02 December 2007

Monochromatic World?

Ahhh, another creeping feeling that I cannot shake. The feeling started a few years ago and it came from a fear of what the world will look like in 10-15 years. This isn't depressing talk, I have a point to make.

Consider the rate of environmental degradation in our world, the loss of forests, rich soil and clean water, animal extinction, global warming, on and on. What will we have left in the next decade? How many species will survive? Will there be more drought, starvation, natural disasters? Probably. Will science and technology help? Maybe.

Then, look at society? The divide between the have and have not nations is growing. The divide between the have and have nots within a nation is growing. Cultures are disappearing under the weight of influential and rich majorities. Diversity is disappearing.

And finally, take a look at secondary and post secondary institutions who are churning out carbon copy grads. Students identified by numbers are taking courses delivered on 'conveyor belt' systems built by and for a backward looking society. OK, this last statement may be a bit harsh but, lets face it, it's easier for institutions to look to successes in the past than challenges in the future.

If you consider the environmental, societal and educational impact on our world, a pattern emerges. A pattern of loss of variety, loss of diversity, loss of colour in our world.

Without variety, the environment cannot evolve. Nature needs variety to survive. Likewise, society needs diversity. Societies learn and grow from interacting with each other. Creativity and development will languish under the loss of cultural variety. Education needs variety. It needs faculty, administration, community and students to challenge the status quo, to be creative and experimental.

Without diversity, our world will lose colour and become monochromatic. This is serious.

OK, so I've whined about the state of the world. What can I do about it? That's the million dollar question.

Well, for one, I can start local and have a voice. I can do my part to be environmentally responsible which includes trying to influence others to change their pattern of behavior and become stewards of the environment. I've made some headway and I hope to do a lot more.

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