Man’s ardent aspiration for enduring world peace has eternally been rewarded with dismal failure and disappointment. Proposed solutions including world organizations, attempted establishment of a common language (Esperanto), cultural and athletic exchanges, treaties, ententes cordial, and the like, have all proven to be abysmal failures. It might be of some interest, at this point to note that one working presentment of insanity, is the continuous performance of the same act, over and over, with the expectation of a different result.
We were enjoying our morning coffee and were able to see our outdoor birdfeeder from our breakfast table. The day evinced a heavy winter snowfall, freezing artic temperatures, accompanied by a steady diet of high gusty winds. English sparrows were at our bird feeder in droves, and were flapping away, energetically jostling each other in urgent competitive efforts to access the feeding portals. It was an impressive and dramatic demonstration of the emergent drive for food so desperately vital to the universal instinct for survival.
It requires no extraordinary leap of faith to declare that, without exception, all living inhabitants of terra firma share an identical instinctive drive for nourishment and survival. Many bird species span the globe in search for food at the appointed season, wildebeests and other four-legged beasts of the field, migrate long distances to secure life sustaining nutrition, as do other creatures seeking food, such as prey or lush pasture for grazing.
Our observation of the sparrows, desperately ingesting life- sustaining nourishment at our bird feeder on that bleak, wintry day, was a cogent and effective reminder of the vast existence of human want. Reliable statistical data reveals that currently, 795 million inhabitants of our world (1 in every 9 people) do not have sufficient food to sustain healthy, active lives. The data shows that the vast majority of the world’s hungry live in what have been politically designated as underdeveloped countries, where12.9% of the population is dangerously undernourished.
A myriad of basic causes has been ascribed as causative of war, among which are, xenophobia, desire for natural resources, doctrinal motivation, desire for aggrandizement, ignorance and bigotry, ethnic and religious conflict, desired acquisition of markets and spheres of influence, and desire for power and world domination. Whatever the consensus of attribution may be respecting any selected conflict, the mandatory prerequisite for the waging of war is the mobilization of a hungry and discontented people by a bellicose government; one offering false and cynical assurances of a better life resulting from waging war against a nation, to which responsibility is tactically ascribed for such suffering and discontent.
The vision of the sparrows, challenged by hunger and frigid temperatures yet instinctively aware that the food available from the birdfeeder, would result in their survival, afforded us an unexpected epiphany, one, in the form of a veritable a signpost, indicating the direction of a possible and practical route to the attainment of world peace.
Several years ago, we were driving on a highway close to New York’s Hudson River, where we observed a rather substantial fleet of WW2 (obsolete) Navy ships afloat in mothball storage. The recollection of that sight, in combination with the vision of the bird feeders and the hungry sparrows, combined to reveal, productively, that possible route to enduring world peace.
In analogous function to our bird feeder, one could conceivably pull the large ships out of mothballs, clean and sanitize their holds, and then stock them with nutritious food, such as oatmeal, and then deliver such food, spontaneously, and without any charge or condition, to the needy and hungry people across the globe. Whether their respective nation had been categorized by our government as friend or foe would be entirely irrelevant. Well -fed people will not be the despairing human resource which a miscreant autocrat, or a demagogue could strategically and cynically mobilize for war; most especially against those who feed them and overtly demonstrate observable empathy. In addition to employing a route to peace, such unconditional assistance would qualify as commendable acts of responsible human charity.
We are most fortunate to live in a bountiful country with a plentitude of food surpluses; it would be appropriate and wise, apply a portion of our surplus to feed others and thereby enhance a less than bountiful number of enduring international friends.
The proposed oatmeal-sparrow solution for world peace would certainly qualify as food for thought, and we would humbly estimate, is well worth a sincere and energetic try