I began to write an article about the need for the people in the world to discuss what it means to be human as apparently many seem to have forgotten, especially those in “developed” countries. We witness many leading protests advocating freedoms, but ignoring responsibility, while at the same time, their protests impede the freedom of others; and often damage their property and harm them.
This situation brings home the fact that there is no genuine freedom without taking responsibility for our words and actions and deeds to every other human being that inhabits this planet with us. As has been demonstrated over history, one human or a group of humans can extinguish the life and living for others.
We can look to Canada where the recent “truckers protest,” held to gain their freedom, kept many people in Ottawa captive and hostage for several weeks, and disrupted “free trade” between Canada and the United States. These disruptions cost companies, their employees, and the economy hundreds of millions of dollars. One has to ask what type of freedom were they offering?
Taking their message from the sublime to the ridiculous, they were demanding that a government, democratically elected several months ago, resign, and turn the government over to them, as if they were capable of running a national government.
Two “Christian pastors” were extorting the protesters that theymust be prepared to die for this freedom. What religion requires people to die, most bibles teach life, love and living and not death. Fortunately for the protestors, Canada, and the world, these two phonies were arrested.
The world has been sleeping when it comes to expressing an understanding of our responsibilities in this life. People have been trampling others with total disregard for human life and living – all that has been important is themselves and what they could acquire.
Then, Vladimir Putin decided to attack Ukraine and its people to deprive them of the hard-earned freedom they have created since the demise of the Soviet Union, or worse still, annihilate them completely from this world. Such is his depravity, and his hatred for Ukrainians.
All of a sudden, a tragedy is happening on such a scale that it has awakened a majority of people in almost every nation on this earth to the fact that not only is freedom fragile, but life itself also can be at risk if we don’t realize our responsibility to life itself.
Mass protests and rallies have been taking place all over the world, even in countries where freedom is but a dream. People may hope that this might be their opportunity to gain their liberty as well. They are protesting this tragic war in Ukraine, the criminality of Putin’s actions, and the disaster he is creating for Ukrainians, their cities, and the whole country.
I would expect that many of these protesters fear a much wider conflict and ask themselves – “Will we be next to have our homes and cities bombed?” Yet, most are thinking and saying there has to be a better way for humanity to get along in this world.
This better way has to include dialogue, engagement and understanding and can’t be just about war and threats towards others. It has to be about what it truly means to be human in a world that consistently changes, shifts, and brings forth many of its own challenges to life and living.
We don’t have to create problems for ourselves. We need to revisit, discuss, and agree on a set of values for humans to be able to live harmoniously that suit the changing world in which we live.
It is naive to think that with the diversity of human life and even the natural world in which we live, that disagreements will not happen But, there has to be a better way than fighting and killing those who don’t agree.
To preserve our lives, our homes and our country takes the collective will and actions of the vast majority of the people who inhabit this planet it with us. It would be deceitful, even to ourselves, to suggest that a common set of values can be created to satisfy everyone; it has never happened in human history.
Over time humans have created religions, governments, and institutions to make life better for all, most have had differing aims and objectives, and even differing values. Historically, most all have failed over time, as they became outmoded, intransigent, and then at some point in time, they disintegrate and become redundant. It appears we have arrived at such a time when current generations have to face this challenge.
Throughout history, it is at this juncture that some person or group of people decide they want to inflict their own set of values to control all of humanity, as if they could.
They then begin the process of forcing people to comply, usually with the threat of extinguishing those that refuse to agree. The threat is usually forceful enough to cower many who happen to be positions of power and fear losing their own authority. They hesitate or retreat and allow the person or group the space they need to gain control others, which then encourages others to replicate their actions.
We only have to look at the January 6, 2021 fiasco in the United States, whereby a defeated leader and his followers tried to overturn a proven genuine democratic election in order to force their own beliefs. This would and taken away the freedom of the people and disregarded a democratic process in a country built upon the foundation of democracy.
Then we flit to Europe and Ukraine where the president of Russia, Vladimir Putin, has vowed to take away the freedom of everyone who lives in Ukraine because he doesn’t believe they should exist, and he wishes to control this country.
He is a mad psychopath in the mold of Hitler and has visons of controlling everyone in the world, and to be sure, if he can conquer Ukraine, he will move into other former Eastern Bloc countries, then into Europe and ultimately head for America and Canada.
It appears that growing numbers, especially in the “free world,” are willing to give up their freedom for authoritarian control, because they don’t want to have responsibility for anyone or anything. On one hand we have people protesting, because the government is trying to protect everyone from a deadly pandemic with some sensible controls. They even fantasize that they can run government better than a freely elected democratic government.
Then on the other hand we have a large part of the world continuing fighting for the freedoms that these people already enjoy. Once again, we have a mad despot threatening to extinguish the freedoms Ukraine has legitimately earned since the demise of the Soviet System, to establish an autocratic system that he believes would give him power over the world.
He has threatened that if anyone interferes, he will unleash a nuclear disaster that would be beyond anything people have ever experienced in history. This threat has cowered most of the leaders of the free world.
But the attack on Ukraine and that threat awakened and enlivened massive numbers of people who are now protesting his actions across the entire world including in his own country. In Ukraine people have fought back and diminished his plan for domination. In Russia, he has arrested thousands, and still the people protest.
This is a special moment in the history of humanity, whereby people of such a magnitude have stood together and said enough, trying to convince their leaders to make a little more effort and stop the killing and destruction, and their protests continue.
People have said we need dialogue, engagement, and consensus on how humans can live together in peace, but who will assume the challenge and lead the process?
Written by William (Bill) Pardy
March 11th, 2022