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The Winter of the World II

Through conscious efforts at the global level, the world can witness a flourishing spring after overcoming the present dreary winter. Indeed, mankind needs an unprecedented warmth and love to counter and then come out of this time of winter and bring about a spring of love and prosperity for people.

1.    Introduction
2.    Unprecedented crises faced by humanity

a.    Economic Woes
b.    Social crises
c.    Geopolitical tensions
d.    Environmental threats
3.    Reasons of this winter
a.    Cold-bloodedness
b.    Nature being harsh
c.    Lack of justice
d.    Lack of religious and cultural harmony
e.    Ineffectiveness of UN
f.    Spirit of man is dying
g.    Population explosion and scarcity of resources
4.    If winter comes, can spring be far behind?
5.    World needs exhibition of warmth, compas sion and love

a.    Promoting compassion  to restore peace in the     world
b.    Love for humanity
c.    Love for nature
6.    Conclusion

There is nothing permanent in this universe except change. Human history reveals that mankind has never experienced the same circumstances for long. It has always gone through good and bad times. But where the ebb and flow of life on Earth is fascinating to students of history, it also betrays the fact that what mankind is experiencing in a contemporary era is ‘the winter of the world’. Despite all the progress made in the scientific and cultural fields, human beings continue to suffer like never before. In fact most of this suffering has been a result of this very scientific progress that human beings have been able to achieve.

Today, we face threats to our own existence like never before. We have been able to gather enough weapons to ensure destruction of life on earth. We produce food abundant enough to feed the entire population of earth twice but still millions of people die of hunger each year. Mankind has never before experienced sufferings like these at such a scale and the time we are living in seems the worst of all times. The miseries and sufferings endured by mankind are so overwhelming that chances of a way-out seem very bleak. There seems a little ray of hope to end this winter as human beings are the ones responsible for it. But if we analyze the present scene from a positive angle, the very process of nature presents a way-out for human beings.

Through conscious efforts at the global level, the world can witness a flourishing spring after overcoming the present dreary winter. Indeed, mankind needs an unprecedented warmth and love to counter and then come out of this time of winter and bring about a spring of love and prosperity for people.

Times have never remained the same. History of mankind is replete with tales of rise and fall of great civilizations. Greeks, Romans, Egyptians, Arabs, and Indians, to name a few, prospered and reached the zenith of growth and progress. History also makes mention of great wars, famines, epidemics and natural disasters that wreaked havoc in the world. However, one hallmark of human history is that each time mankind has been able to regenerate after every calamity. But human race in the contemporary era is facing problems of such a scale as never witnessed before.

The greatest problem today relates to the economic woes of people. In spite of enormous growth of economies and unprecedented development in various sectors, what we observe is the gravest of all the problems — poverty and hunger. Capitalism which is hailed as the best system to achieve maximum production and growth has also contributed to maximum poverty. What we witness today is the dangerously-sustained high level of unemployment due to chronic labour market imbalances in capitalist markets.

There is a fast widening gap between haves and have-nots, which not only produces chronic poverty and hunger but also provokes widespread public protests. This in turn stalls whatever economic activity is going on in the local markets and further aggravates the situation.

Globalization and a revolution in information and communication fields were hailed as significant measures in maximising the trade and business activities throughout the world. The World Trade Organization came as an international institution to ensure free trade and provision of cheap goods for all markets. However, it has received a severe backlash from societies all over the world.

A serious problem ‘termed by anthropologists as ‘the mother of all problems” is the exorbitant rise in world population. Human population which numbered less than one billion for nearly six millennia of civilized history has now jumped to more than seven billion in just three centuries. This rapid rise in growth rate has created problems of all sorts. The explosive population has probably reached the ceiling limit of world’s capacity where more people die of hunger than from natural diseases. Social problems like unemployment, poverty and slums, insecurity and decay of social values and ethics are the problems that ensue from population explosion. The growing population explosion is a great challenge as well as a matter of great concern for world leaders.

This population explosion is also causing political tensions at regional as well as international level. Birth rates, unfortunately, are higher in those countries where there are not enough economic opportunities to absorb this additional number of people. Resultantly, hundreds of thousands of people each year try to migrate to areas where there are perceived economic opportunities. This uncontrolled migration causes problems for the source as well as destination societies.

