Global community. You hear those two words lumped together every so often. Global. Community.
What does a global community bring to mind? I can tell you what it brings to my mind, and I can tell you what I have heard about it, but what I have heard about it, and what I see in reality are two different things. What I see is massive wishful thinking, followed up by the almost complete hypocrisy of nearly everyone who utters the words "global community" together.
Take the situation in Iraq, for instance. We have started a war there; no one denies that at this point. I myself have been involved in some discussions about the topic. But for me, it's so much more than just a topic.
In my last post, I denounced politicians as being users of buzzwords for political gain. The people I have spoken with regarding the war in Iraq bring up the topic of the war for the same reasons I do; because they actually care about something that is going on, and they want to change it.
We may not all agree on what the best way to change it is, but so long as we agree that something needs to be done, then we have a start that our politicians simply cannot grasp. You see, they talk about change for political gain and use the buzzwords as political capital. It's obvious. since the two largest political parties in our nation are complete polar opposites of each other, and not because of ideology, but because of politics.
There are many I have discussed topics with in bloggyland who are almost complete polar opposites of me; yet when we discuss things we know we hold differences in, we do not discuss them to score points or for political capital. We discuss them because we truly care, and I think we discuss them because we want to learn more, and share what we know.
But this topic of global community has me flustered. I hear of it most often by the two groups of people I feel the most disdain for; politicians and news people. I hear from others, as well, but I wonder if their ideas about a global community must be different from mine, because the words they use to explain the best plans of action for the world do not describe a global community to me at all. In almost one sentence, I hear a phrase such as, "We are all one big global community...like a big family", mixed with a phrase such as, "We need to get out of Iraq and let them kill each other if they want to." A slight but equally as disturbing variation on that is "Americans are dying in Iraq, it's time to bring the soldiers...all of them...home."
I'm all for bringing the soldiers home, if Iraq is settled down. I am not for leaving that nation hanging like we did in the early nineties. I'm not for leaving them to blow in the wind the way we left the Afghanistan rebels against the Taliban blowing in the wind right up until September eleven, 2001. I am against leaving anyone in the global community under the thumb of the same despots we have left them with since World War Two, because we were tired of our soldiers dying, and we were tired of fighting the good fight; tired of fighting evil.
Here is my view on what a global community is. All the people in this world are my brothers and sisters; every last one of them. The name of the nation they live in is immaterial in the face of even one of those brothers or sisters suffering at the hands of evil. In a global community, the needs of the people outweigh the needs or wants of sovereign nations. In fact, no nation, regardless of its age or rank in the world scheme has the right to hold the people within its borders to any system of organized oppression in this global community.
If we are truly a global community, the global community steps up to make sure it never happens. And we do not leave a nation of people to suffer; never; we end the bickering, we find a way to finish the job, and then we carry it out. We assess blame later, if at all.
In the business world, especially in the construction industry, you have the majority charging in to assess blame before the problems are solved. Whenever this happens (and it happens a lot), two other things occur; the first is that the mission (or project) is compromised, delayed, and sometimes even abandoned. The second is that it costs more money to assess blame first and then try to pick up the pieces and fix the problem. My goodness, by the time we are done playing the blame game, we have lost sight of the original problem. That's not good for business, and it's certainly not good in a global community.
My vision of a global community is of people actually caring about others well-being, be that in a local neighborhood, or across the globe. It's a vision of people seeing equality in all others. I trust you can see that this is not so in reality. Despite the good will towards the victims of the Tsunami almost two years ago now, I actually witnessed discussions on the internet about how the Western people and their way of life is far superior to Eastern ways. Global community? I think not.
You see, so much of our opinions about what is right and what is not, about whether a slower way of life is worse than the breakneck pace of the West is really only about taste.
Your taste differs from mine. I actually prefer a slower life, less gaudy architecture, real wood as opposed to plastic and glass, and stained woodwork rather than black laquer. It's a matter of taste.
But in the things that matter most, such as an individual's right to self-determination (within the scale of the global community and all of its circumstances), no sovereign nation has the right to subject a law abiding citizen to oppression.
If we are truly a global community, then the old boundaries of nations needs to disappear. Our brothers are across the ocean, and that is a long way away. But in a global community, they are our brothers.
The situation in Iraq has been mishandled. We are still trying to win the hearts and minds of the people there with guns. It's not going to happen. Guns alone will not finish this job. So what will?
I am again reminded of the good will shown to the victims of the horrendous Tsunami two years ago. I think that kind of individual good will, from individual American citizens, individual global citizens, will win the hearts and minds of Iraqi citizens. We will kill the terrorists with kindness to the very people they hope to oppress. What, then, will be their war cry? "Death to global citizens who try to bring good will to Muslims!"? Yeah, somehow, I think the terrorist movement will lose a little bit of steam if it comes to that.
There is just something about kindness that cannot be oppressed. There is something to kindness that evil has never understood; that you can't fight kindness with evil, and win. Kindness will kill terrorism. Guns can only go so far. The rest of this battle, if we are truly the global community that I hear so many lightly speak of, is going to be up to individual global citizens who want to show the people of Iraq and Afghanistan that there is a whole world out here who is willing to help them help themselves. And once the citizens of those two nations realize that, the terrorists will lose their recruiting base.
Global community. It can be a reality, but it won't be if we expect our government to lead us there. We have to lead our governement instead. If it is a global community we talk about, and a global community we want, then Iraq and Afghanistan is as much our responsibility as it is our government's. The global community does not belong to sovereign governments. It belongs to each and every individual global citizen; it trancends borders and politics. Iraq and Afghanistan belong to us, not to our president and congress. The people of those nations are our brothers and sisters, and look how we have left them. Pointing fingers isn't going to solve the problem.
What is your view of the global community? I'd be happy to hear about it. I'd be happy to hear also any ideas you might have to help the people of Iraq and Afghanistan. Thank you.