I’m writing this in the hope that it will come to the attention of Melinda Gates, who is uniquely situated to lead a movement led by women across the globe that is the best hope of mankind to secure a global peace.
Why Melinda Gates? Any great social change movement needs a leader at its center who can convey the vision of the goal to be achieved to others and make the movement a reality; a Mohandas Gandhi, Alice Paul, Martin Luther King, Jr., Nelson Mandela, Malala Yousafzai, Greta Thunberg. Having just finished reading her book The Moment of Lift, it’s clear to me that Melinda Gates is uniquely qualified to be that catalyzing woman.
The world is in the clutches of a global pandemic. Life has changed forever. Perhaps it can change again for the much better. I believe it can. I’m an evolutionary biologist and behaviorist and I’ve spent a lifetime studying the behavior of men and women. For close to 20 years I’ve studied and written about the relationship of men and women to war as the answer to the possibility of ending war. [My essays and books on the subject are available on two websites - www.afww.org and www.judithhand.net.] In short, I’ve concluded that there is no biological reason why we couldn’t end war, and that the empowerment and leadership of women in equal partnership with men will be pivotal to making that wish a reality, should we decide to pursue the goal.
If we have the ability to end the tragedy of war if we choose, the question becomes how. Over the last few months a number of thoughts and ideas have been at the center of my attention, all of which relate to questions of war and peace. I will list some of those thoughts here and describe them as succinctly as possible.
#WFGP. This acronym stands for “Women For Global Peace.” I’m also a novelist and I’m in the midst of writing a novel. As fate or coincidence would have it, it’s about a post-catastrophic pandemic future in 2045 in which women are working to secure a global peace treaty. They have named their movement Women For Global Peace, and the energizing center of WFGP is the female Secretary General of the United Nations. What our real world needs, what the children of the future need, is a champion such as Melinda Gates who can garner the recognition and resources needed to make the goal of securing a world peace not just a dream but a reality.
At this time in America in response to the pandemic, we have been ordered to stay at home. Only people deemed to perform essential activities are to be out and about. All nonessential activities are to cease until the pandemic is under control or ended. A few days ago a Facebook friend posted the provocative phrase: War Is A Nonessential Activity. Yes, indeed! I thought. War is a nonessential activity.
Lord knows we don’t need it. In fact, we’re going to need the resources we put into war to rebuild the global economy after this pandemic is ended and to fight the even more dire onrushing tragedies of global warming. I had earlier read a Facebook post about Saudi Arabia and Yemen agreeing to a cease-fire in their particular nasty little war because they had more important concerns on their mind. Wouldn’t it be nice, I thought, if they just never restarted that war but found a way to peacefully resolve their conflicts so they could direct their resources elsewhere. I also know there are enough empowered and wealthy and resourceful women around the world to energize millions upon millions of people to support the making of an enforceable global peace treaty. If only there was a leadership capable of mobilizing a global movement to do so! In fashioning our “new normal“ after the pandemic, why not include a powerful movement to establish global peace for the children of the future. Why not take this bitter lemon and make a magnificent lemon meringue pie.
Which brings me again to Melinda Gates. Mrs. Gates, I invite you to explore my work, especially as it relates to women and war. Perhaps the best place to start would be the small book on my personal website, War and Sex and Human Destiny. After reading it you could meditate on it and perhaps pray on the idea and consult with your close friends as you describe in The Moment of Lift. And of course, I’ve been thinking for many years about how such a movement would look and could work. I’ve proposed in several places an aspirational action plan for doing so. I would be profoundly happy to speak with you about any of this. And allow me to express my gratitude to you and to your husband for all the wonderful work you and he and the Gates Foundation are doing around the world. Be Well. And with profound respect, Judith Hand
Here are traits that qualify Melinda Gates, that in fact make her uniquely qualified, to inspire and if she chooses, to lead:
Above all, her book The Moment of Lift reveals her to be a caring and compassionate human being with the wisdom to see that making war is a nonessential activity, and that ending war would be one of the greatest positive turning points in all of human history. Something worth the dedication of her time, creativity, and resources.
I also post on FaceBook. In early April one of my FB friends who lives in northern California took the time to make a list of all the things that changed or happened as of that time that she wanted to be able to recall. It's an astounding and pretty thorough list so I want to post it here for the same reason. So I can appreciate with amazement what an extraordinary change the corona virus Covid-19 made in out lives.
Here is her fantastic list:
“Just so I never forget..... April 4, 2020
-Gas prices in Placerville, CA are... $2.47 at ARCO
-School cancelled the middle of March - online/homeschool
-My daughter's graduation has been put on hold, and/or cancelled (Not Fair)
-Tape on the floors at grocery stores and others to help distance shoppers (6ft) from each other.
