Is the world such a bad place? I sit and ponder. I woke up in a comfortable bed, with hot and cold running water. I own a car and a computer. I am literate, have a modest part-time job, a smartphone, heating and cooling, a roof over my head, and food to eat. But in the past, I have woken up impoverished, homeless and abused in a women’s refuge. This was managed by other women who had survived similar circumstances. They guided us to rebuild our lives, make a fresh start.
Is the world such a bad place? An opinion on this question depends on whether any person is a ‘have’, or a ‘have-not’ in society. I am classified as a ‘have’. Only one third of the world’s population is literate, and has access to first world luxuries, such as the digital technologies of the 21st century.
Even in Australia, there is a growing divide between the ‘haves’ and the ‘have-nots’. Unemployment among young people is displaying alarming statistics. I know of young people who have studied hard for three degrees, working in the local supermarket. Well, good for them for obtaining jobs! Their path in life can change at any time.
Our governments preach of a ‘surging economy’. However, unemployment appears to be part of the capitalist world where we dwell. Even the ‘haves’ seem to be dipping into their savings, trying to slash spending, and not feeling better off than the real battlers. Society is progressing with the privileges many of us take for granted. As long as there has been a human race, there has been progress created by our brain’s capacity for invention.
For example, 2,000 years ago, the world was inhabited by 1-2 million people, surrounded by billions of trees. Progress was created. Electricity, gunpowder, automobiles, trains, aeroplanes, space ships, a whole world of television, and a computer age. Progress has also chopped down billions of trees, made lots of chemicals, and created climate change. Yes, the human race is progressing to make change. It is up to us to accept change for what it is, either as a positive or a negative. As a natural born optimist, I would reflect on experts who predict that global flooding will ensue, followed by a global ice age. Or there will be total global warming, with little atmosphere. Governments are seeking solutions. Reafforestation is simplistic, but still
possible. Planting and growing trees is not rocket science.
We are all global members of this vast society, perhaps feeling somewhat powerless to alter progress. Do we rely too much on the ‘powers that be’? These are the lynchpins of society: the munitions industry; the mining industry; the oil industry; the finance industry; and the media. In the media, bad news makes news, to make us feel the world is a bad place.
We are all only little cogs in society. Is our world such a bad place? There is a vast burgeoning over-population on our planet. They are all creating a demand for housing, food some form of
employment, hoping for a chance of democracy, to share in global wealth. Some are governed by extremism, or terrorism, or Communism, or believe in any religion, or in atheism. Any –ism is open to criticism, even cynicism (another –ism). Many people believe in faith in something, which seems to be a basic human need, as old as the human race.
Who knows how society will look in five years, in 50 years, in 100 years? The millennial generations who have first world progress will invent their own change. Computers and televisions, even
a smartphone, may one day be only an eidetic memory in any human’s brain.
There is still much natural beauty in the world. Is the world such a bad place? It depends on whether you are a ‘have’ or a ‘have-not’. If you are reading this, you are literate. Education could be a part of a global solution. A pessimist would declare that the human race are a bunch of lemmings, hell-bent on self-destruction. An optimist would state that we must have faith in our human ability to create change for the long-term benefit of the human race, and the world which surrounds us. The only thing we cannot change is progress.