What do you consider to be the most pressing world issue?

What do you consider to be the most pressing world issue? 

This is a question I’ve been asked as part of my 21inc Leadership training, and I found it hard to answer… is it climate change? is it poverty? I thought about long and hard, and here is the fruit of my reflections:

I believe all the issues named above (climate change, immigration, war, poverty etc.) all stem from common traits of greed (and the corollary, lack of compassion). For me, it is the common behaviour of many humans to take more than they give back. This obviously leads to imbalance.

As many evolutionary researchers note, greed likely stems from biological reasons (i.e. quest for survival, going back to caveman days) and has been exacerbated by recent developments in human history (last 10,000 years) whereby material accumulation has been made possible. And now, it has become the dominant world belief system/behaviour.

A work experience in Tajikistan, one of the 10 poorest countries in the world has helped shape my beliefs. I saw corruption, and the poorest of the poor being stripped of their lands and deprived of not only livelihoods, but possibility of livelihood. I had nightmares of mothers begging me to help feed her starving children. My only conclusion was that this is completely unacceptable and that we need to “wake up” as a human race, and to take only what we need, to be generous, and to take care of the Earth that sustains us. Seems logical to me.

These experiences follow me till today, and I want to use this not to despair, but to bring forth hope, and a better alternative to what I believe is our “childish” human behaviour of greed and selfishness. For me, right now, this is what I feel is “the most pressing world issue”. Let me know what you think the most pressing world issue is… and why. I would like to add to my reflections. And I hope together we can tackle these issues and become better versions of ourselves.

2 thoughts on “What do you consider to be the most pressing world issue?

  1. I so agree with you Mathieu. I think that a lot of the major issues we have all come from the same source, which is basically our attitude. We act as we deserve everything, as if everything was made for us, and as because we can, we should. But it’s not because we are able to use people, nature, or whatever resources that we should. I am all in favor of ”going back to basics” and live with the minimal.Now it seems inconceivable to give up things that are part of our routine (technology, transport etc.) but I am sure that if we tried, it wouldn’t be too long before we get use to this new lifestyle. And I think the ideal would be that in a few generations from now, what would be absolutely inconceivable for people, is to use and abuse resources and act the way we do now!

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    1. Merci du commentaire Anouk. I especially like your last comment where you mention that future generations would find it “absolutely inconceivable for people, is to use and abuse resources and act the way we do now!” Let’s work to snap ourselves out of it ; )

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