Citizens of a world called Earth
Psychologists say that one of the realities that define the greatness of human beings is the ability to open up to a growing reality. Yes, each of us carries within us the seal of the relationship and openness to the knowledge of an ever-broader reality. To pass the recognition of the smile of our parents to create a family is to take an immense leap in the awareness of who we are and where we are. We can always find determined people, no matter how old they are, to continue being children, as in Günter Grass’s novel “The Tin Drum”. If this happens, we can say that this person has a severe problem; it is also the case of adults who decide to be perpetual adolescents. Let us now talk about the maturing process of humanity.
The interrelationship between cultures has grown exponentially over the centuries, since the expansive explosion that took place from Africa. What could Lucy, the so-called grandmother of humanity, who lived in Ethiopia some 3.2 million years ago, tell us about the changes in humanity! Since then, and starting with the Egyptian civilization, how many cultures have existed and exist today? Throughout these hundreds of thousands of years, we have been discovering and interrelating; little at the beginning and vertiginously in the last centuries. The interrelation between one and other cultures has had many events of dubious “human” status, seen since the 2020 watchtower in which we find ourselves, but the encounter between cultures has created better humanity.
This 21st century has started strongly, calling us to grow. Like the child we were, circumstances are telling us that we are moving into a new phase of our existence as humanity. The background of ecological sensitivity that runs through this first part of the 21st century invites us to become aware of the interdependence of all humanity; we live on a single planet that is our own House. The currents and cultural relations between East and West that were once very limited to the Silk Road, today are presented to us in thousands or millions of new routes and relationships.
The last manifestation of this deep interrelation has a proper name: Coronavirus “COVID-19”. Never before has a virus spread so rapidly in human history. A vaccine against a virus will never have been discovered in such a short time, like the one that will be the vaccine against COVID-19. This situation has been due, mainly, to the intense relationship that all corners of our world have with each other. We are at a time in our human history defined by globality; we are citizens of a world that is ONE.
Voices are already rising, calling for a border closure, not just thinking about tackling the contagion of COVID-19. Some speak that multilateralism is finished and failed; that realities like the United Nations don’t make sense. Wouldn’t we be talking about wanting to go back to previous moments on our way to mature humanity? Wouldn’t this be a temptation that would bring us back to childhood? Wouldn’t this be a kind of social pathology? Let us think, Christians and Catholics, where we are asked to go, whether forward or backward.
Miguel Ángel Velasco cmf