No Humanity in ‘Human’
The powerful nations of the world declare in unison that they want to eradicate poverty. The august UN pronounces that through a collective will it is possible to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). However as we make progress through the 21st Century is there any real momentum in righting the wrongs of humanity?
Let us consider some simple facts. Did you know that:
• 3 billion people (almost half the world) live on less than $2.50 a day.
• If we spent only one per cent of what the world spends on weapons, we could give every child an education.
• One in every two children lives in poverty. That is 1 billion children.
• About 25 000 children die EVERY DAY due to lack of shelter, safe water, medicine or food. That is like losing the total population of towns such as: Melton Mowbray, Congleton, Rushden, Farnworth and Didcot. Imagine, everyday one such town disappearing for good.
When did we lose our humanity? Was it when nation rich decided that it was economic to ensure that most of the world remained in abject poverty? Was it when those with weapons of mass destruction decided that they were above natural law and could act like Gods? Was it when the people of the rich and powerful nations decided that it was none of their business?
For the western media it was more important for them to show a photo of a ‘dirty’ residential unit in Delhi for the Commonwealth Games then it was for them to reconcile that some 50% of the people in the world would give their all to have even a roof over their head.
Whilst we feed ourselves to proportions hitherto unknown (and I am as guilty as the next person), did you know that some 1.8 million children die each year as a result of diarrhoea?
The leader of Christians, the so called sole representative power on Earth of God can visit our shores in silks and splendour. And whilst we witness this grotesque show of wealth and power, the children of God die needlessly.
The World Domestic Product estimate for 2010 is in excess of 62 Trillion US Dollars (USD 62 000 000 000 000). The world spends over 1.5 Trillion US Dollars on military spend each year. To end poverty it would cost the world only 10% of that military spend!
So who is to be blamed for this sorry state of affairs?
The simple answer, we all are. All too often we have allowed our own inadequacies to give way to excuses by saying, ‘what can I do?’ Some 70% of the world believes in a God like entity. Yet, we do not ask the question, ‘which God has given us the commandment that we can exploit the poor, steal their resources, waste food, control water and medicine and ultimately, become the sole arbiters of who lives and who dies?’
Why is it that we do not have the faith leaders of the world take on the political leaders of the world and demand change? The Christians will give you a plate of food and educate your children if you convert. The Muslims are still stuck in the 15th Century and fighting battles of yesteryears whilst the future is destroyed in front of their eyes. The Hindus, who should know better than anyone else, would rather stick their heads in their ‘sampradayic’ self serving interests than rise to the challenge of uniting and doing their dharmic duty. Chanting ‘Lokha Samasta Sukino Bhavantu’ is easy – the role of dharmic individuals is to make sure it becomes a reality. It seems the God of the 21st Century is money and might. If you have that, who needs God!
We can blame the dictators, but who put them there in the first place?
We can blame the poor by asking, ‘why are they still producing if they cannot even look after themselves?’
We can blame imperial masters who looted nations, carved them up arbitrarily and then left the mess for self serving interest groups and tribes to fight out and exploit.
We can blame the United Nations which can happily spend billions every year, yet are toothless to affect change of any merit.
We can blame the rich nations; surely they must have a conscience and can see the error of their corrupt practices?
We can blame, yes we can blame everyone until we understand the meaning of what Bapu said to us, ‘be the change you wish to see in the world.’ Can you imagine the transformation that could occur if people and nations adopted this simple philosophy?
Did you know that in 1820 the gap between the richest and poorest countries was about 3 to 1? Since then this gap has increased to: in 1923 it was 11 to 1, in 1950 it was 35 to 1, in 1973 it was 44 to 1 and in 1992 it was 72 to 1. The richer the world gets, the greater the disparity between the haves and the have-nots.
The power and the resources to affect global change rest with humanity. It requires that we put humanity back into being human. In my view, when we eradicate poverty will be the day we usher in the age of peace.
Data/Information source: Anup Shah of Global Issues