I have a large world map chart hanging in my room. It’s the first thing I see in the morning and mostly also the last before I sleep. Within and in between that span, everything that happens to humanity or to me happens within that map, in the depths of the oceans and across the length of those continents. The map shows me the places, geographical coordinates, rivers and the mountains, desserts, polar icecaps, islands, archipelagoes, ocean currents, air and shipping lanes, time zones, equator, international date line and the tropics as well. It’s not a large map, measuring around 40 X 50 inches. It’s mindboggling to think that this tiny planet as we know it houses seven billion people and counting and countless other things both from the living and non-living world.
I like in particular the haphazard and illogical mosaics of the nations as they stretch or shrink, penetrate or extrapolate into and around their neighbors for reasons of human whim, human conflict and geo-political supremacy. Earth wasn’t like this always neither will it remain like this in the future. The vast gaps filled up by the oceans and the seas and the great lakes would tell anyone that landmass and human population are minorities. We are the odd ones out. 70% of earth is filled with water and we don’t live there, yet we fight for its boundaries, for the shores where waves lap gently. Why should we be so keen on dividing and fragmenting our landmasses even further? We have done quite enough already and I agree they make nice patterns on paper like the map in my room. While in reality they don’t exist from the sky, from outer space or even up close. Only on real close scrutiny perhaps we can sight a fence, a row of pillions, or something similar to demarcate the borders and the boundaries. And along these we can see watch towers, soldiers, and uniformed patrols, killer hounds to ensure that the divided land and hearts stay divided.
Even the most seasoned fliers wouldn’t be able to distinguish when they cross over from one country’s airspace into that of her neighbor. Since the air above and the clouds therein know no boundaries or borders and they flow and move freely from one air space into the other. Sky is blue everywhere, and water is the provider of life be it in Serbia or in New Zealand. Human needs for existence are identical – food, shelter, clothing, dignity and a bit of pride.
I have been to most of the countries that my map shows. On the map I can zip from one place to another within a blink, whereas in reality it’s a long drawn process that fundamentally makes us realize how divided humanity is and how distant the hearts have grown. How careful certain nations are in not mixing up with the races they consider inferior and how careless some are in naming their fellow human beings untouchables. I wonder sometimes how on Earth we reached where we stand today. Our bloody past of conquests and renegade rouge kings should have taught us that humanity can survive only as a whole and not disintegrated. We cannot live by burning our neighbors and friends. There is no need to since there’s enough for everyone’s need.
I see no reason why we must breed hatred and suspicion for people who do not look like us or speak our language or worship a god we recognize. And the same applies to every living or non living being on this planet. If nature created them and us along with the planet, in whatever process, then it also must dictate that everyone has equal right over what the planet has to offer. Everyone has a place, give it to them. Life and death; creation and annihilation are all parts of the same chain. We simply transform from one to another. No one will be here forever. And today’s mightiest nations and proudest races too would return to dust one day, to be buried in obscurity in the centuries to come.
Why can’t we stop creating more divisions and start dissolving the boundaries that has been created by those with less self belief, since only then wouldn’t you believe in someone else. If left to those who command power, our world will keep getting broken and chipped and scarred. We would be building human edifices to mar the lands and the seas; we would end up altering nature so much that even God would despair. If development is simply building more manmade structures and destroying what nature gifted then sadly it isn’t the development of human intellect.
I have been to several United Nation HQs around the world including the main one in Geneva and I can vouch that even within UN, no two nations are united. I wish they were. World Bank is not really the bank for or of the world, since we don’t have a single entity called the ‘world’. When we say ‘my’ or ‘our’ world, we mostly signify our immediate family, friends, job, city, and nation perhaps. I would like to hear from someone who actually visualizes and feels for the entire planet when he or she says ‘my world’. When would we start thinking like that?
I am not a politician or a policy maker, nor a social reformer or a revolutionary, neither do I wield any power of any sort over anyone – man or animal or nature. But then why should I be speaking of dissolving boundaries and uniting the world. I am an explorer and a traveler and both these occupations of mine require absence of physical boundaries. Each time when I apply for a visa or go through immigration in a new country and face the hostile glances of the ones in uniform, I can’t help but wonder what if we could do away with all of these. I agree, due to the immense diversity of the human race spread over literally every part of land, it is impossible that one individual or group could or should exercise administrative control and jurisdiction over the entire planet. So let the administrative boundaries remain but let us dissolve the ones that lie within our hearts, mind and soul.
Like EU if we could have a WU (world union) where citizens of any nation could travel freely from one to another. That would be a world where I would want my future generations to be born and nurtured. And it’s up to us, those living in the present, to give it to them.
Would you join me in at least dreaming this impossible dream, of a united world where we call ourselves as citizens of Earth.