Over the centuries, we have developed many vaccines against diseases that ravaged humankind all over the world. Vaccine against smallpox, against diphtheria, whopping cough, measles, polio, shingles, COVID, and others. However, our century desperately needs a different kind of “vaccine”. It needs a “vaccine” that will require, not just immunologists, chemists and other scientist, but also philosophers, statesmen and women, theologians, thinkers, and above all, wise human beings, who have learned from past mistakes, avoidable wars, and who value lives over territory, over power, or dominance, a universal “vaccine”, wrapped in a “box” of humility, compassion, truth, forgiveness, understanding, and love. It is the “vaccine”, which humanity desperately needs, especially at these trying times, when some leaders are thinking of the unthinkable—nuclear war! Should that ever happen, there will be no winners, and as Einstein said, world war 4 will be fought with sticks and stones. All this is preventable, simply by developing the ultimate “vaccine” against hatred, against greed, against ignorance, against racism, , and against false information– the ever present pandemics that threaten life on our planet.
The more we advance in technology, the less we are safe, and the less we value our very existence. Just think of the lives and resources that are designed for wars, for killing other humans. What have we learned from all these wars? Nothing! It took 20 years for the United States Congress, to realize that the Iraq war was based on false information. More than 6000 American young men and women, lost their lives, hundreds of thousands of Iraqis lost their lives homes and treasures, not to mention the more than 5 million Iraqi refugees. And, after more than one trillion dollars, we are still paying for it. This is only one example. But in 2023, we are still witnessing the same thing, with Russia and Ukraine.
Trillions of dollars are spent annually, worldwide, on lethal weapons: Jets, aircraft carriers, submarines, tanks, drones and the mother of annihilation—nuclear weapons! And, for what?
Think of all the millions of young men and women, who spend their valuable times drilling for combat, and looking for an enemy, instead of looking for friends? “Vaccine”: use that energy, those talents, those resources to buildings schools, hospitals, clinics, roads, and homes for the homeless worldwide, and make our world more peaceful, safer and better.
The United States has the largest aircraft carrier (one of many), the Gerald R. Ford, at a cost of 13 billion, capable of carrying 90 aircrafts, with a crew of 4, 500. There are at least 11 nations with similar, though not as large aircraft carries. All that power, all that talents, all that energy, produces nothing for humanity. Each is waiting and looking for a perceived enemy to attack. How can we call ourselves civilized? How can we call ourselves religious? How can we call ourselves moral? How can we call ourselves humans? It is a sad commentary. “Vaccine”: Convert the lethal carriers to ships of mercy, and a helping hand, and think of the legacy we want to leave for our children and grandchildren.
Yes, we need that “vaccine” desperately, and now! Maybe we can start by replacing all men in power, with women! Men had their chance, but from what we are experiencing, worldwide, they have not done a good job! We need to give “mothers” a chance!
Rashid Abdu, M.D. F.A.C.S.