Is the World Growing Up?

Is the World Growing Up?


Absolutely not! Yet there exists a blind belief that time and progress are linear correlations – as time moves inexorably on, so does humanity and the world progress. Nothing could be further from the truth as these past few weeks have rudely demonstrated, notwithstanding the promises of a new generation of i-phones and Samsung Galaxies.

Despite formal non-aggression pacts and international ‘understandings’, a crude Sochi-drunk Putin invaded his neighbor Ukraine. Despite protestations in the UN that it is a ‘misunderstood Westside story teenager’, a brutally cunning Iran was caught red-handed shipping weapons of destruction to its Middle East terrorist proxies to destroy Israel.  Despite living n the 21st century of ‘enlightenment’, a modern-day Nigerian Islamist father hacked his daughter to death for converting to Christianity. Despite being a doctor pledged to heal others, Syrian head, Dr. Assad, continues to instruct his army to mechanically murder and gas his own often-defenseless people.

This is but a small sampling of twentieth century ‘sophistication’ and ‘progress’. Sadly, we are learning the hard way that the passage of time has nothing to do with personal growth, human development, or ‘progress’. Time simply teaches us that the only thing we learn from history is that we learn nothing from history. (George Hegel).  This nineteenth century philosopher went on to say,

History... is, indeed, little more than the register of the 'crimes, follies, and misfortunes' of mankind. But what experience and history teach is this - that peoples and governments have never learned anything from history, or acted on principles deduced from it.

The Jewish spiritual masters note that true progress is to be solely measured by degree of humanity’s self-mastery. Interestingly the word in Hebrew for ‘education’ is the same as ‘mastery’ namely ‘chinuch’.  Progress is not measured by national math or English indices of acumen, or numbers of students attending tertiary institutions. It is measured by the spiritual and ethical progress of those who study the math or languages or history, and enter the hallowed halls of supposed ‘higher learning’.

The world will not become a better place because your Jonny is a better mathematician or spelling bee champion. Jonny will improve the world only if he demonstrates the strength of conviction, dedication to a compassionate set of values, and practices that he truly believes in.

If Putin were a compassionate human being who had sat at the foot of the masters, then his leadership would not be characterized by macho-crudeness and an obsession with ego-centered megalomania – in the name of Mother Russia. If the new Persian religious leaders like the Khomeinis from the town of Khomein, had studied the Scroll of Esther they would have realized that racism and bigotry fails badly, especially when directed against the Jewish people. If Muslims studied their Koran in the manner that soft-spoken Jordanian Islamic scholar, Sheikh Ahmad Adwan, does, then Jihad against Israel and the western world ‘of infidels’ would not exist. (He quotes the Koran: Allah has assigned the Holy Land to the Children of Israel until the Day of Judgment (Koran, Sura 5 – “The Sura of the Table”, Verse 21).

The world is not growing up.  Why, because the parent generation is not nurturing its plants - its children. Only values of truth, compassion, love, and peace, have the power to propel the world into progress. Only when good people have the strength of conviction and stand up to brute forces of destruction that evil people unleash on the world, can the tide turn.

Be part of the change. Grow up.

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