Monday, June 8, 2015

Homo United?

You probably noticed a news item that caught my attention the other day.
Amongst other things, it made me ponder on the fact that, despite all being 'homo sapiens', we often differ greatly from each other.

It was as though this news item related to three, very different species . . . each with its own needs, its own values, and its own distinct view of the world.

Let me explain . . .
The beautiful Greek island of Kos lies in the Mediterranean.
Justly famed as a holiday resort, it attracts those who love the sunshine, the beaches and the high-quality hotels.

With the severe economic problems currently afflicting Greece, the  country is heavily reliant on the income provided by the affluent holidaymakers . . . the hoteliers are under pressure.

Already, as you can see, we have two species on Kos:  let's call them 'homo relaxing' and 'homo struggling'.
So, what of the third?

The Mediterranean, as we know, is bordered by many countries.
Europe lies to the north and west, Africa to the south, whilst several Middle Eastern countries flank it on the east.

One of these Middle Eastern countries is Syria, and it's from the Syrian coast that terrorised and exhausted refugees take to small boats in search of freedom and safety . . . in places such as Kos.

Once having made the treacherous crossing, the Syrians struggle ashore in their hundreds, bedraggled, hungry and thankful.
For this third species, which we'll call 'homo homeless', Kos is a haven, a sanctuary . . . a place of refuge and opportunity after all they've suffered in their homeland.

And were do they land?
That's right . . . on the same secluded beaches where the affluent holiday-makers relax and apply their sun-tan lotion.

Any sympathy that the hoteliers of Kos might want to extend to these refugees is diluted by hard facts.  Desperate that their island should retain its attraction as a peaceful holiday resort, it's hard not to see these new arrivals as a financial disaster.

As for the holiday-makers . . . their initial compassion could all too soon be tempered by a sense of grievance.  After all, they'd worked long and hard to earn a peaceful break in the sun . . . and the travel  brochures made no mention of invading refugees.

Three different species, each with its own desires, dreams and agendas . . . three different species whose minds don't necessarily work in harmony.

Wouldn't you agree that this is a portrait in miniature of our current worldwide disunity?
Humanity vying in its aims and ambitions . . . humanity in conflict and competition, rather than working together in collaboration.

Surely, if we're to survive . . . by no means a certainty in the face of climate change, population explosion and persistent conflict . . .  it's time for us, as a species, to evolve beyond these divisions?

Collaboration can and does take place . . . just think about if for a moment.

In each human body thirty-four trillion diverse cells constantly collaborate in the greater interest of the whole.
The body would quickly cease to function if they didn't.
What's more, when choirs are in full voice the individual hearts of the singers are known to beat as one.

So, out of a mass of warring tribes, disconnected faiths and competitive economies, couldn't we aspire to become an integrated, wiser, and more compassionate species?

Might this be the time to move on from rapacious 'homo sapien' to enlightened 'homo united'?

It's just a thought . . .