The Decade Plus which has gone by

This afternoon, I was contemplating what has happened over the past 12 years or so…… my life and in the world at large.

While I could fathom what had happened to me in life (most of which was unexpected and so very real in that sense), and thought through what I could have done differently, I could not fully comprehend what has happened around the world.

When one thinks back about his or her own life, things which could have been done differently to create a different and hopefully more positive impact, leap out of the memory — I could not get out of that thinking for quite a long while. It was challenging when the person you are encountering is yourself ! Time has gone by and nothing can be done to change things, however I believe one needs courage to encounter oneself. It is very difficult, challenging and somewhat tiring. But eventually you get out of that “back in time” introspection mood, and come back to “real time” in the present.

However, I was not able to do that so easily when I thought about what has transpired in this world over the past 12 years.

The 9/11 disaster fundamentally changed the moral and ethical view of this world, from one based on equality and fairness (which itself was a difficult one to achieve in the first place and eluded this world for a long time), to one based on vengeance, retaliation, incarceration, doubts about everyone’s intentions, and terrorism. So decades of work before 9/11 was ruined in that one big fateful attack on the U.S. by non-state terrorists, fundamentally altering the power equations around the world (like what Japan did to Pearl Harbour in the Second World War).

Things have really not gone that well even in the financial world. We all know what happened in 2008 (the crisis induced by the Lehman burnout). All over the world, wars and struggles between nations festered along, killing thousands of people with not much rhyme or reason.

When you think of what happened in Iraq and Afghanistan to poor innocent people who perished for no reason, your heart should go out to them – but do we ever stop to think of them even once ? Not sure at all……….

How can a purportedly civilized world deteriorate to such an extent that it is now so uncertain of itself ? People have grown so pessimistic that it is difficult to generate confidence about a country’s future.

So, the point is if you go back in time and think through, do you see some obvious actions that could have arrested the decline ?

Yes, of course.

There are many things which the governments and the United Nations could have done correctly. But they did not.

Why ?

Well, they simply did not act and did not stand up for things that they believed in.

At the end of the day, what matters ?

It should be human dignity and the value of human life.

Can we pat ourselves on our backs that the human life and dignity have been secured over the past decade or so ?

Definitely not.

We should be ashamed on our inability to help fix this world in a positive manner without creating feelings of recrimination.

Time to reflect on what can be done during this decade at least ?


Vijay Srinivasan
18th August 2013


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