We know that the world is in utter chaos and we all crave for a world order to be brought about – by Governments, by Scientists, by others…..
Pope Francis’ Encyclical entitled “Laudato Si – On Care for Our Common Home” that sets out a program for change calls for the need to develop a “Culture of Care” in society and it starts with each individual.
A friend of mine asked “Why do we need to listen to a religious leader talking about climate change when the scientists who are the authority on the subject cannot get heard? My response – Pope’s call is not just for religious followers but for the entire humanity, because Climate Change is not just a scientific issue but it is a moral problem.
In order to fully comprehend Pope’s message, we need to first unpack what is a “Culture of Care” and how it looks like and then perhaps connections can be made how the world’s chaos needs spiritual solutions.
A ‘Culture of Care’ is based in Love. When Love permeates a human being, he/she will do nothing but care for themselves and the others, wherever they are, which has a domino effect eventually. When enough people care, societies transform. Caring nature results in beauty in character.
Sai Baba said – ” When there is beauty in character, there is harmony at home; When there is harmony at home, there is order in the nation; when there is order in the nation, there is peace in the world.”
So a Culture of Care results in world peace. Sounds far fetched? Let us explore what that Culture of Care actually looks like. A Culture of Care looks like:
- Content humans with what they have, which grounds them in the present.
- A grounded person in the present has a solid identity of who they are.
- A person who knows who they are is not competitive or an aggressive consumer
- A non-aggressive consumer does not focus on ‘getting.’
- When the focus in not on getting, the natural opposite fills in the void – which is ‘Giving.’
- What can a content and grounded, non-aggressive consumer give?
- A natural compassion because there is no comparison or competition.
What does natural compassion look like?
A Kind, Satisfied, Happy, Caring, Sharing Person because a naturally compassionate person has
- Love in their thoughts – therefore Truth prevails
- Love in their actions – so Right Conduct manifests
- Love in their feelings – and Peace penetrates
- Love in their understanding – thus a non-violent world results.
Is this formulaic? I don’t think so. Do you see the connection?
It starts with stopping being an aggressive, competitive, jealous consumer and be content with what we have and live in gratitude. There is always someone who has less than us.
A content and caring individual recognises the interconnectedness as they see the world from within.
If contentment is an answer to create a ‘Culture of Care,’ how can we remain content when the world screams at us that we cannot be happy unless we have more?
Pope’s answer is “Growth marked by moderation” In fact this principle has been given as a “Ceiling on Desires” program four decades ago by Sathya Sai Baba.
Accordingly, Desiring is a natural human phenomenon and cannot be eliminated completely. So, we put a Ceiling on our Desires to consume, whether it is food, money, time or energy.
- If we learn to stop with one piece of chocolate cake, there is more to share – Ceiling on Desire for food can be connected to relieving world hunger – you do the maths.
- If we learn to use less energy, there is less burden on natural resources, which means more to share and a safer planet.
- If we conserve and manage our time, we overcome unhealthy anxiety which means happy families and peaceful societies engaged in meaningful activities.
- If we desire less, we don’t have to buy more, which means savings. More savings, better lifestyle and happy individuals.
Our consumption of food, money, time and energy are directly linked with our capacity to be content or discontent. Sounds simplistic? Don’t answers to large problems often have simple solutions?
So, ‘Culture of Care’ starts with an individual and can happen only if we stop excessive consumption and be content. When we are content, we create a ‘Culture of Care.’ Love blossoms as a result and Inner Peace that is directly related to care for ecology and common good results. This is each and every one of our responsibility.
Without a moral and imaginative structure that links our wellbeing to that of others, so that their suffering feels as urgent as ours, or is at least measured on the same scales, we will render our planet uninhabitable. Not only do we urgently need to understand the human nature but live with the knowledge that Love is the undercurrent of everything and that Love is our true nature.
Ceiling on Desires is a simple ANSWER for today’s complex crisis in the world – from micro to macro.
Shall we start a revolution by creating a ‘Culture of Care?’ Share your thoughts and action plans please….
Until next time
With Love and Respect