United We Stand
“North Korea announces that after decades of development, it now has the ability to…cure cancer.”
“Russian hackers interrupt rapidly developing climate change and launch a virus that will set us back years in climate damage done and puts us on a collision course with a healthy planet.”
“Hunger has been put on notice: Overnight raids by U.S. Forces into hunger stricken countries will feed millions for years to come.”
Can you imagine?
If you follow me on Facebook, you may have seen these before. I posted those “potential headlines” a couple years ago and am just now getting around to expanding on them. If anything, I hope the following makes you think, makes you consider what is happening all around us and perhaps reconsider, what truly matters in this game called life.
Human nature is a funny thing. We are, without hesitation, the most intelligent living organism on this planet. Both in how we’ve evolved and how we’ve used that evolution to our advantage. Think about the increasing rate of innovation. We are learning faster than we did before and we are using that learning to do incredible things. There’s an article published by the Harvard Business Review on technology adoption and in it, they show this chart from Michael Felton of the New York Times:
Of them all, one that stands out to me is the original telephone vs. that of the cellphone. The speed of innovation and ability to globally “adopt it" has changed the world.
That said, we remain “hindered” by things that unite us. Not small groups of us, passionate about a specific cause or area of focus, but by how we unite as a race:
Fear unites us
Hate unites us (which ultimately I think points back to fear)
Beliefs unite us (especially those we cannot scientifically prove exist(ed)
Oppression unites us (again, links back to fear)
While there are certainly others, these four alone cause unimaginable pain, heartache and loss around the world. They lead to wars, which lead to extreme loss of life, which ultimately leads to one side or the other feeling oppressed. And thus, a never-ending virtuous circle is created.
Now, here is the sinister / complicated part. Those wars and that fear, drive the innovation we talked about above. Forever, technology advancement has piggybacked on one of our (humans) greatest instincts, survival.
Let’s pause there. And take a moment to recognize that we opened by saying that we are the most advanced, intelligent organism on earth and yet our advancement through innovation is driven by a very primitive instinct. Survival.
250+ years ago, the world was a massive place. Or at least, it felt that way because in reality, it was no bigger than today. Weeks to cross the oceans, days to move between cities and hours to write a letter…that would then take days or weeks to get delivered. My point here, we were united with those around us because our “world” was small. Neighborhoods, cities, states and nations were as big as we could “think”.
Fast forward to 2019, in the time it took to cross the Atlantic Ocean once from NYC to London, you could cross it 144 times by plane. Trains can move us between countries and cities in minutes or hours and most people under 20 years old have never written a letter. Global communication is instantaneous. We have gone from 100’s of countries, to one world. And yet, we still insist on building barriers (walls) between us, developing weapons to either protect or attack that could kill by the millions and still believe there are significant differences between “us and them”. If you believe that, I encourage you to travel the world. And what you quickly understand is that we are all, very similar. We work to provide for our family, we love our families, we want better for our children and we believe most people are inherently “good”.
If the above resonates then it would be safe to say that fear and hate unites and that we are quickly becoming one global population. Fair? Then I would suggest it is time to unite around those same things but as a global population.
Hate for those that use hate to drive us apart
Fear that if we don’t act soon, we are going to harm this planet beyond what we are capable of repairing
A common belief that if we don’t get smart about the weapons we create we will be the cause of our own downfall
Oppress the radical groups that aim to dismantle advancement in return for news coverage and terror
It’s time to go to war. We need to fight for our planet. We need to fight for each other. No matter the gender, the race, the sexual preference or the religious beliefs. It’s time to fight for our future. And believe that as an united group of 7B+, fighting for the same survival instinct that has driven us for 1000’s of years, we’re capable of anything.