We must not only control the weapons that can kill us, but we must also bridge the great disparities of wealth and opportunity among the peoples of the world, the vast majority of whom live in poverty without hope, opportunity, or choices in life. These conditions are a breeding ground for division that can cause a desperate people to resort to nuclear weapons as a last resort. Our only hope lies in the power of our love, generosity, tolerance and understanding and our commitment to making the world a better place for all.
~ Muhammad Ali
We are in a quagmire, and I hope we have enough perseverance of mind and commitment to compassion to stay the course and get out of it. Last week I wrote about the insanity of what is happening between Palestine and Israel. As tensions mount in Kashmir, India and Pakistan threaten nuclear weapons over one another. In whose name? The United States, Russia, France, China, the United Kingdom, Pakistan, India, Israel, and North Korea all have nuclear weapons. How despicable! How damning of our humanity! Any reasonable person stands in utter fear of the future. Though we are threatened with a bleak unpredictable tomorrow because of climate change, reality is hitting us in the face with the realization that climate change and nuclear weapons are our dual nemeses, our Voldemort. Ironically, Muhammad Ali gave us direction for making the world a better place. How many good words can be spoken without our acting?
For those of you who know of the existence of the Doomsday Clock from the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists, you know the clock has been advanced to 100 seconds to midnight. The 2021 announcement was prefaced with this concern; "Human beings can manage the dangers posed by modern technology, even in times of crisis. But if humanity is to avoid an existential catastrophe—one that would dwarf anything it has yet seen—national leaders must do a far better job of countering disinformation, heeding science, and cooperating to diminish global risks."
No matter where in the world you may be reading this newsletter, you have an opportunity to voice and act on your concerns. How much does your country invest in purchasing more nuclear weapons? $2 billion? India! $8.5 billion? Russia! $9 billion? UK! $35 billion? USA! In 2019, $72.9 billion was invested by nine countries' nuclear weapons. The world spent nearly $2 trillion in military outlays last year. How many people could have been fed, new jobs created to take care of our infrastructures, homes built, healthcare improved, research funded to assure a better tomorrow? We have allowed our governments to waste money on weapons that could conceivably eliminate our very existence.
Muhammad Ali told us what we must do:
-Eliminate disparity of wealth
-Work against all forms of poverty (food scarcity, homelessness, joblessness, lack of education, lack of adequate health care)
-Stop spending on nuclear weapons and rightfully spend it on citizens
-Educate and heal
How often do we feel that we've personally wasted money? What about $2 trillion? Look at the chart below! Are you outraged now?
This message from Marilyn Turkovich, Executive Director of the Charter for Compassion, appears in our 05/25/2021 weekly newsletter. To sign up for our newsletter, scroll all the way down to the end of this page to get to the bottom menu, in the newsletter section enter your email address and click on subscribe.