 Materialism and individualism have eroded the basic social fabric of society and virtues like compassion, and spiritual and intellectual values have vanished from world.
 Despite all the progress in medical science and technological advance in diagnostic and curative fields, human beings continue to suffer from communicable and chronic diseases. Diseases, epidemics and pandemics take a heavy toll on human lives each year. Much of this failure is due to misdirected medical system with more focus on curative side and ignoring the preventive side.

The tale of human suffering does not end here. Mankind today is faced with geopolitical tensions across the world. Very often we see international disputes leading to armed conflicts inflicting losses on humanity reflecting failure of our diplomatic means. We have succeeded in inventing weapons of mass-destruction ‘nuclear, chemical, biological and radiological’ with an unprecedented scale of destruction.

There are fragile states that threaten to destabilize regions as well as the world due to their own instability. Terrorism has emerged as the greatest threat of new millennium. This new and vague phenomenon has multiple dimensions and continues to divide the world into perpetrators and victims. So far, we have not been able to define this phenomenon.

Water crisis is another great trouble bothering the human be ings in the contemporary world. The fast depleting sources of fresh water have not only brought a question mark to the existence of many great societies, it has also become a source of regional and international conflicts over rights of its usage.

Moreover, various environmental threats have also created troubles for humanity. The world of today is confronted with a unique threat which had never before existed. Climate change due to rising greenhouse gas emissions is one such phenomenon. It reflects a danger for existence of life on Earth and also is a result of our failure to adapt our lifestyles to the need of time. We continue to spread pollution in this beautiful creation of God. Air, water, land’ nothing has been spared from this excessive and irresponsible use of resources of earth. Furthermore, population explosion and rapid, uncontrolled urbanization have given rise to urban sprawl leading to problems in provision of civic facilities to citizens.

Nature has also been harsh as we see an unprecedented rise in frequency as well as intensity of extreme weather events like earthquakes, hurricanes, and floods. These natural calamities pose a great challenge to the modern world as well as human intellect.

 Climate change due to rising greenhouse gas emissions is one such phenomenon.
 The reasons of this ‘winter of the world’ are not unknown. It is the cold-bloodedness of human beings themselves that is largely responsible for such a state of affairs. We no more have any regard for fellow Homo sapiens or nature. We continue to exploit mother earth as well as other men ruthlessly for our benefits.

Lack of justice is the chief reason behind the sorrows and worries in this world. Our societies are being managed on the principle of ‘might is right’. Whoever is powerful or wealthy becomes one of the ‘more equals’.

Lack of religious and cultural harmony is another major reason of today’s problems of the world. Mankind has seen bloody wars fought on religious questions but the intolerance and extremism on the question of religion or ethnicity that exists in our societies today is unmatched in history. Belonging to one religion or sect makes you an alien for those belonging to others. This intolerance is a major source of trouble for peace in the world.

Despite material progress and prosperity, the spirit of man is dying. Man’s spirit endures his suffering but when the spirit is suffering, there seems little cure. Mankind is devoid of compassion and love for fellow-humans. Materialism and individualism have eroded the basic social fabric of society and virtues like compassion, and spiritual and intellectual values have vanished from world.

The population explosion and the resultant scarcity of resources is another reason for ‘winter of the world’. The population growth to levels unimaginable few centuries back is largely responsible for poverty and hunger as well as pollution. The world population has crossed all ceilings that were estimated to be beyond the capacity threshold of the Earth and it continues to grow at alarming pace threatening the existence of life on earth.

Despite all odds, there is always a ray of hope for humanity as there is always a dawn to every night. A white tremendous daybreak waits behind every night. The responsibility lies with the intellectuals and leaders of the world to get together and chalk out a strategy to protect the world from growing violence, aggression and other problems.

We need to promote love for humanity as we no longer can afford the barbarism of hatred and disgust. Hatred breeds hatred and love begets love. We need to promote virtues of peaceful coexistence and love for humanity in order to defeat the evil forces of hatred and divide.

To conclude, the problems faced by mankind are tremendous and unmatched in history. Ironically, we are the ones responsible for most of the troubles confronting us today. But the magnitude of these crises is of such great scale that it is threatening the existence of life on earth. Mankind needs to respond to these challenges with unprecedented warmth and love for fellow-humans and nature as well as for future generations so we may pass them on to a world featuring spring of prosperity and love.

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