We need to change our stories for 2016
SONIA AMBROSIO DE NELSON –
The curtains are closing down on 2015. It is time to look back and reflect on how the year went by. Mostly, I am excited to welcome 2016. It is another chance to renew hopes for a better world. It is an opportunity to review goals and to get engaged with new projects. Though every morning, when I open my eyes, I see a myriad of new possibilities. The sunrise brightens up my life and I am certain that all will be ok.
Many times, the reality is multifaceted to understand, so I put it in the form of a story. 2015 was a tough year to many people. It was the year of the mass migration crisis. It is believed that there are more displaced people — migrants and refugees — now than at any other time.
The United Nations High Commission for Refugees estimates that some 60 million people have been forced to flee their homes because of wars and conflicts.
As the worst situation since the World War II, it raises broad questions on why so many people, and why now. But these shouldn’t be the only questions we ask ourselves before bringing down the curtains on 2015.
Environmental disasters are also affecting millions of people around the world. Some 150 major natural disasters occurred during 2015. Many people have lost their homes and crops to earthquakes and floods. More than 8,000 people were killed in Nepal when a massive earthquake struck the country in April.
Chennai, in India, has seen the worst floods in 100 years.
Catastrophic flooding, tornados, and typhoons have hit hard the Philippines, Myanmar, Mozambique, Malawi and the United States.
Waves of heat have claimed thousands of lives in India and Pakistan while in Ethiopia, Somalia, and Sudan a severe drought is devastating the livelihood of farmers. Drought is among the most damaging and least understood of natural hazards, specialists say. The cause is soaring temperature and unregulated ground water extraction. Does that ring a bell? Human errors, cutting costs and lax on environmental regulations are some of the causes that have contributed to environmental disasters around the world.
Brazil made the headlines with the toxic mining waste spilled into the main river in the city of Mariana, in Minas Gerais state.
The mud waste devastated a nearby village.
Argentina also made headlines with the spill of thousands of gallons of toxic cyanide into Potrerillos River. The list of bleak disasters is frightening.
Mankind will eventually understand that killing innocent people serves no good.
It is of much sadness that young and old are killed because some people are bored with living. Questions on the future of the planet and on what is happening to mankind are complex issues.
In one hand, men are in search for breakthrough scientific discoveries; on the other hand, men are shooting down airplanes, raping, and beheading.
The same mankind who are trying to conquer outer space aren’t able to prevent diseases as Tuberculosis or Ebola. Sometimes, it seems that people are losing the ‘equilibrium of things’. Too much or too little of education, wealth, poverty, greediness or disillusions are affecting humanity. Life is spinning rapidly.
The way we do business is changing. Media is changing.
The Internet is changing the way we live — but we still don’t have 3D forests saving the planet, or high-speed technologies saving people from many infections that are making a comeback! Trust is getting thinner. Individualism and corruption are getting thicker. Should I try to save the planet or should I be worried about the number of fatal car accidents in our roads? Should I get worried with the falling price of oil or should I just worry that I have a salary at the end of the month?
Once again I look through the window and see that there is a future: a rainbow of possibilities! There is so much to learn to appreciate and to develop.
Learning is beautiful and understanding is even better! Yes, there are new facets to the way we live — these are just facets — we adjust, we contour and we adapt.
That is one of the beauties of being human! There have been so many changes to our lives but as adaptable creatures, we fine-tune circumstances to our advantage.
Even when all is sad and difficult, we as human still keep a high level of optimism.
As Tahir Shah expressed in Arabian Nights: ‘stories are a communal currency of humanity’ — so, we need to change our stories!