World

The Shelf-Life of Stability

When I first wrote this the crisis in Ukraine was very much in the forefront of the news and migration out of that area was occurring. Of course, it was happening in the Middle East and Africa too, but at that point the refugee migration wasn’t in full swing. That is to say it wasn’t covered extensively in the news as it is now.

People fleeing destabilized regions is an ongoing occurrence and is nothing new. Admittedly, it has been worsening recently, and the stories and photos of these people and areas are astounding. I can only imagine the hardships that are endured, and not only for those who leave but for those who can’t.

Living in a relatively stable area of the world as I do, I cannot help but be aware of how fragile that stability is, and how oblivious and unconcerned so many seem to be as to how quickly that can change. When and how this will occur is anyone’s guess, but undoubtedly it will happen.

History shows us that war, destruction, and chaos are cyclical in nature, affecting different areas and peoples at different times. But we are nothing if not fallible, and our ability to retain collective lessons learned from these events is cyclical as well; these lessons have a shelf-life. As the people directly involved pass on and we become distanced from events, the value of the lessons diminishes. Historically speaking peace is not really the norm, and eventually, whether it is in our lifetime or that of a future generation, the relative stability some of us now enjoy will be gone.

We continue to see much effort being expended in pushing agendas that result in destabilization, unrest, and discontent rather than mutual, beneficial cooperation and progress. Is this really what we want not only for ourselves but for our descendants? We must be wary and watchful of the inclination governments have to pick and choose not only what is remembered and perceived about events, but also the manner in which they portray them.

This holds true not only for past events but for events that are occurring right now. Admittedly they all want to make themselves look good, and this is understandable, but only up to a point.  Using lies, distortions, omissions, and manipulations to accomplish their objectives is not beneficial for any of us in the end. Essentially this is a Dark Age mentality, and we must fight this. After all, no one side owns the truth, nor should they be allowed to.

Counteracting this by engaging in research and analysis by accessing multiple sources is necessary along with the freedom and encouragement to do so. Knowledge, inquisitiveness, and involvement are essential to increase awareness. If we are truly living in a global world, as we so often hear, certain fundamental changes as to how we view and interact with one another must take place in order for us to survive and thrive together. For those unconcerned with historical lessons there are plenty of real time lessons occurring right now.

It is advisable for all of us to be and remain cognizant of what is transpiring, even if it’s happening in another part of the world and we see no immediate connection to ourselves. Just because something doesn’t appear to affect us today doesn’t mean it will not affect us in the future.

We really need to concentrate on reaching a point where stability can be brought about and maintained on a more consistent and far reaching spectrum than what currently exists. In other words, the routine way governments and those with influence operate must change. Their retention level is short, and their goals too narrowly defined and short sighted. This may be a tall order, but it doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try to bring this about. In the meantime, on a personal level I am aware that, for now at least, I am indeed one of the very fortunate because…

My home has not been hit and destroyed by shells or bombs.

Nor do I have to live in a refugee camp.

My neighborhood is still intact and has not been destroyed.

I am not an innocent person caught in between warring factions.

My daughters have not been raped, and my sons not seduced into fighting and dying for others.

I can travel because I want to and not because I am fleeing for my life.

I, and everyone I know, is still alive and not the victims of war or irrational people or governments.

I have food to eat.

I have access to medical care and medicine, clean water, electricity, and heat when it’s cold.

I have clean clothes.

I have access to books, and the internet to provide me with access to varied news sources, and people who live far from me.

I did not lose my home today due to unemployment and an inability to pay my bills.

Nor have I had to leave in search of a better life or opportunities elsewhere.

For the moment, at least, I can still speak my mind to promote awareness and change.

And, for now, I am still safe.

But…for how long?

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