When it comes to taste, kids might not be able to decide which is the best cereal; French wine aficionados may debate whether or not Napa’s vintages are nonpareil. When it comes to political issues a Democrat seldom agrees with a Republican, and tribals seldom agree with corporations.
But when it comes to the path of creating global sustainability for all beings in all “communities,” we do have a consensus. In fact, we have the most vetted document in human history: The Earth Charter.
In a mere twenty four hundred words organized into four main facets called pillars, each with four main principles, we have the work of a decade of visionaries, scientists, politicians, and those with good ol’ common sense uncontaminated with greed and other domination agendas.
Literally millions of people have endorsed The Earth Charter (you too can do so by clicking here), as have hundreds of universities the world over, dozens of prominent organizations like the United Nations, the U.S. Conference of Mayors, and UNESCO; hundreds of cities like Berkeley, Corvalis and New Delhi; vocational groups like Engineers Without Borders, and even religions like the Baha”I and the Diocese of Newark.
The Earth Charter starts with the following preamble:
We stand at a critical moment in Earth’s history, a time when humanity must choose its future. As the world becomes increasingly interdependent and fragile, the future at once holds great peril and great promise. To move forward we must recognize that in the midst of a magnificent diversity of cultures and life forms we are one human family and one Earth community with a common destiny. We must join together to bring forth a sustainable global society founded on respect for nature, universal human rights, economic justice, and a culture of peace. Towards this end, it is imperative that we, the peoples of Earth, declare our responsibility to one another, to the greater community of life, and to future generations.
And from this preamble, through the four pillars and sixteen principles, it shows a way for us to work and play together in such a way that “all beings may be happy.”
I would love to see The Earth Charter taught in grade school, in every class. I would love to see people in college majoring in “Earth Charter.”
I would love to see the executive summaries of all business plans include this preamble at least.
I would love to see more people refer to their “boss” as the vision, the Shakti, that has given rise to The Earth Charter. I would like to see more religions add or even begintheir creed with The Earth Charter, because what good is a religion that can’t see the unity of all beings?
In fact, the main opposition of The Earth Charter is exactly those religions and corporations who would lose too much power if we lived in peace with each other and with our environment.
I know The Earth Charter is what the Organic India vision is all about, and I know we at Organic India work hard to keep our actual company less focused on a corporate mind/mentality and more focused on a global sustainability heart. In fact, being aligned with The Earth Charter vision is a strong indication that a company is one of the new paradigm businesses that generate win-win arrangements at all levels of their business.
I would love for all of us to read The Earth Charter once a year — if not once a month or once a week, and as we read it, to write down all the ways that we can integrate its principles into the actions of our daily life; into what Ayurveda calls our dinacharya. The conclusion of The Earth Charter is entitled “The Way Forward.”
By practically weaving The Earth Charter into our daily lives, our dinacharya, we can create a “way forward” most aligned with a world that benefits all beings.
Take a close look at the title graphic above. It illustrates The Earth Charter, and helps show us how to think of ways to accomplish this “way forward.”
[This article was previously published on Organic India's blog.]
Prashanti de Jager is ORGANIC INDIA’s co- founder and Emissary of Education, and presents the EARTHDAIS blog of research, insight and musings redolent of phytomedicine, ethnopharmacology, Ayurveda, Yoga, global sustainability and personal empowerment.