Monday, May 7, 2012

what we don't know (or don't care) about the world will hurt us

The EU
This morning over coffee Rebekah and I were talking about the election results in France. We agreed that the Sarkozy government probably fell – in part – as a reaction to the Germany-led austerity plans in Europe.
She guessed a French uneasiness with a powerful Germany having so much pull. I agreed, but pointed out the challenge (in France, or any sovereign nation) of even understanding E U (European Union) economic policy when domestic systems (France, Germany, Italy, Greece….) of governance are so varied and ideologically incompatible.
Last week our son, Andrew, gave me a couple of Ukrainian English language news magazines. One interesting article examined the difficulty inherent in developing a “European” mindset when the history, economies, policies, priorities, languages, and cultures of its member and ancillary nations are so diverse and complex.
GOTTCHA! Right now, a lot of you are wondering what on earth this conversation about Europe has to do with:
  1. The Life-Charged Life content of this blog, or
  2. Our lives as (primarily) Americans living thousands of miles away in a country mired in its own political and economic confusion.
Well here it is. I believe an important element of this life-charged life must involve a deliberate effort to develop a global mindset and an ongoing choice to begin to understand ourselves as Citizens of the World.
What do we know about the world?
POP-QUIZ: We’ve all seen those 20-question pop-quiz items that circulate the Internet. They typically involve “Are you smarter than a 5th-grader” questions and then compare individual results with key demographics.
The pitch usually involves statements such as, “Less that 20% of Americans know why there are 13 stripes on the flag!” or, “Only 5% of people in your age group know enough about the three branches of government to pass a simple test!”
But the most damning statistics always seem to involve Geography. Americans may be terrible when it comes to U.S. Geography, but we’re beyond abysmal when it comes to facts beyond our borders.
Now add World History and Political Science to the mix and it’s a wonder that the TV people still come up with enough people to play a new game of Jeopardy! five nights a week.
We’re all connected
BOTTOM LINE: Like it or not, all Seven Billion people who live on this planet are connected. We are connected economically, we are connected politically, and – increasingly – our shared reliance on the same FINITE stock of resources is making a difference in pretty-much every decision that we make.
More important is the fundamental connection that we share in terms of our physical and spiritual DNA. We are related biologically, and we are related spiritually.
Citizens of the World
We are all children of the Living God; and what we don’t know about this world we live in – we don’t know about ourselves. - DEREK

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