The Role of Hope
There will be more peace in the world if developing countries raise their standard of living and quality of life. There should be hope everywhere. Our businesses should stop trying to merely maximize profits off the backs of fellow souls in third world countries or from the natural resources of third world countries. A fair share of profits gained from workers or resources should by invested back into those countries to build infrastructure, schools, and hospitals and resources should never be taken without protecting the environment and beauty of those third world countries.
We can help create more global hope because hope is America’s unique national quality. It is its outlook for a better and promising future. Americans approach challenges as opportunities and not as obstacles. Most Americans look ahead toward aspirations and do not dwell on current circumstance. Americans do this because that is its history. Everywhere else in the world there is a history of struggle that has had to be overcome–a history where populations have not benefited from the power of optimism.
The United States has been known as a grand experiment. Its still new. Other countries have joined us in this grand experiment. Others are either coming along kicking and screaming or have totally rejected it. Optimism and hope are at the heart of this grand experiment as much as is self rule.
America needs to help others evolve. But how is evolvement measured? By more of the Earth’s population having adequate food, clothing, shelter, medicine, health, jobs? Is it that our technology and scientific knowledge is improved and shared? Is it that we live longer? Is it that more of Earth’s populations live where human rights are honored, where political systems serve rather than repress? Is it by looking into prisons and seeing who are inside and the conditions in which they exist? Is it where more populations benefit from a flywheel effect that constantly increases momentum for improving ethics, morality, respect, and service to others regardless of race, religion, creed, nationality, sexual persuasion, gender, education, handicap, age, addiction? Is it that more of Earth’s populations are productive, creatively engaged, able to live simple healthy non-addictive lives without the life shortening frustrations of insatiable materialism, greed, hate, jealously, and fear in hearts? Are lives more balanced with equal parts of spirituality, work, play, family, sleep, and service?
According to Jared Diamond in his book Guns, Germs, and Steel:
When trying to create change and help third world countries we need to keep in mind the role history plays. Just introducing good institutions to poor countries and expecting those countries to achieve the per capita GNP similar to first world countries ignores history. Good institutions have appeared in countries with geographic advantages and not randomly. We must understand the role geography has played if we hope now to produce good institutions quickly in countries lacking them.
Today’s first world countries are ones that were powerful centers thousands of years ago or were repopulated by peoples from those centers and food production was at the heart of their success.
Countries and regions with long histories of state societies or agriculture like South Korea, Japan, and China have higher GNP growth rates than countries with short histories, such as New Guinea and the Philippines even though (or perhaps because) some of those third world countries are much richer in natural resources (like oil or diamonds) than first world countries.
The following indented paragraphs contain concepts originally found in THE FUTURE AS HISTORY by Robert L. Heilbroner, 1961.
Where hope does not exist, terrorism breeds. Where first world countries have exploited resources of third world countries and put the world’s environment second to growing an industrial base, negative images are created.
Evil breeds in countries where the majority of people still fear that their futures will never change. Those countries will continue to have religious wars, invasions, coups, and revolutions. They will continue to have warlords, dictators, and governments that do not serve but instead protect the wealth and power for those that already have it.
Given a chance, the countries where the majority of their people do not evolve will seek to conquer its neighbors for they do not know any better. Earth will not evolve into a peaceful loving planet until its vast populations evolve.
Evil will exist because there are opportunities for evil people to exist where there is a general lack of education and hope for a better life or there hasn’t been time to evolve because opportunities are too new. Terrorists and dictators from countries and geographic areas where their majorities do not have optimism for their futures will act like they always have in Earth’s history.
Even with developed nations helping underdeveloped nations give their countrymen hope and optimism, it could take one or several generations before a difference can be made. Transitioning from a hunting and gathering subsistence level economy to an agrarian level economy to an industrial economy has always included periods of repression and severity.
It should be expected that it would be just as difficult for a region of the world having sharp ethnic and religious differences and an oil-dependent economy without a history of any pluralism to have trouble with leaders, whether democratic or dictatorial, letting power corrupt. Words will not appease them. This is Earth’s history and until these changes are made, it will always be its future or as Sir Isaac Newton might say, unless acted upon by some outside force.
Progress is always slowed by history for not only are the economies meager in underdeveloped countries or even in oil rich countries where the wealth has gone to the few, they can’t benefit from any history where change has been gradual, successful, peaceful, and lasting.
Humans don’t really like change but once we make a decision about something including change we are impatient. Impatience leads to haste. In regards to terrorism, haste can lead to militant action, racism, and religious nationalism creating opportunities for evil leaders to gain control while the plurality abdicate leadership and become followers of evil rhetoric and self-serving, ego driven, power hungry evil leaders/terrorists.
Terrorism has always existed whether it is right-to-life groups bombing abortion clinics, or gangs roaming through neighborhoods, or people stealing from one another, or people pushing drugs, stealing children, or beating and raping, or ethnic groups campaigning for independence, or super powers expressing cold war rhetoric. Civilization after civilization have been invaded, conquered, and held hostage throughout the history of Earth.
I find comfort in this passage from John F. Kennedy’s Inaugural Address: “Those who foolishly sought power by riding the back of a tiger found themselves inside the tiger.”