “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”
In today’s world, fighting violence with violence has proven itself to be a largely ineffective method of victory. Hate like this will only increase if we as a nation continue to hate the terrorists groups of the Middle East. We must learn to understand each other, and through this understanding, negotiations and progress can be made.
During the Enlightenment, an intellectual movement that swept through Europe during the 18th century, philosophers introduced the idea of a Utopia, a perfect society in which all prosper. While this may seem to be an impossible goal, I believe these philosophers were moving us in the right direction.
What happened to these ideas of the past? It seems that they have passed like wind in the meadow, leaving us in a shadow of violence. The human race must begin a new revolution, which is the evolution of the mind. And if we accomplish this, it will truly be, in the words of Winston Churchill, “our finest hour.”
During World War II, President Franklin D. Roosevelt spoke of four freedoms: The freedom of speech and expression, the freedom for every person to worship God in his own way, the freedom from want, and the freedom from fear. Achieving this would be more realistic than creating a Utopia, but before it can be done, we as a species must organize and end our conflicts.
The time has come to drop the past, to forgive those that have done you wrong.
A major problem in today’s world is the constant lust for revenge – Muslims who oppose the United States, blaming its soldiers for the death of a family member, Jews in Israel hating Muslims for their suicide bombings.
This hatred is not only found in the Middle East. Most inner-city killings are acts of revenge.
The youth of the world are being taught to immediately dislike certain cultures. When does it all end?
In Mark Twain’s novel The Adventures of Huck Finn, Huck encounters a family feud that has been going on for generations. Neither family knows how or when it started, and the only result of the feud is death – this is our world today.
No one is sure what began this violence, and the death toll continues to rise. It’s time to drop our petty differences and no longer call ourselves Americans, Christians, Jews, or Muslims, but humans.
The reality of the world is that people need to start helping one another. We need to start making some changes.
Let’s change the way we eat, let’s change the way we live, and let’s change the way we treat each other.
Tupac Shakur sang, “The old way wasn’t working and it’s on us to do what we’ve got to do to survive.”
While many Americans enjoy lives of luxury compared to most of the world, there are people all over, including in our community, who are facing very different situations.
When we go to vote, we look at a candidate’s foreign policies, and how liberal or conservative their stance is on health reform. Meanwhile, there are places where people care about food, about water, and about housing.
We can no longer stand for a system that creates such a high separation of classes. So as the Unitarian Universalist prayer says, let us open our eyes to see what is beautiful, let us open our minds to learn what is true, and let us open our hearts to love one another.
And in times of despair, let us remember that all throughout history, the ways of truth and love have always won.
As Gandhi said, “There have been tyrants and murderers and for a time they can seem invincible, but in the end they always fall. Think of it – always.”