I used to have two lists: 1) the greatest threats to the human species and 2) fundamental human rights. Now I’m moving towards one list that somewhat combines them an “Agenda for the Human Age.” It’s still a work in progress. (Yes I know, dreaming the impossible dream.)
- Educate and nurture our young. Most of them live in places in the world that are not privileged. First they need the basics: food, shelter, and encouragement. Then they need the kind of education that will enable them to invent a whole new world. Accept we won’t agree on what that means and allow diversity.
- Secure clean energy and open infrastructure. Progress in medicine and technology and transportation and communication and production demands more energy not less. Thriving for the vulnerable creatures we are depends on it. And it can’t be the kind that destroys the environment or is only available to the rich or requires us to all go back to the farm. This means nuclear energy.
- Demand and support reasonable Rule of Law. Allowing the richest or the strongest or the most popular to rule has proven not to work. Stability and thriving come from caring for the least among us along with appropriately rewarding contributors who create value for others. Stop hijacking the law out of greed and fear.
- Build beneficial networks. We live in a global society. We can’t go back and redo colonialism and we can’t just pretend we can get along without each other. A fair exchange of labor and materials and knowledge needs to be encouraged. What’s happening “over there” rarely stays “over there.”
- Encourage and support Research and Development. In all areas: medical, engineering, social sciences, arts. The microbes are winning. We can do better.
- Learn to be honest and heal. The world is pretending that we are not crumbling under the weight of trauma and addictions. Somehow we have to make it safe and hopeful for people to deal with their pain. Whether they are perpetrators or victims. There is no healing if we don’t heal the perpetrators, we can’t afford to just lock “them” away permanently. Some are damaged beyond repair, but we should still deal with them humanely, or we become them.
- Stop being cowards, respect others, and learn to depend on each other. Stop being mean out of fear. Learn to trust process. Recognize not everyone has the same perspective. Learn ways to negotiate the messy complex respect it will take for us to remain human. Our option is extinction.