No Going It Alone in the 21st Century

June 25th 2007

Enlightened self-interest advocated by supporters of corporate responsibility is in-line with the Dalai Lama
Enlightened self-interest advocated by supporters of corporate responsibility is in-line with the Dalai Lama's views.(Photo: Jacky Ghossein)
Australia, 22 June 2007 (Stephen McGrail, The Age) - Humanity's challenges are beyond the reach of the individual, writes Stephen McGrail.

THE Dalai Lama has been and gone but what was his message to business? Together with the spiritual messages in his calls for warm-heartedness and real compassion are a number of astute observations on the context and the nature of 'enlightened self-interest'. These suggest we need new perceptions and concepts to see differently and be effective in the 21st century.

At his public talk on Universal Responsibility on June 9, the Dalai Lama described what he called 'the new reality'. The new reality is one in which the challenges facing humanity are 'beyond individual effort' and our interdependencies have become starker. These challenges are being created by the global population explosion, unsustainable exploitation of natural resources, growing inequality (both between and within nations) and global warming. They will require 'humanity as a whole to look at common threats as one entity'. The typical rebuttal to any call for Australia to reduce its greenhouse emissions, that 'there is no point if the rest of the world does not too', vividly illustrates this.

Furthermore, His Holiness asserted that the fact that 'repercussions elsewhere reach everywhere else'

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