Disasters, catastrophes and deaths seem to occur in threes, simply because humans are looking for patterns in random data, so they can have a way to extract order from disorder. I guess that challenges can be cherry picked to be grouped this way, because people have an affinity for the number three. Christians believe in a Trinity and most people tend to group things into threes when they feel the need to enumerate the contents of a group, since two would only be a pair, and 4 or more requires more work than most people are willing to do. Plato said three things about mathematical objects, that they exist, they are abstract and they are independent of intelligent agents and their language, thought, and practices. The Pythagoreans taught that the number three was the first true number. Three is the first number that allows us to form a geometrical figure giving us the triangle.
The number 3 is a very mystical and spiritual number which is featured in many folktales, like when a genie grants someone three wishes, Rumpelstiltskin allowing three guesses, the three little pigs, and Goldilocks and the three bears. The number three allows us to have harmony, wisdom and understanding. Time can be divided into Past, Present and Future and our existence can be broken down into Birth, Life and Death and every story is said to have a Beginning, Middle and an End. I was born on March third and I believe that the third time is a charm, but I should stop ranting about the number three and try to answer Fandango’s Provocative Question, which is “What are the three biggest challenges your country (or, if you prefer, the world) is facing right now?”
The three issues or challenges that I see as being the most important are, the effect of global warming on the environment, the division existing amongst men and trying to understand why people become addicted to drugs, which is part of a bigger issue when they are judged as criminals for doing this. I guess that these are all global challenges, but they also exist on a smaller country scale. If we do not solve these challenges, I feel that the world as I know it is doomed for destruction.
Global warming is not “Fake News”, as Trump would like everyone to believe. The average temperature of the Earth’s climate is rising and if it reaches a critical point which we are not too far away from now, there will be no coming back to normal. When global temperatures finally spin out of control, the frequency and severity of droughts, floods, and hurricanes will be devastating to our planet. There are skeptics who come up with their own climate models, and declare this to be a myth or a hoax, but statistics clearly show that the first decade of the 21st century has been the warmest on record.
Hatred is a strong bond that is shared by many people, but I consider this to be a socially unacceptable act, as love can become a stronger connection among people, however it is easier to hate rather than it is to love. Most people hate others because they are angry and they see others as being different from them. Religion is supposed to be an outlet for love, but a lot of hatred exists because of religion and hatred is being fueled by them. Politics also causes a lot of outrage, and those people who don’t know how to deal with their emotions seem more than willing to blame problems on others who they feel created them. The Beatles said it best, “All you need is love”, but the phrase “Make Love, Not War” which was popularized by the radical activists Penelope and Franklin Rosemont and Tor Faegre helped to establish the hippie movement, and that gave the flower children hope.
Are those people who become addicted to drugs lacking moral principles or willpower, or do drugs change a person’s brain in ways that makes it hard to quit, even when those people want to? A drug user is compulsive, even when they are aware of the harmful consequences that they are inflicting on their bodies. Some drugs are legal and others are illegal, but both types can be addictive. The opioid epidemic or opioid crisis is a term that generally refers to the rapid increase in the use of prescription and nonprescription opioid drugs, in the United States, that began in the late 1990s. Opioid overdoses from prescription pain relievers, heroin, and synthetic opioids such as fentanyl caused more than 42000 deaths in 2016. This is a problem which is made worse by locking up people who need help, instead of going after the pharmaceutical companies that caused this because of their greed.
I will leave you with the P. F. Sloan song sung by Barry McGuire.
Written for Fandango’s Provocative Question #34, which I hope that I answered to his satisfaction.