In last night’s Nightly News broadcast, anchor Brian Williams of NBC referred to Americans enjoying the Labor Day weekend, while having “the sensation right about now that our world is falling apart.” He stated “The number of hotspots around the world right now is bracing. A lot of them (but not all) in the Middle East. A lot of them (but not all) have to do with radical Islam.” A map showing the world’s current hotspots included Iraq, Syria, Somalia, Nigeria, Libya, Yemen, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Ukraine. Russian-supported separatists have invaded Ukraine with heavy military weapons. There has been intense fighting between Israel and Gaza. And, the Ebola virus outbreak is one of the largest in history, according to the Centers for Disease Control. The world indeed is in turmoil.
At the root of much of the turmoil are worldviews. Vladimir Putin has an imperialistic worldview. Radical Islam, which is embraced by groups such as ISIS, Boko Haram, Hamas, al-Qaeda, the Taliban, and al-Shabab, is a worldview bent on violence.
With worldviews in the news every day, it is essential to understand them. A worldview is way of looking at and explaining reality. It is an ideology that influences what a person thinks about himself, others, morals, our purpose in life, life after death, and the existence of a supreme being.
Not only is it important to learn about worldviews held by other people, but also to examine your own worldview. What is it you believe and why do you believe it? What factors have influenced the development of your worldview?
A worldview has the potential to contribute positively to your life, to others and to society. However, a worldview also has the potential to be destructive – either to yourself or to others. Or even to entire groups of people (such as the 500 Yazidis recently killed in Iraq by ISIS). Therefore, your worldview is of vital importance.