“Troubled Times” | The newsletter | Elijah Interfaith Institute - September 2011
Why is there widespread social and political upheaval in our present world? It is not due to injustice as is commonly assumed. It is due to an unrealistic concept of justice and an obsession with an unrealistic concept of human rights. People are living in a state of over-expectation and when they find that their expectations are not fulfilled, they react. This reaction begins from negative thinking, and then it takes the shape of protest and, finally, it takes a violent turn. The solution lies in reconsidering and correcting the generally accepted concept of human rights. This is where to begin. Without this, there can be no beginning at all.
In the twentieth century, many movements were launched to champion human rights. But perhaps, there has been no significant movement based on the human duties. Through the print and electronic media, these movements gradually spread all over the world. Now, everyone is obsessed with the concept of human rights. With perhaps no exceptions, individuals and societies have become rights-conscious.
This is against the law of nature. The law of nature is based on the ‘give-and-take’ principle. But, the human rights concept has gone in a contrary direction, that is, ‘taking without giving’ – if not consciously, then unconsciously.
Under the influence of these movements, now everyone talks of ideal justice. But, our world is a world of competition and in a world of competition, ideal justice cannot be achieved. According to the law of nature, only working justice is achievable in this world and not ideal justice.
The only workable formula is that everyone should accept working justice. This will give one enough time to direct one’s energies towards more important issues.
This law of nature is based on high wisdom, that is, everyone should be content with their needs and divert their ambitions to spiritual and ideological development.
Man is an ideal-seeking animal. But the fact is that our world is a limited world. So, material idealism is not achievable in this world. On the contrary, spiritual idealism is completely achievable. So, the best formula for a successful life is, as regards material things, to remain contented and, in spiritual matters, be idealistic. This is the only formula that gives one peace of mind. This is the only formula that prevents a person from indulging in complaining and negative thinking. It frees one of the desire to complain and helps in developing positive thinking. In other words, for a successful life is a two point formula––material ‘status quoism’ and spiritual idealism.