On these bright Christmas days, maybe just few people would want to remember such gloomy things as the crisis, war and other misfortunes. But, in my opinion, this is the best time to seriously consider our future and what it might turn out to be if we continue to live by inertia. And, may the reader forgive me, I have serious reasons to bring up this issue right now, and remind you far from most pleasant realities of our time.

World Powers Pledge to Stop Spread of Nuclear Weapons made on January 3, gives little hope for mutual understanding. It emphasizes the desire to prevent war between the member states of the nuclear club and adherence to the principles of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons. So, we may relax?
I am afraid it is not the case. The point is not even the regrettable incapacity to negotiate and the habit of changing the rules during the game, which our Western partners have repeatedly demonstrated over the past decades. The pledge concerns only nuclear weapons but what about conventional weaponry, the destructive power of which is now little inferior to missiles with nuclear warheads? The pledge contains general words about avoiding an arms race but it does not say a word about stopping the development of military robots and drones with artificial intelligence. Meanwhile, this development threatens us no less than the danger of a global nuclear war.
More than 50 Nobel laureates recently called for 2% cut to military spending worldwide over the next five years. At the same time, they proposed half the saved money in a UN fund to combat pandemics, the climate crisis, and extreme poverty. A positive response to this initiative would be the best evidence of the commitment of the leaders of the nuclear club to the principles of disarmament and peace in the world. 

On December 10, the world community celebrates Human Rights Day, officially established at the Plenary Meeting of the UN General Assembly in December 1950. The date was chosen in honour of the adoption and proclamation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights by the UN General Assembly on December 10, 1948. This document could become the main and determining one for our whole life. I'll explain why it didn't happen.

In the last decade, Human Rights Day has been held every year under different slogans, such as:
Take a stand for human rights
Don’t be idle, take what is yours
Fight for what is yours
Equality comes with equal rights
Stand and fight together for human rights
Celebrate Human Rights Day every day
Speak up, say what you need to say
Your rights give you a voice, use it.
Raise your voice and take what is yours
Fight, but only for fair and truthful.
Don’t be calm, it is your right.
Encourage human rights, don’t abuse power.
Your voice counts, etc.
The slogan of 2021 is "equality".

I learned with interest that there is a holiday called "Day of the Upside-Down-World", and it is celebrated on November 26th. On “Day of the Upside-Down-World”, all people on our planet are encouraged to look at the world in a new way, to act unexpectedly and look at everything around from the opposite position.

The geographic map of the world, on which all continents are shown upside down, was created by Stuart MacArthur from Melbourne. His first map, as seen by a person living in the southern hemisphere, Stuart drew in 1970, when he was 12 years old. The geography teacher told the boy to redo his homework and draw the proper map if Stuart wanted to pass the exam.
Three years later, while in Japan on a student exchange programme, Stewart became the target of ridicule by his fellow students in the United States, as he came from "the bottom of the world." Then, at the age of 15, Stewart was determined to print a world map with Australia at the top.

I read a lot about how in the spring of 1945 people had the feeling that the Second World War would be the last global massacre in the history of mankind. After the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the shocked Einstein uttered his famous phrase that the fourth world war would be fought with stones and sticks. Yet people, for the most part, wanted to believe that the peace would last forever.

By the way, then practically no one knew, and even today it is a revelation for many that by May 22, 1945, by order of British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, the Unthinkable plan was developed, which assumed a military conflict between England and the United States with its yesterday's ally - the USSR.
This is how the British politician, who only recently praised the country that "defeated Nazi tyranny", initiated preparations for the third world war. Since then, the development of plans for the destruction of Russia has become a constant occupation of the generals and politicians of NATO countries. Former US Ambassador to Moscow Michael McFaul also spoke about the need to "curb" Russia some time ago. Why they needed to occupy the foreign lands, neither McFaul nor his colleagues from the bloc countries have explained, but so far, their words often find a grateful audience.

Yesterday, many celebrated the Soviet holiday of November 7th. It was observed by those who was born in the USSR and are nostalgic for those times. I want to congratulate everyone on this holiday, but especially those who remember the country of victorious socialism, our Soviet childhood, school, cinema, exams, factories, institutes, hospitals, sanatoriums and pioneer camps. Yes, we didn't have much. There are much more varieties of sausages and cheese now. But we were young, happy, and we had hopes. That means a lot!

