There is no dearth of news to fill the newspaper pages or keep us riveted to our screen, big or small. We are inundated by promotions to subscribe to news on the go; on top of these, we have social media to keep us up to date from every imaginable source. But are getting any wiser? Going by the state of affairs of the world, we could even be regressing; none the wiser than our forefathers despite our appendages!
These types of news feeds make us miss the forest for the trees. The news loses its relevance and we take it for granted, par for the course. They are just like looking at obituary columns; mere statistics, unless own loved ones are involved. Similarly, for world news, business and economics; they hardly make a dent on the layman. We are too busy and our reaction hardly matters, anyway! We seem to be going back and forth, like frog in a well or a fish caught in a fish tank!
For the man in the street it is just as well, but does not resonate well if our leaders, who are supposed to lead us to a better future, are also caught in a vicious circle of inaction. We see crises brewing but we just react, endlessly putting out the fires rather than take pro-active action. We are mired in endless issues of trade frictions, climate change, currency valuations, but hardly make any progress as they get worse by the day! And suddenly, we are caught up with issues like the ongoing internal strife in Egypt, threatening to spillover and engulf many countries. In an interconnected world, the contagion effect can be swift, upsetting law and order and result in killing of even innocents. Already many are hurting everywhere, without the spill-over effects.
What progress have we made on crucial issues like climate change? What about globalization, international trade and currency valuations that are simmering beneath, though being patched up with quick fixes? They can spring leaks, like volcanic eruptions, and we just allow them to run their course by ignoring them. Even broad understanding seems to be beyond us, thereby keeping us on tenterhooks all the time.
One of the sore points for tensions that have led to recent wars is the world depending on few countries for energy; mostly derived from polluting oil, gas and coal. China is on a wild goose hunt to ensure continuous supplies, outbidding others, helped by their vast reserves. They cannot be blamed as they are effectively the world factory, even importing raw materials and exporting the finished goods to the countries where they import the raw material from! Such massive production facilities help them to achieve cost efficiencies and they end-up with massive reserves. They want to keep the good times rolling, unwilling to revalue their currency, fearing massive unemployment if they become non-competitive. The rest of the world sees this as a very selfish stand naturally, beggaring their economies!
Crucial issues remain, crying for solutions, and prove intractable. At the same time, we go though as business as usual, closing our eyes on the basics which can blow up to upset the world economic order, like what happened all of a sudden in Egypt, where it was simmering beneath for years! In our personal lives, we plan ahead to prevent our being caught napping. Even companies have planning, stretching to different time frames and monitor and analyze the actual with the budgets. But when crucial issues that affect the wider humanity are involved, we fail to break the impasse for too long; just going back and forth for what seems eternity! These include hot-spots where wars can erupt and nuclear weapons are under threat of falling into the wrong hands; anyway, who has the right to have them at all? Non-proliferation has been talked about and it is like NATO (No Action, Talk Only)!
We are getting all the news and expert commentaries on the go, at our finger tips, but what use really, when we get immune to them. When I look at our children, I get a sense we are failing them, short-changing by giving them fleeting moments of satisfaction! Time indeed, our leaders acted fast enough to tackle the issues head-on and show real leadership. Give and take from all sides is necessary; otherwise, we would be signing off the future of our children everywhere! Our forefathers fought for freedom and a better future, but we are preoccupied and enamored by toys that hardly add much value to our lives; we know the cost of everything at the click of a mouse, but what about the value of our lives and that of our little ones?