STLT#134, Our World Is One World

Until recently this has seemed rather a cheery hymn – a warm, confirming, gentle reminder of the butterfly effect. Yay, our world is one world, we’re all connected, our optimism matters.

Right now, this feels largely like a warning that the Osmond Brothers were wrong, and one bad apple CAN spoil the whole bunch. I’m not saying that the one bad apple will absolutely ruin it all for us, but that even his words and actions affect us. This hymn is a warning: how one person thinks, sees the world, seeks power and riches at all costs – all these things affect us all. We need to make sure that we are many, thinking differently, loving, giving, sharing, so that perhaps our way affects more and builds bridges.

In “Last of the Time Lords” from the third season of Doctor Who, the Doctor learns that he is not the only Time Lord left, and the one they call The Master is still alive and desiring to take over earth – and destroy the Doctor in the process. While the Doctor is held captive and powerless, his companion, Martha Jones, travels the globe, telling the Doctor’s story, and getting them all to think one thing at one moment in time. When Martha confronts the Master, the Master is dismissive – he has, he thinks, managed to control everyone’s minds, to brainwash them into paying fealty only to him. Yet the secret, that Martha reveals, is that even that power can backfire if everyone is thinking the same regenerative thought at the same time, focusing on and thinking the same thing all at once: “Doctor.” As the moment arrives and everyone thinks about the Doctor, the Master’s power is vanquished and the Doctor is released and revived.

Imagine if we could harness that kind of power to vanquish hate, greed, and fear.

Our world is one world:
what touches one affects us all:
the seas that wash us round about,
the clouds that cover us, the rains that fall.

Our world is one world:
the thoughts we think affect us all:
the way we build our attitudes,
with love or hate, we make a bridge or wall.

Our world is one world:
its ways of wealth affect us all:
the way we spend, the way we share,
who are the rich or poor, who stand or fall?

Our world is one world:
just like a ship that bears us all:
where fear and greed make many holes,
but where our hearts can hear a different call.

What touches one does affect us all. May we be well warned and well prepared.

Photo is a BBC still from the episode, featuring the incredible Freema Agyeman as Martha Jones, and David Tennant as the Doctor. (Martha has always been my favorite companion – sad she was given such short shrift by showrunner Stephen Moffat.)

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