1. While I am open to the idea of karma and believe to some degree that what goes around does come around, I think that this belief – especially when tied to religion – can be misused and abused as is the case with the Tamil Tigers.
As with everything, I believe in moderation and that freedom comes with responsibility. As such, I think that people should be allowed to practice their religion only for as long as nobody is harmed. I think that the United Nations plays an important role in this. It has representatives from every country, which ensures that each member country is in agreement with the laws that are established. As such, the laws they impose to protect human rights and well-being should override people’s religious rights if a conflict between the law and religion arises.
2. I think that the yearly celebration of Earth Day serves as a good reminder for all of us to care for the earth, that is, for nature and our natural resources.
We are so engrossed in our efforts to promote technological and economic advancement that we may no longer be aware of nature being destroyed in the process. While I believe that technological and economic advancements are necessary to a certain degree for the alleviation of human suffering, I believe that we should do this in a way that doesn’t hurt our environment. Aside from taking simple steps to help in the restoration of nature by modifying our lifestyles, I think that we should also find ways to use the same technology that destroyed the earth to heal it.
3. I believe that the main purpose of religion is to promote goodwill, that is, love for a god, love for fellow men, and love for the world in general – with all the living creatures in it.
As such, I think that the conscience that religion instills in people can be used to guide people in discerning what’s right from wrong, including the proper treatment of the environment. I think that spiritual women leaders will be inspirational in the healing process because women are most closely associated to the earth than men. For one, it is the women who bear children and who give them life. In a lot of cultures – such as in Zimbabwe and India – women are also actively involved in agriculture as this is their main form of living. It should then be noted that in most cultures, women provide both for the family’s economic and emotional needs, that is, they are not concerned solely on economic advancements for their families but also on ensuring their family’s general well-being. These, together with women’s gentle nature, make them good advocates for leading the initiatives that are intended to heal the earth.
4. I think that lessons and morals have become highly associated to religion instead of being considered as having universal themes.
For example, while some religions oppose abortion, there are other religions that favor it. As such, I think that movie makers don’t incorporate morals or lessons in their movies – or portray them in a more secular tone – in order to not offend anyone and so that their movie gets patronized by a wider range of audience. This would ensure their movie’s commercial success. In addition, it will prevent any violent reaction about the movie from ensuing.
5. Ethics and sustainability can be incorporated into our businesses and even in our daily activities by being more conscientious of our actions.
We should not just focus on achieving our ends without evaluating the means we used for achieving them. For example, while industrialization does result in a lot of advancements that do benefit us on one hand, it also destroys nature in the form of pollution and toxic wastes on the other. As the Dalai Lama said, ignorance is no longer an excuse. If we have the knowledge to develop all these technologies then we should also strive to obtain knowledge that will minimize – if not totally eliminate – the destruction that all these technologies and advancements have caused. For example, manufacturers should try to use materials that can be recycled. While this may not result in as much profit as they would want, it would still be the ethical and sustainable way of conducting their business, which will also be better for the world in the long run.
6. I think that there may be some ways of adapting our ways to the tribal way of thinking, although it can’t be to the extent that Native Americans do.
We are too used to the comforts and conveniences that we have now that it would be hard to totally eliminate them from our lives. However, we can still try to adapt to their way of thinking by simplifying our lifestyles such as by limiting our use of technology to only when necessary. We can also try to conserve water and energy and recycle. In addition, we should try to patronize products that are made of sustainable materials.