TIME: Healer or Hellbringer Of Social Problems
Last updated on March 18th, 2017 at 05:26 pm
Society is a creature whose existence could be argued to be solely reliant on the presence of harmonious co-existence between its members.
This casual tick tok approach emanates from knowledge gained by sociologists over years which alludes to the fact that social norms and value systems -what is considered permissible in society vis-a vis what is considered vile behavior- evolves with elapsing time.
Eureka! We’ve just discovered ‘the new World’
Take the case of Brazil and South Africa, the immediate and next hosts of the FIFA World Cup- the currently most watched event worldwide, en event unrivaled in its impact on a society, the emotions it generates, vast country branding benefits and it goes without saying, the World Cup is in most regards a money spinner of some repute.
These two football mad southern hemisphere nations have made the ‘bubbling under’ spot in the global economic charts their own thanks in large parts to prudent government led initiatives such as the successful bidding-and hosting in the case of South Africa- of the world cup, the two nations have been earmarked for massive socioeconomic advances in the near future.
Not so long ago, a decade to be precise, before immediate former Brazilian president Lulu marched the football powerhouse into the hall of global economic giants, Rio was infamous for its Favelas rather than as home to executive corner offices.
On the other side of the pacific, South Africa long burdened by its dark past of apartheid and xenophobia, was at best the Okay place for a global investor to seed their money in the otherwise Sahara-like business climate of Africa.
Not many cared much for doing business in these regions of the world. If coin was to find its way to Africa, South America and to an extent Asia, it had to be charity and not business.
As it goes, with time and a host of events including the global economic meltdown of the late years of the first decade of the 21st Century; the coming to age of the information eon and what is now emerging as Chinese foresight which saw China emerge as Africa’s main trade partner at the end of the first decade of the new millennium among a host of events occasioned by poor western management and excess eastern liquidity, seismic changes have occurred as capital continues to flow south.
However, as manifest in Brazil and South Africa- the leading lights of the forgotten societies of the world, Latin America and Africa respectively- with increasing wealth, an unfortunate scenario also grew in magnitude, metamorphosing into the shape of a ‘new’ social problem: a widening wealth gap between different demographics of the society.
The poor in these societies, work the hardest, yet it is the already wealthy embarrassingly wealthy fiefdoms whose lives keep changing for the better.
Slum dog Millionaires
Image via geographypages.co.uk
Pictures tell of shanties next to multi-million somewhat utilized state of the art stadiums. This story of less unfortunate members of the society living in such squalid conditions amidst 21st Century lifestyles is not an alien phenomenon unique to Johannesburg, Cape Town or Pretoria.
It is a fate that the cities of the world today face. UN Habitat estimates that of the majority- more than half of the world’s population will be living in urban set ups in the coming few decades- most will be living in informal settlements.
The tragedy of South Africa lies in how fast the jubilant tunes of Waka Waka– it is time for Africa- have changed into a resigned ‘It’s THEIR World Cup’ dirge. Said with a throw of the hand in the air dramatizing the deep seated resentment, despair and hopelessness.
Here the third person, their, is in reference to the the rich of yesterday now turned super rich – a select section of society fortunate to continually posses the ability to exploit newly available economic opportunities- while the majority poor remain economically handicapped by disease, ignorance and hunger.
Thus starved of opportunities, TIME seems to have made thieves, harlots and delinquents of the descendants arsing from a rich heritage of proud farmers, pastoralists and traders of yesteryear; as evidenced by ceiling high levels of a twin social problem-crime.
Taking into consideration the bitter sweet mix of life of the aforementioned societies, You be the judge on whether time, with one hand gives ( the convenience of technology impacting positively on the gross domestic production of a society leading to better quality of life) and with the other time takes (crime and other forms of social delinquency).
Green House Emissions, Hybrid/ Electric Cars and a Green Future
Mrecedez Benz The Year 2250?
Though man is yet to face the fate of the Javan Tiger, scientists note that if the trend is not retarded, the fate of the Tigers, black rhinoceros, Grevy’s Zebra, Polar bears could soon be ours.
Moreover, the environmental impact of global warming has caused untoward suffering to members of the global society, especially those residing in lesser developed nations. In exchange for a platter of jobs- as the global economy shifts production south to areas of cheap labor to maximize profit- time hands them [in lesser developed nations] a side dish of ever increasing food prices; a situation worsened by a widening global food deficit as climatic change takes its toll on land productivity.
World War III Perhaps?
The human old battle for resource continues to manifest itself as new forms of social problems in the 21st Century. An increasingly crowded planet underlies the majority of ongoing wars and conflicts. Some controversially argue that the pirates off the coast of the Somalia are in some respects otherwise socially fit individuals who life in the 21st Century means a vile version of an 8 to 5.
Schools of thought elect that the cruel act of terrorism shares roots with modern high sea piracy while in the Sudan, the impending party as the oil rich South divorces the oppressive North post the referendum that begun on January 9th 2011, is all about celebrating the right to access to resource to ensure the survival of a people.
Of Gays, Bisexuals and Lesbians
|Lady gagas Meat Dress is said to be a protest against the Don’t Ask Don’t tell Policy|
In some cases, social problems arise out of conflicts in ideals. An apt example has been the issue of homosexuality. In days gone by, the church and government seemed to be reading from the same script, as homosexuality was considered an abomination both by the law of the land and by church doctrine.
It was not until the 1973 that the American Association Of Psychiatrists declassified homosexuality as a mental disease. Moreover, over the years governments have increasingly become liberal leading to the recognition gay marriages by law- aided in large parts by favorable depiction of gay unions in Hollywood. In addition, sections of the Christian community have abandoned old ideals to fly the rainbow flag.
Do these actions by a host of world governments and a section of the religious community symbolize a reconciliation of ideals ? Is this pro- gay rights movement a sign of a world that wants to hold the rights of the individual sacred over all else? Conversely, if art indeed mimics life, are the actions of Hollywood, music stars and celebrities a depiction of the acceptable in society?
Living In The 21st Century
With good reason*, consider a scenario where the answers to the above questions are to the affirmative. What does this portend for life in the 21st Century?
*Pssst…….Loud whispers talk of the possibility of a bisexual future as predicted by Nobel Prize nominee Umberto Veronesi. Nothing solid yet, but there is sufficient storm to propagate the idea to societal acceptability.
By the way, have you heard of fatherless babies and motherless babies? Biologically that is.
May be the actions of Obama, the leader of the Free World, concerning the long standing issue of gays serving in the world’s meanest and most sophisticated war machine on the eve of the ushering in of year of the rabbit , herald what the future holds.
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*It’s Living In The 21st Century………………….