The Bridge


We live in an age where scientific sophistication has reached to its climax, compared to past.  These sophistications have helped man to solve many of the complications we have in our world, and assisted the world of humanity to ascend to a better world than before.  Needless to mention the beneficiary of these discoveries, which are quite few groups and classes, where the majority of the world population may not be the real user of the scientific products that science has provided, for they are struggling to survive, not to make the stomach empty, it is something that should be appreciated and welcomed with hearts and minds.  In a very fact, we live in such paradoxical world, whose events are unpredictable and unexpected.  Even though it is very hard to give prediction as to how this world will look like after one year or more, the current trend of its journey may basically tell us two things.  One is progress, and the other is complication.

It is such a marvelous time for the world of science; man has never been in such level of thinking and inventions in the history of mankind, and that there are always good news that rejoices our heart and gives comfort to our mind.  The progress man has achieved in the field of science is so tremendous and it sparks the hope of new day that we are in, and promises with such hope that our life on earth may be enjoyable and relaxing as well, by the products it is inventing and producing for use.  Even though science has played a major role in transforming society in terms of solving problems and changing the way of thinking, our social issues never stopped on disturbing our societies, but rather are getting very complicated and very complex.  HIV/AIDS, terrorism, poverty, and other challenges that our world is facing, do not make our life so simple, but do permit us to think further and deeper, and find possible solutions that science could not provide.

We live in a time where scientific discoveries are highly sophisticated and complex.  This complexity does not help us to solve the many complicated and complex social issues of our time; rather we live in an age where chaos and confusions have never reigned in such magnitude than before.  Why do such crisis get deeper as the inventions in the information technology moves so fast?  Why are both directly related, where the more the inventions, and the worse the complications in the world?

It was such a big news, when the World Wide Web was developed in 1989 by English computer scientist Timothy Berners-Lee to enable information to be shared among internationally dispersed teams of researchers; and in that same year, on November 9, 1989, the border separating Western from Eastern Germany was effectively opened.  These events rejoiced the people of the world with such a delight of the mind that created comfort in the hearts of mankind.  To the contrary, we also remember the tragedy on June 3, 1989, where the heart-breaking event happened in the Chinese Capital, Beijing.  Fully armed soldiers killed thousands of people, most of them innocent civilians.  In that same year, there was another happening, which challenged the morality of human beings, in which a gay-marriage has been a reality in the Scandinavia and 11 couples married in Denmark.  These light and dark events illustrate the body politic of the world of humanity at that time, which paints the objective reality of our world not only of that time, but also of the far past, the present and the future as well.  At present, man is living in ‘constructive and destructive’ way of thinking and way of life than ever.

The happening in this world flashes in one aspect the light of hope, but in other aspect darken our hearts with fear and frustration, whose magnitude and effect is yet hard to scale.  The theatrical games of such events in this world, the integration and disintegration of processes between systematized and organized way of living combined with spontaneous and emotional actions and reactions, resulted to the people of the world in a direction which is so confusing and in a hope that vanishes after each second.  Such a dilemma in life is indeed a reflection of the personality of the world of human beings, whose fate, at one side, is colored by the products of the intellects and, at another, by the exercise of the moral choices of few individuals, mainly, who has authority and power over all.

The need for having deep breath and meditate on many things is worthwhile.  It is very essential to reorient our selves towards the attitudes and conceptions we have in our minds about the nature of man.  Man is a noble being, whether he is borne in Africa or in the United States.  Every thing is created for him, to train himself and develop qualities that are essential for his life.  If we want the world to be a safe place, we have to accept the dignity of human beings every where in the world, without discriminating, trained or untrained, wealth or rich, man or woman, child or adult, black or white, healthy or sick, and the like.  Our discoveries and inventions should help us not only developing creative mental capabilities but also an understanding of those valuable and precious natures of human beings, whose inherent potentialities are the very cause of one’s life.  The whole purpose of invention or discovery, which can be endless, should link all of us to a conception and perception that ‘human beings no matter which place they live’, they are one same beings—Homo Sapiens, other wise the gap we are creating due to the exercise of our faculties should not mislead us, as if others are incapable. 

The essential integration between emotions of the mind [faith] and intelligence [reason] is indeed very necessary.  One should support the other, other wise reason by itself leads to chaos, and faith by itself orients to superstitions and degradation of human rational faculties.  Science should understand that human nature is not only intellectual but also spiritual, and unless this nature is clearly and practically realized, our actions and reactions in this world would be futile.

In this world, there are two kinds of realities. The first one can be field tested through tools in the laboratories and can be found its truth, as science does.  There are also another realities, in which the laboratories are not able to detect and verify their correctness or existence due to the limitations of the tools in the labs.  Emotions are not something that can be proofed by any formula on earth, for they do not need any one to proof them, they just exist.  Human behavior is a very hard argument to refute, in which it is so difficult to predict man’s behavior toward any reality, and especially, when he is interacting with new environment.  When new inventions are made in the field of sciences, it is very hard to predict how human being is going to react with that new product.  When IT provides us with the World Wide Web, for exchanging valuable information, some people reactions and attitude this media was different than as was originally intended.  And they used this tool for immoral behaviors.  When products are introduced, the possible negative consequences should be studied, which needs to have a kind of ethical standards.  The challenge here is what is the international ethical standard?

In a world where there are many thousands of cultures and norms, it is very hard to devise an international culture, but it is necessary to have international ethical standards, since all men share, as a universal creature, same natures.  Every human being needs food, which is obvious, but the difference may be the type of food that one needs to eat, which vary according to the way that any given culture or society is structured.  What is normal in one culture is repugnant in the other.  The diversified way of life creates such a gap in the way of thinking, that it is still a challenge to reconcile the differences in terms of ideology and practices within this world.

Whether we like it or not, time is giving us an opportunity to discuss about our differences and help with each other [globally].  Terrorism, which is considered as a global threat, creates such a good opportunity for many nations to work together.  It creates such a close friendship amongst the nations who were seeing each other as enemies, like rat and cat, now we see them living and working with better relationship.

As science is pressing on ward, networking the people of the world to be as one family members; our social problems are getting so complicated, forcing us to sit down and discuss together, for many of the problems are not only the issue for one country, rather, they are the concerns of many nations.  Challenges are creating a network; as for example Information Technology does, between nations and societies, which demand the need for working together, the need for friendship and cooperation, and the need for global actions.  We do not need to think globally and act locally, but we need to think and act globally.

This world needs spirituality, which does not belong to any church or mosque.  We need human-values that serve as a link between our material civilization and social civilization.  The spiritualization of the world is indeed highly critical.  This world has to be baptized by the popes of its god, and should be reborn in value. 

 Written by Dereje Amera

The views reflected in the above article  are solely of the author and are not necessarily shared by Meskot.  You may contact Dereje Amera  for comments at .