There is no point in compiling yet again a list of the situations afflicting everyone all over the world, because the media have already taken it upon themselves to broadcast them, and because, by repeating them, we only make the evils bigger without finding solutions.
What is most striking is the general way of approaching the situation, or at least the way that is shown to those of us who can do little to put right what seems to have no immediate solution.
Those who are in positions of authority of all kinds take it upon themselves to point out the mistakes. Of that, there is no doubt. But all of them put the blame on others, on those who are in another group, in another party, in another intellectual or radical position.
This would imply that each of them has the hoped-for solution. Regrettably, however, beyond the criticisms and empty promises, nothing new appears.
Everyone asks others to change, or for others to be removed from their positions of influence. No one assumes the intention of starting with themselves; no one gives a specific example of how human beings can and should be better if we really want to reach a more positive future than the present that we are living.
It is agonising to see the number of people who die every day as a result of unbridled fanaticism. And every day we wonder if anyone has the right to kill those who do not think in the same way or those who believe in another form of God. It is agonising to see the amount of wealth that circulates among a few and the poverty that oppresses the many. To which is added the corruption and the exploitation of those who have nothing, and the fraud perpetrated on those who contribute donations with good intentions.
Everyone wants to live their life, without caring what happens to others… Never was the saying more true: «After me, the deluge…». How much longer can we carry on like this?
It is evident that we are facing serious problems of all kinds that are affecting the world population, the planet Earth and future prospects. But we have to begin as soon as possible if we want to live a future worthy of being called such. We have to begin with ourselves.
The value of a philosophy that is put into practice is that it makes us face our own conscience and calls us to a healthy inner transformation, rather than demanding anything from others.
If we want tolerance, we must start by being more understanding. If we want to solve economic problems, we must learn to take on responsibilities and manage our own finances, giving an example that comes from above downwards rather than demanding it from those who no longer have anything to manage. If we don’t want to be robbed, let us stop robbing or taking advantage of opportunities that contain moral traps. If we want to live, let us not allow anyone to kill with impunity.
It is easy to think that many criminal acts may remain in the shadows, without anyone discovering them. Or to believe that it is enough to keep up a good image for history to take a favourable turn. No, it is indispensable for each of us to be a severe judge of ourselves, for each of us to become a good example, great or small, of the potential greatness that exists in human beings.
If we agreed to be good and generous before anyone else; if we did so even if others don’t do it; if we were content with the satisfaction of our own conscience; if we thought of others and not only of our own comforts, if we were really free to act like that, then the world would change for the better.
We need to begin. Why not do so right now? Every act carries with it the impulse of the idea that inspires it. Let us work in a good way and for the good, and the Good, in the words of the philosopher Plato, will find a place in this world which we all share.
[Delia Steinberg Guzmán is the International President of New Acropolis International Organization]
Is it possible to live by the wisdom of the ancient masters in our everyday life?
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