Brave New World / Meanwhile…

Recent statistic…

There are now more mobile phones on the planet than there are people.

The World Wide Web continues to grow at staggering rates, with millions of websites, hundreds of thousands of categories, in most of the world´s languages, serving at least half of humanity.

Meanwhile-

24,000 people die every day from hunger.

3/4 of the deaths are children under the age of five.

Over one billion people have to survive on less than a dollar a day.

842 million people across the world will go to bed hungry tonight.

One in five women experience a rape or attempted rape in their lifetimes.

Guns kill 34,000 Americans every year.

Today, 14,000 people will become infected with HIV/AIDS.

It is estimated that a person who turned 15 in 2000 has a 74% chance of becoming infected with HIV by his/her 50th birthday.

Every nine seconds one more person becomes infected.

Every thirteen seconds one more person dies.

68 million people will have died prematurely as a result of AIDS by 2020.

24 million people work in sweatshops in 160 countries around the world, with about 80% working under conditions that violate law and morality.

More than half the population of Earth have no access to any kind of toilet.

Diarrhoea kills over 2 million children per year.

Earth is a world of increasing religious intolerance, despite the reality that there is much common ground between religions, it is the differences that are highlighted.

Religions have grown from the desire to understand the place of human beings in the universe, the need to comprehend the mysteries of life and death and the wish to experience meaning and happiness in the face of suffering, yet mankind seems bent more towards destruction than understanding and cooperation.

At least half the world´s 6,000 languages still in existence will be dead or near death by the year 2050.

Without words to express things, knowledge and ideas begin to disappear.

The loss of any one language means a reduction in the sum total of human thought and knowledge and an impoverishment of the human race.

Worldwide, human rights are violated, millions are homeless, racism remains, pollution increases, water levels are rising while polar regions are shrinking, but here in the West, most of us suffer from both apathy and ignorance.

If we care, we just don´t know.

If we know, we just don´t care.

Here in Landschlacht, I am several time zones removed from the United States, so Americans are probably asleep or winding up their nights out after many have gathered around tables of roast turkey, corn bread, cranberry sauce, pumpkin pie, and maybe a beer or a glass of red wine.

As I type these words, I can almost smell the aromas, taste the textures, roll the wine upon my tongue, hear the jovial talk.

Americans gathered together with friends and loved ones are truly unaware of how truly blessed they are as a nation for the resources that sustain them.

Most Americans do not go hungry, in fact, obesity, as a result of overeating, is a growing dilemma.

Most Americans have a roof over their heads, safe from the elements.

Most Americans have a toilet in their homes.

Though income distribution remains a problem in the US, with many Americans earning insufficient wages comparable to high costs of living, working Americans usually work under humane conditions.

Yet Americans, like the citizens of other prosperous countries, including my homeland Canada and, my present country of residence, Switzerland,  are unhappy  and depressed with their daily lives, despite having standards and quality of life unimaginable in much of the world.

They simply cannot imagine their lives without sufficient supplies of water, heat and nourishment.

They cannot conceive of living without electricity or sanitation or doing without their automobiles.

They cannot picture themselves without TV, music, electronics.

American Thanksgiving is winding down as I write these words, but it is my hope that we in the West, we who do not lack the basics of life, remain grateful for the things we take for granted.

It is my hope that we overcome our ignorance by using our electronics to discover the realities of the rest of the world.

It is my hope that we overcome our apathy and our fears and our paranoia and think beyond selfish national boundaries and learn to care about humanity as a whole.

Then, and only then, will we deserve the blessings that have been bestowed upon us.

 

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