Mankind has socially evolved because progressive-minded people like Martin Luther King Jr. and Gandhi have led movements for ideals that they believed in—deeply rooted in basic truths and inalienable rights of humanity. By laying out the constructs of peace and equality in a way that large portions of the population could rally around them, these visionaries became catalysts for change. Because of the sacrifices of those who have tirelessly worked for progress, people have had the opportunity to enjoy freedoms that past generations have not.
Learning to Live with More Humanity
As a society, we have not yet fulfilled Gandhi’s and Martin Luther King’s “dreams,” but we have grasped the vision and we need to continue to work towards the goal. Forward-thinking individuals who challenge the archaic concepts precipitated by the wealthy elite who seek to control the masses.
Fortunately, the visionaries are working to bring about a new paradigm shift. As Albert Einstein said, “We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.”
The “green” concept is hardly a new one, for decades small sectors of the population have understood that we must take certain measures in order to maintain a healthy relationship with our planet. Yet again, corporations have latched onto people’s good intentions and twisted them into perverse marketing ploys, exemplified by greenwashing.
Numerous businesses are using the buzz word “green” to boost sales, taking advantage of the trendy concept to make a buck. However, there is a positive aspect to this trend; it is evident that we are finally learning a better way. We are coming to understand that the old throwaway culture and dependence on fossil fuels are not sustainable and must be drastically changed for mankind to flourish, perhaps even survive. We cannot continue to be a parasite to our planetary host.
The Declaration of Human Rights marks a Change
Lifestyle changes often happen gradually and the Declaration of Human rights is an important example. Human Rights is an idea that had rare and spotty recognition until the turn of the 20th century. The concept only gained serious worldwide momentum when the U.N. general assembly created the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948. This created a body of documents that outlines which rights we acknowledge as universal.
Yes, these rights are violated every day, but now we have a common framework for dealing with the major issue of crimes against humanity. The plan to ensure universal human rights is far from perfect, but at least we have a context for the problem, which makes advocacy more plausible than it has been in the past.
Green Living and the Declaration of Human Rights
Both the Declaration of Human Rights and “green” economies came from changes in perception, which slowly found root in mainstream thinking. We have reached a point where most people have access to all the knowledge needed to live more intelligent lifestyles; the internet continues to expand and provides opportunities to a wide audience to avail themselves of information, though many people misuse powerful tools like the internet for mindless drivel. These new ways of living do less harm to others and our environment.
Finally, after a long history of wastefulness, sustainability is openly discussed as a tenable route. The uncertainty in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis has begun to show us that resources are truly precious and finite. If we want our children to survive and flourish as a species we must learn to conserve. In this new era, human beings are far more mindful about recycling and reducing our negative impact on the planet.
We are beginning to apply that knowledge—but we have to move faster. In the present times, we must remain vigilant and encourage our leaders to be mindful of what we have learned about preserving our environment and encourage them not to retrogress for humanity can ill afford a relapse into denial of the real threat man can be to the well being of our planet.
Climate Change and our Future
Often we hear politicians say that we can’t afford to put the time and resources into climate change to make the necessary impact. However, there is always enough money for wars which we have sunk trillions of dollars into without coherent justification. While many civilians and politicians haughtily dismiss spending money on universal human rights and the environment; these are causes that benefit every human being on the planet by impeding destruction rather than promoting it.
Many people have also been hoodwinked by false visionaries like Napoleon and Hitler who have sold mankind evil. As Daniel Dennett explains, these false visionaries promote parasitic ideas that encourage human beings to act like a virus destroying their host. Over the course of history, people have followed charismatic people who encourage us to bow with them before the almighty free market (or some other extreme parasitic idea), coaxing mankind into disarray, dangerously disrupting the fine balance of nature.
By learning from those who apply empathy and reason to their beliefs, we can begin living the intelligent lives we are capable of. We are inhabitants together in one struggle, coexisting on the same breathing organism with other beings. If we continue to learn from our mistakes and stop killing visionaries, we can hand a better world to our children. One day your son or daughter will hopefully thank you with the same reverence in their eyes that we have for our true heroes.