-Limited number of people inside stores, therefore, lineups outside the store doors.
-Non-essential stores and businesses mandated closed.
-Parks, trails, entire cities locked up.
-Entire sports seasons cancelled.
-Concerts, tours, festivals, entertainment events - cancelled.
-Weddings, family celebrations, holiday gatherings - cancelled.
-No masses, churches are closed.
-No gatherings of 50 or more, then 20 or more, now 10 or more.
-Don't socialize with anyone outside of your home.
-Shortage of masks, gowns, gloves for our front-line workers.
-Shortage of ventilators for the critical ill.
-Many of the PPEs and ventilators listed above being received from the National Stockpile are past their expiration date and rotted or broken.
-Panic buying sets in and we have no toilet paper, no disinfecting supplies, no paper towel no laundry soap, no hand sanitizer.
-Shelves are bare.
-Manufacturers, distilleries and other businesses switch their lines to help make visors, masks, hand sanitizer and PPE.
-Government closes the border to all non-essential travel.
-Lake Tahoe has been closed to all non-essential travel (in other words, STAY AT HOME)
-Fines are established for breaking the rules.
-People in KY are being order to wear ankle bracelets if they refuse to stay home.
-Stadiums and recreation facilities open up for the overflow of Covid-19 patients.
-Press conferences daily from the President and the governors. Daily updates on new cases, recoveries, and deaths.
-Government incentives to stay home.
-Barely anyone on the roads.
-People wearing masks and gloves outside.
-Essential service workers are terrified to go to work.
-Medical field workers are afraid to go home to their families.
This is the Novel Coronavirus (Covid-19) Pandemic, declared March 11th, 2020.
Why, you ask, do I share this status?
One day it will show up in my memory feed, and it will be a yearly reminder that life is precious and not to take the things we dearly love for granted.
We have so much!
Be thankful. Be grateful.
Be kind to each other - love one another - support everyone.
We are all one! ❤️
Copy and share.”
As the caronavirus Covid-19 nears its peak of killing, the man who amazingly was given the Presidency of the United States by a handful of partisan citizens continues to tighten his grip on the levers of power. He fired the inspector general of the intelligence community, Michael Atkinson. Trump's explanation: he "no longer" had confidence in Atkinson's ability to serve as a watchdog. Atkinson had done his legally mandated job to notify members of the House Intelligence Committee of any serious "whistle blower" complaints. Ultimately that complaint gave rise to the investigation that led to the President's impeachment by the House.
So, was the firing a matter of spite, a way to punish the man who had not been smart enough to keep the whistle blower complaint secret. Was it a matter of revenge?
Maybe partly. Trump is notoriously vengeful. But to believe that is to miss the really dangerous point. We the people need to take note! It is far more than just getting rid of someone out of spite. It is part of Trump's strategy to put in place only those loyal to him at all top levels of all critical government organizations. Only by doing that can any autocrat/dictator maintain control. This includes most importantly replacing ALL heads of the military and keeping members of the military in line. Like his firing nearly simultaneously the captain of a navel ship, Brett Crozier, who had the temerity (integrity) to write a letter that was broadly disseminated expressing his concern that many of the men on his navy carrier tested positive for Covid and needed to be removed. That firing sent a message to all military commanders that if you give any hint of opposition or anything that could be construed as a criticism of the "great leader" you will be replaced....because the President has lost confidence in you or considers you some kind of security risk. These acts by Trump are not out of spite alone....they are tactical moves in Trump's agenda for taking control of the levers of power in the nation ASAP.
It is critical to personal sanity and well-being to think positively. But I confess....I worry, I don't stop worrying, that this great experiement in government of the people, by the people, and for the people may irretrivably cross a governing Rubicon and be lost in my lifetime. I won't know until elections...November 2020...nearly seven agonizing months away. Trump will be replaced, or ......
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Dr. Judith Hand writes historical fiction, contemporary action/adventure, and screenplays. Hand earned her Ph.D. in biology from UCLA. Her studies included animal behavior and primatology. After completing a Smithsonian Post-doctoral Fellowship at the National Zoo in Washington, D.C., she returned to UCLA as a research associate and lecturer. Her undergraduate major was in cultural anthropology. She worked as a technician in neurophysiology laboratories at UCLA and the Max Planck Institute, in Munich, Germany. As a student of animal communication, she has written scientific papers on the subject of social conflict resolution.
Astronomy image credit: NASA: Full Hemisphere Views of Earth at Night.