But life goes on and one must live. As for the present day, there are two things that invariably amaze me, and for which I can in no way find any explanation or justification.
This is, firstly, the unbreakable, stubborn unwillingness of people to think and calculate the consequences of their actions. And secondly, the equally persistent desire of a rather small part of humanity to force other earthlings to live according to patterns that seem to them to be the road to happiness.
And it’s quite a disaster if such desire takes possession of the minds of those in power. I'm afraid not a single self-proclaimed ruler of the world shed so much blood in his conquests as it was shed "for the happiness of the people." However, we do not observe global people’s happiness.

Probably, there is not a single person in the world who, at least once, has not wondered about the purpose of life. Some people spend their entire lives looking for an answer to this question.

“Ask people what their purpose in life is, and only a few will give you a clear answer, although most would like to have such a goal. My answer to this question is very simple: the purpose of life is to be happy." This is what the Dalai Lama said, but he also warned that people often confuse happiness with pleasure, but these are two completely different concepts. I would never dare to argue with His Holiness, since I do not know a wiser person than him.
At different times, we give different answers to the question of what happiness is. Could it be a pleasure? But happiness based on pleasure is momentary and unstable; our desires and dreams are fickle: they can suddenly disappear or lose their relevance over time. However, even if the desire is achieved, the satisfaction from the received pleasure passes rather quickly.
Ernest Hemingway quite accurately described this emotional feeling: “Give the man needed and wanted amenities.
Provide him comfort — he will strive to beat.
Shower him with luxury, he starts to sigh at the exquisite.
Let him get refined and it will get thirsty madness.
If you give him all that he wants — he’ll complain that he cheated and that he was not what he wanted." Why is this happening, is it so difficult just to be happy?

So, we have lived to see another holiday: on September 15, the world celebrates the International Day of Democracy, established by the UN General Assembly in 2007. The UN offered the states to adopt a new holiday to pay attention to the state of democracy in the world.

According to UN experts, democracy is not only a goal, but also a process, and only with the full participation and support of the international community, government authorities and citizens, the ideals of democracy can be realized for every person in every corner of the world.
However, I think, an explanation is required. The word "democracy" comes from two ancient Greek words for "people" and "power." It is traditionally translated as "the rule of the people." This term means a political regime, which is based on the method of collective decision-making with equal influence of the participants on the outcome of the process or on its essential stages. Well, from this point of view, how many countries are truly democratic states? 

July 30 is the International Day of Friendship established by the UN General Assembly in 2011. The Programme of Action on a Culture of Peace and the International Decade for a Culture of Peace and Non-Violence for the Benefit of our Planet became the ideological basis for this new significant date.

What can you say here: a lot of songs and poems have been composed about friendship, there are a huge number of statements of famous people, quotes and aphorisms. But is it that simple?
For example, here is a quote from the famous novel by Mikhail Lermontov "A Hero of Our Time", which is included in the school curriculum. Pechorin says: "... I am incapable of friendship: out of two friends, one is always the slave of the other, although often neither of them admits it to himself. Therefore, I cannot be a slave.”

 

After the publication of my article on Vitacracy, I received a lot of letters, both as e-mails and on Instagram. Readers write that this idea is timelier than ever now, that many fear for their children and grandchildren, and for the world in which our descendants will live.
In general, the idea, as they say, is ripe. However, when I began to talk about Vitacracy, about the right of every person to life, more than ten years ago, then there was not much readers’ response. I am convinced that humanity had to think about its future, about its place on this planet, and about many other equally important things a long time ago.
Back in the early 2000s, I wrote an article on the quality of life. It is also on my website. It says, among other things:
“The history of humankind, as well as of each country and of each nation, can be conditionally divided into three stages: the struggle for survival, the accumulation of socio-economic potential necessary to meet basic human needs, and, finally, the formulation of the main question, which is the quality of life. This is the task facing the authorities and society. Survival tactics should give way to a strategy of accelerated development for improving the quality of people's lives”.

 

Literally a week before Africa Day (May 25), NTV aired the premiere of the Tourist film, which caused enthusiastic responses from the viewers. The film was made very professionally, and the actors did their best. But, in my opinion, its value lies somewhere else.

This is almost a documentary film about a team of Russian military advisers who found themselves at the epicentre of an attempted coup in the Central African Republic. But the film is not an action thriller as such, although there are enough battle scenes in it. This is a story about how Russian soldiers oppose an attempt to destroy another country under the pretext of "democratization". It is the essence of the film for me. And the fact that the action takes place in Africa only adds to its relevance.
I noticed that some critics have already started to repeat the old mantra: “Well, why should we be there in the first place?” They have been trying to poison our society with similar questions for a long time. Yes, our country is always aiding states and peoples, protecting them from destruction by ill-wishers. But Africa is a special story.

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