Column: The world isn’t going to look out for us
Widely held beliefs of the Western world incorrectly assert two brutal assumptions: permanence and safety. Both play historic and contemporary roles in the dichotomy between expectation and disappointment. Because we are a thriving industrialized nation — a global “superpower” — we presume entitlement over the laws of nature.
We forget that, in spite of our sophisticated appliances, we are still interconnected members of the animal kingdom, and thus prone to the same random conditions inevitable in a closed and complex system of chaos. There is no permanence, just as there is no safety. Both are social constructs strategically designed to promote harmony.
The fact is, the populations of the Western world are a reasonably small percentage of the Earth’s population, far removed from the realities elsewhere. While one in five American children lives below the poverty line, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization estimates about 795 million people of the 7.3 billion people on the planet (or one in nine), currently suffers from chronic undernourishment. These individuals exist in a day-to-day struggle for survival. We take so much for granted; and perhaps we assume too much.
I do not know how much the world has changed. I do not know if the violence of our time is any different from the viciousness rained down in every era throughout human history. It’s probably naive to presume that our climactic changes feel less dire than historic anomalies that drove entire populations to unspeakable acts of survival.
In every generation throughout time, mothers and fathers have courageously lived and heroically died protecting their children from harm. I do not know if our time is any different from any other. Our technology enables us to see current world events in real time — exacerbating our urgent sense of panic, painting an increasingly dismal picture of our impending doom. But I wonder if our struggle, our conflict, our vulnerability, our suffering is any greater than those who suffered in any age before us.
We presume this sense of permanence; that time will go on and on — that things will somehow progress in our favor. We presume that when we turn on the faucet, we will be endlessly supplied with potable running water. We presume the sky is not falling; that the world is not suddenly about to come to a screeching halt; that we are (all of us) not hanging by a thread, on the precipice of finality, flirting on the very edge of time.
We presume that we will not be gunned down in broad daylight in public places or haphazardly exterminated by the whimsical fury of the deranged few. We presume that we are safe among our law enforcement officials and that “the powers that be” have our best interests in mind. And we’re somehow surprised anew every time we learn otherwise.
We are but a single moment. An instant. A fragile, vulnerable, infinitely insignificant miracle of life amidst an endless sea of star dust — and then we are gone. A remnant. A faint memory. I do not know if the human condition is any different than it ever was. Certainly, there have been stark improvements that parallel enduring sorrow. It is said that love conquers all, that death is another dimension of life — and that there is no future without hope and belief in the human spirit. I suppose I subscribe to those sentiments.
But the fact remains, there is no permanence. There is no safety; not for us or our children. Sure as birth there is death. And everything else is a chaotic fluctuation of interconnected, interdependent variables randomly bumping into each other. Love is what we make it. It is not enough to pray — we must take deliberate, purposeful action. Chance does not favor the idle. Trends are made by those who force change. This Love Revolution needs to get its act together and mobilize. We must stop expecting the world to look out for us. The rest of the planet is under no such delusions. That is naive thinking and a slowly diminishing fallacy, serving nothing.
Evan Zislis is author of the bestselling book “ClutterFree Revolution: Simplify Your Stuff, Organize Your Life & Save the World,” available on Amazon. He is founder and principal consultant of http://www.MyIntentionalSolutions.com. For more information, like ClutterFree Revolution on Facebook, call 970-366-2532, or email Evan@MyIntentionalSolutions.com.
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