JULY 2011

 

 

Guilherme Batista - Sao Paulo / Brazil

 

Is racism caused by the fact that people know only their own culture and believe it to be superior to others?

 

That reason can certainly be considered one of the major causes of racism. A person who demonstrates racist behavior has little consideration of the world around him. He seeks refuge in his culture and stays closed off to others. His knowledge of other cultures is often very limited therefore he is incapable of any deep understanding of other cultural differences. As a traveler I’ve met numerous people of all ethnicity who were truly interested in my cultural background, and so I’ve never noticed any racist attitudes. Exploring a foreign culture is always a rich adventure for everyone, especially when one succeeds in breaking through purely rational rules and protocols and appreciates the emotional experience of those cultures’ values. The more we permeate into the heart of a foreign culture, the less strange it seems to us, and the more we understand that their culture gives them a sense of security and a meaning to life. Above all, we realize that our intellectual enrichment is dependent upon our ability to have dignified respect for other cultures.

 


 

Natsumi Mizumoto - Yokohama / Japan

 

Which Holy texts do you see as the Truth?

 

This question leads to two other questions: first, what is considered holy and second, what is the truth? I can be brief about the first question: nothing is holy and nothing is unholy. As for the second question, I define the truth as the recognition of the “Mystery”, and the Mystery is not hidden in words but is found in reality itself. The greater the veracity we give to words or a book, whether they are considered holy or not, the weaker our direct experience with the Mystery becomes, and perhaps even distances us further from it. Those who believe they have found the truth do not seek dialogue with others. Their only motivation is to find confirmation or to impose their supposed truth on others.

 


 

Veerle Roche - Gent / Belgium

 

What do you consider essential in the education of children?

 

Education should be based as much as possible on kindness. Man is a sensitive and emotional being who naturally possesses an innate kindness. This sensitivity is the foundation of morality, but because this sensitivity can easily degenerate due to egocentric attitudes, it needs to be refined by education. Kindness, which is none other than love, should be the common element in all education. Those who grow further in kindness also care about other virtues such as fairness, loyalty, honesty, and respect for others. An education based on kindness does not guarantee happiness but it will always bring more harmony and inner peace to every child and to the world.

 


 

Antonio Borges - Caracas / Venezuela

 

Economic migration cannot be resolved by relocating the poor to wealthier places. What do you think is the solution?

 

The fundamental injustice lies in the global economy itself, which does not permit for a dignified existence for many people. The way the current economic system works is that some nations prosper through the exploitation of others who live in fear and distress. To combat poverty, a new economic system must be set up in which freedom and justice for all people takes a central role. In practical terms this means, through political powers, forcing the big multinationals to fairly redistribute wealth and resources throughout the world for the benefit of the poorer populations.