It’s hard to believe it’s only been a week since Hamas brutally attacked, murdered and took hostages in Israel. We experienced a global shock that such an attack could even happen – especially in Israel – and pain has been ripping across our media and social media feeds ever since, as everyone comes to terms with what this means and how it will impact the Palestinians and the Israelis, as well as all of us globally. It is a frightening and desperately sad time.
As an observer of how we communicate and how information is shared, there are a lot of lessons being offered to us all this week. First is the rapid surge in misinformation, with Twitter/X ground zero for videos and content that is untrue. Please, we must all work much harder to make sure we are not sharing misinformation, as it is incredibly destructive and makes the situation worse. The conspiracy theories are off the charts too.
The second issue is the speed of news. For the Israelis and Palestinians sharing their experiences, grief and horror, they absolutely have a right to do so. But for the rest of us, with many obviously learning about the complicated history of this region in the last week, it is always best to step back, wait, and listen to people on the ground, as well as the experts, because this is a very complex situation.
The speed of news and information is a disaster in times like this because well-thought-out opinions take time to craft, and the never-ending 24-hour news cycle is feeding into a frenzy that is not serving any of us. It’s also serving the Misinformation Lords!
Yuval Noah Harari’s video below is one I recommend listening to, especially the distinction of why this attack is different to previous violence, and why it matters. But he also makes another very good observation – this attack is a message to the world.
And that message is, if we continue to allow the divisions that exist between us, which are enabled by cynical politicians and the media, bad things will happen. Israel has been an incredibly divided nation – more so this year – and when politicians take their eyes off the job they have been elected to do, well, we now see what eventuates. I can only imagine Netanyahu is ultimately finished, but we wait and see.
Beyond Gaza and Israel, today in Australia, I’ve just learned that the No vote has won the Referendum. I am gutted by this, but again, it is a sign of the divisive politics and media tearing a country apart, and who wins? Certainly not the First Nations people. My heart is broken for them, and I feel incredible fury towards Dutton, Murdoch and all the other divisive people who are playing games with people’s lives. For what? Power. That is all.
We have got to stop being part of this game and we must start expecting better from those who lead us, or we vote them out! Based on the urgency of the multiple crises’ facing humanity, and based on what we are seeing from politicians today, it’s time for new leadership, and they need to be courageous, bold, honest, transparent and guided by science.
As we move forward in this incredibly difficult and challenging time all over the world, we must demand better from our leaders, and we must demand better of ourselves. If we are consumed by anger and othering minority communities, we need to really question where these beliefs are coming from. The problem is not the minority groups, it is never the minority groups – it is ineffectual and pathetic leadership, and a grab for power – always.
None of us know what will happen next, but what we desperately need is strong and steady leadership to guide us now, because if the situation in Gaza and Israel explodes into a major Middle East conflict, along with Putin escalating the war in Europe, well we won’t have a future to offer our children at all. So, I ask you, time to get involved?
The simple truth is if we continue to fail to find the path forward – united and peaceful – there will be no future. We are on the cusp now, there is no more time to delay, and if you look at some of the major climate and biodiversity loss news below, you will see that time is of the essence. We need peace and unity, not rage and war.
I’ve included a couple of interviews with Heather Cox Richardson below and she’s just released a new book, Democracy Awakening (which I’m ordering). Have a listen to what she has to say and then do something about whatever it is you care about. We need everyone rising now. The time for Uncommon Courage is upon us.
Peace my friends, it’s what we need right now. Onto the reads.
And here’s the content I’ve been reading, listening to or watching. Scan the headlines, read the ones that jump out at you, read, listen to or watch them all. It’s time to pay attention to the information that matters.
Resources for those struggling with eco-anxiety. Please share with your community.
Finally, more than 100 mini-videos on many topics regarding the multiple crisis’ we face. Feel free to download and use as your own. No credit necessary.
Uncommon Courage: an invitation
Uncommon Courage is an invitation to be your courageous best self every day. It’s also an antidote to the overwhelm, fear, and rage rolling around the world. But it’s more than a book; it’s an invitation to join an inclusive community that wants to better understand humanities challenges – both global and personal – in order to take courageous action and create a better world for everyone. If Covid19 has given us the time and space to reflect, Uncommon Courage gives us the nudge we need to create lasting change.
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