28 thoughts on “Submitted: The world today

  1. I see your point on how it is the same yet different.  I agree with you that the Western and Eastern societies have pushed at one another throughout history; fighting over land, wealth, and religious beliefs.  This actually is something I have been researching.  I realized that I was not as familiar with the Crusades as I was other history.   I, for the life of me, did not know how a war was able to be justified as a “Holy War”.  I am still learning about it but I have come to understand whether or not it is the West or the East declaring “Holy War” it is usually about power and control.  Sadly the people actually fighting believe the cause just and that they truly are doing what they believe is right.  It makes my heart hurt when I think of all the people that have died in this way, and all the hate and anger that fuels it.

    People are too ready to label other people the “other,” or label an enemy for arbitrary reasons of meaningless difference.

    Yes as I read of history (or the news of the day) I see this.  So then, I think, the natural question to follow would be how.  How is it that a person can go from being your neighbor one day and your enemy the next?  If this tendency lies within us all how do I avoid it?  I think that answer is simple you just don’t go over the ledge with the rest of humanity. I think how to achieve that is different for everyone. For me I try to see others as I think God would, as His son or daughter that He loves.  That makes the “other” my brother or sister, so for me that takes away the ability to de-humanize them.  I am not completely altruistic or naive; I know that there are very evil and bad people out there that would not do the same for me, but this is how I keep myself intact.  What is the purpose of fighting any war if along the way we lose our humanity? In times of peace what goodness would there be left to return to?  However I do not hold out hope for East and West to be civil with one another.  I think the emotions on both sides are too strong. Now, my Friend, we find ourselves back to the longing for a world based on reason.  I came across this quote in a book I was reading the other day and I think it fits here; ” A nation formed not with the sword, but with reason”.  Something for us to aspire to.

    Another friend of mine and I talk of history and world events frequently, and it seems our conversations always tract back to this: our frustration of those that refuse to learn from history.  With in my own family they scoff at it, like it is some antiquated, dry thing that is of no value.  I ask then how are we to evolve if we do not learn from our past?  Why else are we here then, if not to learn and grow?

    1. Hate can be frighteningly sincere, and in that way fervent and unrelenting. We will use your example of the Crusades. People in power, including the Papacy, had their various reasons for committing to the cause of Holy War. Usually, it had nothing to do with anything “holy,” but was more about power, expansion, and money. Yet it was a war that was fought by people who were not in power and had no prestige. Certainly for them wealth was but a distant dream.

      So what was it that they were getting on their horses for? Or setting off to distant lands on foot like pilgrims? Their souls, that’s what. The Pope promised that anyone who fought would be pardoned of all of their sins, and go to Heaven without fail. This was powerful incentive.

      There could be no neighbourly side by side.

      Why?

      Because people believed that God punished a community for the heresy of one. This was so during to the Crusades– both sides saw the other as infidels that needed to be destroyed. More prominently, we see this manifesting during the Protestant/Catholic Reformations. Both confessional faiths saw the other’s presence as dangerous because they viewed the other as heresy. So if you were a Catholic in a Protestant community, and vice versa, you would be little tolerated. You would be exiled, driven out, or accused of things like witchcraft. The community as a whole would consider you a personal threat because it was very real that God would punish the entire community for the heresy, in this case the mere presence, of one.

      People still believe the same today. Not so much that God will strike the city down, but that it is insufferable to accept difference, variance, and diversity

      1. Is that what drove them? A Papal promise of redemption, I agree, would be very alluring to those who find themselves in need of it.  I find the theory to punish many for the sins of one, this “collective salvation,” troubling.  I surely would not want another to be judged for my mistakes, nor I for theirs.  I am more from the school of thought that we are responsible for our own actions, be they good or bad. 

        People still believe the same today. Not so much that God will strike the city down, but that it is insufferable to accept difference, variance, and diversity.

        Each of us has natural talents or abilities that should be developed.  Just think of how our world would look today if we suppressed the great thinkers or talents from the past.  If we continue to be afraid of those unlike us how will we learn from them or even understand them.  I am operating on the notion that people would want to learn or attempt to understand their neighbors, and I realize that is not always the case.

        1. These were distressing and outright frightening times. The middle ages was a truly degraded period of human existence. People were very scared, and this fear drove them to commit great monstrosities against one another. Not given to consider what someone may have to offer. Only rich men were of any value, and the great, grand resource of thought was buried. Think of what could have been accomplished had the minds of women, of the poor, of religious minority been harnessed.

          I heard someone ask once, “Why didn’t the Romans develop the computer?”

          The simple answer is: Rome made war and desired nothing more beyond that.

          The less simple answer is that we could not have invented a computer. Yes, for simple and very obvious reasons such as that electricity would have to be invented first, etc. Yet fundamentally we could not have invented electricity or a computer because we did not let people think freely. We did not value the minds of those whom we considered our inferiors. Generations of genius enslaved and silenced. For free thinking, for innovation, there must be freedom and a willingness to let people contribute openly and with respect.

