Archive for July 18th, 2016

Sands in Seychelles Today

It’s a Small World

S. Hanks

There is a song that plays on an endless loop throughout the entire duration of one of the rides in Disneyland; it goes on and on and on, driving everyone slightly mad as it drills its way into the brain, then lives there forever. Occasionally, and under certain circumstances, it rises to the surface and repeats and repeats like all earworms do.

Yes, it’s annoying, and there are times you wish you’d never stepped into the little boat that scoots you by various scenes featuring singing, dancing animatronic figures. Sometimes, however, a point you never guessed was profound hits home and lends credibility to a theme park attraction.

“It’s a world of laughter
a world of tears.
It’s a world of hope and
a world of fears.
There’s so much that we share
that it’s time we’re aware
It’s a small world after all.”

There is no doubting the veracity of those intentionally insipid lyrics in today’s world; it is much smaller than it used to be. It is well within living memory for many when getting from just about anywhere else to Seychelles took days or weeks, yet now within only a matter of hours people can experience a change of scene from snowy city streets to the warm sand of a beach.

And communication! Long gone are the days of waiting and waiting for a letter to arrive; ‘snail mail’ we now call it, and for a reason. Now the written word can be transmitted in fractions of seconds from thousands of miles distant with no more effort than the touch of a button. Phone calls no longer require an international operator and tremendous expense, and access to information about anything anywhere is as easy to acquire as a whim and a click.

Ideas and thoughts make their way around the globe in less time than it takes to form them in the first place. Information moves every bit as fast, which has us knowing more about what’s in the heads of people around the world than where our neighbors stand on issues.

Yes, it is a small world after all. Billions of people from places as far-flung as is possible on our planet are now connected in ways unimaginable only a century ago.

One could be forgiven for thinking all the millions upon millions of threads connecting humanity would have woven a beautiful tapestry by now, and we must wonder just why that has not been the case.

Although we far too often wake to the news of mass murders in far places, there remains a lack of compassion that is deafening in the shoulder shrugs simultaneously delivered by far too many. Personal prejudice meets ingrained intolerance as Us-vs-Them conveys some sense of superiority assumed to provide a protective shield against any horror that has happened ever coming within range.

What seems to be ignored or rejected is the plain truth that we are all connected whether we want to be or not, and through designation in the species Homo sapiens there is so little difference between one and all the rest of our kind that in the grand scheme we are virtually identical. Biological duplicates, our hearts and our brains are made up of the same matter and we all bleed red.

Creating divisions is a strategy perpetuated as a convenient illusion for the benefit of those who thrive on pitting one against the other whether that be through borders or rituals. ‘Divide and conquer’ is the oldest trick in the game book when grasping for power is the agenda; sex against sex, race against race, religion against religion, nationality against nationality, sexual preference against sexual preference … all cynically designed to faction off segments of a population for discrimination, then bolster an unearned and inappropriate sense of superiority in whichever grouping one may identify with.

The end result, and often the desired result, is hatred, and when enough of that has been stirred to the surface things get very ugly and people die.

It is time we all stopped paying attention to differences and learned one simple lesson from the Magic Kingdom …

There IS much that we share, and it IS time we’re aware it’s a small world after all.

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