Video Message: Jonathan Granoff
Enjoy the message from GSI President Jonathan Granoff for the UN International Day of Conscience.
Reflections on United Nations Day of Conscience
“Promoting A Culture of Peace With Love and Conscience” And Golden Rule Day
Jonathan Granoff, President Global Security Institute
I am honored to share some thoughts in accord with the United Nations General Assembly Declaration making April 5th of every year to be International Day of Conscience and highlight the appropriate coincidence that this is also Golden Rule Day.
First, let us recognize the leadership of Bahrain in obtaining the support of the nations of the world to recognize the supreme value of love and capacity of conscience to help bring about a culture of peace in the world. This effort is nothing less than prayer in action.
Today as every day, as every moment, our individual humanity depends upon our listening to the voice of conscience, the inner moral guidance, provided by the Creator and endowed as part of the inherent dignity and sacred value of every human being. Today, as never before, the admonition and guidance of the wise to love our neighbor as ourselves rings true and necessary. Today, neighborhood is a moral location not limited by nation, religion, creed, race, gender, language or ethnicity. It is not a geographic location for in reality the entire world is one family.
This family is challenged by threats of pandemic diseases, which do not recognize borders any more than the radioactive fallout of the over 14,000 nuclear weapons nine states threaten to us use every day in a fear driven model of the pursuit of security, or any more than the impact of irresponsible uses of fossil fuel changing the planet’s climate.
Addressing these threats reminds us that health concerns and security concerns anywhere can impact the entire human family. This means our conscience must now be guided by a love appropriate to reality. This means a love without borders is needed to bring about policies to address threats without borders.
This ideal of growing into the greater love has always been embodied in the spiritual and moral instructions of the wise and today events drive us to the practical realization of its necessity.
Let me share then some terse expressions of this principle of love:
If each of you will open your heart,
your actions, your wisdom, and your conduct and look within,
you will see that every face is your face
every nerve is your nerve, each drop of blood is your blood,…
all hunger is your hunger, all poverty is your poverty…all lives are your life. You will experience this in your nerves, in your body and in what you see. When that state develops inside you, that is God’s love… If that love develops you will not hurt any other living thing, you will not cause pain, you will not reject any life, and you will not torture any other life, because if you hurt anyone it will hurt you.”
-Book of Gods’ Love, p.23.
Do you know that yours is not the first generation to yearn for a life full of beauty and freedom? Do you know that all your ancestors have felt the same as you do – and fell victim to trouble and hatred?
Do you know also that your fervent wishes can only find fulfillment
if you succeed in attaining a love and understanding of people,
and animals, and plants, and stars, so that every joy becomes your joy and every pain becomes you pain?”
Quoted in David and Beatrix Hamburg’s comprehensive work,
– Learning to Live Together, p. 363.
Saadi, the Persian poet of the 13th century, sang:
The human family is one body with many parts
Creations arising from one unseen essence
Any harm to any part summons an awakening
a dis-ease and a healing response from all parts
You who fail to feel the pain of others cannot be called truly human.
And of course, let us never ignore the moral principle so clearly offered in the most powerful clear guidance of conscience:
1 Buddhism: “Hurt not others in ways that you yourself would find hurtful.” Udana-Varga, 5:18; Christianity: “All things whatsoever you would that men should do to you, do you even so to them.” Matthew 7:12; Confucianism: “Do not unto others what you would not have them do unto you.” Analects 15:23; Hinduism: “This is the sum of duty: do not unto others which would cause you pain if done to you.” Mahabharata 5:1517; Islam: “No one of you is a believer until he desires for his brother that which he desires for himself.” Hadith; Jainism: “In happiness and suffering, in joy and grief, we should regard all creatures as we regard our own self.” Lord Mahavir 24th Tirthankara; Judaism: “What is hateful to you, do not do to your fellow man. That is the law; all the rest is commentary.” Talmud, Shabbat 31a; Zoroastrianism: “That nature only is good when it shall not do unto another whatsoever is not good for its own self.” Dadistan-I-Dinik, 94:5.
I would only add:
Nations must treat other nations as they wish to be treated. Nations
must not do to other nations what they would not
want done to themselves. Nations and their leaders
ignore these universal laws of reciprocity at enormous
hazard to us all.
I would also add that the Sustainable Development Goals, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and the legal duty to obtain the universal elimination of nuclear weapons embodied in the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty express policies consistent with our shared global conscience and they call for our passionate support to be fulfilled. But first and never to be neglected or forgotten is our individual duty to listen to the highest love in our hearts and the voice of conscience which will always compel the expression and alignment with that love.
Let love awakened by conscience and conscience awakened by love guide our hearts, heads, and hands.
Jonathan Granoff is the President of the Global Security Institute, a representative to United Nations of the World Summits of Nobel Peace Laureates, a former Adjunct Professor of International Law at Widener University School of Law, and Senior Advisor to the Committee on National Security American Bar Association International Law Section.