A New Glasnost for the Planet

Mikhail Gorbachev, Russia

Former President of the Soviet Union and Founding President of Green Cross International.

(Submitted by the author)

It may seem paradoxical, but despite having borne witness to the countless humanitarian and environmental disasters of recent decades, I am an optimist. But being an optimist does not mean simply looking at the world through rose-tinted glasses, like Voltaire’s Candide, and declaring everything to be for the best, despite an endless array of misfortunes.

Being an optimist, as I see it, means to refuse to make do with the status quo, and instead to consciously look for ways to make the world a better place and help address the practical challenges faced by people here and now.

Optimism by action
I call this ‘optimism by action’, and I believe that such a philosophy of life can provide the catalyst for our much-needed transformation to sustainable development.

Twenty years ago, when Glasnost – openness – was used to launch the process of Perestroika that transformed the Soviet Union, no one believed that it was doable. But I was driven by the need to ‘wake up’ those people who had ‘fallen asleep’ and make them truly active and concerned; to ensure that everyone felt as if they were master of their country, of their enterprise, office or institute: to fully involve the individual in all of the processes concerned.

Today, I am convinced that, as citizens of the world, we need a reformulated Glasnost to invigorate, inform and inspire us to put the staggering resources of our planet and our knowledge of it, to use for the benefit of all of Earth’s citizens.

Glasnost could be put to service as a catchall phrase for all of the instruments in the struggle for transparency and awareness. Glasnost is more than transparency; it is a demanding, long-term process of awakening which inevitably leads to calls for fundamental changes. A reversal of currently prevalent behavioral patterns must begin with changes in the human
spirit and a reprioritization of our value system, including relationships between people, and the man-nature interrelationship.

Solidarity of a higher order
This means solidarity of a higher order than that of previous models found in small groups, of globalization and brings about a just and caring world order. It is a solidarity that presents itself as the pillar of sustainable development in all its human and inter-generational aspects.

“Judge not by words, but by deeds,” should be our mantra. This is precisely why we need a new Glasnost for the planet, one that will inspire its citizens to become actively involved today in the struggle for a better tomorrow.

I believe in people and will remain an optimist – an active one – calling for dynamic and positive change.

Former President of the Soviet Union and Founding President of Green Cross International: www.greencrossinternational.net

Image credit: http://thegreencuttingboard.blogspot.com/Gorbachev.jpg



Submitted by Lothar Müller on Tue, 12/20/2011 - 14:59.

My second comment:
In my opinion, there are not many politicans, even less statesmen and only one handful of world figures such as Mikhail Gorbachev.
Now my second book - the main book on this subject is on the market. Thank you, Mr. Gorbachev for your work that firmed my mind.
"Wachstum und Fortschritt - ein Rezeptbuch für gesunde Gedanken im täglichen Leben" is the title of this e-book on amazon.de.
Translated "Growth and Progress - a recipe book for well-thinking in daily life."

Using many examples from my own life, I put forward the subject matter in words that are easy to understand and which help to promote of real modern thinking and action.

Words such as growth, progress, modernity and others are given a new meaning.
Hundreds of true modern thinking organisations currently exist, which tackle the themes of the moder-day world.
There should be one common sign above them to identify them on sight.
Who would work with me in this direction?

Submitted by Lothar Müller on Mon, 12/12/2011 - 15:49.

Mikhail Gorbachev's book "Mein Manifest für die Erde" was one of the basic books that motivated me to write also one - or better, two.

That book brought me the general vision about the things to do.

One of my books - only in German - is called "Ein Bauer sein das ist fein". It belongs to a better farming and better nutrition.

In the moment it is only an e-book on amazon.de, but it is possible to read it all over the world.

I hope you can promote it.

Submitted by Claire Terry on Tue, 12/20/2011 - 10:09.

Our pleasure, Lothar!

Submitted by marta beeskowAnonymous user on Fri, 03/04/2011 - 15:56.

THANKS MICHAIL! Let´s try to be optimistic and make efforts.

Submitted by Roger Bradley on Tue, 08/10/2010 - 11:29.

If only some of our current world leaders were like Mikhail Gorbachev. Optimism would replace pessimism and cynicism as the norm.

Submitted by pamii on Tue, 08/10/2010 - 10:44.

He strived to make changes for the better, for people, he cared about the people he represented rather than furthering his own political ambition and now he is still trying to create a more possitive future for everyone. Wish more people had his enthusiasm and foresight.

Submitted by Claire Terry on Thu, 06/24/2010 - 15:51.

Marisa Arienza, Brazil: 'Mikhail Sergeievich!He really thinks in long terms and is one of the wisest persons of the last 100 years!!!!!!!!'
15th May, 2010

Claire Elizabeth Terry: 'Absolutely, Marisa - if only there were more people like him in the world!!'
15th May, 2010

Adam Koniuszewski, Canada: 'I agree ... Why can't we learn the lessons from history? It is up to all of us to live up to the example given by Gorbachev. He had the vision to foresee that the greatest challenge for humanity after the end of the cold war wouls be our relationship with nature.'
15th May, 2010

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