Man is selfish granted three wishes he will use it for the prosperity of his home and family, thereby the promotion of his happiness. I’m no different. If granted three wishes, I would put them to use, for the prosperity of the world and progress of mankind, for I believe “The world is my home and all mankind my family”.
It is an inherent obligation of every country of the world to participate fully in the march of science, which is one of mankind’s greatest enterprises. This has been carried out in full swing and man has progressed by leaps and bounds. But science has its limitations. The so called developed nations where the basic necessities of man are available in surplus i.e., those nations that are free from want are not free from fear.
Thanks to our brilliant scientists today the very existence of the world is at the mercy of a few men, insane in their quest for power. Can we be happy with such potential dangers lurking in the background? Can we be happy with the knowledge that a few ruthless men can bring about a cataclysmic end to our lives?
There has been an upliftment in man’s material side of life, but scientific progress has failed to give higher vision, peace and contentment. Without these, the material wealth bestowed by science, however prolific it is, does not serve any purpose at all. The ancient Greeks had a finely developed sense of pathos, particularly of the somewhat futile posturing of man in the face of nature.
Nothing illustrates this better than the myth of Prometheus who gave fire to man and was consequently put to torture for ages and ages. Scientists and technologists seem to share much in common with Prometheus.
Rebelling against nature, ostensibly dedicated to mankind, acknowledged for their intellect, what they endeavor to build by conquering nature is undone again and again and there exists the incessant fear that civilisation, if not, man himself will be eradicated from the face of earth, by their inventions.
My first wish will seek the end or cleansing the world of any forms of war, in particular the eradication of nuclear weaponry of all sorts. The tragic nuclear revolution holds the very existence of the living world at stake. This has been evidenced by the nuclear attack on Hiroshima and Nagasaki (Japan) way back in 1945.
Studies of the victims validate the proposition that the use of nuclear weapons is fraught with the cruelest possible forms of death and irreparable damage to health, which makes life a “living hell” for the victimized ones and description “the living envying the death”, is not a hyperbole. Arundhati Roy describes with clarity the nature and results of an all-out nuclear war thus: “Our cities and forests, fields and villages will burn for days. Rivers will turn into poison. The air will become fire.
The wind will spread the flames. When everything there is to burn would have burnt and the fires died, smoke will rise and shut out the sun.”
Money spent for defense is continuously on the rise in countries all over the world. This is an unnecessary strain on the economy of all countries, particularly in the developing ones. For instance, in India the money spent on nuclerisation is something around half a percentage of the Gross Domestic Product per year.
This might not sound like much, but it is large enough if we consider the fact that elementary education can be provided to every child in the country with the same amount of money. Money that can be used to feed the hungry millions, that can serve to protect and provide for the innocent children who will otherwise grow up on streets, mauled by the cruel hands of the perverts and violence, is being so carelessly thrown in for the production of warheads.
However, more than the economic implications, it is the increasing insecurity of human lives that is the biggest penalty that results from these nuclear adventures. Whom does it make happy to see the millions charred and bleed to death? Is global disarmament or denuclearization the greatest need of the hour?
This reminds me of an old joke: Albert Einstein, when once asked about the type of weapons that may be used in a Third World War, replied: I don’t know about the weapons that will be used in a Third World War, but I know what will be used in the Fourth World War bows and arrows”.
It might seem funny but that is not all, it is the naked truth. In the event of a Third World War, we will be in no better state, if we exist at all. Before it is too late, it must be realised that a nuclear war will leave us with nothing more than a “republic of insects and grass.”
Why do we make ourselves responsible for such barbarism and disaster? Isn’t it because of man’s blind worship of his race, its customs and his nation (chauvinism)? Love of God in its true sense means love to his fellow beings.
The Nazis sending Jews to the gas chambers, the massacre of the labourers, their wives and children under the direction of Czar Nicolas-II of Russia infamously called the “Bloody Sunday”, the military forces of Japan attacking the defenseless Chinese are some of our world affirmers, whose callous disrespect of the stuff of life and of the morals of mankind show how mean and morally deteriorated people all over the world are getting to be.
In the midst of this hate, spewing venom into every man’s heart, spreading like fire, violence and terror every man’s heart, spreading like fire, violence and terror becoming the techniques of every man and nation as a means to attain their selfish ends, it is reason enough for ridicule, that we project an exaggerated image of our desire for peace, while preparing for war. It is like professing vegetarianism while running slaughter houses.
Once someone said: “Individual spirit is the creator of world conditions”. The truth of this strikes real hard now. From within our nature comes all that will elevate or defile a man. All the issues of life arise from heart. The passions of the heart decide the course of the world. We have spiritually deteriorated to a great extent. As every day goes by, we are turning more and more selfish, brutal, decadent and mercenary.
Peter’s Marius, the epicurean, was one day watching the butcheries of the gladiator’s in ancient Rome. What wanted he thought was the heart that would make it impossible to witness all this and the future of the world would be with forces that could beget that heart? If the world is to be preserved, men must be the possessors of hearts that will make it impossible for them to witness with equanimity the mutual slaughter of men and rise above narrow sentiments like bigotry and fundamentalism.
Remember what Gandhiji told decades ago: “We are all tarred with the same brush. We are members of the vast human family… Humanity is not divided into compartments. They may occupy one thousand rooms but they are related to one another”.
We must, with full vigour, propagate a new holistic philosophy based upon the following concepts: “That the planet we inhabit and of which we are all citizens Planet Earth, is a single, living pulsating entity and that the human race in the final analysis is an interlocking extended family”—Vasudhaiva Kutambhakam. The differences between men that of caste, creed, religion, sex, and nationality, economic and social status though cannot be ignored in totality must be viewed in a broader context of global unity.
All these dreams will materialise on the establishment of a world government whose foundation is built on the ideals of justice, fraternity, non-violence and welfare of mankind without any distinction. This will transform the world into a haven of peace and harmony. Thus, my second wish will seek the establishment of a world government on line with such ideals.
Remember the maxim: “If we work upon marble, it will perish; if on brass, time will efface it; if we rear temples, they will crumble into dust; but if we work upon mortal minds and imbue them with principles, with the just fear of God and love of our fellow men, we engrave on those tablets something that will brighten all eternity -Daniel Webster.
Finally, I will wish that the two deadly Ps Poverty and Pollution- be vanquished. Poverty is a phenomenon, which is complex in origin as well as in its manifestations. It is a social and a moral challenge. It is not merely a state of stagnation, but a state of degeneration and regression the abolition of illiteracy and removal of hunger are the most elementary responses to the challenge of poverty.
Poverty is a curse. It forces man to take to evil ways. It eclipses the brightest virtues, saps man of all vitality, rips away all noble thoughts in their embryo, cows industry and casts resolution itself into despair. Thus, poverty elimination will make the world much more lovelier place to live in;
Mother Nature has bestowed us with all necessities for a happy life. Quoting Gandhiji: “There is enough for everyone’s need but not for everyone’s greed”. But man, in his quest to satisfy his greed and make life easier has caused irreparable damage to our environment.
Rapid industrialization has led to pollution. Today, we face mounting environmental problems like the Greenhouse Effect and Global Warming, Ozone layer depletion, Add rain, etc. Its effect on man’s health is horrendous. Mankind seems to be the only species that knowingly continues to dig its own grave. Life is beautiful; if we’ve to enjoy it to the fullest there must be complete eradication of poverty and pollution.
It is a beautiful and blessed world we live in, and while life lasts, to lose the enjoyment of it is a sin. –A.W. Chambers