22 August 2015: Inspiration from Thomas Friedman. 2005. The Earth Is Flat. New York: Macmillan and Farrar, Straus and Giroux.
The Earth Is Not Flat
Whoever wrote or said the earth is flat
Never studied details of human welfare topics on a world map
Or asked victims about an age, race or gender gap
Or someone locked into a marriage, employment or income trap.
Anyone who studies the planet’s human geographies
Knows there are billions of human “hills and valleys”
On all continents and countries and in all cities
Known also to those studying past and present centuries.
Electricity, fiber optics, computers and instant communication
Shrink time zones and facilitate interaction
As does a phone card, the Internet, WWW and Skype connection
Where distance and direction means nothing nor does location.
Some of these gaps are wide and deep creations
Some are hills, others are mountains
Some in familiar, others in unfamiliar locations
All challenging our cartographic perceptions.
The immigrant seeking citizenship knows the world has “legal” gaps
As does the environmentalist protecting endangered species
The woman seeking counseling and abortion
The freedom fighter seeking refuge
The off-shore investment banker seeking wealth
The gay couple seeking marriage
The reporter documenting truth coverage
The vocal citizen seeking free speech and assembly.
Gaps in rights exist for the disabled and terminally ill
Those seeking escapes from stereotypes and patriarchy
Those seeking religious freedom over persecution
Those seeking privacy, freedom and a new life
The terminally ill seeking end of life assistance
Those seeking happiness, protection and security
Those seeking refuge from hunger and civil strive
Those seeking to vote and politically participate
Cyberspace, iPads, Twitter and Google have not made the earth flatter
Or more just, humane, equal or safer
On the contrary the world’s much more complex and messier
But also more diverse, beautiful and becoming morally better.
Sadly, there still exists a Flat Earth Society
With adherents find comfort in some ancient geography
Who refuse to accept modern science and astronomy
Satellite images, planetary exploration and earth history.
Globalization makes us aware of differences and similarities
Of our parochialism and also global sensitivities
Of our efforts to reduce some existing gaps
That should result in some newly-made maps.