The 21st Century calls humanity to awaken to the perilous path it walks.
There is order to life and existence. On its own, the natural world is in balance. The human world we have built is not automatically balanced, it evolves through the choices we make.
Humanity is called to a moral order which keeps life in balance. We have allowed an imbalance to grow to the point of threatening our very existence. We haven’t paid attention to seeking a balance and it is past time to wake up to the plight of our planet.
Within the living memory of our senior citizens there have been many wake-up calls: WWI, The Great Depression, WWII, Viet Nam and the anti-war movement, The Million Man March, 9/11, Black Lives Matter protests . . . but none has had a lasting effect. We fall back to sleep, ignoring the alarm being sounded. All those alarms were calling us to become aware that Humanity is on the wrong path, we’ve chosen division rather than unity—and we’ve lost our way to sustainability.
As we moved into the 21st Century, there were numerous massive climate crises: floods, tornados, earthquakes, hurricanes, droughts, wild fires, unprecedented winter storms, melting glaciers, rising ocean waters. It took two decades to finally acknowledge the danger this poses and there are still those who demy it. There is one climate that envelopes the earth, and collective human actions have disrupted it. It is our responsibility to correct it and that can only be done through international cooperation.
Most recently the world has been in the grip of a global pandemic; no nation has escaped its ravages; it has killed millions. It demonstrates our planet’s oneness.
The wake-up calls are getting louder, more dangerous and persistent. –To what are the wake-up calls calling us? To realize and act upon the fact that we are One World—which is a singular interacting interdependent unit! That is the critical realization that can save us from self-destructing.
Sustainability is a word that has become popularized. Broadly it means the ability to continue existence at a steady level (i.e. without threat or danger.) At present, our world is unstable—out of balance in ways that threaten humanity’s continuation. For us to achieve sustainability there are three major areas we must address. As difficult and impossible as it may seem, we must do it globally in a cooperative fashion.
1) We’ve come to see the obvious imbalance and threat from climate disruption; it has made itself known through multiple crippling disasters.
2) The next major imbalance is one which we are unwilling to acknowledge. It is that of economic imbalance. Oxfam International is a non-profit group focused on the global economic imbalance, giving annual reports. They have reported that the top 1% of the world population (the billionaires) hold the same amount of wealth as the whole bottom half. That is shocking and obscene that billionaires can buy private islands, personal planes, and gold toilets while half of the world starves.
3) The most immediate and dangerous threat we must awaken to is the stockpile of nuclear weapons. We don’t pay attention to that, it’s scary to contemplate, but within this last century, humanity has devised a way to annihilate all life on this planet. A nuclear war can do that! Throughout all of history humanity has engaged in warring. In the 1970’s there was an anti-war movement, but it met with opposition and went away—yet the nuclear arsenal of some 13,500 nuclear warheads still exists. That is the supreme world imbalance; on the whim of one unstable leader, a button can be pushed to end life as we know it. Look into statics of the nuclear arsenal; I recommend two websites: armscontrol.org and ‘nuclearweaponswhohaswhat’ provides a chart.
This century’s numerous climate crises together with the global pandemic, constitutes humanities wake-up call to recognize our One World in need of international cooperation to address the three major areas of threat that create the disastrous imbalance that could literally bring about our self-destruction.
There is a moral order which consciousness asks that we follow. When we failed that, we lost our way. Can we wake up in time?