Recent history and today’s situation of the world is clearly raising a lot of questions about humanity and its situation. Is humanity in a crisis? Everything seems to point that way. Empathy and tolerance seem so far away when we look at the current refugee crisis, the ecological crisis, the widening inequality, the health crises all over the world and other symptoms of a society that is sick.
Today’s refugee crisis is becoming especially obvious in Europe, but is of a much larger extent. In the middle of 2015, the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) estimates the number of refugees at 59,5 million (59,500,000 people) worldwide, an astonishingly high number of people is displaced and this is also the highest number in world history, much higher than during the World Wars for example.
Not only does this raise the questions about the reasons for this and the underlying conflicts. But the reaction of many European nations brings an even deeper question about human nature. Where is it that we have lost empathy, tolerance and a sense of humanism? Is it too much to host those people who had to flee from their countries? Do we need to protect our own wealth at the cost of human lives? Why don’t we understand that this is our problem, too? That we even might be the cause of this? If we cannot feel the necessary empathy towards refugees who had to leave their own family, lands and countries because they had no other choice, then what are we doing really?
Our current society is sick, infected by materialism, consumerism and high degrees of selfishness. Didn’t we learn that it is good to share what we have? How many more people have to die before we can open our homes and our countries for those in need? How many more images of drown refugees floating do we need to see before we can bring a little humanity in what we do? Why are profit and luxury the keywords for success, and not doing good for others?
This of course has many underlying layers. When analyzing, we see that the consumerist and materialist status that seems to be driving society, have their source of course with large corporate interests and massive advertising deluding our minds and making us forget what is important, and even worse, making us slaves to the system. The question that rises when looking at the large corporate powers and at the capitalist system altogether is whether we need a new ethical standard for society and for humanity.
Is it OK for a company to create profit at the cost of millions of the poor? All over the world a race for resources is leaving people landless and homeless, creating too many endless, unresolved conflicts.
Companies are more than happy to exploit those left poor, with cheap labor, when they have no other choice left to make a living for their family. We need a new ethical standard for businesses, for our societal and most of all economical systems, but also for the whole of humanity. Why can’t we see that our consumerism and our thirst for material possession are creating all of those problems? The power is in our hands!
Also the current ecological and climatological crisis can be brought back to our need for more, our hunger for ‘stuff’, and all of our wants. Not only are we creating a world with extreme poverty and millions of refugees, we also seem to have lost touch with the reality of nature. Even today, when millions of species are endangered, when oceans are acidifying, temperatures are rising and pollution is a completely unresolved problem, we don’t seem to take responsibility for those ourselves. It is our materialism and consumerism that is creating the biggest global crisis in the planet’s history. And yet, nothing changes.
On the other side of the spectrum are the diseases taking over the rich countries; obesity and massive numbers of type 2 diabetes on one hand, and depression, chronicle unhappiness and rising suicide numbers on the other hand.
We do not only create a crisis for the poor, for our lands and for the natural kingdoms, but it makes us even unhappy. Humanity is in a crisis, a deep ethical and moral crisis. Both Karl Marx and Friedrich Nietzsche, with their concepts of alienation and nihilism, are being proven right and have warned us long ago for this.
It is time to build a foundation now for a new generation; one that cares about and respects the natural kingdoms, one that tolerates other cultures, religions and opinions, one without self-involvement at the center and one that leaves materialist addiction behind. We better start now!
All of us, together in masses or in smaller groups, have to wake up today and make the change. We have to better. We have to teach youth and children to do better. Let’s teach what is important, let’s return to pure human values and let’s step out of the educational, societal and economical systems that are dominated by profit and materialism. It’s time to heal de-humanized humanity. It is urgent!! This world is in crisis.