I was awakened at 1:30am and stayed up until 5:30am. I became engrossed in the various television programs that significantly covered the world or the most important issues happening in the world.
Homelessness- I started watching Liza Lin’s program. She does a special on Sunday nights. Primarily, her focus this morning was California. She pointed out there were 1.5 million homeless people in California or in Los Angeles. I thought of New York and Mayor Eric Adams' attempt to address the homeless problem. But apparently this is a national problem. Each state and city is trying to deal with it on its own or separately.
Significantly, it is worth noting that President Kennedy was the first to call attention to the national scope and the seriousness of the problem.
2. Housing- along with the homelessness comes housing. Where are they going to be housed and is there enough service to address their needs? But the housing challenge is not confined to the homeless. We have a housing shortage in America and indeed in the world.
3. Mental and emotional challenges- again there is a thread that connects the homeless, the mental and emotional challenges. America is a sick nation.
4. Hunger or to use a euphemism and call it food insecurity. The human family is suffering in various parts of the world from food insecurity. There is no food, or little food, or non-nutritional foods. Members of the human family are starving to death in the world.
In some sense there is connection in these four that I've mentioned: Homelessness, Housing, Mental and Emotional Challenges, and Food Insecurity.
5. Criminality- in most states in America the so-called criminal justice system is overcrowded. whichThe police violence, the injustice in the court approach to the problem and the overcrowded penal system. Again, there is a connection that seems to tie these together.
Too many homeless people are mental and emotionally challenged. As a result of their mental and or emotional state crimes are oftentimes manifested in their behavior. There is no housing for them, they sleep or live on the street or anywhere and oftentimes they are engaged in criminal behavior. When they are brought before the criminal justice system, they are treated unfairly.They are treated as though they were normal and therefore sometimes given long sentences in prison.
6. Pestilence/Disease- we have come through a time of covid-19 and now there is the Monkeypox and RSV, flu, polio and who knows what else is out there or coming next.
Somewhere I saw or heard we can expect strange diseases because of the climate change. The climate change which brings about the destruction of ecology, the forestation, and animal life in particular. In other words, Mother Nature had created a balance that is no longer in existence and the protection we once had from various diseases are no longer there.
It is interesting that there is a new term to describe the disease with which we are confronting. It’s called tripledemic that includes covid, the flu and RSV. Three potentially deadly viruses. Seven thousand deaths were recorded at this point. All but seven states revealed the presence to some degree of tripledemic. There is a crisis in hospital care and hospital space.
7. Immigration – across the world the human family is moving and trying to find a better space. Here in the U.S.A we know the problem all too well. But other countries are experiencing the same thing. And there is oftentimes a racist, exploitation accompanying the problem. For example, in Qatar where the World Cup is being played. The migrant workers from Kenya and other countries are complaining that they’ve been treated unfairly, exploited and abused. It is said that hundreds of these migrant workers have been killed, murdered in one form or another by the corporate owners.
8. Then there is the Climate Challenge, the world is drastically changing. Even the timetable for the change is speeding up. Whole islands have been covered with water. Somewhere I read or heard that Florida in the next 10 or 20 years will be substantially covered in water. The old-World Trade Centers, we remember how high they were. It is said that in the years to come, water will cover Manhattan, NY water would cover those Trade Centers if they were in existence. And again, climate change contributes to the misery of the human family, particularly as it relates to pestilence or disease..
9. War and Violence – it is a melancholy consideration that in spite of all of the ills I've mentioned, astronomical sums of resources are spent on war, on killing, and destruction. The money and resources spent on war could bring healing and could eliminate some of the world’s ills, medical, food, housing, employment, etc.
At this point there seems to be an escalation of the war in Ukraine. Of course, there is conflict in other places. But Ukraine has the attention of the world.
i. President Zelensky of Ukraine said that half of the country is now powerless and winter is fast-approaching. It is a terrible time for people in Ukraine. Yet President Zelensky and some of his generals are talking about how they are winning the war. Even to the extent that it should be over by next year, said one gentleman. At the same time there is the beg for more money and sophisticated weapons which means more killing, wounding, and destruction.
ii. In one part of the world, children are crying for food and medical attention. In another part of the world, the human family is being blown into oblivion. Their homes and work of their hands are being destroyed and the killing, destruction in Ukraine and other places rages on.
iii. In China, the streets are crowded with protestors. Protesting the policy of the Chinese government, which has instituted severe restrictions on the lives of their people. Two persons have been executed publicly; it is believed that others will follow.
Now the program has turned to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). There are plans to go back to the moon for normal stays. It’s not out of the question/conversation. It was in 1969 when Apollo landed Neil Armstrong on the moon. Now in 2025-2026 the plan is to land a woman and person of African Ancestry on the moon. The program announcer said, “it is the beginning of a new beginning exploring the heavens.” As I became more alert my mind became flooded with images of homelessness, mental and emotional violence of description, crowded jails, starving humans especially children, war bombs being dropped, destructive missiles flying through the air, the desert like parts of the globe. People are drowning in other parts of the world with furious winds sweeping across water and lands bringing death and destruction.
And here was the NASA representative telling the world how wonderful we, the human family is and putting people on the moon and traveling to the farthest regions of Outer space and yet as I was almost asleep, I could hear in my mind what a contradiction, we can put people anywhere we want to except together. We can create whatever we want to except peace, goodwill and love. How long can we exist in the direction that we’re heading?
Maybe the release of Brittney Griner is the beginning of peace-talks that might lead to a negotiated settlement. And maybe, hopefully we’ll come to that place which the Scripture speaks, “And He shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people; and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore.”