Inequality: The Root Cause of Four Major Pandemics Sweeping Our Streets
The pandemic of aggressive, uncivil leadership appears to be as contagious as COVID-19 itself. Neither has shown signs of abating. In the aftermath of these devastations, our profit-driven market system is striving to revive two other lethal pandemics: chronic consumption and restless travel disorder. The telltale signs of these two afflictions are discrimination, inequity, climate change, and the rapid extinction of countless species that have taken millennia to evolve. The relentless pursuit of profit by our leaders is directly responsible for the loss of over 100,000 lives. Their failure to act responsively and responsibly demands a thorough criminal investigation. For four years, it feels as though the knee of our government has symbolically been on the throats of its people.
To heal from this crisis, we must address the erosion of our cultural reverence for life, our diminishing respect for one another, and our disregard for nature. Rebuilding, brick by brick, or rather, soul by soul, will require time and wise leaders—leaders who are mothers and sisters, brothers and fathers. Take a moment to reflect and rise to the occasion. Right now, take one minute to breathe, clear your mind, and contemplate something significant to you. Now consider how you can protect that.
The murder of George Floyd was a flagrant abuse of power, a reflection of the injustices pervasive in our society. In many ways, we have all been crying out, "I can't breathe." The brutal eradication of nature, civility, culture, equality, justice, and liberty exemplifies a blatant misuse of power in the pursuit of profit. The simple yet profound phrase "liberty and justice for all" applies not only to human populations but to all life forms. All life is sacred, and unless we integrate this value into our daily lives, we will be unable to safeguard the planet or our civilizations for future generations. As we cater to pleasure and profit, we erode our civilizations, perpetuating a system in which none of us can breathe, where many feel the weight of a knee on their throat as the disparities in wealth and resources become deeply entrenched in our social fabric.
We need not return to business as usual. COVID-19 has exposed numerous fractures in our infrastructure, and now is the time to take the necessary steps not only to rebuild but to reimagine this broken system. Our guiding principle must be equity for all people and nature alike. We must strive for equity in education, healthcare, and opportunities to thrive. My proposed solution involves harnessing the carbon cycle to sequester carbon dioxide emissions and transform them into sustenance for healthy soils, abundant habitats, and parks for our children. Let us create a clean energy economy that purifies the air they breathe. Many children suffer from respiratory illnesses due to pollution, and the oil companies have figuratively stifled their cries for clean air in our urban environments. Real change is long overdue! This is our chance, and we would be wise to make our voices heard, to organize ourselves, and to present civil solutions for peace and justice for all. Regardless of the color of their house, thugs are thugs. The unlawful use of force by our government against its own citizens cannot and will not be tolerated. In one way or another, we will hold them accountable.
By Daisy Carlson
Photograph by Logan Weaver, Unsplash