Those who control the news are starting to summarize the Oughts decade…you know, those last ten years that have flown by and caused a train wreck in the lives of so many?
USA Today has reviewed the entire decade. The part that caught my eye were these thoughts:
Ten years later, we look back at the wild ride and wonder what it meant. After the historian’s disclaimer — “still too early to say” — Michael Stoff of the University of Texas suggests that even the decade’s disasters might serve a purpose. The 9/11 attacks and global warming, for example, showed that problems such as terrorism and climate change are too broad to be solved by one nation. “I’m always struck by how bad things look close-up,” he says. “They look different when your nose isn’t pressed up against the mirror.”
One of the things I’ve really tried hard to believe in is that “everything happens for a reason”. When “stuff” happens to other people, it’s much easier to believe that saying than it is when it happens to oneself.
Michael Stoff suggests that the attacks on the World Trade Center and climate change brought the US to the realization that we can’t solve everything. Duh! What events had to occur to make us think that we could do everything in the first place? Thinking that we can control the world indefinitely was the same thinking that brought down every empire since empires began.
In the first place, we can’t control anything. We can plan and execute all we want, but the ultimate outcome is not in our human hands. There is a higher power who still has the ultimate authority. In kindergarten we have report cards that say “works and plays well with others”. At what point did we decide that it wasn’t necessary for our own selfish happiness to include other nations when making decisions that affected the entire world? It’s about time that the US stops being the big kid on the block and listens to those that are smaller. We might indeed save ourselves and learn something.
There are those within my own circle of acquaintances that don’t believe global warming is occurring. They believe it’s just part of Earth’s natural cycle of heating and cooling. I do not have all the data necessary for me to believe or disbelieve. All I know is the temperatures are rising and if there IS anything humans can do to change the outcome of that rise, now is the time to do it. If we say we don’t believe, we tend to just let things progress as they always have and wash our hands of the problem. The good part of this whole scenario is that we may finally start doing something about alternate sources of energy in a big enough way to make a difference. No one in power seems to be aware that the pollution in the air is enough reason to stop being so dependent on oil and natural gas. Everyone who owned property in North Texas was elated when huge, enormous supplies of natural gas was found beneath our property. Now we are crying because the gas companies are destroying the water supplies.
However, the greatest increase is among non-white, low income, uninsured families. They are the ones forced to live closest to the highways and the factories in our nation. Even if global warming is not being caused by humans, air pollution is. Yes, I know that smoking is factored into the statistics, but it doesn’t account for the total increase in patients, especially since the rate of smoking is decreasing.
Isn’t it about time during the next decade to take it upon ourselves to force our leaders who live in purer air to finally address the problem of pollution if you don’t believe in global warming?
This decade also saw more corruption in our business and financial communities on a scale not seen before. Yes, I am aware that our country was built by robber barons and the idea of misuse of power is as old as we are. Hundreds of thousands or perhaps millions of people have been harmed with loss of savings or loss of jobs or both. Perhaps the good that will come of this whole debacle is that we might get national leaders who will be forced to admit that deregulation only takes the mother out of the kitchen and leaves the cookie jar to the boys. Those boys, by the way, are the ones who think money can buy happiness and still try to play king of the mountain.
It would take a huge volume to discuss everything that has happened in the Oughts. My perspective of course is concerned with the US. Our global community is now so small, we must acknowledge finally that whatever we do in the next decade must include outcomes for the entire world. Maybe Michael Stoff is right. Maybe there has been a purpose to all the upheaval caused in this decade. Maybe we can start having compassion for others and a sense of morality and ethics when acting in ways that can hurt so many. God bless. Namaste. Attic Annie