The world is an ever changing place, divided between the haves and have-nots, the common folks and the elites, the powerful and the forgotten. There has been a technology revolution. Globalization and trade are happening at an execrated pace. Civil unrest, poverty, and economic opportunity have people migrating in huge numbers. Societies around the globe are becoming less homogeneous and more open to change. However, in the last six months with the vote for England to leave the EU and the election of Donald Trump as President there is a huge backlash.
We cannot say if the world is better or worse because if all these changes, but we can say it is different. We can say we have more technology than before, allowing us to connect across borders and languages. We have made progress towards tolerance and awareness of people who are different from ourselves. We have made strides towards equality, even if we still have miles to go. Unfortunately, the unforeseen consequences of these changes has create a sense of unfairness.
The sense of injustice is not only wide spread but has been converted into anger and hate. People experiencing financial hardships due to layoffs and globalization, racial tensions boiling over into urban warfare, struggles over reforms, regulations, and free markets, along with disconnects over access to health care have all played a part. People are feeling enraged with the system and have used their power to vote as a way to halt progress. The feeling of anger and frustration are real and cannot be ignored. We cannot tell people that their feelings are wrong, but we can increase understanding and empathy.
Finding fair is all about give and take. Some will have to give so that others can gain. This giving will feel unfair, and justly so, however we need the broader perspective to understand the greater good. We need to be open to see other’s points of view and understand their pain. We need to be able to subject ourselves to some pain so that all can benefit.
As the world continues to change we will need empathy to overcome hate, understanding to replace anger, acceptance over contempt, and love of mankind to guide us.