THE INTERFAITH OPTION FOR DEVELOPMENT SUSTAINABILITY
We reached a crossroads with respect to the survival of life on earth some time back. Instead of being responsible citizens, leaders of people, creators of contended nations we failed ourselves and insulted our planet by bickering over who should be blamed and who should be recompensed for real or imagined rights and wrongs. We must understand after spending billions of dollars arguing and disagreeing to disagree disagreeably, we must change the way we think, change the way we live, change the way we interact, change the way we negotiate, change the way we define our global social contract. Science has given us enough information but science and scientists cannot alter the wills and wiles of human beings. We must look elsewhere for systems that will be universally accepted by all, regardless of their specific geographies and ignoring their specific schisms, differences, agendas and priorities.
To do this, we need a set of universal commonalities that human beings as a species can subscribe.
We find these, not in the realm of science, not in the halls of public dialogue, not in the backstage negotiations and manipulations that we have come to regard as the norm. We will not find these by angrily demanding redress. We will not find this by begging for climate handouts from those who have become fat on environment destruction.
We find this in the universally accept base agreement among the greater and lesser spiritual systems of our time. These are based on the wholesomeness of our existence and not in the ill-fated idea that material improvement improves the quality of our lives. While the so-called developed countries have degenerated into spiritual and human paucity, we, the peoples of the so-called developing nations have fed our minds and our bodies on this very spirit that has ensured both our internal contentment and our reduced, wholesome lifestyles within the various systems that we adhere to and practice.
Within these systems we understand that we need to balance out our development to encompass social, economic and environment to achieve at least durability if not sustainability in development. We understand that we need to balance out our environment to encompass the natural, cultural and social environment to achieve harmonious coexistence. Regardless of what spiritual system we adhere to as individuals, groups, communities or countries, these spiritual systems recognize a universal commonality in terms of wholesome habits, wholesome lives livelihoods and lifestyles and wholesome enjoyment. What constitutes wholesomeness in habit, lives and enjoyment is common for, the Vedda, the adivasi, the native American, the Amazonian, the aborigine, the Inuit, the Zulu, the Masai, the Wiccan, the Pagan, the Sikh, the Baha’i, the Rasta, the Jew, the Hindu, the Christian, the Muslim, the Buddhist.
Let us then, collectively, choose to accommodate our differences and strengthen our commonality to future-proof our world against the oncoming tide of darkness.