The Stars are not afraid to appear like Fireflies
A collaboration between different cultures, to step out of fear.
Sandro Calvani | Senior Adviser on Strategic Planning – Mae Fah Luang Foundation| December 2016
Facing global crisis and the so called democracy crisis, it is time to change the rules, moving towards an international government of common goods. If the West could in fact, look with less arrogance at the applications of the eastern methods, who have chosen from time to focus on the happiness in people, before considering profit. A comparison between story and choices of the West and that of the East, stirs up some suggestions.
We are constantly bombarded by news daily on a new and bigger problem, following the hypothesis of old solutions, that are clearly ineffective, which have also become part of the problem. Did an era of uncertainties start then? If we look at them with intellectual honesty, all the challenges of this era of big changes, reveal that it is in reality a radical epochal change, characterised by three misunderstood components.
The first one, is the end of the relevance of the state-nation as a tool of resolution of the big problems of people and of the world. In fact, there are no answers to the big questions of our era within a single state. However, we keep invoking the nationalism -clearly a paradigm of the past- to solve problems of the present and of the future. People and governments, obstinately oppose to the elimination of the barriers and of the national
sovereignties, hoping that the old walls would hold those new challenges. In reality, it is about a state of siege to which no nation can resist.
The second big tangle, is the crisis of democracy, that, sick with fear, often takes refuge in plebiscites and referendums, more or less populists, letting the population chose, a population that does not know, or understand what it is happening. Simplifying a bit this crisis, it is like if in front of new viruses’ outbreak the medicaments would be chosen with a referendum. Finally, the third tangle, is the chemical-bio-physical transformation of the Earth and of the environment, including water, energy, air, and many other fundamental chemical elements. It looks like the Earth, that as the Canticle of the Creatures of St. Francis affirmed 1000 years ago, that “supports and governs us”, is shaking off a human species like the homo sapiens, that does not respect the insurmountable planetary limits and wants to act on its own. In this way, economy and finance have usurped the government of the planet. By letting the Earth do and take apart the creation, the Homo sapiens became a false and messy homo deus.
Who takes care of clarifying?
There are a few attempts of dialogue and reparation of the global crisis, the majority under the auspices of the United Nations. However, in many cases, those are weak attempts with a poor leadership, who look for the minimum common denominator of the crisis, instead encouraging the populations to change direction.
However, if the rules of the game do not change, the United Nations, that are often forced to play against themselves and their own rules, will not be able to find the right referee, able to show a red card and making sure that the chosen decision is respected. We should go instead, towards an international government of common goods, and eliminate all the rules that prevent us from that.
I live in Thailand, a big nation of the Far East. By looking at the experiences of the Asian populations, I convinced myself that the old continent, would gain a lot by being “oriented” by experiences, cultures and economical and social choices of Asia, that alone, has more population and therefore more brains and markets than all the rest of the world together. The West, that has heavy responsibilities for the wrong choices that generated many of the major conflicts and socio-economical modern disasters, could look with less arrogance to the applications of the eastern methods, who have chosen from time to focus on the happiness in people, before considering profit. Of course, all that glitters ain’t gold in the East, an equal dialogue and observation would be useful, and Europe should abandon the chase to give lessons to the entire world.
The Blessed Unrest
The Blessed Unrest, a best seller of 10 years ago, by Paul Hawken, correctly foresaw these 10 years of uncertainty, lightened by the will of restoring hope in a safe planet and humanism, based on a big wheel of innovation and social justice.
But still too unsatisfied, they do not know how and where to roll up the sleeves, and forget about the unicity of the capacities of every person, they negatively interpret the blessed unrest that has to arise from the incertitude and look at the future with pessimism, whilst only an optimistic and joyful vision of the human cooperation can undo the tangles of the world. Every incertitude should be faced without any shame or commiseration on the own smallness, incapacity or
uselessness. As Rabindranath Tagore wrote, the stars are not afraid to appear like fireflies.