ACT Essay: Human Beings Share a Common Destiny
One of the modern world's greatest educational revolutionaries, Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore said I never accept that the object of education is simply accumulation of knowledge. Education should give all round personality in which the physical, intellectual, aesthetic and spiritual growth would be harmonized into one Man began his life as a homeless wanderer. But his physical and emotional needs made him look for family and group ties. The knowledge of growing crops helped him settle at one place. As developed further, dwellings enlarged from small villages to large towns and cities. Very soon, men had divided themselves into different nations. Loyalty to the nation and obedience to its authority became a prerequisite for living in it. And today the situation is such that loyalty to nation has made man forget about the basic human values. It has transgressed the limits of love and borders on selfishness and exclusiveness. So much so that man will not think twice before causing harm to another nation or its citizens. The concept of his fellow nationals being the chosen few and the rest outside the pale is blindly accepted. Little does he realize that his existence as a man, as a part of human civilization is more valuable, more cherished a goal than being an American or French. In fact, not only, is it in conformity with basic ethics and human values but is also the need of the hour. The reason is that human beings share a common destiny We are one world.
So many wars were and are being fought, so much blood was shed and so many lives were lost to prove one nation's superiority over the other, to gain wealth by looting others and to become more powerful. But who has gained from these gory wars? Who came out victorious and who was vanquished? No one was a victor and they were the human beings who were the vanquished. Wars have never brought peace. They only brought hatred and fear. Those who rejoiced at other's defeat and danced on other's graves knew little that they were digging their own grave. Each war has pushed human civilization back by years. Peace was destroyed, economy was ruined and rich culture was lost. Even those who won. Faced shortage of food and labor. Wars did not bring them prosperity. How could it be? Nations are artificial banners created by man. What is natural is that we all are human beings united by belonging to same species and by being endowed with similar capabilities. If this were the case, how could victory of one group of human beings over the other be of any good. Our relations as human beings make us equal shares of everything good and bad. We cannot think of gaining at other's expense or trying to rise at other's ruins.
It was this realization that made leaders of the world create United Nations Organization. It is the embodiment of the moral principle of equality and kinship and of the fact that we all share the same destiny. Nations have created huge arsenals of deadly weapons. Of what use are they? Do they realize that use of those deadly weapons against another country is not going to leave them unscathed? In fact, even they may not survive and even if they do, the world will not remain a place fit to live in. What they will do to protect or further their identity as a nation will destroy the identity of the human beings. UNO is based upon this premise only. It is impossible for any one nation to come out victorious in the nuclear war, so why not think of peaceful ways to solve disputes. After all, the same energy can be used to improve human beings life. We have to come together and think together because we cannot but live together.
Environmental degradation is another problem facing the world today. Rich nations think that it is the poor nations causing pollution and poor nations blame the rich ones for destroying environment. But is this not the problem that we should face as human beings? After all, our survival depends upon it. Rich nations think that by exploiting the environment of the poor nations, they can fill their coffers. But do they realize that degradation of environment anywhere in the world will affect human beings as a whole? It is not that Americans will be less affected by it than the Indians. Degradation of rain forests in S. America is affecting oxygen availability in not only S. America but in N. America and Europe too. Providing good and clean environment to our descendents, be they Africans, Asians or Europeans, is the responsibility of us ail as human beings. If earth becomes a place unfit to live in, then human beings will become extinct of course, without distinction of nationalities. We all have to swim or sink together. Earth Summit was one good step towards a unified human effort to save the planet earth. But the bickering there mean that we still have a long way to go.
The same is the case with poverty and hunger. What is it it not our innermost feelings for our fellow beings that tears come to our eyes seeing skeleton-like bodies in Somalia and Ethiopia. These emotions are to be converted to concrete action. Our political leaders who, more out of their own selfish motive than anything else, want to keen artificial barriers in relations should be made to realize that not only our duty to help our brethren as we e all humans but it is important for our development too. Who is going to buy goods made in the rich countries if poor countries remain deprived? Also, hunger breeds frustration and violence. And violence knows no boundaries. Unrest in one country will create problems of refugees, terrorism, drugs and crime even in other countries. So, it becomes our responsibility to work towards the goal of prosperity and welfare of all instead of wealth for a few at the cost of others. Because if tears remain in a few eyes they will drown other's joys too. Our fates are inexorably linked.
We are in the age of computers and satellites. The world is shrinking. No group can afford to remain aloof and independent of others. In a few decades we may even be communicating with living beings from other planets. If they are friendly we will present our hands of friendship as inhabitants of earth and not as a British or an Australian. If they are hostile, we will have to work as one for our protection. We owe our identity to being humans and despite artificial barriers, we will have to work together to protect it. As Gurudev said, From now on, any nation that takes an isolated view of state, shall know no peace, it shall run counter to the spirit of the new age. From now onward, the anxiety that each country has for its own safety must embrace the welfare of the world, of human race.