On July 27, Madeleine Albright, the former Secretary of State under Bill Clinton, offered some reflections on the current state of the world during a televised interview.
She frankly stated,
To put it mildly, the world is a mess.
She's hit the nail on the head. The world is a mess right now, and perhaps more so than we've seen in decades.
At present, we are witnessing: a devastating war in Syria, the rise of a bloodthirsty extremist state under ISIS (also known as ISIL and the Islamic State), a polarizing conflict between Israel and Palestine, hostilities in Ukraine, tensions in US-Russian relations, violence in the Central African Republic, an Ebola outbreak, and disturbing clashes between police and citizens in Ferguson, Missouri.
Furthermore, these are simply the events that have made it onto the news and captured the public's rather fickle attention span. The fact of the matter is that there is violence and political strife occurring in nations and regions across the world... And it all seems to be occurring at the same time.
The past several weeks have been particularly tumultuous, which might lead people to two separate conclusions.
On one hand, people might believe that we are on the brink of worldwide conflict. The pieces for such a catastrophe are arguably set in place already.
Extremism pervades the Middle East. Right-wing political parties have made major gains in Europe. People are rioting in the streets of the United states. Russia and the US have not had such a terse relationship since the Cold War.
Simply put, nationalism is on the rise, states are becoming more guarded, and conflict appears somewhat inevitable.
On the other hand, people might argue that things have gotten so bad that it might finally force the world to wake up. Globalization has tied us all together. What happens in one place impacts people in another.
This is becoming more evident as each day passes. The borders we have established are artificial and ultimately will not protect us from the forces of history. If we do not begin to see that our fates are linked, we will all perish together.
Accordingly, the world is at an impasse, and it could go one of two ways. We can work together through international cooperation and organizations like the United Nations (UN), or we can continue down the chaotic route we are witnessing at present.
This is all easier said than done of course, and many people might cynically remark that the UN is ineffective and corrupt, and global solidarity is a pipe dream. That may all be true, but isn't it at least a dream worth continuing to aspire to? It's certainly much better than what we have right now.
All of our struggles intersect. #Ferguson #PalestineUnderAttack #Egypt pic.twitter.com/GGbtylaEbr — Feminist Bully (@bullhorngirl) August 19, 2014
Hence, the tweet above perfectly encapsulates how much of a mess the world is right now. It also reveals that perceiving the many problems across the globe as separate entities is an illusion.
Yes, the world is a complex place, but only because we have made it so over the course of human history. We all mold our own reality, so why not make it something beautiful?
As Gandhi said,
If we could change ourselves, the tendencies in the world would also change. As a man changes his own nature, so does the attitude of the world change towards him. ... We need not wait to see what others do.
Photo Credit: Weston Green