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Lions Roar : November 2016
LION’S ROAR | NOVEMBER 2016 60 D LION’S ROAR | NOVEMBER 2016 DO WE BELIEVE IN AND TRUST the basic goodness of humanity? I believe this is the most import- ant question our world faces today. Humanity has come to a crossroads. We can either destroy the world or we can create a good future. There is intense uncertainty about what is going to happen. So in these challenging times, it is vital to contemplate the nature of our existence, and more important, the basic nature of humanity. The con- clusions we draw will affect our global future. At this time, there is tremendous doubt regarding the inherent goodness and worthiness of our species. The world seems filled with evil. But if we draw the conclusion that humanity is not basically good—that we do not possess inherent wisdom—what hope can the future hold? In that case, it seems inevitable that the forces of fear, doubt, and aggression will escalate. How we move forward cannot depend on one spiritual tradition, economy, or political system. It depends on who we feel we are as human beings, both personally and socially. The principle of basic human goodness is not particularly religious or secular. It is not a moral view of good and bad. It is about how at our core—no matter what our beliefs or opinions—we are complete and worthy. To create a good future, we need to meet on equal footing in terms of this understanding. If we can feel confident in humanity’s goodness, it will illuminate our life, society, and politics. Given the speed and aggression of our world and the tenuous state of our ecosystem, it may seem that humanity has forgotten its innate goodness. If fundamentally we are creating a society where we have given up on goodness, then fear and paranoia will abound, as we are now seeing. Without a feel- ing of worthiness, human society and communication naturally become vehicles of manipulation and deception, in which we use every activity to shore ourselves up or to outdo someone else. SAKYONG MIPHAM is the leader of Shambhala, a global community of meditation practitioners committed to realizing the inherent goodness in humanity. He is author of several books, including The Shambhala Principle. Good or Bad? How we see human nature, says SAKYONG MIPHAM, is the most important political question of all. ILLUSTRATION BY GIANNI DE CONNO / MARLENA AGENCY