Tag Archives: OUR WORLD

A World in Crisis

 

As most of you know, those that follow me regularly, I am a Canadian. With that title comes some responsibility. We are known for being polite and kind and inoffensive. If you would indulge me for a few moments I would like to step outside my comfort zone and get a few things off my chest.

ARE YOU FLIPPING KIDDING ME!  Whew! That felt better. What will follow is a little rant. No, it’s a big rant. It is a global rant. I am somewhat annoyed. Am I allowed to say: pissed off? My mother would not be pleased. This may be the only time I will ever say that I am happy my parents are not still alive. Because this crap-fest would probably kill them.

In early March of 2020, the world was introduced to a deadly pandemic. We were frightened and rightly so. People were dying. A lot of people were dying. So, we did what we needed to do. We locked down, stepped away from our lives, our loved ones, our friends. We learned what social distancing meant and we adhered to it strictly. We washed our hands constantly and we did everything we could, to lessen the impact of this global crisis. And we did.  Some parts of the world were able to flatten the curve as they say. Canada is in ok shape. We are in no way out of danger but some areas of our large country have very few cases of Covid. Why? Because they took it seriously and when the curve flattened, they kept on taking it seriously.

New York City showed us just how bad it could be. It was terrifying. But they took action. It was strict, it was drastic and it worked.  A number of countries around the world have made a difference. Tanzania, Thailand, Vietnam,  Cambodia, Australia, Nigeria.   In some cases, it’s because it’s a smaller country and they’re able to control things better. In some cases, it’s because they understand the need for diligence. And it can’t just be a government ordering people to do the right thing, it has to be the people as well. Individuals have to be involved; they have to do the work. They have to wash their hands, wear their masks, be adult about it!

And people did what needed to be done, in the beginning. And then they started to scream human rights and nonsense about measures not working. They didn’t want to wear their masks even though if you have eyes, ears and a brain you can see that it does work. There is proof all over the world that it does work. The strict measures made a difference. But there will always be a certain element of stupidity in our societies. Mostly it is amusing but not deadly. Now it is killing people.

Kids, young adults are complaining that they need to see their friends so they go to a party with 100 people. And 15 people come away with Covid and pass it on to their friends and family in their little bubbles. And they in turn pass it off to strangers in the grocery store or in the bank. And before you know it, we have a Covid Tsunami. All because some idiot wanted to go to a party. And how many people will lose their lives because of that stupid party? And the ones that went to it might never know what they have done. And that angers me. I want to take their smug little faces and run it into the caskets of those who die.

I chose to go into my apartment and stay put in March 2020. I am not one of the ones that is beleaguered and suffering because I have to be on my own. I have a TV, a computer, a phone, books. I can amuse myself just fine. I visit with friends and family via Zoom or Skype or FaceTime or just the phone. But I am protecting them and I am protecting myself. I’d rather be part of the solution then part of the problem.

For now, our world is in crisis and I do hope we will all survive it. But we won’t. We are going to lose a lot. It is believed one third of the world’s population was infected in the 1918 Flu Pandemic.  They lost at least 50 million people. The world population at the time?  1.8 Billion.  Today the world stands at 7.8 Billion.  Those infected? 58,260,174.  Deaths? 1,383,349. (as of 21/11/20 1:11pm)

Mothers, Fathers, Sons, Daughters, Cousins, Friends. Dead.

Rant concluded.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Just a few examples

 

Cases of Covid             Population (millions)

Tanzania                     509                                      60+

Thailand                  3,902                                      70 +

Vietnam                  1,306                                       97+

Cambodia                  305                                       17+

Australia              27,806                                       25+

Nigeria                 65,982                                     208+

 

Information from:  http://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/?

Evolution?

The planet we inhabit was formed about 4. 5 billion years ago. Since then it has been evolving, growing, changing. It has only been able to support life for about 3.5 billion years.  We arrived about 200,000 years ago.  A little late to the party but we have made one hell of an impact!

And we as a species evolved. We no longer grunt to communicate because of course that’s rude. We tamed our world and beat it into submission. We harnessed the power of fire and air and water. But it was a long time getting to where we are now. And where are we going? We have caused so much damage on our journey but not all of it was our fault.

As a species we are greedy and we always want more. Perhaps we are still children in the greater scheme of things and like children we always want… But we are also curious and that curiosity leads us to go farther and farther from our home. We want to learn and that is perhaps our greatest asset. But like children we need to be cautionary. We need to learn to take small steps before those giant leaps. We have taken some big leaps and failed miserably but we learned from our failure. We are resilient and if we can temper our insatiable curiosity just a tiny bit then perhaps the future is not bleak.

As individuals we are also evolving. We have come through the Cro-Magnon and the Neanderthal to Homo sapiens. It was a long journey and there are a few who seem to be reverting back to an earlier stage. We tolerate them. But we are trying. We are trying to correct our mistakes, perhaps not as quickly as we should have, but we are trying. And perhaps that is all we can expect. Or maybe that is the mistake. Maybe we need to reach for the stars and expect to reach it.  Could that be the next step in our evolution?  What we are willing to do to reach it?  Are we willing to give up who we are for who we could become? Am I? Are you?

