Sanctity of justice, harmony, peace | Sunday Observer

Sanctity of justice, harmony, peace

As we celebrate Christmas and look forward to the New Year, the improvement of governance in the country, is one achievement that all citizens would hope for, along with other social goals as well as our personal goals. Christmas is the moment when Christians celebrate the beginnings of their faith community, the divine inspiration that leads them and, their vision of a humanity of love, charity, and justice.

As with other faiths, Christianity, too, recognizes that the management of human affairs and social life is integral to the practice of Dharma or Faith. The divine goals are to be achieved personally only in coordination and cooperation with our fellow humans, in our immediate neighbourhood and in society as a whole.

The moral disciplines of love, charity and justice are essential pillars for the achievement of good governance. And good governance is an essential tool for the building of a peaceful and harmonious society on this island and across the world.

Today, the human community that has spread across the Earth over the last million years, is no longer a scattering of discrete and competing civilizations. Rather, humanity is now a tightly knit, global community that is interdependent for its sustenance, progress and prosperity.

The enjoyment of life is no longer about the discovery of new and better places to live but, rather, about new and better ways of life in this world. The ‘Exodus’ is less an outward journey and, more, an inner exploration for breaking out of sin, error, misguidance, oppression and exploitation.

‘Globalisation’ may have begun with the wanderings of Homo sapiens out of Africa and, their physical dispersal to all corners of the planet. ‘Globalisation’, today, however, is about the unification of the Human diaspora and the building of a genuine global community. If the modern world was a community of nations (and remnants of empires), the rapidly emerging post-modern world is becoming more of a transnational community in which human commonalities are transcending old exclusions whether ethno-national, class, caste or gender.

It is a global community that is being created through essential exchanges of goods and services in the global economy, the confluence of peoples enabled by a rapid and sophisticated global transport system and, a fascinatingly intimate communication and exchange of ideas among people enabled by a global telecommunications and information system with capabilities never before imagined.

Yet, in this second decade of the 21st Century, these same systems that can build community also enable swifter and deadlier forms of violence, new kinds of infiltration of society by harmful social forces, more vicious social and economic exploitation and, worse, new cultures of illusion and delusion. Faiths and philosophies offer ways out of these conundrums but it is up to us to follow them.

Religious festivals are moments of a reminder of our inspired goals and, of our faith discipline as the moral-intellectual means of reaching those goals.

For Christians, the Nativity of Jesus is the Divine intervention on behalf of Humanity. Our celebration, then, is a moment of renewal of that faith discipline that steers us towards those divinely inspired goals of charity, love, justice. It is a moment that instils in us the sanctity of these goals.

Just as much as these goals are to be achieved in our immediate, personal lives and family, they also must be achieved at the level of the larger society, of the nation and, of the world. Given our increasingly all-encompassing inter-dependence, the achievement of our faith goals cannot be done without that complementality of the personal and social.

Just as faith teaches us that no individual can live solely unto himself or herself, no longer can any nation live unto itself. That so-called ‘national sovereignty’ is, today, subordinated, to a considerable degree, to the framework of global human society. International relations may allow for only a limited rivalry or competition between groups of people or nations since a global stability and prosperity that will touch all humans can only come through a planning and systematization that will provide for it.

Even more urgently, the global natural environment can only remain hospitable for humans, only if humanity rigorously cooperates and coordinates its care and sustenance of Nature. Thus, no nation, no empire, no ethnic group or religious community can insist on supremacy or primacy over others or over the Earth itself. When Jesus Christ preached, “.. the first shall be the last ..” he was pointing to a social disciplining that should transcend any immediate illusion of primacy or exclusiveness.

Imperialism, regional hegemonism and, big power rivalry has no place in this new world and, if persistent, can only be harmful to the whole world.

Our country is inspired by four major religions and also by the liberal and socialist philosophies. Generations of politicians have lived and sworn by them.

As citizens, this Christmastide, we remind ourselves and our leaders of all the good things that are promised and exhorted by our faiths and philosophies. Looking into the New Year, we hope and pray that our national and community leaders will take us down the right path. For ourselves, we renew our commitment to those same disciplines that will build a harmonious society on our island and, a society that achieves prosperity without harming our natural living space.