Our true nationality is mankind

Dear Editor,
On September 21st, the United Nations General Assembly observed “The International Day of Peace.” People were asked to lay down their arms and observe 24 hours of peace and non-violence and, instead, focus on harnessing each other in unity and build a bridge of friendship.
Given international instability, national tension, and economic uncertainty, it may be hard to envision a peaceful world. We cannot all be Government officials or world leaders who can take consequential actions to remedy complex challenges. However, as individuals, we can take various actions so that the seeds of peace can blossom around us.
But we have to act today, for, as Gandhi rightfully pointed out, “There are two days in the year (when) we cannot do anything, yesterday and tomorrow.” As individuals, we all desire a piece of peace. The absence of peace in the world is a universal cry that daily usurps the smooth flow of all rationalisation.
There is an old adage which reminds us that “charity begins at home,” and “what we preach we should practice.” The point is, if we are of a peaceful nature, only then can we expect others to be peaceful. Peace should germinate from within, and then it will blossom to produce peaceful fruition.
It is so easy and important for any individual to emulate the likes of Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Mother Theresa, Bill Gates, and so many others who have championed the cause of giving selflessly, and not selfishly. Service to mankind and not worrying about the rewards can manifest a change in others who are greedy, selfish and lustful. Edith Cavell, who held no bitterness or hatred for friend or foe during the war days, and
Florence Nightingale who untiringly nursed the wounded, are reputable examples for individuals to follow to extend a helping hand and to show mercy for the deprived ones.
When we place the interest of others before ourselves, this paves the way towards a serene and friendly atmosphere. Right here in Guyana, the pain and agony from the gruesome deaths in Berbice produced a man of peace, Mr Gladston Henry. Guyanese should adopt his principle and abide by his advice. Analysing and differentiating the significance between want and need make it possible and simpler for the individual to survive within his or her limitations. This dictates the practice of spending, saving and being thrifty. A curfew is placed on dependency, economic situation is harnessed, and harmony prevails domestically.
Trying to understand oneself should be the primary goal for any one, before we try to comprehend how and why another society functions and behaves. A person’s basic concern should be to attain a sound education. This will enable us to have proper judgement and know what is right from wrong.
This can assist us to vote for the right candidates in any electoral process, hoping that they will champion the cause of the poor and deprived, and unite mankind peacefully. Practising high moral values can mould us to be good, law-abiding citizens. Interacting with respectful social activities, participating in competitive sports, and engaging in community issues, all these are critical factors that can contribute to us being true ambassadors of the world.
“We must learn to live together as brothers, or perish as fools,” said Martin Luther King Jr.
It doesn’t hurt to understand, accept, and practise a philosophy that embraces the oneness of mankind and a pathway that unfolds blissful divinity. An attempt to attach oneself to happiness through knowledge provides a person with a peaceful personality. One of the mediums through which this can be realised is with the help of meditation and yoga, a disciplined exercise for concentration, control of the mind, and to explore peace within.
Experiencing peace satiates the body to function efficiently and effectively. When this is materialised, individuals can blossom the seeds of peace for a harmonious surrounding. H. G. Wells reminds us, “Our true nationality is mankind.” May peace be unto you.

Jai Lall