A current snapshot of the human world would reveal a very troubled, beleaguered and often deadly place for millions upon millions of humans. If I were to create a partial listing of areas on the globe where human-inspired conflagration was evident, it would look something like this –
· Millions of Syrians have already fled their country as innocents are being besieged and slaughtered by their own government and by pseudo Islamic State referred to as The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) led by a group of Islamic fundamentalist involved in atrocities of a most unsettling nature that are supposedly sanctioned by their Creator – behavior reminiscent of the early Crusades under the banner of Christendom. This forced emigration is having an unsettling impact on the neighboring countries of Jordan, Lebanon and Europe.
· The people of Northern Yemen are being killed in large numbers by aerial bombardment from Saudi fighter planes as a part of a coalition effort to derail the growing influence of the Houthis. It seems that the United States is part of that effort supplying armaments including bombs and cluster devices.
· The people of Gaza have lived under horrific conditions for years. The entire population of this rather miniscule strip of land has been kept as virtual prisoners by the Israeli government that periodically uses deadly force to control and constrain them.
· The African continent has many hotspots where regional conflict abounds including Nigeria, The Congo, Kenya, Libya and Tunisia. The specific cause(s) for violence and aggression in each of these regions have different explanations, but the end result remains the same – horrific suffering and death endured by many.
The unsettling reality that underlies all of these examples of human discord, mayhem and destruction is the fact that even though we are in the midst of the twenty-first century – a time of remarkable change inspired by technological innovation and scientific exploration regarding the nature of reality – the lessons that human history should have taught us remain unlearned.
While historians and political scientists attempt to find the immediate explanations for these regional conflagrations as they should; for, that is nature of their work, an important point is missed. What individuals who have the good fortune to live in sovereignties with stable governments under the rule of law and with sustainable economies fail to recognize is that the history of these countries is replete with blood, savagery and needless death in order to accommodate the will to power and dominance. This to me is an inescapable truth. All the sad and reckless behavior that typifies the current state of humanity is nothing new. We, as a species, have been there many times before.
In my mind, the tragedy of the human experience is that we, as a species, have collectively failed to develop a new paradigm for living. We seem to continue to embrace a world view in which differences in religion, political belief, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, cultural identification and economic status are paramount and provide sufficient reason for enmity, suspicion, hatred and violence.
We have failed to recognize that all members of the our species are worthy of living a full and fruitful existence deserving; of equal treatment and equality of opportunity and justified in the expectation of equal access to that which is essential to life – adequate nutrition, housing, healthcare, peace and social justice and security. Without this all-inclusive mindset we are doomed to repeat this cycle again and again
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