An interconnected world

By Joshua Corcuera

We live in the 21st century, a time where parochialism is long dead and globalization is the norm. Humans are more connected to one another than at any point in our history. We can interact with people of different ages, races, faiths, and beliefs easily thanks to the internet. At an instant, we are capable of being informed about what is happening on the other side of the world. Similarly, if something terrible happens somewhere—regardless how distant—then it is not impossible that we would be affected in one way or another.

On the 24th of this month, news broke out that Russia had conducted military operations in Ukraine after recognizing two breakaway regions in the Eastern European country. Bombings were reported in various cities of the country including the capital Kyiv (or some write it as Kiev). As of writing, I never heard a declaration of war from the states involved, but media outlets are reporting with the terms: invasion or war. Regardless of such technicalities, what we are certain of is that an enormous conflict is happening in Eastern Europe causing anxiety and hundreds of casualties.

With an interconnected world, the Philippines is said to be affected in one way or another. The cost of crude oil in the world market is reportedly expected to exceed US$ 100 per barrel due to the crisis in Eastern Europe, with Philippine legislators already pushing for action to mitigate the effects of higher oil prices domestically. With the increase of oil prices domestically in the past few, there is no end in sight due to the crisis. And with higher oil prices, a domino effect can possibly arise as transport of both passengers and cargo would become more expensive. Ultimately, consumers have to deal with inflation even though we are just starting to recover from the economic crisis brought by the pandemic last 2020.

From here, we can see that we must have a broader worldview and be aware of what is happening—not only here in the Philippines, but also abroad. Though we may not be directly affected by what is happening in distant lands, indirect consequences are possible. Through awareness of such pertinent events, we are better equipped to deal with unfavorable effects and alleviate the impact of such to our society.

Whether we like it or not, globalization is here to stay—it is difficult to be an isolationist state in the past, let alone in the 21st century. Thus, as we drift to a more globalized world and away from parochialism, we must likewise develop a mindset that is broader, rather than caring only on what directly affects us.

In our simple daily lives, this lesson is also applicable. For instance, we may not care about the issues affecting our communities because they have no severe direct impact. Still, it is imperative to be vigilant of such because what may not affect us today, would affect us tomorrow. And more importantly, when will we speak up? Only when we are already the ones affected?