Month: August 2022

What Led You to Write this Story?

What Led You to Write this Story?

‘Independent Authors Blog’ Guest Post

 

Your book sounds very much like the world we live in today. Is there one particular incident or several that led you to write this story?

Worrying about the future of humankind is second nature to me. My maternal grandmother worried about the health and well-being of her offspring every moment of her life so I have the right genes for the job. Professionally, I spent most of my career in the world of finance where I was paid to think about what could go wrong and what can be done to mitigate the risks?

With my background, I have absolutely no doubt that humankind is on the brink of a series of disasters that threaten our species and most other life forms on the planet. We continue to wage war with one another even though modern weapons (nuclear, biological, chemical and cyber) could easily create a series of mass extinction events. We also continue to pollute land, air and water to the point of no return.

Even though I am 72 years old and an 8-year cancer survivor, I do not subscribe to the philosophy that “life’s a bitch and then you die”. I know that I will soon be ashes floating down my favorite stream but I believe that the rest of you may still have time to create a better future for humankind.

My optimism comes solely from the fact human beings have within themselves a powerful innate desire to help others in need.

When I was a young man I used to go to Formula 1 car races in Montreal with my buddies. One Saturday our group was raucously marching toward the subway station to beat the crowds to the track when we passed an elderly lady standing mid-street beside two very large suitcases. She looked confused to the point of distress.

I stopped and asked her if she needed assistance while my gaggle of buddies carried on down the sidewalk.

Grace was her name. Her 84 year-old-husband had suffered a heart-attack on their cruise ship overnight and had been taken to hospital and she had been deposited downtown in the hotel district.

I whistled for help from my friends and we immediately took Grace and her luggage to the nearest hotel and arranged for the day manager to get her checked in and to help her get to the hospital where her husband was being treated.

It was such a small thing but the warm glow I felt from helping Grace has stayed with me for over 40 years.

People routinely and instinctively want to help other people in need, sometimes at great personal risk. They jump into a freezing lake to save a drowning child. They run into a burning building to save somebody they do not know. We might even rush in to save a pet.

The problem with our species is that we behave differently when we are in a group.

Like wolves and lions, humans have always formed tribes to secure and defend resources. Unfortunately, human tribes frequently kill the members of competing tribes on a scale not seen elsewhere in nature.

In today’s complex world, people belong to many different kinds of tribes. Street gangs are tribes. Villages are tribes. Political action groups are tribes. Companies are tribes. Countries are tribes. Religions are tribes.

Even when our tribes don’t kill the members of other tribes they do compete for resources and try to differentiate themselves. These two factors promote greed and intolerance which can ultimately lead to hatred.

Our political and religious leaders are letting us all down badly. None of them are helping us achieve a world united and at peace.

Heads of state believe their system of government, and particularly their chosen political party has all the right answers and that other countries and local members of other parties need to fall in line.

Religious leaders believe that their doctrines provide the only true way forward and they openly compete with one another for converts.

Both sets of leaders exhibit the kind of myopic tribalism that has led to countless human wars throughout our history.

We need to force ourselves and our leaders to adopt a more global perspective if we are to become at one with our species and ultimately all living things on Earth.

God’s emissary, Sarah helps show the way to world leaders. If she does not show up soon, we will have to find our own way. At least now we have a road map.

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