  2. History, as always, moves spirally. Shadows of the past are reflected in the mirror of modern times, proposing riddles which we already know answers to.
    As always, Europe is in serene euphoria, even when the wolf-skin rug near the door of its house almost smokes and smolders,
    threatening to burn down the whole house to the ground.
    As always we do not pay attention at a small wound, do not cure it until it turns into a festering abscess,
    when the only way to remove it is in the operating room under general anesthesia.
    Europe has underestimated the threat of Islamic terrorism,
    does not understand its purposes.
    These are not acts of intimidation of the local population.
    It’s a war for the destruction of one species by another.
    Their methods of warfare differ from the methods of warfare of a modern army,
    Where there is a clear distinction between military and civilian people.
    Their enemy – all the Western World.
    They grow children, who will be sent with belt of death on they stomach into a crowd of teenagers at the entrance to the discotheque or to a crowd of marathon runners.
    They marry european women in order to gain the confidence and destroy a plane
    full of passengers and their own wife’s and children on the board.

    They do not want to keep and accept the rules of society, where they immigrate.
    They are not willing to submit authority that exists in these countries.
    In Sweden, in places of public accommodation of Muslims even the police is
    afraid to go.
    I speak of Sweden, as the one of most peaceful states.

    We all are against the war.
    But do not know anything about it.
    We are encouraged to condemn the governments of United States and Israel
    for the fight against the insidious predator hiding in tunnels, masking their
    rocket launchers in schools and hospitals, hiding behind women and children
    using them like a shield.
    But we can ask about this war those, who requests an extension of duty in Iraq.
    Or Israeli soldiers, which every day look at the eyes of Islamic terrorism,
    taking over the idle inhabitants attacks throwing at them stones of “righteous anger”

    God, bless the soldiers in this war, where there is no front and no rear.
    God, bless all of us.

    1. So you feel that one of the greatest threats to Europe now is the presence of Islam, or rather, Islamic fundamentalists who use violent means to have their messages heard? Why do you feel Europe is turning a blind eye to this, and further, even condemning other nations for pursuing it?

      When religion sought for supremacy, there has been war. When there was purpose to dispel the heretic. It is a very strange thing and I have trouble accepting that people are willing to die or kill for their God. But then, I am a Godless person.

      1. And what problem in your opinion is more serious?
        Financial failings, protection of consumers interests,
        unemployment, environmental protection, drug addiction,
        globalization in the sphere of consciousness and
        religious-spiritual researches of Europeans?
        To solve these kind of problems Europe has enough
        human and financial resources.

        What gives me reason to think that Europe has underestimated
        the threat of Islamic terrorism?
        UN resolutions condemning the actions of the warring countries,
        the results of public opinion polls, one-sided propaganda with aim
        to undermine the authority of the belligerent countries,
        distort the purposes of military actions.

        1. I think the financial crises, unemployment, and the widening gaps between rich and poor in the developed world are the most pressing issues. Yet it is hard to really know what is more important. There is religious extremism, global warming that is wrecking havoc on weather patterns, hate and bigotry, and simple people are being swallowed by it all. The worst has yet to come, and I am certain at some point the developed world will suffer greatly; either it will implode or explode. I wish to see neither happen.

  3. MdR the world today

    Wow… I really can not express just how much I was caught off guard.  In a good way though.

    Generations of genius enslaved and silenced. For free thinking, for innovation, there must be freedom and a willingness to let people contribute openly and with respect.

    Your words here brought tears to my eyes and my heart paused in my chest.  It was as if they were taken straight from my mind…  What you wrote is what I have been awoken to as my purpose in this life; to do my part to help preserve free thinking and innovation in this generation, and the ones to follow. To help strengthen the knowledge of who we were and what road we are on now.  We need individuals so that we are able to illuminate alternative possibilities; our future is in community, inspiration, innovation, entrepreneurship, and above all truth.  Truth from what is, to what if and why.

      

    1. What a wonderful purpose you have. Please share with me how it is that you try to help preserve free thinking and innovation? How is it that you personally encourage individual contribution and achievement?

      1. To answer both your questions I must start with this: 
        Let him that would move the world, first move himself  -Socrates Therefore I am continually trying to grow and evolve.

        There are several ways I work to achieve this.  Some are through organizations like Mercury One or The Marketplace, both work to help entrepreneurship.  The Marketplace is an online version of what a town or village marketplace was; giving individuals or small business a larger forum to advertise, sell, and greater opportunities to achieve success.  Mercury One also provides disaster relief, charity, and preservation of history.

