Dresden by night at the close of the year 2016
On New Year’s Eve I passed through the beautiful city of Dresden along the Elbe river in Germany.
I remember well when I first visited the city during the communist East German era in the early 1980s . It was a drab, grey, colourless place with the ruins of the famous Frauenkirche standing out like a sore thumb as a sad testimony to the allied World War II bombings.
Today the beautiful Barock city centre with the Frauenkirche as the focal point have been restored to their former glory. Dresden and most of the former communist East Bloc today are definitely better places to live today than 25 years ago.
At the end of every year we seem to look at the mostly negative events of the year hoping the new year will bring us a better world. We live in a world of polarity and whichever side you fall on will have a major impact on your consciousness and state of well-being.
Yes, there were terrible events in the world during 2016 from the catastrophe in Aleppo to the growth of extremism in many forms, intolerance, earthquakes, climate change and other natural catastrophes.
As humanity evolves to a higher consciousness we will be seeing the pendulum sometimes sway in the opposite direction, creating the impression that humanity is moving backward. Pundits are arguing that we have learned nothing from the fanatacism and extremism in the 1920s that led to the growth of fascism and World War II and are heading for another dark age in history. And of course it is necessary to be wary and alert. Nothing is a given.
However, I would venture to say that there is a difference to the 1920s. Never before, thanks to modern technology, have ordinary people been put into the position to spread their views and more importantly to support civic action groups in favour of just causes.
Part of the raised consciousness is the empowerment of the citizen beyond the vote once every four years for government that inevitably backtracks on its promises. Government is no longer a major agent of change. The world is influenced by countless other factors.
Responsibility lies with each one of us. It is precisely the crisis events of the past year that have triggered people into action. After the terrorist attack on a Christmas market in Berlin last month that claimed the lives of 12 people, Jews, Moslems, Christians and people from other faiths gathered in the nearby Kaiser-Wilhelm-Gedächtniskirche together praying for peace and reconciliation – an event that received little attention from mainstream media. The focus was all on the tragedy itself.
In South Africa we are seeing a growing number of ordinary people from all races beginning to stand up against the corruption and nepotism of their government but the main focus is again on the negative and not on the many positive things happening in country undergoing major change.
In the Himalayan mountains ordinary village people are planting thousands of trees to counteract the effects of climate change.
Media tends to focus on the negative, creating the impression that the world is going from bad to worse. Its not: If we take a larger perspective over a period of say 200-300 years humanity has in fact made huge strides forward. We have a much higher life expectancy, less disease and malnutrition, a much higher standard of living and a higher rate of literacy..
An Oxford University researcher Max Roser has collected a wealth of data on our changing world, proving with hard facts that our world is in fact getting to be a better place. Since 1900 the global average life expectancy has more than doubled and is now approaching 70 years. No country in the world today has a lower life expectancy than the the countries with the highest life expectancy in 1800.
But in our focus and emphasis on the negative we ourselves become negative and this paradoxically results in less positive change. Lets move forward in 2017 with a positive outlook. What we perceive on the global political arena is a reflection of our mindset.
Reino Gevers – Mentor for Leaders and Achievers – Your Health Matters