All life is sacred, compassion and respect towards all forms of life are the basis of a genuine sense of caring for humanity, says Tibetan spiritual leader, His Holiness The Dalai Lama to Rajiv Mehrotra
Today, technology has shrunk the world, bringing people from across the globe closer. An event in one part of the world has repercussions in other parts, too. With our lives so intertwined, altruism is a practical necessity. Religious teachings from ancient times also stress the need for altruism, practising it as a matter of virtue or ethics.
In economic and environmental matters, countries need cooperation and collaboration, making the concept of ‘us’ and ‘they’ archaic. It is time we consider the whole world as ‘us.’ But, due to lack of awareness and insight, this is far from becoming real. We still believe in separateness, and many of our current problems are because of narrow-mindedness and short-sightedness. For instance, we are facing a serious, worldwide ecological crisis and the issue cannot be resolved by a powerful nation alone, but rather, in collaboration with others.
In a modern economy, and particularly in areas such as healthcare, national boundaries cannot be a limiting factor, particularly when there are global epidemics. However, we are still bound by concerns about ‘my’nation, nationality, and national boundaries. While the reality on the ground has changed, our ideas and concepts are yet to keep pace.
For the six billion members of humanity, this small planet is the only hope, and all of us have the responsibility to look after it. It is important for each one of us to catch up with this reality. Human attitudes must develop, evolve, change and embrace this. Only a sense of global and universal responsibility can solve or minimise man-made problems. The logic is quite simple! Our interests are dependent on that of others, and unless that is taken care of, we cannot solve our problems.
Conversely, we will all benefit when we take greater care of others’ rights and interests.
(To be continued)
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