Why do I want to improve the state of the world?

I watched this video below two days back. I can’t explain how shattered and sad I am, to see this angry father who lost his beautiful daughter in the Florida school shooting last week. It is unbelievably painful to watch this father shout helplessly in front of the POTUS — ‘I see a security guard in the elevator. I am pissed. I can’t see my daughter for eternity’. I was crying in the tram watching this and no father should ever go through this pain.

It is not just the Florida school shooting that causes concern but a whole range of things — conflicts in Syria and the middle east, the out flow of refugees and countries locking their borders not allowing these people fleeing for life to come in. Even animals and birds can go wherever they want but we humans cannot. People who are born in a country ‘by chance’ try to move out people who came ‘by choice’. Technology is causing unimaginable side effects in the form of social media/smartphone addictions, fake news, social media trolling, cyber violence etc. The kind of sexual violence that has happened in India in recent times(2 year old girl raped)belies any imagination. People are getting killed for eating meat of their choice. Trucks are used to kill hundreds of innocent people. Reckless driving, drugs, unhealthy eating habits, climate change, pollution, job loss through automation, lack of water, waste disposal in oceans, deforestation, species level extinctions, violent extremism…..One can type for days!!

But on the other hand, the world is at its safest space ever, according to Harvard Psychologist Steven Pinker. In his book “The Better Angels Of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined”, Pinker argues the following

“The only way you can really answer the question — has violence gone up or down? — is to count how many violent incidents have there been as a proportion of the number of opportunities, and has that gone up or down over the course of history? And that’s what I tried to do in the book. I looked at homicide, looked at war, looked at genocide, looked at terrorism. And in all cases, the long-term historical trend, though there are ups and downs and wiggles and spikes, is absolutely downward. The rate of violent crime in United States has fallen by more than half in just a decade. The rate of death in war fell by a factor of 100 over a span of 25 years”.

On the question of whether this is a worldwide phenomenon, “If you certainly choose the most violent parts of the world at any given time, they’re going to be pretty violent. But if you count the number of parts of the world that are violent versus those that aren’t, then you see that the world is becoming more peaceful. The impression that some kinds of violence have gone up over the last five years has some truth to it. Because of the Syrian civil war, the rate of death in warfare has drifted upward a little bit in the last five years. There has been a small increase in homicide in the United States in the last three years. But both of those figures are at a fraction of what they were in the ’60s, ’70S and ‘80s.”

Life expectancy has increased all over the world and people are generally living longer. Technology has connected the world more than ever. Childhood friends are getting connected through Facebook. Platforms like Twitter help the common man to directly ask questions to the highest possible decision makers and even, get response in many cases. Drones can take care of our farms. Robots can do some of the most ugly and inhumane tasks. 3D printing technology can now print buildings and may be at some point of time, it could even print human organs. Humans may fly to Moon andMars for vacation. In many ways, life is going to be very sophisticated and may be humans may outsource their work to Robots and will finally have time to relax & chill instead of slogging in the office spaces. May be they will sleep better.

To sum up, the world is going through lots of challenges but at the same time, it is at one of the safest times in the history.

Why do I want to improve the state of the world? I am the father of two beautiful kids. I want to improve the state of the world because I want my kids to enjoy a peaceful and fulfilling life. It is simple. I am selfish. I want my kids to enjoy their life and leave their mark on this planet. For my kids to be happy, the world has to be happy. If the world is unhappy, my kids cannot be happy.

If you watched the movie ‘Finding Nemo’ by Pixar, the Father fish is so protective of his son Nemo. I am that father fish. I want my Nemos to be safe.

The Founder of the world famous hospital, Aravind Eyecare in my hometown Madurai summed it up beautifully.

Every human being deserves to enjoy the life offered to them fully. It cannot be cut short by violence and it cannot be made painful by all the issues that are happening all over the world. We can be happy only when others are happy. When we help others, we heal ourselves.That is why I want to improve the state of the world.

Writer, எழுத்தாளன்