After seeing three headlines in the newspaper this morning, I was wondering: If this world doesn't make you insanely angry, you must be either enlightened, or dead.
Headline 1: Rheinmetall buys ammunition manufacturer.
Acquiring the Spanish ammunition manufacturer Expal, the German defence company Rheinmetall wants to increase its ammunition production capacities. As a result of the news, Rheinmetall's share price rose by seven percent. The message? Ammunition is good, buying shares of weapon manufactures is even better, and wars are great!
Headline 2: All eyes on Qatar.
This world cup is a challenge, the article says. Thousands of killed workers can't be ignored – but football can't be ignored either. The suggested solution? To look at both, problems and joys of the world cup. My impression, however, is this: Let's mourn the dead workers for a minute, so we can enjoy ninety minutes of football with a clear conscience. Besides, we need Qatar's gas and want to sell them our ammunition, so we can't be too harsh with them.
Headline 3: Here's what needs to be in your medicine cabinet.
Winter is coming, the flu season too. You need: thermometer, vaccines, ibuprofen, plus a long list of other drugs. Not to forget masks, Covid tests and disinfectants. Vitamin D? Nope. Long walks outdoors? Not mentioned. Organic vegetables? Cold showers? Warm hearts? Nothing.
Yes, all of this makes me angry. While some people suffer and die in wars, others make extra cash by investing in shares of ammunition companies. Worst of all, it's regarded as normal. Same with the world cup: It's a nuisance that human rights are not respected in Qatar, but hey, the show must go on. And it will go on. And the toxic medicine cabinet just shows how much we've learned from the recent pandemic. That is, zero. Instead, I still hear stories of people being blackmailed into getting the fourth shot to protect others, while a senior executive of Pfizer openly admits that they've never tested for transmission before entering the market. Where is the public outcry? Ah no, it's the world cup. And black friday.
It is said that underneath anger, you usually find a deep sadness. I'm angry – so where is my sadness?
Here it is: This world could be so different. We have all the opportunities to live a blissful life – not only a few lucky ones, but each and every one of over eight billion human souls. There could be peace and justice and an abundance of love and kindness. And sure, all these good things exist, but the huge dark shadow hanging over us exists too, and it doesn't really seem to be getting any smaller. Every day with war keeps destroying the opportunity for someone; every worker who dies building a football stadium puts another nail in the coffin of a once beautiful game; and every moment we spend disconnected from Nature takes us further away from health and happiness.
A friend recently said, 'we have it all'. He was talking about the amazing gift we were given, a brief visit on a unique planet. And that's exactly where my sadness resides: having it all, and wasting so much of it.