That is the frightening thing about the future: we don’t know what to expect. We can hope but we won’t know until after the fact and history records what happened. But we can work towards a better future if we work together. And as an unrepentant optimist I believe that our future will be wondrous. Perhaps not today or tomorrow, but the distant future is what I believe in. Just as I believe in me and you.

My Ark

Several years ago, there was a psychological project in one of my psych classes. It asked us to decide who you would want to share a lifeboat with. I actually don’t remember my response at the time but I’m sure it included family and friends. Nowadays I would need a bigger boat. Hence My Ark. And then I started to think a little more. I’m still gonna need a bigger boat.

So how about I change it up just a little bit more. Instead of a boat, let’s choose a world. And what kinds of people would I want to populate that world? Now the question is getting really interesting.

Of course, they’ll always be my family and friends included wherever I am. But who else? And how exactly do I classify a friend? People I care about but are not necessarily friends, I would still want them included. There are people I don’t know and are definitely not classified as friends but still I think there’s a place for them. So, let’s try to categorize this a little bit.

The world will always need its Dreamers. People to inspire us and make us look to the stars. They provide us with incentive. And then of course we will need the Scientists to help us create the perfect world. And scientists are only as good as the Workers that are able to make their ideas come to life. We will also need Engineers and Mathematicians. And Teachers to teach us the mathematics. And I think we actually need Politicians. I know it’s heresy to say that but think about it. We need people who can direct where the need is greatest. Perhaps we can come up with a different name.

We will need people who know how to make things grow and people to make us laugh. We need Doctors and Architects, Botanists and Artists, Writers, Singers, Entertainers. We need people who can play sports and those who can cook.  Every facet of life requires a different skill which requires a different person. We are all interconnected. We all need each other.

It would be easy to say let’s keep criminals off our world but how is that possible? Murderers are not born they are created. How? People commit crimes for a reason. If we take away the reason, we take away the need for the crime. Simplistic? Yes. That is why we need the Dreamers.

Of course, no world of mine would be possible without its animals. We need animals for companionship, for assistance, for food and for clothing. Remember the Bible story of Noah? I wonder what he felt like when he welcomed the mosquitoes on board his Ark? Mosquitoes are a horrible menace to us here and yet they provide a valuable service. They are food for birds, spiders and reptiles. They help to pollinate. It might actually have been a different world and perhaps not a successful one, without them.  There’s a lesson there.

We can’t pick and choose who we want to share our world with because we all have a part to play. All Of Us. This planet, this earth, this world is Our Ark. In order to make it work we all have to come together as one species: The Human Race.

 

 

 

Dear Diary;

It is been 68 days.  Sixty. Eight. Days. I am a prisoner. There’s been no ransom demand, he hasn’t tried to assault me, still, I’m a prisoner in this hovel, this shack. I am going to die here. I’m going to die alone. I don’t think my friends and family know where I am. I haven’t been to work and yet no one has tried to find me. I have been forgotten.

I’m hiding this diary from him because I think when I’m dead, perhaps someone will find this Journal. My last testament. Proof I was here. He feeds me. I have water. I’m even allowed to shower and sleep in a real bed. I don’t know what he wants. I don’t know what matters anymore.

I’ve begun to question my sanity. Was the life I led before, a dream? Are my memories wrong? I remember large groups of people laughing. I remember crowded sidewalks and arguments with strangers. I remember the smell of cars and cheap perfume. I miss those smells. How did I get here?

I can hear him, my jailer. He’s moving around. Is he the reason I’m being kept here against my will? Have I done something to wrong him? Dear Diary I don’t know what’s real anymore. When I’m able to look out the windows, all I see are trees. There are no people, there are no cars, no buildings. Where am I? He’s coming! Oh, dear God! He’s coming!

“Hey hon? I’m just about to hop in for a quick swim. How about after that I toss a few steaks on the barbecue? The cottage is a great place to sit out the pandemic!”

 

 

A Moment of Introspection

Late this morning I was on my balcony feeling a little sorry for myself.  There was no real need. I’m healthy, I am safe and I have all my needs met, except for one. I enjoy spending time on my own. I can write when I’m alone. I can paint when I’m alone. I can watch TV or read. At my fingertips I have the entire world on the Internet. But there’s one thing I cannot have:  people. I miss people. I missed seeing them on the street and in the shops. But not seeing them is a small price to pay for keeping us healthy. It’s the least I can do.

As I was looking out over my balcony, I was aware that I was alone. There was no one in sight. This is a busy intersection and there are usually a lot of people and cars and noise. But today I could hear clearly the birds chirping away in, what I can only assume is, a song of joy. They are not competing with the fumes generated by cars or the cacophony of voices that accompanies any large group of people. The air is clear and the faint breeze is sweet.

At a distance I can hear a car. But it is not close. There are no planes in the air or trains in the background.  A Security car has just stopped outside my bank. I can see him. He’s all alone. He only stays for a moment and then leaves. A solitary car pulls up into the empty parking lot and I can see through its windows that there are two passengers.  I watch as she don’s gloves before she enters the empty bank. There’s a bank machine there. Within moments they too were gone. I can see birds flying free and unencumbered. This is a moment of introspection.

