||January 07, 2011
The Decade in
The world has moved at a remarkable pace
in the first decade of the new millenium.Today,in this smallspace, I look at
some of the positives & negatives I see here in late
December 2010 that will help in making my New Year’s resolutions. A few
categories, not necessarily in order of importance, follow.
With the internet, digitization and
satellites this has been the most advanced communications period in history.
Our children are different people with all of their access and facility
with the new media. How we learn has changed not always to
the better. Newspapers, books, banking, photography, our cars, etc. have
changed. I talk regularly to my daughter in South America
and my brother in Vancouver on Skype free and with the camera, face to face.
There is great potential for fraud and the crash of our financial system for
example was facilitated by the availability of the digital world.
In principle, like democracy, capitalism
is a powerful creation but from what we have seen very vulnerable to
manipulation and abuse. With greedy people wanting to become inordinately rich
by manipulating the markets they caused what some believe, was the biggest
crisis of the decade. Incredible salaries, ponzi schemes, sub-prime mortgages,
etc. caused great suffering and pushed countries and individuals into crisis.
Capitalism and accelerated communication
and lack of political will is putting our future world at risk. The evidence is
overwhelming but our politicians including some of our current governments are
slow to act.
While still a powerful force there is
evidence that religion is diminishing in its acceptance especially in the young.
Some see negative influences in religion at various levels of society. A
more secular morality is growing especially in the young.
One of the positive trends is the
developing interaction among people throughout the world. With prejudices
diminishing as a result of intermingling, better communication, mobility &
personal experience, some of the ethnic & religious and geographical
restrictions of the past have changed. In China ,for example 450 million people
have computers and 300 million are learning english.Globalization of many
aspects of our lives has created a functioning global village even though some
countries are hesitant to join.
Our cultural life of music, dance,
theatre, art, sports etc– at the grassroots level has millions having a
fulfilling life by their participation. While there is perhaps too much elitism
and too much spectatorship versus grassroots participation there is much
satisfaction in the cultural life around us.
In our world
there are haves and have-nots, there are prejudices and
hurts as there always have been. The trend toward
incarceration instead of rehabilitation is disconcerting. There are conflicting
points of view as to what should be done. The G20 for example was seen by some
as an event where troublemakers tried to disrupt world leaders doing their job.
Others see the location of the summit in downtown Toronto, with
barricades,abuse of bystanders and a billion dollar police
force as an insult.
||Locavore. A new book
providing grassroots direction for people who want to garden or eat local
food. Harper Collier Publisher 2010.
One of the carrots leading us to a more
progressive world is the move toward more home grown food. The 100 mile diet &
people raising their own food is better for the biosphere & healthier for the
individual. I am impressed by the way the Amish in Chisholm Township have large
gardens and I feel they must have a lot of satisfaction in gardening and a lot
of pleasure eating the food. I spoke to Nanditta Colbear who
writes her Northern Vegetables column in Community Voices about the trend and
about an excellent new book Locavore that I picked up at the library.
The word Locavore was coined in 2005 to describe someone who subsists on
food grown personally or nearby. Nanditta and her husband
Ric get a lot of satisfaction growing a variety of items, selling some and
talking to people about all aspects of their lifestyle. Something to think
Congratulations to Community Voices for
its first decade of publication.
There has been incredible progress but
deep deep concern about the future of the world in the last decade.
It will be interesting to see and be a part of the next decade.
Heritage Perspective Home Page