What do you see to be the greatest challenge for mankind in the coming decade?

We asked our readers this question in the previous edition of Topaz and we are pleased to now publish the responses we have received so far. ‘What we see to be the greatest challenge of mankind in the coming decade’ is one of those questions that doesn't easily lend itself to ready-made answers. It invites you, the reader, to contemplate it, to think into it and around it and discover for yourself, the answers and the further questions this reveals to you.

Annie Bell, 42, UK

There are many, many people all over this planet who feel and know that the human race has somehow taken a wrong turn, and who are trying to do something about it. There are people working on the land, trying to develop a sustainable agriculture that respects animals and plants as well as providing food; there are others trying to develop new models for education, to help children think for themselves; people working to try to stem the damage to the environment, relieve world-wide poverty and suffering; others pioneering a holistic approach to medicine and care, or exploring the meaning of a more spiritual way of life. Worldwide there are millions of projects, small and large, collective or individual, run by people who all want to make a difference and make things better.

I see one of the greatest challenges we face in the next decade is the coming together of these many and disparate endeavours in a form that can make a real difference. I do believe that they all spring from the same well of care and try and spiritual longing, but the form they take can be so very different, the language and reference they come from is as variant as the projects themselves. Together they could become a shining beacon of hope, but individually they are each like small pinpricks of light in an otherwise darkening planet.

Willi Hammerschmidt, Germany

For many centuries most people spent their time in simply trying to provide the basics to survive and to support themselves and their family. This has changed. We now live in a time when it is easily possible to supply everyone with what is needed, with advances in technology it is no longer necessary to spend every single moment working to survive. We can now start to do human work, things only people can do, such as art, music, theatre, philosophy, religion and so much more, in order to find out why we are here on this planet and what it is that is wanted and needed from us very special humans.

What that will need is a total shift of values, that puts life, creation and god first, and not money, profit and power.
So the greatest challenge is this total shift of values...

Georg Böhringer, 79, Germany

It is generally known, that the age of Aquarius will be a time of the spirit. This change of epoch will be accompanied by catastrophes of all kinds and of an unknown scale, that will increasingly shock the material world and the way of thinking about material things in the human. In just a few decades we have built a world-wide communication network on this planet, nearly instant connection can be made, even to remote places on the globe. On the other hand there are borders between nations and races, both in political and economical terms.

The challenge for the human race is to take every chance to equalise these enormous differences in such a way that every nation will have a fair chance both by their own endeavours and with some help. How can such a union of nations arise? It can only arise when economic interest is not at play and when those nations who give don’t have egoistical aims.

The important question still is, “Which urgent and important idea can motivate the human race to strive for such harmony that can lead to, ‘liberte - egalite – fraternite’?”

Susanne Friis Jørgensen, 46, Denmark

It seems to me that overcoming stress will be one of the greatest challenges for the human race in the time to come. Over these years, new universal forces are entering the planet to ensure the continuance of the human (and planetary) evolution, and in our lack of being able to cope with these forces they will create stress at many levels. The time seems to run faster than ever, the modern culture puts its share of pressure on us all, leaving hardly any energy left to mount any interest in new things, let alone existential questions like, ‘why is the human on earth’? And so these new forces cannot provide us with the necessary energy or intactness to move on as a part of the universal evolution. And so stress appears at many levels of a human being which can only be solved, so I believe, though a qualified, wise personal development and a genuine openness to the bigger questions of life and living.

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