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The future is uncertain. That’s for sure. Of course, the future has always been uncertain. The difference is that right now, at this moment in time, the changes we see on the horizon could possibly affect the viability of life as we know it on global, all encompassing basis.
Climates are changing, resources are being depleted, economies are collapsing and, most frightening of all, weapons of mass destruction that could destroy humanity are being stockpiled by militant groups worldwide.
Anyone with a modicum of sense should be preparing themselves and their families for this uncertain future. The smart ones are storing food and water and they are bolstering their self-defense systems. They are also putting together “get out of dodge” plans just in case they need to do just that.
But what about the others? And most especially, what about our young people who have not yet been spoiled by the realities of life?
I came across this article by David Krieger who is President of the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation. It was posted at Common Ground, a Canadian publication dedicated to health, wellness, ecology and personal growth. Although it is addressed to recent graduates, I found the questions thought provoking and timely for everyone, including those of us that graduated in the 70’s and even earlier.
Enough said. Read on.
An Open Letter to Graduates
by David Krieger
June 23, 2011
Having received a college degree, you are among the 6.7 percent of the world’s most educated elite. If your education has been a good one, you are likely to have more questions than answers. If your education has been mediocre, you are likely to think you have more answers than questions.
Did you have a chance in college to ponder these questions: What does it mean to be human? Why are we here on Earth? What are the greatest goals one can pursue in life? What are the keys to a happy and fulfilled life? If you didn’t, it’s not too late.
You may have taken many introductory courses during your college years, but was there a course on Global Survival 101? If not, you may not be prepared to make a difference in ending the great dangers to humanity in the 21st century.
Do you know how many nuclear weapons there are in the world? Do you know which countries possess them? Do you know what nuclear weapons do to cities? Do you know whether these weapons are legal or illegal under international law? Do you know whether they could end civilization and the human species?
Do you know about the Nuremberg Principles, those that were derived from the tribunals at Nuremberg that held the Nazi leaders to account after World War II? Do you know that these principles apply not just to Nazi leaders, but to all leaders who commit heinous crimes under international law? Do you know what those crimes are?
Have you studied the Universal Declaration of Human Rights? Do you know to whom these rights apply? Do you know that these rights encompass economic and social rights as well as political and civil rights?
Do you know that we all live on a single fragile planet and that we humans are the caretakers and stewards of this planet, not only for ourselves, but for future generations yet unborn?
Do you realize that you are about to enter a world of vast inequities, as measured in money, health and happiness? Do you understand that throughout the world there are more than a billion people who are malnourished and go to bed hungry every night? Can you comprehend that in our world there are still 25,000 children who die daily of starvation and preventable diseases?
Does your education lead you to believe that money will buy happiness? It may buy fancy material things, and even status, but it is unlikely that it will buy happiness or fulfillment in life. Caring for others and living with compassion, commitment and courage offers a far surer path to a fulfilled and happy life.
Graduating from college is a commencement, not an ending. It is a commencement into responsibility for one’s society and one’s world. Exercising this responsibility is a daily task, a necessary and never-ending task. It is a task that will require further education, outside the college classroom, but inside the multiversity of life.
The world needs to change. We cannot continue to teeter on the precipice of nuclear and ecological disasters. We cannot continue to exist divided into those who live in abundance and those who live in scarcity. We cannot allow the greed of the few to overwhelm the need of the many. We cannot continue to exploit the planet’s finite resources, in effect, stealing from the future. We cannot continue to draw lines on the planet and separate ourselves into warring factions.
For the world to change, new peace leaders and change makers will be needed. The first and most important questions you must ask yourself in your new role as graduates are these: Will I be one of the peace leaders and change makers, devoting myself to building a better world? Or, will I choose to be detached and complacent in the face of the 21st century’s social, economic, political and military threats to humanity?
As the little prince, in Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s book by that name, stated so clearly, “It’s a matter of discipline…. When you’ve finished washing and dressing each morning, you must tend your planet.” Look around. Our beautiful planet needs a lot of tending.
David Krieger is President of the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation.
Enjoy your next adventure through common sense and thoughtful preparation!
Backdoor Survival Tip of the Day: Have a broken thing-a-ma-call-it? Before sending it to the trash bin, pop on over to Fixya.com for solutions to everyday product problems. Heck, I even learned how to hotwire my printer’s drum unit so that I could double it’s life. (At $150 for a new drum, that was/is a big deal.) I have only used the free service but they also have an premium service where you can work with an expert one on one. But like I said, the free service has worked just dandy for me.
And, speaking of which, I could not believe it when I did my nightly price check. Heck, I think the postage is that much by itself – or at least it would be if I mailed it myself. BTW, don’t forget to get the pan scrapers – they make cleanup a cinch.
That’s not all. The 20 – Gallon size Mylar Bags & Oxygen Absorbers is down another dollar to 15.99 with free shipping. These are the lowest prices I have seen for these items. Yay!
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