Perhaps other people have a nagging sense, subtle or not, that something big and awful is about to occur in the world. Certainly there have been some momentous events lately. I like to think that I’m a fairly upbeat, optimistic person. But not foolishly so. I’m reluctant to blog on downbeat topics and will only do so only after much thought and contemplation.
I’m thinking of the earthquake, tsunami, nuclear disaster in Japan. The implications and threats of that ongoing crisis overshadow even the horrible ongoing disaster in the Gulf of Mexico. There is much that we don’t know about the status of the reactors at Fukushima. Industry and regulatory officials appear to be keeping a great deal of information out of circulation.
What we are getting are plenty of sound-bytes and overly optimistic situational forecasts. Hoping and praying will do absolutely nothing to fix or mitigate a situation of this sort. It takes flesh and blood human beings to rationally analyze, brainstorm and actually, physically work on the problems. The workers have been called “Samuri” because they are sacrificing their own lives in the interest of other people’s well-being. Is the sacrifice in vain? At this point, who really knows.
As I write this, many people do not realize that the entire northern hemisphere is endangered. There is now a higher risk of cancers, not only in Asia, but in North America. When these will show up and how many millions will suffer?
The apparent assassination of Osama bin Laden this past weekend has given many people a great sense of foreboding. Schadenfruede or the joy over the demise of someone else notwithstanding. Osama’s death could possibly trigger retribution and revenge from those quarters in the Middle East who have historically been oppressed by the west. Osama represented their strength and sense of sacred honor. He has likely been elevated to martyrdom.
There will be lingering questions about bin Laden’s death and swift burial at sea. There are irrational factions in the USA who will likely concoct some conspiracy theories and fantasies. While most of those will likely be hysterically off-base, a few could gain traction and assume lives of their own. All one has to remember is our own so-called “birther” movement that has distracted the national debate from our real problems to a circus sideshow about the President’s birthplace.
One can easily imagine what could have happened during the U.S. civil war if, somehow, General Robert E. Lee had been assassinated. Perhaps the entire course of history would have been radically altered. Not only would there be an undercurrent of enmity between North and South, but the existence of a current Confederate States of America as a distinct, continuing nation might have been a reality today. Who knows?
The long simmering and boiling resentments between the Christian and Islamic worlds might have just been brought up a notch. Historical movements don’t simply take place over the course of a few days or weeks towards a quick resolution like some sort of Hollywood action flick or teevee show. These feuds cruise along for decades and centuries at a time.
What lies in our collective future regarding simmering resentments over the death of Osama bin Laden? In this modern age with technology capable of helping humanity or utterly destroying homo sapiens as a species, we need sober, realistic thought and actions.
Just as the jubilation and dancing in the streets of some Palistinians over the attacks of 9/11 offended Americans. Our own Schadenfruede over the demise of bin Laden is deeply offensive to many people in the Middle East.
I hope the world will soon realize the need for tact and maturity in all of our actions and reactions. Many of us, including this blogger have more of a sense of foreboding about that prospect. Actual, collective, physical and sober mental effort is necessary.
The Blue Jay of Happiness reminds us that joy is an emotion that can be a tool for good or ill.