Global Community/Global Challenges Part I by Steve Kanney

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Before taking a close look at the global community, we should first consider how we can best work with our challenges. We know that  the world has grown smaller. We no longer view governments by nation, but by blocks of nations. Industry spawned the truly global corporation and communication around the world via the internet is virtually instantaneous. As the world approaches a population of 7 billion people, we are being drawn together with constraints on natural resources as well as food and water, a crisis of pollution and the extinction of one after another species.Previously we tended to look at our environment as us vs them, whether the us is just oneself, one’s family, friends, nation, etc. The question we face now is whether this approach will enable the survival of the human race in the face of such challenges and worldwide interdependence. Would intelligent self interest suggest we continue with business as usual, or does our survival mandate we rather take responsibility to feed and cloth everyone without discriminating the clan to which one belongs? Common sense would dictate that the only way we will be able to deal with our challenges at this point is if everyone works together to take responsibility to solve problems faced globally rather than their individual communities.

We are all human and we are all equal. We may be different, some educated and some not, rich or poor, belonging to various religious traditions or ideologies etc. But we are all human and we all have the same wish – to be happy. And no one’s right to happiness supercedes the rights of anyone else.  With the shrinking of the world and increased interdependence, whatever we do will affect people across the globe. Our challenges are great enough that we need nothing but the best form of self interest – the most efficient form. Each civilization needs peace and prosperity to be stable and not act destructively through pollution or other means to harm the planet. The only way we can stabilize these societies is to insure their basic needs for survival are met at a minimum, even if they do not belong to our community. So the best form of self interest here is altruism, and we need it in larger doses than ever. We need to take universal responsibility to create a positive world for all human kind irrespective of the previous borders we thought important.

So we need to look to altruism as the real solution – just trying to get along is not enough. We need to develop it actively, flooding our environment in a positive manner. From this mind comes other positive qualities such as tolerance, forgiveness, confidence, etc. We can take bad situations and transform them into positive ones. The need for altruism is not limited only to those in the particular helping fields such as psychology or social work, etc. It is the responsibility of everyone in all walks of life. Then when critical conflicts arise, through the altruistic mind the impasse can be broken and more serious damage averted.

If we compare ourselves to various animals, such as wolves or bees, they work well in harmony with each other and take care of the group. Yet when we live in large cities, we feel more alone than ever. While we have made great strides forward in improving our lifestyles, it seems an over emphasis on the material aspects of life have removed us from the source of happiness and the ability to solve our more serious problems as they arise. We need to develop a genuine sense of responsibility for all of humanity and only  compassion, a spontaneous feeling of empathy and warm heartedness towards others, will allow us to cross the bridge and truly act on behalf of the people with whom we share this planet.

Next we will look more specifically at how to apply these ideas to solve the problems we face globally.


Article Name
Globale Community - Global Challenges
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