Part 3 of my interview with Laura Savinkoff of Boundary Peace Initiative
6. BPI: To what extent, in your opinion, does desperate poverty or wealth inequities, the violation and disregard of others contribute to increased violence within nations and among nations? What do you feel would establish principles and behaviors that would not only resolve conflict, without violence, but also not create it in the first place? What are the principles that might create a global dynamic of positive achievements rather than one of just avoiding negative outcomes?
Arun Gandhi: There is no doubt that disparities create divisions and divisions lead to conflict. There are many disparities in ours societies today, besides economic. There is religious, social, national, communal, sectarian and many other forms of disparities that divide people between US and Them. Societies today need a complete overhaul. We have to replace the greed, selfishness, arrogance, and the many other negative attitudes that we harbor with more positive attitudes like Love, Respect, Understanding, Acceptance, Compassion and so on. It is only when we are able to see people as human beings and no identify them by the labels we have put on people that we will be able to reduce strife substantially.
We may not be able to create a Utopian society of total peace and harmony but we will create a society where there is a greater amount of love and respect for fellow beings. In many ways today the greater dividing force after economics is religion. We kill in the name of God although every religion says that God is about love, compassion and respect. We wage wars in the name of religion and preach hate instead of love. There is a chasm that divides us from what we understand to be true and what we practice. Religion is invented by mankind to search for the meaning of life. A search can be meaningful only when we are willing to accept that we don’t know.
However if we pick up a piece of glass and claim that we possess the diamond we live in an illusion. One with humility will keep searching until one is convinces that what (s)he has is a diamond. This is the difference between possessing the Truth and pursuing the Truth.
7. BPI: Does the UN and its assorted departments truly address the current global issues? If so, how and if not, why not?
Arun Gandhi. The UN is ineffective today in resolving political issues because it was emasculated during the cold war when each side played power politics to gain traction. Secondly, the idea that some nations of the world are above the rest of the world and, therefore, can exercise the veto power in the Security Council is obnoxious. The least that needs to be done is to remove the veto power. The best that can be done is to get rid of the Security Council. When all nations are treated equally and given the respect they deserve, then the UN will be able to fulfill a meaningful role. There is no need for the creation of another organization. All that is needed is to reform the United Nations and make everyone equal and equally responsible for creating a world where we recognize that the security of any nation depends on the security of the whole world. It is only when we have that kind of compassionate and respectful attitude that there will be greater cooperation between nations and cooperation will reduce strife. In the final analysis we have to accept the Truth — THE WORLD CAN NOT CHANGE UNTIL WE CHANGE OURSELVES.
8. Does a void currently exist, where a global organization with a more positive appreciation of human ‘nature’, national ‘interests’ and stewardship of the planet?
This might be seen as a soulful-living alternative to the United Nations, regarded by some as a rather ineffective referee of a handful of nations, which hold, retain and direct their vested interests in world affairs through military and economic might? If so, what might be its structure; how might it be formed and by whom?
…TO BE CONTINUED