What Really Matters

by Fernando Perfas

Photo by Joshua Woroniecki on Unsplash

What would it take for a country or nation to come together and decide what to do about the global issues that really matter? Close to a billion people still suffer from hunger. Yet, enough food is produced globally to feed 7.7 billion people. Add to that are the millions who do not have access to clean water, and that number will dramatically increase as climate change accelerates. The Covid-19 pandemic has exposed the increasing disparities and social inequities among the rich and the poor in every nation and on a global scale.

While great amounts are spent on technological advances in weaponry and on how we could effectively annihilate each other, research and funding to eradicate diseases and prepare for the next pandemic are lagging. Take North Korea, for example; so many resources are put into developing its nuclear capabilities. Yet, the country struggles to suppress the rising Covid cases among its population and feed its people adequately. And all that weapon monstrosities, for what and for what price?

And in the heels of the global pandemic, Russia has embarked on an unnecessary war, sending the ripples of unintended consequences across the globe from energy crises to worsening food crises and other economic and social fallouts. For all the unnecessary pain inflicted on humanity, a warlord gets applauded by his people. True, Putin’s war and propaganda machines are relentless in peddling lies and deceptions, but in this information age, the truth has its way of finding those who really care to know.

” …what is there to rule when the earth has been scorched and drowned because of unforgiving climate change? What shall we do with our riches when we can’t escape nature’s wrath or feel safe even in our homes, churches, schools, workplaces, parks, entertainment venues, grocery stores, and the streets? Who do we blame then?”

In the local scene, the same misplaced priorities dominate our lives. Take the series of recent mass shootings in several parts of the U.S. attributed to easy access to guns. Despite the horrific tragedy among innocent people, young and old, politicians still debate the obvious solution: effective gun control. The reasons for the lack of political will to fix the problem? Money and votes. Yes, the strong gun lobby and voters and politicians who enshrine the Second Amendment, “… the right to bear arms,” more than the value of human life. While some states are quick to ban abortion, purportedly for the protection of the unborn, and yet leave the living likely to get killed due to lax gun control.

The same misplaced thinking applies to the proliferation of misinformation on Covid-19 infection and vaccines. Countries with limited resources have lower Covid death rates than the U.S. All because of conspiracy theories, misinformation, and pseudoscience on Covid peddled on the Internet and news outlets for political or monetary purposes.

While rich and powerful nations wrangle about who should control the world, little is done to protect the environment and alleviate global warming. In the U.S., alternative energy sources and infrastructure upgrades, while they are good for the country, do not get as much support as one could expect; instead, politics and business interests hold greater sway.

The question is, what is there to rule when the earth has been scorched and drowned because of unforgiving climate change? What shall we do with our riches when we can’t escape nature’s wrath or feel safe even in our homes, churches, schools, workplaces, parks, entertainment venues, grocery stores, and the streets? Who do we blame then?


ABOUT THE AUTHOR  Dr. Fernando B. Perfas is an addiction specialist who has written several books and articles on the subject. He currently provides training and consulting services to various government and non-government drug treatment agencies regarding drug treatment and prevention approaches. He can be reached at fbperfas@gmail.com.

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