The world has grown smaller. The world's peace have become almost one community. Political and military alliances have created large multinational groups, industry and international trade have produced a global economy. Worldwide communications are eliminating ancient barriers of distance, language and race. We are also being drawn together by the grave problems we face: overpopulation, dwindling natural resources, and an environmental crisis that threatens our air, water, and trees, along with the vast number of beautiful life forms that are the very foundation of existence on this small planet we share.
I believe that to meet the challenge of our times, human beings will have to develop a greater sense of universal responsibility. Each of us must learn to work not for his or her self, family or nation, but for the benefit of all mankind. Universal responsibility is the real key to human survival. It is the best foundation for world. peace, the equitable use of natural resources and through concern for the future generations, the proper care of the environment.
Whether we like it or not, we have been born on this earth as part of one great family. Rich or poor, educated or uneducated belonging to one nation, ideology or another, ultimately each of us just a human being like everyone else. Furthermore, each of us has the same right to pursue happiness and avoid suffering. When you recognize that all beings are equal in this respect, you automatically feel empathy and closeness for them. Out of this, in turn, comes a genuine sense of universal responsibility; the wish to actively help others overcome their problems.
Of course, this sort of compassion is by nature, peaceful and gentle, but it is also very powerful. It is the true sign of inner strength. We do not need to become religious, nor do we need to believe in an ideology. All that is necessary is for each of us to develop our good human qualities.
The need for a sense of universal responsibility affects every aspect of modern life. Nowadays, significant events in one part of the world eventually affect the entire planet. Therefore, we have to treat each major local problem as a global concern from the moment it begins. We can no longer invoke the national, racial or ideological barriers that separate us without destructive repercussions. In the context of our new interdependence, considering the interests of others is clearly the best form of self-interest.
Interdependence, of course, is a fundamental law of nature. Not only myriad forms of life, but the subtlest level of material phenomena, as well, is governed by interdependence.
All phenomena, from the planet we inhabit to the oceans, clouds, forests and flowers that surrounds us, arise in dependence upon subtle patterns of energy. Without their proper interaction, they dissolve and decay.
We need to appreciate this fact of nature far more than we have in the past. Our ignorance of it is directly responsible for many of the problems we face. For instance, tapping the limited resources of our world-particularly those of the developing nations -simply to fuel consumerism, is disastrous. If it continues unchecked, eventually we will all suffer. We must respect the delicate matrix of life and allow it to replenish itself. The United Nations Environment Program warns, I'm told, that we are facing the most massive wave of extinction in 65 million years. This fact is profoundly frightening. It must open our minds to the immense proportions of the crisis we face.
Ignorance of Interdependence has not only harmed the natural environment, but human society as well.
Instead of caring for one another, we place most of our efforts on selfish goals.
Compassion for others is a key to happiness.
The Tibetan Buddhist Philosophy has long held that the environment, is important. That nature, the purity of our world is an ethical precept and that we should strive to make the environment for all sentient beings cleaner, healthier and better.