I was born in 1947, the year the Doomsday Clock was instituted.
The Clock represents how close the world is to a global catastrophe. The global catastrophe is set as Midnight, and the current perception of catastrophe as the number of minutes to Midnight. In 1947 the clock was initially set at seven minutes to Midnight. The setting was last changed in January 2018 to two minutes to Midnight, because of the threats of nuclear weapons, climate change and the use of informational warfare to undermine democracies.
I was always resetting my Doomsday Clock growing up in the slums of East London in the 1950’s. Constantly weighing the risk factors of people you met and the streets you walked. Some streets I would stop, take a breath for a minute, count to ten and then run as fast as I could till I reached the end. East London streets in the 1950’s were very territorial. Play time, on occasions, were pitched stone battles between youths. Leading up to Guy Fawkes, November 5th, streets would collect “bonfire wood”, usually from the bombed houses, and stack the wood in a nearby ruin. Every street had its ruin. Rival streets would then raid each other and try to steal the wood. This would lead to pitched battles with stones or catapults as the weapons of choice. Catapults were V shaped pieces of metal taken from bed springs, ammunition U shaped nails. We never understood that we were one minute from Midnight.
Call me an optimist, but I believe in the power and the resilience of the human race to adapt, learn and go forward. It’s only been about a 100 years since industrial/technological revolution has taken us all by storm. We are adapting, we make mistakes but we are learning. This is where we need free speech and free expression of ideas to reason with each other and reach a consensus. We do not need a great divide or dualistic thinking. We need empathy and understanding, mixed in with a great deal of common sense. When we use our democratic powers we should vote for politicians who reason and have worthwhile ideas. We should not give in to following a cult of personality, the charismatic charmer.
Luke 12:48. From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked.
My hope and my dream is that we become more aware of our responsibilities to each other and to our planet. Can we take a minute to pray, reflect and ask ourselves.
WHAT CAN I DO TO FURTHER MY DREAM, FOR MYSELF AND OTHERS, FOR A BETTER TOMORROW.