Monday, 7 May 2007

How do we make the world a better place?

Most of us have no idea. Except maybe to be caring towards our children and family, nice to our neighbours, kind to our in-laws, compassionate to strangers, as loving as we can bare to be to as many people as we can bare. Not that any of that is easy, but even if we achieve all that, it still leaves most of us with a sense of hopelessness in the face of wider world. All of our praying and church-going and charity appeals and self-sacrifice and love-giving, all of our volunteering and generosity, but still in the face of the famines and genocides, the terrorism and war-monegering, the loss of civil liberties and crazed gun-men... in the face of all of it, do we experience our lives as making the world a better place for our children and for the future?

So how do we make the world a better place? I certainly have no idea. And yet, despite my foolishness, helplessness and incompetence, my feeling has always been, since the first moment I found out that there are people who are suffering, and each subsequent moment I found out about more of them, and other kinds of suffering, is that I must devote my life to a resolution of this question, or else I have not really lived at all. What have I done today that makes me feel proud?

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