Another year over, a new one to come … as John Lennon’s eponymous Christmas song of peace goes … and what have you done? I wish we could say that war is over, as he does on his lyrics, but human beings keep bumbling on. I’ve been reading the Dalia Lama’s plea for a secular ethics in his latest book ‘Beyond Religion’. He argues that if we care about the future of our shared world, we need to move beyond our different belief systems to consider our common needs as human beings. His vision of a secular ethics, based on commonality rather than difference, integrates compassion and reason to build a way forward. The words and insight of this 77 year old man are as timely as they are wise. He highlights actions we can all take in the living of our daily lives that make a positive change towards peace and sustainability in the world.
Someone told me once that holidays are a time for spiritual filing, as well as relaxing and being with family and friends. For those of us lucky enough to be safe and on holidays, there’s more time than usual to think about life and what matters. In amongst the end of year festivities, a friend sent me a link to a flashmob event in Spain where an entire orchestra and choir gradually morph together to sing Joy to the World. One of the most glorious parts of the video is the response of passers-by, especially children to the event. It’s a reminder that human beings are the same the world over in their reaction to the simple joys of music and togetherness.