Sunday, December 18, 2011

Regarding the Future of the Human Species

In my mind, the greatest challenge that faces the species in the 21st century is the issue of climate change.  It will prove to be the essential test as to whether the species is intelligent enough to recognize its culpability in endangering the life of the planet with the detritus of what is referred to as human progress; assume the appropriate responsibility for the consequences of its collective behavior, begin to seriously address the issue with the appropriate remedies in a timely fashion with the future in mind, or continue along its destructive path and suffer the undeniable fate.  If the past and present history of the species in regards to its capacity for stewardship of the planetary environment is any indicator than the real character of the future is sadly predictable.  With the optimism of Desmond Tutu in mind, what we need is a transfiguration on a global scale.  It is my fondest hope that such a monumental and unexpected change in human behavior occurs and radically alters human destiny.

Monday, December 12, 2011

The American Political Character

I have witnessed many presidential campaigns as a young and now aging adult.  I have seen my own idealism evolve into an optimism tempered by reality taking into account the essential frailty of the human spirit.  What I have noted over the years in regards to the national political climate is an ever-increasing mean-spiritedness – a growing inability on the part of members of the political opposition to listen to each other; to truly engage in meaningful conversation and dialog.  Politicians have become subservient to power and have almost completely abandoned their legitimate roles as servants of the people.  Instead, they seem to pander to the raw emotions, negative feelings, prejudices and fears of their constituents rather than appeal to the intellect.  

This is an alarming aspect of the American political life, for without meaningful discussion and reasoned arguments, the real problems that haunt American life will continue to haunt us.  This uncharitable, rude, unintelligent and often hostile view of those with differing views both inside national borders and directed at entire countries that do not share our supposed values is highly destructive. 

There is something strangely mesmerizing and perversely appealing about the unabashed ignorance that is endlessly flaunted by much of the national media.  I believe it appeals to the aggressiveness that is often a characteristic of human behavior.  Viewpoints that are based primarily upon fear and ignorance are, by their nature, destructive.  In the long run, decisions derived from a true meeting of minds and having as their foundation a belief in human love, humility and compassion will have a real chance to succeed and endure.