        To help foster free thinking and innovation, this is done primarily via support for American Dream Labs.  Some of the areas they are working on are technology, education, television, arts, and physics.  The Dream Labs are along the lines of Disney’s Imaginers, which have built some amazing things.  The goal is to inspire people to think out of the box, beyond what we think is possible.  It is still in it’s infancy, most of the projects will not be completed for another year to year and a half.  However this summer some of their work can be seen in Utah.  I have plans to travel there to see it.         

        Other than support I also am active in local and national government as well as keeping up to date on international happenings.  I also donate my time to my community, teach our history to those who are looking for it, help others to become self reliant, and encourage others to question with boldness. 

        1. When most people are asked what they do to make a difference, most have nothing to say. They are blank. They have thoughts to bring change, they want to impact the world, but yet they do nothing. Like social justice bloggers on the internet. Yes, it is all well and good that you see areas of problems, but screaming about it in a closed room will really do nothing to cure the overall problem or address its symptoms. Some problems seem very big and daunting, but I think even if someone does what they can to chip away at a mountain, eventually progress will be made.

  4. My thoughts exactly.

    Will we ever see an end to war? Probably not. It’s human nature to belong to a group, and to fight for the beliefs of said group. You can see it in a smaller scale in schools or at work with cliques.

    It’s sad that’s while technology is fantastic and ever evolving, is it really improving our lives? Or are we just creating new ways to fight wars?

    Yet, while we are at war, people forget about it. Our friends, people we went to school with, siblings are dying. It’s an everyday occurrence and yes it’s hard to think about, but why do celebrities get more attention than a person who died, defending them; is it so easy to forget?

    Evolution of technology, but not society or humanity.

    1. There will always be war. Mankind will never reach that height of perfection. Humans like to pretend that their nature is one of peace and love, but it is not. A person may not necessarily be a warmonger, but they will certainly display characteristics of competition in other ways. As you said, in cliques or through something as simple as trying to be the best at writing or spelling. At the end of the day, we are all trying to prove that we are in some way superior. The most extremes of these are war.

      Technology is a double edged sword. It has shrunk the world, made knowledge increasingly more accessible, and made quality of life long and better. But at the same time, it creates biological problems such as super-viruses. It creates weapons that can level a city in seconds. Technology would be good if people only used it for the right purposes. Yet who is to say what is right or wrong?

      Celebrities get more attention because they present a wonderful illusion by which to ignore the hardships of the rest of the world. People naturally want to pay attention to fun and trivial things over the heavier worries of death and war. Do you want to watch people dying? Or would you rather watch some rich woman cry because she may have to give up her kitten? People choose to ignore what the world is going through, and push death and war to the back of the mind.

  5. Yes you are right most people just talk about what should be done but lack the initiative do actually do something.  This has been so frustrating for me in talking with friends, or other people, that seem genuinely interested in helping. Because of the interest shown I then spend time and energy to give them the information on how to be active, yet they do nothing.  I too had a time of inaction but for me that grew tiresome quickly.  My time is the most valuable thing I have on this earth.  It is finite, so therefore each night, before bed, I evaluate how it was spent and if I chose to use it well.  I am by no means infallible, although others seem to throw it in my face when I am not, so I strive for each day to be better than the previous.  

    Some problems seem very big and daunting, but I think even if someone does what they can to chip away at a mountain, eventually progress will be made.

    I agree with you, that is why I do what do.  However this is a constant test of my patience.

    As far as my answer, it took me a while to think of what to write.  Not because I had nothing but what to chose.  There is more, smaller everyday things for myself and those close to me.  Needless to say I don’t sleep much.  When I was younger I never had any problems sleeping however I find that I am a bit of an insomniac now.

    1. Truly? I will let you in on a secret. I suppose not so much a secret as an unknown. I was myself an insomniac, too. The truth was that I had a mind always working, and I always felt as if there was something I should be doing. I would lie awake at night pondering my day’s work, thinking about tomorrow, making endless lists and critiques. My mind would never go to rest, and so neither could my body.

      1. Yes that is it for me as well.  I find it very difficult to turn off my mind, and my list making is so bad I have lists to make lists…
        It seems a pattern for me several nights awake till I am completely exhausted and my body takes over and I sleep for 10-12hours.  Once I am rested it happens again.  Also it is quite easy for me to reverse my sleep-wake cycle, especially in the summer.  It must be the heat, but there are days that I am so tired all day long it’s like I am sleep walking but then as soon as the sun sets, I am wide awake.  (I am sure you are familiar with that feeling). Also I am going against my natural circadian rhythm.  I like to be up later at night and wake around mid to late morning.  In fact I am writing to you now and should be sleeping, as I have a very early day tomorrow.  Thank goodness for caffeine!

