Resist the havoc that haters want to spread

The world seems to have entered frenzied times. These are days when insecurity is rising as settled customs in politics and manners disintegrate. How can we keep our sanity? There are forces at large in the world that would have us take leave of our senses; that would have us hate our brothers and sisters of the human family on account of differences of race, religion, and nationality.

So let’s make sure we are clear about the most basic values that we must never lose hold of. These include truth, justice and empathy. We cannot afford to bend on these, or our moral character will be hollowed out and our communities will be desolated.

Truth is not discovered without effort and the efforts of those who seek truth must be honoured. The world’s scientists, its journalists, academic researchers, artists and writers, teachers, comedians and probers of every sort must be respected and defended.

Justice is debased when decisions are based not on the intrinsic dignity of every human being but on the advancement of special interests in the pursuit of dog-eat-dog competition.

Empathy is the cornerstone of decency and the greatest restraint against allowing oneself to become involved in acts of cruelty or turning a blind eye to suffering.

If these values seem to be under attack today it is not something that suddenly happened, but a storm that has been brewing for a long time. It is not that a healthy world has suddenly been struck down by sickness, but a sick world has suddenly reached an acute stage of its illness.

Racism, religious prejudice, nationalism and disdain for the truth have been present in our midst all along. We have made some progress against these dark forces, but the efforts have been insufficient. Our systems of collective life have remained deeply infected by them and the infection has recently broken out into a raging fever.

This is because we haven’t dug deep enough to remove the problem at its roots. We have let some racism slip by, some injustice go unremedied, some nationalism be celebrated, some dishonesty go uncorrected. And this is because we haven’t quite been willing to acknowledge the full implications of the fact that humankind is ultimately one family, regardless of the borders drawn on maps and differences in skin colour, culture and belief.

The underlying direction that history is heading does not support the division of the human race. Economics and technology are forcing us together and making us confront each other as never before. Outbreaks of divisive attitudes are occurring in resistance to the resulting discomfort. These negative attitudes towards outsiders are doomed to fail in the long run, but in the short run they are causing terrible havoc.

People of goodwill need to become deeply devoted to the ideal of the oneness of humanity and do all they can to see that this ideal, sooner rather than later, comes to permeate all the institutions of society, national and international. Everything needs to be reformed in the light of this ideal. Then the powers of fascism and hatemongering will have nothing to feed on.

One planet. One people. Bring it on!

Header image: qimono/pixabay