This blog post title was inspired by the BBC Radio 4 report this morning that Fidel Castro is making public pronouncements again after an absence of four years. Specifically one of his pearls of wisdom (Swine and the Bay of Pigs for some reason spring to mind) is that the world is about to end in nuclear war caused by his nemesis the USA. Despite the huge power of that nation, I doubt that the USA will bring about the end of the world though the actions of some modern day dictators, religious fanatics and extremists elsewhere may do.
Fidel's prophecy however false, does have some resonance in current world events. There are too many bad news items to list them all but a fair cross section includes the torrents of flood water raging through Pakistan wiping out lives and livelihoods; the forest fires in Russia causing Moscow to be enshrouded in smoke and the country's usually abundant wheat and grain supplies to be lost; the massive escape of oil into the seas of the Gulf of Mexico; the credit crunch; the apparent unprovoked sinking by North Korea of a South Korean naval ship; the hideous crimes perpetrated on women on spurious religious grounds which are in reality based on individuals' lusts for cruel power and control; the widespread belief that abortion is a good rather than an evil and within the last few hours the reported breaking off into the open seas of a 100 square mile piece of a glacier in Greenland. These together seem to be a portent but of what?
Possibly events such as those just listed taken together comprise a wake up call for humanity rather than a warning that "the end of the world is nigh".
Goodwill by man and woman for fellow men and women is still so much the norm and abundant that kindness and generosity usually make no headlines and sell no newspapers. Also the planet's wildlife and mother nature generally in any part of the world is still astoundingly beautiful and as some American friends might say "awesome" yet frequently a simple awe suffices eg Wimbledon Common in the snow last winter. These signs do not spell out the impending end of the world.
But of course the most awesome and complicated creature whether he be Mother Nature's practical joke creation or as I believe, created by the immeasurablly generous god maker of all visible and invisble, is mankind ourselves. The wake up call is for us to recognise that fact in each other and our responsibilities for the Common Good of mankind and the planet.