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You Cannot Bury Your Head in the Sand

Some things we cannot ignore Try as we might they just keep coming up. There are some things we don’t want to acknowledge. Like a bad dream, we want to forget it or wish it never happened. But we are confronted by things that are all too real. We just as well face these difficulties and do our best to eradicate them. They will not go away on their own.

Such is the situation in our country. We cannot change history so we must be aware of it so the bad things will not happen again. The world should not return to slavery. It was never good. We should not have another Hitler. What he did was just plain evil. Jim Crow, the Poll Tax, lynching, and segregation were faulty at the roots. There is no doubt that we are a powerful nation. Our system, as it has evolved, is worth emulation. But we no longer rule the world. Maybe we never did. Our missiles and military might may make us strong, but they don’t make us right. We should respect the rights of other countries and not make mini mes. We have enough work to do at home.

I was at the Richard B. Harrison Library the other day and happened to pick up an ”Awake” magazine that someone had left. Usually I don’t read them but I had some time on my hands and decided to read an article entitled “Threats to Our Safety and Security”. It went on to list some of the challenges facing us.

Cybercrime: “increasingly the internet is proving to be a dangerous place to visit. It is a haven for pedophiles, bullies and hackers (and terrorists). Identity theft is one of the fastest growing crimes in the world… the Internet provides an outlet for one of the worst traits of humankind- the capacity to be vicious and cruel.

Financial Inequality: According to a recent Oxfam International report, the eight richest people own the same amount of wealth as the poorer half of humanity. “Our broken economies,” said Oxfam, ”are funneling wealth to a rich elite at the expense of the poorest in society, the majority of whom are women (or people of color)”. Some fear that the growing inequality might trigger social unrest.

Conflict and Persecution: A 2018 United Nations Refugee Agency report said “We are now witnessing the highest levels of displacement on record”. More than 68 million people have had to leave their homes because of conflict or persecution. Nearly 1 person is forcibly displaced very 2 seconds according to the report.

Threats to the Environment: “Biodiversity is being lost at mass-extinction rates ,” states The Global Report 2018, and “pollution of the air and sea has become an increasing threat to human health.” Also, insect numbers are in steep decline in some lands. Because insects pollinate plants, scientists are now warning of a potential “ecological Armageddon.” Coral reefs are in trouble too. Scientist estimate that about half the world’s reefs have died in the past 30 years.

The magazine gives an example. “A patient was sick and died. The doctor wondered ‘why did he die?’” When the first symptoms appeared, no one sought to search for the underlying cause. They simply gave him the medicine to make him feel better. Are we taking a similar approach to our problems? Improved surveillance, more police, more laws do not stop crime.

There are other problems we face. Problems such as education, infrastructure, immigration, healthcare, and voting rights are serious. People do not like for other people to tell them how to live or how they should see things. But we must do something.

We cannot bury our heads in the sand.

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