This I Believe

Alva - Elizaville, New York
Entered on April 16, 2006
Age Group: 65+
Themes: tolerance, war
  • Podcasts

    Sign up for our free, weekly podcast of featured essays. You can download recent episodes individually, or subscribe to automatically receive each podcast. Learn more.

  • FAQ

    Frequently asked questions about the This I Believe project, educational opportunities and more...

  • Top Essays USB Drive

    This USB drive contains 100 of the top This I Believe audio broadcasts of the last ten years, plus some favorites from Edward R. Murrow's radio series of the 1950s. It's perfect for personal or classroom use! Click here to learn more.

I believe that our planet as we know it will not survive unless we realize the concept of one world without artificial boundaries or political lines of demarcation. Today, worldwide communication and transportation make every country an open book and we cannot sit in our little comfortable corners, enjoying or contemplating every luxury, and barricade ourselves against the unfortunates striving to get in.

Why would anyone believe that people are going to starve on one side of the border and not attempt, even face possible death, to enter a country, which offers them at least a minimal standard of living?

Whether we like it or not, today many things are universal; the influence of greenhouse gases, energy needs, adequate potable water sources, tremendous potential for spreading diseases like avian flu, mad cow disease, malaria, a resurgence of polio and possibly the most terrifying of all, AIDS. Diseases, which we thought eradicated, are resurfacing and terrifying.

Financial investment and marketing are world- wide; for example Wal-Mart is the largest retailer in the world, and people are dining in McDonald’s all over the globe. International franchises operate some of our ports, both sea and air. Outsourcing of telephone customer service is done on a mammoth scale, even extending to referrals from medical offices.

As our planet warms, we are more at risk from terrible natural disasters: tsunamis, tornadoes, earthquakes, hurricanes, rising ocean levels, and extensive droughts. Parts of Africa have not seen adequate rain for ten years.

Most disturbing of all, I find the acceptance of violence as a routine occasion.

Because of daily exposure on media outlets, we have become inured to the killing of innocent people as well the militants who for whatever reasons often are fighting for and against causes which are ephemeral at best.

Somehow we have to find grounds for mutual understanding and acceptance. Tolerance is not enough. We have to accept the fact that the white man is no longer in the majority, nor is Christianity the world’s dominant religion. Economic greed, or political dominance have to be abandoned as goals, or like lemmings we will be rushing into the sea, unless after the glaciers melt, the sea runs over us.