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What Matters Most

Updated: May 11, 2022

The city of Rome was flooded with joy on that day. People from all over the city collapsed on both sides of the highway coming from the east. Some massive decorated gates were built at various places of the city. Along the road pavement, armed Roman soldiers were lined up. The soldiers were cautious. Platoon leaders were making sure that no overzealous commoners broke through the fence and entered the street. An old man was trying to break the crowd of enthusiastic people and move as close as possible to the roadside. It was not an easy task for him. The old man, a former soldier, returned from the British Isles, was trying hard to move forward with the help of a stick on his left hand. He was desperate not to miss the sight of the Roman victory party. It was a fun-filled special day. There was no time to feel the suffering of an older man by the crowd rejoicing in demonic insanity.


The city of Rome was hailing for a Roman General, who was at the centre of that day’s attraction. After conquering Jerusalem and crushing the Jewish rebels, the future Emperor Titus was entering the capital on horseback in the guise of a hero. He was the man who destroyed the Second Temple in Jerusalem and responsible for the death and slavery of thousands and thousands of Jewish people. But history actually described him as a relatively good ruler of Rome who looked after his citizens during the uncertain time of eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 AD. Titus was also the Roman Emperor who completed the construction of Colosseum - a monumental 3-tiered Roman amphitheatre.

The building once used for gladiatorial games is still standing high in the middle of Rome and attracting thousands of tourists every year. When tourists come to visit the Colosseum - what do they think about it? The creation of a public facility for recreation purposes or a symbol of brutal human behaviour !! Our known history is always not honest in creating this type of opinion. 


Winston Churchill once said - history is written by the victors. I think the correct statement should be - history is written in favour of the politically influential people. In July 2015, we visited the heartland of four mighty empires who no longer exist - British, Moor, Roman and Ottoman. During that tour, we visited many places, buildings and met many people. We heard about the history of those places, buildings and people, but surprisingly there was a tendency of worshipping the ruling class in that history. The historical tales were either silent or touched inadequately the life, the views and the contribution of so-called commoners associated with those high places and buildings. We were overwhelmed by seeing the magical architecture of various towns, palaces and castles. But did not find any mention about the actual people who sacrificed their lives in creating those gigantic masterpieces. No proper understanding was available on how ordinary people constituted a part of the history of those great empires. No evidence was presented to demonstrate how the environment was treated in those historical periods. Even though we found high-quality tourist guides, in their descriptions, the social and environmental history of the past was either insignificant or not provided accurately.


But it was understood that the so-called glorious history of various stages of human civilisation from ancient Rome to more recent Istanbul had a common element. It was the familiar tale of greed, in-justice, brutality, narcissism and self-destruction.

Five years have passed since our Europe trip. Now in mid-2020, we have taken the initiative of collecting and presenting our tour memories at a time when Covid-19 has changed our familiar world drastically. The Corona Pandemic shattered our 21st Century quality of life. We are literally in a war zone now. It does not matter where we are located - from East to West, North to South, its devastation is felt everywhere. The last two World Wars were concentrated within a specific geographical location - but this war is currently felt everywhere similar to H.G. Wells’s science fiction - the War of the Worlds. When the global technology revolution is showing us the prospect of the 4th Industrial Revolution, then we suddenly realised that our primary system is not working - we are not invincible. The human race is fighting for its existence against a microscopic viral force. 


During this Covid-19 situation, people are desperately searching what went wrong in the past few thousand years of human civilisation. It does not matter whether history is telling us the truth or not. It is crystal clear that from the early days of homo sapiens - we, the human inhabitants of this planet are pillaging natural resources to feed our obsession for an acquisitive lifestyle.

During this Covid-19 situation, people are desperately searching what went wrong in the past few thousand years of human civilisation. It does not matter whether history is telling us the truth or not. It is crystal clear that from the early days of homo sapiens - we, the human inhabitants of this planet are pillaging natural resources to feed our obsession for an acquisitive lifestyle. Our greed and lust for luxury forced us to intrude into natural habitats. The madness of competition made us foolishly brave to destroy our own ecosystem. As a result, ecological disaster is inevitable, and nature has backfired in the form of new epidemic disease like Covid-19.


And this is not the end. The damage that humans have done to nature, such epidemics may be back. Then the world of wilderness will arrive, which means ‘survival of the fittest’ will play a dominant role, and only the strongest with herd immunity will survive in the wild. History is at least honest here in showing that only a few hundred years ago, that was the case for humans. If we trust that history, then it will give us the wisdom to receive a dark warning for the possible fate for our entire planet. Now the question is - how can we avoid this?

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