I dream of a world that is at peace and where every person is able to live their life free of discrimination or repression. But every day I wake up to the news of ongoing wars around the world, and the culture of blame that we all abide in, and I wonder what we mere mortals can do to change the fate of this planet we call home.
For many of us, the pandemic of COVID-19 was an opportunity to go inside and focus on the things that matter most to us such as our health, love, companionship, our connection to one another and to nature. This has been demonstrated by the longing expressed by people who were forced to remain separated from their loved ones due to being quarantined, and by the renewed sense of appreciation shown by people for their natural environment once released from lockdown. People’s response to isolation was proof that we value connection and togetherness more than we realised. Yet here we are now, coming out of hiding, having to endure the fury of our leaders, being led by America into the blame game. Instead of channeling their collective energy and resources into creating a better world for us all to live in, the G20 leaders are diverting their attention onto a false enemy, China.
Coronavirus is the real enemy that has somehow invaded our lives and it is this enemy that could bring us together as one, if only our leaders were enlightened enough to see it. It was the lack of co-operation of world leaders that weakened their response to the epidemic in the first place. You only need to listen to the rhetoric from Mr Trump in the early stages of the outbreak, casually dismissing the threat and calling it the ‘China Virus’. The sad truth is that close to 1.5 million Americans have contracted the virus and almost 90,000 of them have sadly died from it. Trump is angry and the way he is dealing with this anger is by getting all his so-called global friends to set China up as the bad guy. It’s just another example of the childish behaviour we have been seeing from him since he came into power. I just wish people could see how dangerously close he could bring us to a major war with China. His reign of power needs to be called into question by the masses.
What the world needs now is some new leaders to show us that we can prosper without warfare. Some might see this as naïve, but I strongly believe that we are all interconnected and global problems such as this pandemic require global solutions. In recent years, we have been seeing an increasing shift towards nationalistic politics and a selfish mentality. Take Brexit for example, half of the British population were convinced that the multi-lateral system of the European Union was no longer benefiting their country. The other half of the population held true to the belief that we are all in this together and the need to widen the social safety net in support of our neighbours.
I wonder what kind of a world we could make for ourselves if our leaders practiced forgiveness and compassion and let go of the ego trip they’re on. I guess people do get seduced by power and they lose sight of what really matters in our short lives, but that doesn’t make it right. Surely, it’s not a lot to ask for each country, from Britain to China and Afghanistan to the US, to accept that we are all unique with our own cultures and beliefs, but that none of us is better than the other. Given that we are all equal, maybe it’s time to give up the fight, get rid of the need for armed forces and focus on sustaining our planet for the health and wellbeing of everyone, today and in the future. Ideally, I’d like to see us reaching a place where we are in agreement that the world is one country and we are one people, all bound together with the shared desire to keep this planet healthy and thriving for the generations to come. With proper systems of global governance in place, we could develop a coordinated approach to threats such as the one we have seen recently. It’s in everybody’s interest. The ‘us and them’ mentality needs to end and be replaced with solidarity and support for all mankind.
The only way this can happen is if we start to live in harmony with our own self first. Then we can live in harmony with the universe. When it comes to choosing our leaders, we need to vote with our hearts and care enough about the greater good, not just our own little lives.
Nearly two thousand years ago, Stoic philosophers were trying to find peace. Marcus Aurelius, the Roman emperor from 161 – 180 AD, made it a point to spend time every morning before dawn when he would write in his journal. He became known as one of the great Stoic philosophers of his time and one of the better of the roman emperors. His meditations on life have been well documented down through time and are still very much applicable today. My hope is that one day soon we will see a shift in the way we choose our leaders – with a greater emphasis on emotional intelligence and the ability to keep the peace.
I will leave you this week with a quote from Marcus Aurelius and also encourage you to explore more his inspirational quotes as I’m sure you will find a great comfort in his philosophies.
Waste no more time arguing about what a good man should be. Be one.
Thanks for your attention this week. Until next time, namaste.