Unnerving Times

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Dixya Poudel

However ideal human aspirations might be, the current times mired in uncertainty continue to harbinger daily news embroiled in war, famine, conflict and humanitarian crisis. As Gaza deteriorates further from air missiles fired by Israel, millions have become a refugee, thousands have died and many have been injured. Countless children of war in Gaza today face a doomed future without basic necessities and rights. It is tragic that they have lost their given right to a peaceful childhood. Sadly, they could grow up traumatized by a war that has been in the making for decades. Since they currently face malnutrition and even starvation, both their physical and mental health are at a stake. One wonders why humanitarian authorities are failing in Gaza whose future now seems foredoomed.

Given that humans are the most rational and logical creatures, it is astounding how self-destructive they are as well. It is especially seen in case of wars where both parties face an immense loss even if one of them becomes the victor. In war, there is only destruction and mayhem. Lives are lost, many are injured and orphaned and properties are annihilated all because political leaders decide to wage full-scale wars in the name of religion or nationality. This is not rational, which speaks volumes about the blind spot of humans when their beliefs and ideologies are threatened. And war is about projecting ideologies whether they are fundamentalist, nationalist, ethno-nationalist or religious in nature. 

Adding to the crisis created by war in Middle East, Russia and Ukraine is the threat of climate change. According to a recent warning by United Nations’ climate chief, mankind has only two years to save the world from climate change. Already there have been instances of climate crisis throughout the world whether it is drought in Africa, natural disasters in Asia, wildfires in North America and Europe and so on. Young generations may grow up amid advances in science and technology but the world they inherit will be fraught with climate change and its detrimental effects. This will be a lot to bear for such over-protected generations who are climate cautious but find themselves helpless to advocate. 

Many may have taken to voice their stances for climate actions such as Greta Thunberg. Yet, they can only go so far. Ultimately, climate actions are hindered by national and international policies written by powerful politicians and leaders who see nothing beyond their own ambitions. As such, one can say that these are unnerving times wherein wars seem to escalate extensively while the gulf of socio-economic inequality keeps yawning. And yet, one mustn’t give up hope. Humans are innovative and ingenious creatures who have survived millennia through their sheer wit, knowledge, creativity and curiosity enabled by their grey cells.

 Science fiction may spell a dystopian future which in some parts of the world may be a reality but people are still driven by democratic and humane values. There are countries where the young are fostered, nurtured and supported towards an encouraging future. There are still places in world where human values are upheld and nurtured with kindness and compassion. This gives a reason for optimism which is why one must continue to strive for excellence and virtue even at times when the future portends to have none. 

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