As I write this, it’s New Year’s Eve once again and we’re about to end one decade and start another. Is it really ten years since the Millennium began? They say, “Time flies” – more so the older you get. To me it doesn’t seem ten years since the doomsayers were predicting that our computers would all go berserk on the stroke of midnight and it would be the end of the world!
Well, we’re still here - still living on Planet Earth, with an ever increasing population, and the gap between the rich and the poor becoming ever wider.
We’re still fighting each other with needless wars, which cost billions of pounds and destroy millions of people’s lives, not to mention their homes and their countries. We finally realised that there were no “weapons of mass destruction” in Iraq. They were actually hidden underground in the USA, in Britain, in Russia, in China and in India. Maybe even in Israel and Iran and North Korea? All waiting for a madman or two to press the button.
Just days ago, we had the World’s political leaders coming together in Copenhagen to try and sort out global warming. Did anything positive come out of it? Not really. Those in power still haven’t learnt that economic well-being will not save the planet. The outcome was all too safe – it was all aimed at looking after each delegate’s country, rather than thinking of the well being of the World as a whole.
Things have got worse from a pollution point of view of course. The numbers of vehicles on the roads of any country continues unchecked. How many times have you been stuck in a traffic jam on a motorway near you in the past ten years? Ironic, when motorways were seen as a 21st century route to faster road travel. Coupled with continued burning of fossil fuels in coal and gas fired power stations and the present government’s decision to develop nuclear power in the future, the situation looks bleak. One ray of light in the past ten years has been the rise in wind farms, which shows that more people are realising that renewable energy can be the way forward. Coupled with development of tidal and wave power, along with Hydro-electric power, (which is well established in Scotland), there is hope here.
Of course Mother Earth has been having her say with more and more extreme weather patterns. The Boxing Day Tsunami of 2004 is probably the biggest natural disaster of the decade. Let’s not forget the destruction of New Orleans by Hurricane Katrina, plus massive earthquakes in China and India. Closer to home, we’ve had flooding in many parts of Britain during the last decade, in places like Carlisle, Sheffield, York, Boscastle and most recently, Workington and Cockermouth. In spite of all the human hardship these extreme weather events have brought, human kindness from individuals and organisations has shown that human beings still have positive qualities, which can help and encourage the suffering.
By far the biggest event of the Noughties was 9/11 in New York and Washington, which led to “the War on Terror” and the loss of many civil liberties in the cause of defeating the “terrorists”, whoever they may be. We had more terrorist attacks after that in London (7/7), Madrid and Mumbai to name but a
few. As a result the world has become a much more fearful place to live in, in the past ten years. I don’t just mean in terms of terrorism, but also in the way people are more suspicious of each other. People have become less open with each other and hardly talk to strangers to make conversation anymore. Anti-terror laws mean Britain has the highest number of CCTV cameras in the world and if you take a picture in a public place in London, you could well get your camera confiscated in the cause of counter-terrorism. For a critical yet balanced view of all these changes, I would recommend reading, “The Truth Agenda” by Andy Thomas - one of the best books of the year, if not the decade.
On a positive note, I would say that the power of the Internet has been the biggest influence on the world in the past decade. Communication has become instant, so that we know straight away what has happened on the other side of the planet. Even e-mails are said to be old hat, with texting or “Twittering” said to be the most common form of communication by the under-30’s. The mushrooming of social networking sites such as You-tube, Facebook and Twitter has led to a revolution in the way we learn about things. Nothing is sacred, or hidden, anymore. Governments have noticed this and have tried to curb the power of the Internet. For example, the ongoing political power struggle in Iran has been flamed by the way incidents on the streets of Iran have been shown to other parts of the world through the medium of the Internet. The Internet has been said to have killed off the Record Industry as it was say ten or twenty years ago. CD’s and vinyl are out, as downloading has taken over. The book trade may well go the same way in the next ten years.
Looking forward. Will we be here in ten years time? Many believe that the year 2012 will be pivotal to the future of the world. Whether there will be an event called “Ascension” is up to your particular beliefs and World View. Some Spiritual teachers see 2012 as a catalyst that will lead to “Heaven on Earth,” or at least a better world than we live in at the moment. The way that people now travel all over the world, (often illegally for a better life), and the way we receive TV channels from most countries via our satellite dishes, does indicate a mixing of cultures and beliefs that has never happened before. It’s not just the Internet, but I am sure that there is a coming together of common beliefs by people, about how they see the world and it’s future.
The Internet may help show an “alternative voice and viewpoint” to the “official” one of celebrity and soap opera and reality TV, that is beamed to us through our TV sets and through the tabloid newspapers. But when it comes down to it, the people at “ground level” are the ones who decide ultimately where we as Humanity are going. We have seen the greed of bankers and politicians in the past decade come out into the public domain. Maybe there are more secrets that will come out in the next decade and then the world will be a better place. Let’s have more peace, more sharing, more understanding and tolerance, and especially more love in the next decade.
A Happy and abundant year to you all.
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