Western Civilization is No Longer Confined to the West
Western Civilization is no longer confined to the West. That ship sailed a long time ago. As echoed by the obvious metaphor of the moment; what happens in one corner of the world can and does have life altering effects on people living all around the globe.
Nationalism the old “my country right or wrong approach”, is just an expanded version of old school inter-town high school basketball team rivalry. My team is better than yours! The not-so-distant roots of this universal tendency are in the creation of mutual protection societies and tribal identities beginning at very least 300,000 years ago at the dawn of homo sapien’s existence. There’s no rational reason to assume it is going to go away any time soon, and our modern societies came into being because people will naturally bond and cooperate.
Nationalistic rivalry has driven us to create incredible systems and technologies far different than our nature living, nature loving ancestors could even dream of. Fueling the expansion of the modern human is a bottomless thirst for everything this planet can give. Forest, sea and air. And now we are accelerating the current planetary warming cycle beyond anything we could previously imagine. ALL of this is caused by not feeling and showing enough respect for the planet that created and daily sustains us.
And there you have it. Spaceship earth can’t get no respect. No respect at all. If Rodney Dangerfield channeled the earth what we have to say?
The one and only thing stopping us from more equitably distributing the bounty of nature and the benefits of technology without the hoarding of wealth by a tiny percentage of the population. The one thing that might ensure the continued existence of humans thriving in any current sensibility, is a small change in our collective belief system. I am talking about the belief system that even allows these types of inequities and short sighted ninety-day balance sheet thinking to even exist.
If all of us in the Western culture were able expand our natural tribal high school basketball rivalry to a deeper respect and empathy for the entire planet and our place as stewards of it; if we collectively did this together, the ills and injuries we have done to our planet will heal in a remarkably short time. We must quickly adjust our energy producing and storage systems, material sourcing, transportation and food production to fit our new more expansive belief system. My Planet Right or Wrong!
I truly believe the overwhelming majority of the world’s citizens want food, energy and material security without raping and pillaging the planet in order to live comfortably. Navigating this transition will take brains and money. Fortunately, the world is dripping with both and it really wants to keep dripping. That money and those brains need a vessel to fill, and that vessel is the sustainable technologies emerging right now.
Driving this cultural change is the heart, brains and resourcefulness of human beings all around the world. The kid who made fishing boats from found plastic bottles, the guy who built the clean up boats for rivers and oceans, the Wall Street commitment to invest one trillion dollars in climate changing green technologies.
There is so much to be thankful for and grateful for and hopeful for. I haven’t given up yet. And neither should you. Seize the day and be the change!