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Instead of focusing on disaster, it would be more helpful if the Good of the world focused on improved Qualities of Living — biological, financial, psychological, social, spatial, spiritual — near and far. We need healthy communities globally as well as a healthy planet, and where there’s open conflict, we are collectively failing at both.

There’s the word from my low on-high seat, but I believe there’s some truth to having our obsessions and worries controlling our destinies in place of strong good possibilities and dreams appropriate to our individual and global existential challenges. If the latter attitude were prevalent across cultures, we would be chasing large fires with plantings conducive to producing a right human-healthy planetary atmosphere.

And why not?

Why not view natural destruction as opportunity for lending nature a hand on the positive side?


In Afghanistan this past month, people, notable people, people in positions of great responsibility and power, allowed or enabled corruption and greed to overtake better judgment and ceded power — for the time being — to the most absolute, fanatical, narcissistic, and ruthless of malign actors who will now proceed to destroy modern education at its outermost reach and with its Draconian views dishearten its population. The Taliban, so expert in barbarism and terror, will probably fail at every modern challenge and task, further inviting into their medieval sphere greater and more controlling powers, one criminal, the other dystopian, when modern Afghani People could just as well run circles around their malignancy and regain for themselves a more authentic contemporary dignity and freedom.

And why not?

Why not view the Taliban as the egregious insult to universal dignity, freedom, prosperity, and security that it has proven itself to be?

Afghanistan, should it reenter a politically coherent and cohesive phase, would be wise to help its latest burden fly off the rails on its own.


While the Taliban debate their 7th Century beliefs and Afghanistan goes dark, figuratively if not literally (but that’s a real possibility), the more advanced worlds as well as the Taliban might with to reconsider the Qualities of Living involved in the management of any geopolitical space (again biological, psychological, social, spatial, spiritual): where on earth does God, nature, or the universe, for that matter, protect air, soil, and water quality? Ask the same about security for persons and property? Given that we are all part of a gregarious species, what are “social freedoms” and what might the best societies offer in latitude and range for the full suite of our human enthusiasms, interests, and shared as well as dissenting values? What are our best options in our spiritual existence in relation to choice and reason?

Are forced confinement, control, and the delivery of feudal-medieval darkness really the best the Taliban’s Kabul might do?

While the Taliban appear on track for that, the world has changed and will continue changing beyond them for the better and by the most progressing of contemporary democratic standards. Perhaps all, including the Taliban themselves, would do better to dwell on transformations more suited to defending and serving earth and her human cargo — i.e., all of the rest of the world — than to a now deeply impoverished 7th Century system of belief and hypocritical religious egotism.

Anyone who thinks that the 21st century Taliban is a new version is delusional. Taliban spokesperson Zabiullah Mujahid publicly stated, “Women will be afforded all rights within the limits of Islam [Shariah].” However, they have not explained what they mean by “the limits of Islam,” given their messages are not in sync with their actions on the ground. What form of education will be provided and will women’s rights be safeguarded as before? Will women be able to maintain their positions in media and government?

Even if the Taliban stick to their words, they would still fall short of their obligations under international human rights law. The Taliban’s way of justice translates to harsh punishments, including public executions and beheading of accused murderers and adulterers. It is very unlikely that they will accept any form of criticism, which is incompatible with the universal declaration of human rights.

Mahendru, Ritu. “Afghan Lives Matter: What Price Would Afghans Have to Pay for Peace?” The Diplomat, August 24, 2021.

QOL: Qualities of Living

Biological: Environmental and Human Health

Financial: Actualizing, Beyond Basic, Individual and Family Sufficiency

Psychological: High Degrees of Freedom, Positive Outlook, Potential for Fulfillment, Good Self-Concept, Reliable Community and Personal Security

Spatial: Bases and Boundaries x Person x Family x Clan x Tribe x Nation x Ethnic x Transnational Cultures / Defenses and Retreats

Spiritual: Broad Awareness, Consciousness, Conscience x Comprehension of Community and Personal Place in Time

Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), May 31, 2016.

Related: “Better Life Index”, Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.