3 min read

What are you going to do?

This morning, I woke with a familiar question on my mind:

"What are you going to do today with what you have been given?"

This morning, I was given Squirrelly's questions: "Am I optimistic or pessimistic about the human race and why?"  and "Where or when is history would you be interested in living?"

In my weird brain, these are questions that ask for the same answer.

I guess what I'm going to do today is answer the questions that Squirrelly's gave me.

Am I optimistic or pessimistic about the human race and why?

I am extremely optimistic about the human race.  Here's why:

1.  For the first time in history, with the advent of cell phone camera, small inexpensive video cameras, and access to satellite technology, human right violators cannot get away with their actions any more.

A bully tortures it's victim in silence and in secret.  For example, Mao starved 10 million people (#1 most people killed by genocide in the history of human kind).  He shut the country to outsiders then told the world there was a terrible famine in China.  The grain coffers were full.  He could not get away with that today.  Not a chance.

This is already happening.  Atrocities in Darfor, Burma, Chad and others are documented by cell phone and satellite. (Washington Post article)

The folks in Bosnia?  They got away with it.  They will be the last.

The bully can't hide, say it didn't happen.  Not today.  Not anymore.

2.  The world is a safer place.  My husband's best friend from high school spent four years at the bottom of a nuclear missile silo.  He was a red key holder.  Did you know that they regularly ran drills?  All the way down to turning the key.  Take a moment and thank your God, higher power, universe or whatever that these men never turned that key.

Those silos, now?  They are expensive housing for weirdo rich people.

There is less violent crime, less child abuse, less alcoholism and drug abuse, than EVER in history.  EVER.

Yes, there's terrorism.  Yes, there's poverty.  Yes, crime exists.

But overall, people are healthier and living longer.  (Click here to watch Hans Rosling's fascinating talk at Ted).

Why don't you feel safe?  Because frightened people are easier to control.  Period.

3.  There are less and less "them".  We are beings that have survived by fighting for "us" and killing "them".   With the advent of worldwide education, and particularly the Internet, we have more in common with people around the world.

The person who asked me this lives in a country (Malaysia) I have never been to and know absolutely nothing about.  I can barely spell Malaysia AND I interact with him almost every day.  He is a part of my "us".

For the first time, since we were one tribe in Africa, we are moving closer and close to being one "us".

4.  The leaders of the emerging world are educated at the same universities as British Kings and United States Presidents.   Why is this important?  Because they've read the same books, speak a similar language, and have the ground work to understand each other.

For the first time in hundreds of years, there's hope in places like Lebanon, South Africa, Nicaragua, Northern Ireland. Hope.

You want to end violence in your city? your town? your country?  Create opportunity and education.  Watch what happens.

Yes, we have problems.  But we live in a time fraught with solutions.

Don't believe me?  Turn off your television and spend some time on the UN site, the Gates Foundation site, One.org or my favorite, Ted.com.  Solutions are happening right now as you are reading this blog.  They are also tracked by cell phone and satellite. ;)

Where or when is history would you be interested in living?

After reading my last answer, you can guess that I will say - this is the best time in history to live.I am so excited to see the world flatten.  I am delighted to watch tiny countries like Venezuela and Guatemala stand up to giants.  I laugh out loud when tiny actresses risk their lives for whales (Hayden Panettiere) or children (Angelina Jolie) or soldiers moral (Scarlett Johanson). Orphans, who in other times would have starved or been sold as sex slaves, now have a chance to be adopted by loving families.  The list goes on and on.

We are in the age of diplomacy.  Yes, diplomacy is sticky and slow.  But we are also beginning to understand each other.I am delighted to live right now, in this place and time.

What about you?  Do you feel optimistic or pessimistic about the human race?  What time would you like to live in?