What if we could honour everyone - the estimated 110 billion or so humans who have ever lived?
Of course, our most urgent challenge right now is to keep working towards the goal of giving everyone alive right now access to basic needs - to water and food, security, health, education etc - and it's painfully clear that, with e.g. growing numbers of orphans around the world, we still have a huge task still ahead of us. (And yes, let's unashamedly say "us", rather than fall back on the third person, abstract term "humanity" that somehow suggests it's someone else's problem.)
For me the purpose of life is to know other people…is to discover what life is. Who inhabits the world? What is it to be human? What can I give to the world which it doesn’t have…a gift for tolerating my presence in this world..…and unless I know the people, I can’t know what it does not have - Theodore Zeldin
Imagining seeing how everybody else lives, just for one day. Life In A Day was a historic global experiment to create a user-generated feature film shot in a single day, July 24 2010.
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"There are two great forces of human nature......self-interest and caring for others", according to Bill Gates.
If true, then:
(1) What is the approximate balance between the two today - in individuals, organisations and societies? How much time do we really spend thinking about and then acting on other people's needs?
(2) How can we start an open and ongoing debate about what the balance should be - next year, in 2030 etc? If we don't do this, then how can individuals really know how to lead a "good" life, can organisations know what their wider responsibilities really are and can societies really know how to develop fair policies for all?
If the past is replayed too fast, life seems futile, and humanity resembles water flowing from a tap, straight down the drain. A film of history for today needs to be in slow motion, showing every person who ever lived as a star, though dimly visible in a night sky, a history still unexplored - Theodore Zeldin, An Intimate History of Humanity
A call to action. Time to explore these unexplored histories together.
I have listened to and would recommend the following podcasts (2015-2018 recommendations to follow):
There is an expiry date on blaming your parents for steering you in the wrong direction- the moment you are old enough to take the wheel, responsibility lies with you - JK Rowling, http://harvardmagazine.com/go/jkrowling.html
You have to take responsibility for everything and everyone - Fyodor Dostoyevsy, The Brothers Karamazov
The truly powerful feed ideology to the masses like fast food while they dine on the most rarified delicacy of all: impunity - Naomi Klein