        You were an insomniac too?  What did you do to help it?  Any time tested Roman tricks I can try.  I have tried reading but end up reading the entire book; I will listen to music but I start actively listening feeling the emotion of it or focusing on a more subtle part of the piece that I hadn’t heard before.  Television is no help either.  I do not like taking sleeping aids, whether natural or manmade, and I don’t drink alcohol so what is there left? 

        1. What you speak of is very familiar because that is exactly what I experienced as a human. Though I was content to sit up all night and write, and then sleep all day. Especially the summer, and we did not have the luxury of air conditioning, so it was for the best and my mind was clearer in the less stuffy and oppressive nights.

          Honestly, to sleep I drank. I drank a lot. And I would eventually pass out. It was not the wisest course and I was never a drinker during the day or while I worked and wrote, but when it came time for rest, I needed some sort of sedative and our options were very limited.

  6. I smile to think of you drunk. I drank as well, not to sleep but for fun.  But weren’t you hungover the next day? On the other hand I remember when I went to Oktoberfest and drank far too much beer (5 liters)…The next day I was able to enjoy the museums, churches, and all the shops in Munich without any difficulty.  No hangover, just some slight dizziness that cleared with my morning espresso and pretzel. Perhaps the difference is in the way the drink is fermented.

    Though I was content to sit up all night and write, and then sleep all day.

    Yes I write a lot at night as well.  I rather enjoy the solitude of the night, no other demands of me because everyone is sleeping. Want to know a secret of mine?  I love full moon nights.  My favorite thing to do (on summer nights) is to is relax in the pool.  The water is the perfect temperature so there is no need for a swimsuit, and there is no need for artificial light due to the brilliance of the moon.

    By the by I may have a temporary solution to my insomnia- I will be working nights next month.  Perhaps this will fit me better.

    1. I found that if I drank a lot of water the night before or the next morning, I never truly suffered hangovers or debilitation. I would just sleep quite soundly. I too love a cool pool at night, with the air is warm, but not hot, and the pool is cool but not cold.

  7. I like to drink wine when I get home after a long day.
    It’s a nice way to calm down, relieve stress.
    There is like-minded company in the room – my favorite darkness, my thoughts, my wine and me.

    I admire those who freely and openly talk about themselves.
    I never share my thoughts with anybody.
    I do not tell to anyone what happens in my life.
    I do not feel any need in it.
    There is a whole world inside of me.
    There I find a sedation.
    There I find answers to my questions.
    As you said about your loneliness ” it is far better this way” ,
    The same thing I say about my reclusion.

      1. Have I written that I have no one to be open with?
        The key phrase in my message wasn’t :”I have no one”.
        It was :”There is a whole world inside of me”.
        You probably thought that I am anti-social element
        without friends and Public Relations.
        It’s not right.
        I love people. I believe in them.
        Just what I wrote to you is hidden in the depths of my soul.
        This is probably a strange phenomenon,
        to trust someone you barely know, isn’t it?

        1. I do not think it strange at all. Sometimes there is just a natural impulse to trust certain people because your soul, for lack of a better word, understands them at a far more fundamental and even elemental level. I hope that I am always approachable and understanding. In this space, you are free to express yourself, heart and mind.

  8. Technology, while advancing us, has also made us more savage in nature. As you have said, we see war everyday. We see the wars that our own countries are fighting, as well as wars that other countries are fighting. In a way, we are spectators to war. I have heard people say that we have progressed so much in humanity. I can see what they are saying…we are fighting world disease and hunger.

    But…I think that’s the most optimistic thing that one can say about humanity. While technology has definitely helped advance mankind (as in fighting disease, and world hunger, etc), it has also caused us to regress too. We have become colder. I took a journalism ethics class, and during one class, we had to look at images of dead bodies. Real dead bodies. The results of war. We also had to look at a picture that a photojournalist took of a emaciated, dying baby with a vulture hovering over the baby, waiting for it to die. Our professor wanted to know what we thought about it. My thought was this:

    There was a dying child on the desert ground. With a vulture waiting for him to die. WHY is this “journalist” taking a picture of this? Is it newsworthy? Of course it is, world hunger is always newsworthy. But was the journalist acting as a human first? No. Not in the slightest.

    I’ve just lost a great deal of faith in humanity, Marius. People shake their heads at me when I tell them that. But it’s true.

    1. You have progressed in technology and in science, but you have not progressed in humanity. Not at all. Human nature is too embedded, too bred.

      Do you think the journalist took the picture in order to draw attention to the problem of hunger in the developing world? Or was that just one of the many effects, though not an intended one?

      1. Honestly? I think that he could have shown the effects of world hunger in a different way. I think that it is important to be a human being first. In fact, that is one of the main points that we learn in journalism; always be a human first. Why didn’t he help the child? Granted, the child probably would have died anyway, but why would one not try and help it, instead of just taking a picture of it?

        1. I truly hope that once the picture is taken, the photographer and all of his resources comes to the aid of those who need it.

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