by Toni O’KEEFFE
As a global village, we have proven that we have the capacity to come together in times of crisis.
We see this unity in action as the world rallies to assist with the fires that devastated Australia.
In the summer of 2018, we were knit together by our common concern for 12 members of a junior football team and their coach who were trapped inside the Tham Luang Nang Non cave in Thailand.
We all stopped and wept as we watched Notre Dame cathedral burn and members of our global community rush to offer assistance to rebuild.
On September 11, 2001 we came together as a global tribe in support of family, friends and strangers in the US as the twin towers and a wing of the pentagon fell.
The world united with Canada in our grief over the tragic bus accident that claimed the lives of 16 Humboldt Bronco athletes and coaching staff in Saskatchewan.
We have been united during events such as earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and industrial accidents, proving that our ability to be compassionate and loving to one another despite our borders, religious beliefs, race, gender, financial status, is strong. And, demonstrates that as a global village we care deeply for one another.
How is it then that on a day-to-day basis human beings can display such selfishness, corruption, racism, greed, insensitivity, anger and cruelty?
If individually we have such capacity for compassion and love, why is our world in peril?
Could it be that our constant quest to segregate into territorial clusters organized by race, religion, gender, social status and even monetary systems, is causing this peril?
We have created boarders that keep us apart and cause friction. We have artificial levels of power that create the inference that some have more power over others. It is most often this segregation and lack of tolerance that is the focal point of anger, hostility and dispute.
Until we start seeing ourselves as “the same” and celebrate our sameness rather than continuing to create friction around our differences, the world will not change.
Yes I know we are all not exactly the same, but my point is, we focus too much on the things that separate and make us different rather than celebrating the things that make us the same. All human beings are 99.9 percent identical in their genetic makeup. It is the titles, the flags, the shrouds, the idols and the cloaks we drape over ourselves that create our separateness.
The good news is, a light is shining in the hearts and minds of many people around the world who understand that we cannot sustain the planet the way we are currently living.
We see this understanding in the efforts being taken by healthcare and educational professionals who are providing services and support at no cost to some of the most vulnerable people in the world.
Trades people, technology experts and engineers from around the globe constantly step up to help rebuild communities, villages and homes.
There are business leaders taking action around environmental sustainability and human rights practises that are making a differences around planet. Individual philanthropists are making huge financial contributions to improve the living conditions and the lives of complete strangers. Youth around the world are rising in solidarity over environmental and human rights issues.
What this tells me is that it will not be governments, religious organizations or large corporations that will lead the change we seek, it will be private citizens that come together to drive change.
Of course we will never all agree on all things, that’s impossible. But we can deal with things respectfully, humanely and in ways that don’t start wars, destroy our environment or cause starvation.
Thousands of years ago, your ancestors and mine were a part of the same tribe. Whether we like it or not we are still a part of the same global family. We need each other. Let’s act like it.
I can hear the eyes rolling and brains thinking “OMG she is so ridiculously idealistic.”
Maybe, but hey, what if we all were?