(Picture: This is the latest addition to my Gambian family, just a little over a month old. He safely arrived (many babies there aren’t as fortunate) with the help of the Doctors at the Bijilo Medical Clinic, who have been providing care for my families for over ten years.)
We hate not fitting in more than anything else, and yet, we’ll never be all the same.
(Aldous Huxley, Brave new World)
It has been one year and one month that the latest plague in the world COVID 19 paid me a visit and left behind some afflictions yet to be determined. I have seen many doctors who have examined me and performed more tests than in my lifetime. There are still a few leads to be followed but wait times are extensive, and I manage to cripple around.
But I am not alone, as I am attached to several studies in my own quest for a solution to long COVID and have been keeping abreast of research on its affects. One recent cumulative study suggests that there are 200 symptoms and 65 million people in the world that have been affected long term.
I am not able to walk distances which curtails my travel and mobility and has given me much time to reflect on life, what is happening in the world, and contribute to these studies.
I have also registered for an online course around “system change and transition to a more just and sustainable future”, This to keep my mind active, and to learn more about what others think how peaceful change and a more just society can happen – it has been my life’s passion.
Change is a continuum, albeit most people resist it, and many rail about it, thinking it can be stopped – if only. The “if only” becomes the main passion of many, while others see it as a means to control, even profit from this promise.
This fallacy has become the driving force in many countries as radicals attempt to take people back to the “the way it was” and use governments, institutions and even religions to bring this about.
They use the current issues of economic, social decline, climate change, and now demographic collapse, as detrimental issues that can bring them power and control. I only mention these, I am sure there are others that I have not heard about yet. And yes, I agree that these issues are of great concern to humanity and the world itself and require global solutions.
António Guterres, the United Nations Secretary General said in a recent speech; “Humanity has a choice: co-operate or perish.” The real question that arises for me is with whom or what does humanity co-operate? The biggest crisis facing humanity, beyond all others is the divide that exists throughout the world, and the divisiveness among people.
Going back is not the issue, as in other times this divisiveness has resulted in much of the same experiences that we are witnessing in the world today. Turmoil, polarization, and war, often created by different government systems, new economic and educational models, and even religions to push their beliefs and agendas.
Since the last international human and environmental disaster of WWII, we have witnessed the greatest period of peace, development, innovation, and progress in human history.
Albeit not all the people in the world received the same benefits. As historical evidence would show, such progress, and wealth generation, usually brings out a human trait called greed.
Then the downward spiral of human advancement once again leads us to the current upheavals that we are experiencing today. The gap between the rich and poor in the world has never been as skewed, nor the environment so ravaged.
But life and nature, have their own ways and means of balancing existence. Increased natural disasters around the world are the means that nature brings balance to the environment, no matter how much we resist.
Wars, and the resultant collapse of human structures, institutions and economies are life’s means of bringing balance to humanity and all the creatures with whom we coexist in this world.
Nature and life are one and the same; but humanity mostly considers them as separate and different. This is evident in the way we view our world as a solid rock to be plundered, instead it is a living vibrant moving wonder within an endless universe.
Mr. Guterres statement about the choice for humanity of co-operating or perishing has real meaning, if it means that we must co-operate with life and nature. The option we have as humans is not going back in time, but realizing that life is all about balance, nothing else. The challenge is how we do this; certainly not by destroying what exists.
Instead of trying to go back or continuing along the path that we followed for the past few decades, we must realistically look at life and nature consider the things that are out of balance and how they can be stabilized and improved.
We must bridge the gap between those who have plenty, and those that are barely surviving. We in the developed world have much to learn from the needy.
Why should 2700 billionaires own and control 99% of the monetary wealth that exists. The monetary system that exists is a human creation that is only artificial. It will eventually disappear in time, as another means of measuring economic wealth is created. Money wasn’t always the means, nor the basis of measuring human wealth or status.
We must stop the destruction and depletion of natural life to the detriment of humanity, while redefining what economy means. If not, humanity will surely perish – but life will still exist.
A significant human creation was time itself and has come to define human existence and belief. Life is infinite, human existence is not, even if most have been indoctrinated to believe in an afterlife.
We know so little about the universe, existence, and life itself that we have had to create new concepts and constructs to cope with the unknown. Since humanity arrived on this planet, those who would control convinced others that they knew the answers to what can never be known.
As a result, religions, governments, educational and other systems were created to keep order, balance and structures in which people could live. Time has been a way to measure progress and life itself.
What is known is that all of humanity is the same, even with differences, and that we all need each other. Only when we once again realize this will we understand life itself, and not worry about what lies beyond our existence.
The creation of a caring, sharing and loving humanity is what is most important, and not the constructs and systems that we create – they have been recreated and changed many times in human history.
Perfection has never been found because we fear difference, even if what appears is perfect for the time and for life. The tendency is to destroy it because it is different.
Only with relative peace and understanding among people, no matter their differences will we once again make the progress necessary to save ourselves. We need to understand that life is meant to be lived, and that the world, in all its wonder, must be respected and enjoyed.
Life and nature are perfect, despite human interventions to make everything the same.
Written by William (Bill) Pardy
February 18th, 2023