In the world of insects, communities of fire-flies are insignificant and self-effacing, unremarkable in the grass.
Millions of species coexist on Earth, living and dying together, repeating this cycle endlessly. In the vast wilderness, the diversity and inherent complementarity of all creatures – the forest birds and animals, the reptilian water – although also exposing their brutality for survival, the splendor of nature writes a symphony of harmonious coexistence.
Humans, as intelligent creatures, have the culture and wisdom to build a harmonious and peaceful home in the global village. It’s safer than living in the deep mountains and forests, where the fierce and vicious beasts of the jungle are constantly bullied and killed according to the threatening and fearful “law of the jungle”.
Looking back at history and observing objectively, we have learned that humans are not as close to forest animals as we thought. There may only be one human species, but societies, cultures and geography have made us different. Human societies have waged wars of aggression for the sake of political expansion, territorial domination and plundering resources, annexing and colonizing countries and peoples to enrich themselves.
The 21st century is arguably a great time for humanity. Telecommunications, electronic commerce, and intelligent research and development have almost overturned thousands of years of human operating patterns, transforming economic development and reducing human distance. Big Data and cloud services are making humanity transparent! In the face of such high technology, humanity has begun to realize how small it is – a mere speck of dust. Fireflies are the tiniest, but when they swarm at night they radiate a bright light that illuminates the dark earth!
Humankind may be small in the universe and on Earth, but if it realizes and understands the power of solidarity and can learn to work together in the face of natural disaster, we can overcome them.
The 2020 new coronary pneumonia COVID-19 outbreak originated in Wuhan, China, but has spread throughout Hubei province and throughout China and the world, causing global disaster.
Because of the human-to-human transmission of the virus, people must live in isolation. The pandemic has caused hundreds of millions of people to live in one room and not communicate with each other.
Usually busy streets have become desolate and empty. Whereas we used to shake hands and hug each other warmly, we now bow our heads at a distance.
A corona virus has brought all mankind to its knees; no one dares to fight back, everyone listens! Once again, mankind feels small, as tiny as a grain of sand of a river. When all the humans gather together, they are only a collection of sands, looking at the Earth from the universe.
Nature is unkind. It treats the creation like sacrificial straw dogs. When we meditate on the present vicissitudes and sadness of the human world and look back on the 21st century, and see SARS, Influenza, Ebola, H1N1, to new corona virus… one after the other, have made human beings anxious and fearful, as if confronted by a great enemy in an all-out war. These diseases underline the greatness of humanity’s insignificance and mentality.
Most of the disasters on Earth are caused by humans. Australia’s forest fires lasted half a year, deforesting nearly 11.7 million hectares and killing up to a billion animals. Last year, a great flood in the United States caused immense financial and natural damage. And an unexpected flu this year caused imponderable losses of people, society and economy. The sudden pandemic outbreak this year caused even the most powerful nations on Earth to suffer great losses of human life.
The viral pandemic has become a public health issue for all of humanity. Therefore, all mankind must join hands to fight this disease! Floods, fires and viruses are all natural disasters, but the underlying cause appears increasingly to be man-made! If mankind understood the intrinsic interconnectedness of nature, it would not pollute the atmosphere for the temporary benefit of individual and national interests. It is climate change, an imbalance in the natural world, that has created a “disorder” in the laws of nature, leading to a frequent and destructive succession of floods, fires and other catastrophes.
When humanity gives in to its greed and wantonly disrupts the ecological balance, viruses and bacteria are quietly born due to a disorder of natural laws, attacking human beings and causing panic in the world. Humans have been confronted with thousands of years of diseases and calamity, and though it has been hit hard, it has fortunately not been extinguished. The rounds of serious illness since the beginning of the 21st century have been controlled and eliminated by the joint forces of human societies. However, we also know that the Arctic and Antarctic ices are melting. Caus- ing even more concern are the viruses that emerge from the melting permafrost that were suspended for decades but still have the power to come back to life! Will humanity be able to confront old viruses that are revived? The Paris Agreement, a worldwide convention, reinforces the alertness and urgency of the active implementation of the protection of the climate, in particular the warming of the Arctic and Antarctic.
The world is crying, but mankind will be stronger and braver to face everything and change everything for the better, and “humanity will prevail!”
“The Age of Weeping” was originally written in Chinese.
President of the Global Chinese Arts & Culture Society, Research Fellow of the Chinese National Academy Of Arts, Guest Professor of School Of Arts, Peking University, President of Honour Mémoire de l’Avenir. Professor Lin Xiang Xiong, an artist and entrepreneur, is a Singapore citizen. Born in 1945 in China’s Guangdong Province, he moved to Nanyang in 1956. He studied fine arts in the Singapore Academy of Arts between 1965 and 1968 and in Paris between 1971 and 1973. He has held seven solo exhibitions in Singapore and Thailand (1968-1988). In 1990, 1994, and 2013, he was invited and supported by Ministry Of Culture of the People’s Republic of China to hold solo arts exhibitions in Beijing, Shanghai, Xi’an, Zhengzhou, among other cities.