Ideas make the world go ’round.
Today, I am more than ever convinced that ideas and imagination are more valuable than oil and gas, and I’m not talking just about shares, but about that most important human segment, which is spirituality. Like knowledge, ideas and imagination makes a person complete, in the sense of mind, spirit, and personality. A long time ago, Socrates said that having knowledge and conscience makes you a pilgrim at the gates of a new world. A man driven by ideas, visions and a vivid imagination will do much more for society than a man driven by mere profit.
I admit that I have spent the last dime I honestly earned from writing poetry or fiction, or manual labor – working at the dry docks – on my travels across this wonderful planet of ours, because to me, as a poet, a verse is like home, and a poem like all of mankind. I admit that I have learned from common people, as well as from wise priests (of all religious denominations), learned philosophers and writers, and what they taught me was that a man must learn for as long as he lives, and he must never claims that he knows everything, for this would mean that he knows nothing at all.
In this essay, I shall provide an answer to that eternal question: why is there so much poverty in the world? More than that, I shall attempt to explain how we might be able to eradicate poverty and save this wonderful planet from global warming. First of all, we must know that greed is the foremost cause of poverty. It is a malignant tumor within the body of mankind. There are many examples to prove my claim.
I have been to Nigeria, as well as to Norway. Both countries are rich in oil, but Nigeria is best described by a scene I have witnessed. Tank trucks often turn over on the wrecked and degraded roads, and there are hundreds of poor Nigerians waiting by the side of these roads to fill their buckets with oil from overturned trucks. Those who are lucky enough to survive the stampede of the hungry has the winning the ticket to another day of survival while, at the same time, the Nigerian political caste is wasting their money on luxurious limousines, jewelry and palaces. So, this political caste and their tycoons, who make their money from oil, are driven by mere profit, and let us not forget that greed is a bottomless hole.
In Norway, and comparing that country to Nigeria you might think you’re on a different planet. Education and health insurance are completely free in Norway. Both on state and regional level, Norwegian politicians live much like the rest of their citizens do. They do not differ from the rest by any means, they don’t spend the tax payer’s money on luxurious limousines, jewelry or palaces, but on education, telling us that only knowledge gives birth to ideas and visions, and ideas make the world go round. Yes, the business motto of both the young and the elderly is to drive Norway forward through their ideas and visions, and so they serve their communities and them-self. In other words, the Norwegian society is profiting from creative people who aren’t inebriated with greed, but rather guided by the vision of creating valuables for the greater good. So, they are making much more money from ideas and visions than they do from oil. This example goes to show the importance of education and culture, ideas and imagination.
I have been to Russia, a country that is exceptionally rich in oil and gas. Siberia is a vast expanse of oil and gas, yet people live under inhumane conditions, as if time stopped, and the poverty is so eerily real that you can feel it as if it was your own. It is noticeable in every gaze of every inhabitant. Of course, the chosen ones, those who are close to the political caste and the tycoons, aren’t exposed to that poverty, because they live in their luxurious palaces and drink themselves unconscious. I asked some of these politicians what would happen once they’re out of oil and gas, but they just waved away at the thought, claiming that this wouldn’t happen in their lifetime.
Sadly, they do not think ahead of future generations. But then, how could we possibly expect them to do that, when they’re not even considering the living, the poor majority. Naturally, Moscow, the capital, is famous for being a glittering city with more billionaires than any other city in the world. Isn’t it a paradox that Siberia, home to gas and oil, is the leader in poverty, while Moscow, devoid of gas and oil, is the leader in wealth? Do you think that the Moscow billionaires are created thanks to the ideas and the imagination of visionaries? If that’s what you think, you’re dead wrong. Pure profit is pouring into Moscow from Siberia and other areas rich in gas and oil, and so it is not surprising that oligarchs, like Roman Abramovich, buy expensive sons for their son’s birthdays, like the famous English football club Chelsea.
Those visionaries who are driven by ideas and their vivid imaginations are working on new projects that would benefit the poor of both Siberia and Moscow, but they are lacking the capital. I asked a young Moscow visionaries why they do not ask the oligarchs to finance their ideas. He looked at me as if I was crazy, saying that those who made quick and dishonest money would never understand, or let alone support, creative people and true visionaries, because oligarchs and greedy politicians are driven by pure profit and political power, while creative visionaries are driven by creating something valuable for the greater good, and thus for their own good as well, and these two worlds are mutually exclusive. It is common knowledge that every oligarch who attempted to compete with Putin at the general elections ended up in jail, while those who peacefully dance to his music are amassing more wealth.
When the occasional nostalgics proclaim Putin to be the grand protector of Russia the great, they should know that Putin isn’t Russia’s savior, but rather an addict to power, which is both his biggest sin and his biggest punishment. When emperor Putin speaks of God, one might feel as if he’s talking of a personal friend of his, and when he appears before his subjects as the savior of faith, his words do not reach the hearts of the faithful, because they can only be reached by those who speak from the heart. Yes, my dear illustrious Putin, you can’t be obsessed with power and money, and be a humble faithful man at the same time, because these two characteristics are also mutually exclusive. Putin doesn’t want to admit that it is oil and gas that are destroying the ozone layer, which is the reason behind global warming, and when his judges and his police send 32 Greenpeace activists to a Siberian prison, he should know that this has nothing to do with faith.
Quite the opposite, it is a lack of faith and a betrayal of the Creator, who didn’t create this wonderful planet for greedy people to destroy. In this case, actions say that these activists are much more faithful and much closer to the Lord than Putin is. Yes, greed doesn’t pick people by race or gender. If you take a look at the British oil corporation BP, who has utterly destroyed the ocean flora and fauna of the Gulf of Mexico, and if you also consider the Russian Gazprom, you will realize that they behave like twins.
So, if emperor Putin wants to become a humble faithful, he should start by letting go of the activists who fight for the preservation of our one and only wonderful planet, as well as all the other activists who fight for the freedom of expression, like the punk band Pussy Riot, because the Lord’s most merciful gift to humans is freedom. Then he should also get rid of his scepter of absolute power, because only then he’ll be able to look into the man in the mirror with a clear conscience, the one that says that on life’s path you can fool the whole world, and people will pat your shoulders as you walk them by, but your ultimate wage shall be pain in your heart and tears, if you have fooled the man in the mirror.
Those who think that I hate Putin are wrong. I am humbly praying that he shall understand my words as well-meant advice instead of criticism, that he should leave the throne, because too much power eats away at the soul, just as too much greed does. It leaves him alone at the golden throne. You can surround yourself by as many minions as you want, but deep in your heart you shall be the loneliest man in the world if you’re not able to look at the man in the mirror. Putin might say that Mother Russia would fall apart if he leaves. Well, my dear Putin, that one judge who cannot be bribed is awaiting us all eventually, both me and you. And what if he does? Will that be the end of the world? No, it won’t! The end of the world might be if we don’t defeat our other selves, the greed within. In the following examples, I shall explain the extent to which greed is to blame for the ever increasing poverty in the world.
In Part 2: Croatia
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