People are worried and rightly so. The last pandemic of this magnitude was in 1918. It lasted from January 1918 to December 1920. Infected 500 million people, about one quarter of the world’s population at the time. 102 years ago. Have we learned enough to combat this one? Over 1 million people in the world have been infected so far. Out of 7 billion!

Church bells are ringing in support of those on the front lines. I see videos and hear stories of people coming out onto their balconies or at the end of their driveways and singing. They’re making noise. They are rejoicing in being alive. They are refusing to give up or to give in. We will survive this. Our planet will have time to heal and we will have time to take stock.  What really is important in our lives, in our world? Maybe now we’ll learn the truth.

We are not isolating ourselves; we are distancing ourselves. It is a huge difference. And that is what will keep us together. I hope it will bring us closer as individuals and as a species. Be well.

I Didn’t Break The 50s!

 

Technically, I was child of the 50s.  Well at least for six months. With wild abandon I guzzled homemade milk and had a bevy of staff to cater to my every need. It was paradise.

In reality, I was a child of the 60s. I do recall watching the moon landing on a black-and-white TV. We only had three stations to watch and you had to get up to change the channel. There were no cell phones or colour TVs.  The Internet hadn’t been invented. I was a kid. I went outside and played. I scraped my knees and probably bloodied my nose a few times. We could breathe the air deeply and not worry about coughing up a lung. Most recollections are idyllic.

But the 60s was also a time of war, poverty, assassinations, racism and sickness. The history books remember the bad stuff. People try not to. It was a time of Family and single incomes. Roles were expected for men and women and children. It was only in those progressive families that young girls were allowed to dream without restrictions. I didn’t know there were restrictions. But then I didn’t know what to dream.

Times were different in the past. There was good and bad. But we evolved. That sounds like a step forward but it too comes with both good and bad. We eradicated some diseases and then created new ones. We got smart and creative in how to deal with illnesses, viruses, so they too evolved.  Now we have superbugs and inefficient medicines. Nowadays we love our children to dream without restrictions but then we stress them out with the requirements to succeed. A double-edged sword.

I am in an unrepentant optimist. I believe we will solve the problems we created. Am I naïve? Perhaps. But I look around this world and I see our children recognizing the problems and standing up. They are shaming the past and working hard towards fixing the future. Will they succeed? I hope so. I doubt I’ll be around to see everything fixed. I believe we are moving in the right direction. But this is not something that can only be on the shoulders of the children. We all need to be involved. Even if it’s only in a small way. The very least we can do is support them.

Our world is a paradise. There is incredible beauty here but we must be prepared to look and to see.  We must also be prepared to defend that paradise. We only have one world and we are all in this together. It isn’t about one group, one culture, one faction. It is all of us!

 

Distraction

Life is a distraction,

A leaf flutters by!

There’s so much to do,

Look, birds in the sky!

 

But work must be done.

A flower’s in bloom!

To put food on the table

We need to consume.

 

Life is for living

And support is required

To allow us to live

Before we’re expired.

 

Perhaps we are wrong

About so many things

We really could wait

To see what life brings.

 

Life is a distraction

That could bring us joy

It can also bring peace

We then could employ

 

 

 

#Crazy?

 

I must be.  I’ll bet you are too. We must be if we think this B-Sht Crazy World is going to make it.  I mean think about it.  Our planet is a mess, we only have one world, there is no back up. And yet as hard as some people work to try to fix all the problems, there are too many others who are apathetic.  Even worse are those who fight against the solutions for personal gain.

People around the world are starving but we can feed them, we can heal sicknesses, provide care, promote education. But because of greed and apathy people don’t get the support they need.  This planet has more than enough resources to support everyone if we share but we don’t know how to get along. We really don’t.

Food.  It all comes down to food.  One of the leading causes of death worldwide, is food related.  In some countries: obesity, diabetes, heart disease, cancer. In other countries: starvation. How can we let this happen?

We have pristine beaches we purposely pollute because we are lazy?  We have places to put garbage so why don’t we? We expect others to clean up after us. We want the problems to be fixed but we don’t want to be responsible.

Too many dreams left unfilled can lead to apathy. Which explains so much. We have improved our lives a great deal but we have lost a lot along the way. We have lost understanding, compassion and acceptance.  We find ways to promote hatred and that becomes all consuming.

Perhaps the most controversial problem facing our world is climate change. And we cannot agree on that!  Open your eyes and look out the window. Are your winters the same as they were fifty years ago?  Your summers twenty years ago? Some of the most violent weather recorded has happened in the last decade.  Cause for concern?  I think so.  And so do scientists worldwide.  I think I’ll take my cue from them.  Naming a problem is the first step towards solving it and that took far too long!  Now we need to fix it.  Or at least decrease its impact.

But we run into the universal problem: we can’t get along.  We are so blinded by our petty hatreds, greed and apathy we are unable to see the real picture.  Our world is dying.  It probably won’t happen in our lifetime or our children’s children lifetime. But is that the legacy we want to leave our distant future:  we didn’t care enough?