Our determination to act in our own self interest and our comfort in doing so is the biggest problem our species faces. Syria, Egypt, Iraq, to name just a few, bring shame on all of us. Some country, somewhere, somehow, needs to lead the way and start acting in a decent, humane manner based on a genuine sense of morality; establish some principles and stick by those principles no matter what.
A good place to start would be the universal declaration of human rights, forged in the aftermath of the deadliest conflict in human history and serving as a stirring reminder of just how great human beings have the capacity to be. An unalterable and unswerving commitment to give internationally agreed rights to all humans is the key basic building block to building a better world.It is so easy to be cynical and say that the world will be as it always has been but this is a cop out; a simple way to absolve our conscience. The truth is the world can change and improve; there is more than enough goodness and love out there for it to happen but those who claim it can’t are just refusing to try and end up fulfilling their own prophecy.
As long as the countries of the West, which have so many wonderful qualities, remain moral hypocrites, talking the talk loudly but thoroughly failing to walk the walk, nothing will change and we will spend our lives getting steadily more jaded with humanity, nervously clinging on to our ill-gotten power because we are scared of how a different world would look; convincing ourselves of the delusion that the world would be better if others lived how we live: glossing over our own wrongdoings to maintain this delusion. Whether directly or indirectly, we are a big part of the problem in all of these struggling countries in the middle east and beyond. We need to start acting in a fundamentally different way.The frustrating irony of it all is that ultimately our perceived self interest is often self-harming because our self interested hypocrisy generates death, hate, and a desire for vengeance that is passed on through the generations and further jeopardises our long term security. So genuine long term self interest (for nations just as it is for individuals) lies in behaving selflessly and creating an environment where other nations feel the same and are more likely to do so for the good of all.
That is the path we have to take and the only thing stopping us getting on that path is ourselves.
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