Recently I watched a TedTalk by Simon Anholt(on.ted.com/a0Hif) on “Which country does the most good for the world?” It’s an interesting and fresh perspective on ranking of nations. It, by no means, is concerned with economic prosperity, political stability, modern technological advances, happiness index or tranquility in general. The ‘good country’ is the one which contributes the maximum to the humanity. It’s not just about the respective nation’s prosperity but doing something for the whole 7+ billion populations on earth.
In his findings which is detailed (visit www.goodcountry.org), he found that the virtue of a ‘good country’ is directly related to its attitude while drafting policies, to the culture which inspire such policies and not necessarily connected with wealth. It’s a very important discovery. What I would like to do is apply this whim of goodness to individuals, not just restricted to nation-states.
We often use the term “good” while describing a person or an individual. I hate such characterization. I believe
The notions of goodness and badness is always subjective, differs from person to person
And so being inspired by the talk of Mr. Anholt, I would like to take a leap of faith and make the analogy of a ‘good country’ to a ‘good human’. Needless to say, the definition of a ‘good human being’ is one who contributes maximum to the cause of humanity. When an individual work not just for her/himself but for the greater cause – the prosperity of all human lives. The person is not thinking inwards but outwards too! Telescopic in nature not microscopic. In nutshell, a good human being has one very striking attribute: selflessness. A person with empathy towards others’ sufferings and not only concerned with her/his wealth, fame and power.
Simon also remarked upon the fact that human beings are by nature, conservative species. We don’t like to change. If we are not impressed by the fruitfulness of changing our habits, customs or cultures to something tried and tested, we are better off resisting it. But, change we must. During the last couple of millennia where human species have come to conquer the earth and all its denizens, many grave challenges and ills are now staring at us. Climate changes, human rights, terrorism, pandemics, narco-trafficking, human slavery, species loss, etc are few such problems which need our immediate and constant attention. We cannot choose to ignore it anymore, lest we want to survive as species.
That calls for ‘good human index’. Each one of us needs to question our beliefs, our thoughts and our actions and ask whether I’m contributing anything to the cause? If not, we need to change. And keep changing till we have an optimistic answer. There, at that point of history, we can claim to call ourselves ‘good species’.