Humans are born into this universe, not into any nations. We humans arbitrarily carved this earth into nations through occupation, invasion, colonisation, or elections. New nations can arise as for instance, Pakistan and Bangladesh emerged from the Greater India. A national entity can disappear through dissolution into various nations as in the case of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics or Soviet Union. A human, especially a person in power, anywhere in the world can be tried for crimes against humanity or blatant violations of human rights in an International Court. All humans need to primarily belong to the United Nations that need long overdue substantive reform, and then secondarily to nation states or territorial divisions for the sake of convenient and effective governance. Loyalty to humanity needs to come before loyalty to particular nations or patriotism. We are all truly citizens of this earth first, and each one of us is accountable to humanity for our life and behaviour. Our collective human will guided by truth, justice, equality, and freedom needs to prevail at all times.
It is in the context of all humans equally belonging to the one beloved earth that we all share and need to ecologically preserve that I want to reflect on the signs of a universal human very aptly on the birthday (October 2) of one of the greatest humans of this earth: Mahatma Gandhi. Gandhi is a great modern universal human model in that he belonged to the whole world even though he was an Indian national. He embodied the best human values embracing all. While Gandhi provided non-violent leadership in freeing Greater India from the chains of British colonialism he was led by larger universal human interests and principles that excluded no one including the British. For instance, in his vision, he was very clear that the colonial British rule in India was morally and politically very detrimental to the rulers as well as the ruled. So much so he equated non-violence with love. Unfortunately many evil things in the past have happened, and still happen, on account of human beings engaging and indulging in depraved selfishness. Fortunately some evils, if not all, are addressed and remedied very slowly but surely and persistently in international forums.
In the evolving consciousness of human rights on the path of the necessary goal of the unity of humanity, nothing is more important than the formation of a universal human. Here then are some of the important elements that go into the formation. The universal human possesses a conscience formed on the basis of what is right and wrong, truth and falsehood. Freedom, justice, fairness and equality of all humans are also necessary aspects of this formation. The Judeo-Christian values such as the Ten Commandments are found in all religions in some form or other. These values and other universal maxims such as ‘do good and avoid evil’, ‘give everyone one’s due’, and ‘do to others what you like others to do to you’ enter into a thorough and fully formed conscience. Non-violent resolution of conflicts with love and compassion, tolerance and respect, gentleness and generosity is a must. Guided by this rigorous and firm conscience, the universal human does everything while enjoying and celebrating life. Doing always what is right with due discernment has its own reward and satisfaction. When mistakes are made, they are duly acknowledged and corrected in humility. Everybody grows and blossoms in an atmosphere of thoughtfulness and diversity. Nobody is given preferential treatment on the basis of birth or wealth. Everyone is chosen on the basis of abilities, interests, and merits to do the right job that receives an adequate living wage, and enables all to live in human dignity.