Think globally, act locally

By: Amil Imani

We are living in a troubled time. This is the era of universal propaganda, lies, deceit, and the complete perversion of truth on all levels. Truth has become a dangerous ideology. We see so many inhumane, unjust and violent acts around the world, yet, only a handful of people take the time to condemn or even bother with these events. We are becoming a society of the nonchalant.

Many world governments purposely and deliberately misinform and endeavor to keep the masses misinformed and powerless. It is the responsibility of the people of the world to be alert and participate in a global cooperation to reveal the truth.

Our responsibility, as the citizens of the world, is to manage to build a bridge of truth over the sea of lies. George Orwell was not wrong in stating, "In an age of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act." Truth has become the ultimate revolutionary act for these brave citizens.

Acting in this awareness might challenge the established authority to avoid violating the integrity of our fellow humans, but our efforts do not end here. Activism is needed to re-humanize and re-universalize the humanity, which has been de-humanized and de-universalized by the coercive authority. Our goal should be to remove the obstacles that impede the improvements of our fellow humans.

The sense of responsibility for one's actions increase as one progresses from stage to stage upon the path of this noble universal action. In other words, as one becomes more alert to this deception, one more acutely feels the responsibility to take action. We must create love, which brings forth unity, and avoid separateness, which brings forth hatred and division.

I hope that our efforts impress upon people that the only way to save humanity is by constant vigilance, by becoming the citizens of the world, by never ending participation and the by education of ourselves, we become alert. We live in a world of humans, and our lives are in constant contact with other human beings. Our task in life should be the divine task of everlasting service to our fellow men. We must sacrifice our own comfort in order to triumph in this vital act.

The current world situation provides numerous examples of factional conflict of the most divisive kinds. In the wake of the breakup of the old Soviet Union, the many changes in Eastern Europe, and velvet revolution elsewhere, we've had a brief glimpse of hope for a universal peace. However, the glimpse was all too brief, eclipsed by flaring conflicts all around the world, some new, some old.

We have been witnessing ethnic cleansing in some parts of the world and yet, very few people are willing to challenge the authorities and bring more awareness. Religious revivalism and fanaticism is another salient entity, which asserted itself, not only in the Islamic world, but in the Christian world as well. "The big brother is watching you!" At the beginning of the new millennium clashes and terrorist activities increased on an unprecedented scale.

Nationalism is on the rise and universalism is on the decline. The nationalists' close-mindedness sometimes restricts them from being a part of a bigger picture of globalization and thus, they become divisive in all aspect of humanity. They become the agents of isolationism, rather than humanism. They become chauvinists, epitomized in the motto: ¨my country, whether it is right or wrong."

To truly become human and become a member of a larger community, requires refusing to let distinctions of nationality, race, religion, class or creed blind us to our common human status. Once we enter this stage, we begin to think on the global level, which simply resonates what we all have been all along, minus the acquired distinctions of nationality, creed, race, class, or any other subcategory of humankind.

The Industrial and the rich parts of the world, which have already realized some of the dreams of the enlightenment, have greater onus on their shoulders to bring about democratic change while preserving indigenous cultures. They must be pioneers and teachers to those who have not been exposed to some of the comfort of the West.

To sum up what I have been saying, we must ask ourselves: who are we and how can we shape a new human community? How do we excel and become one race, the human race? Sad'i, one of Iran's greatest poets answers this beautifully:

"Human beings are members of one another,
They are all created from one substance.
When one member experiences pain,
The other members cannot be at ease.
For if the pain of another does not cause you dis-ease
You are not worthy to be called a human being."