To me, one of the proofs that there is a moral governance in the universe is the fact that when people and governments work intelligently and far-sightedly for the good of others, they achieve their own prosperity, too.
[To the cultures of Asia and the continent of Africa] it is the Western impact which has stirred up the winds of change and set the processes of modernization in motion. Education brought not only the idea of equality but also another belief which we used to take for granted in the West-the idea of progress, the idea that science and technology can be used to better human conditions. In ancient society, men tended to believe themselves fortunate if tomorrow was not worse than today and anyway, there was little they could do about it.
On the one hand, we are faced with the stewardship of this beautiful, subtle, incredibly delicate, fragile planet. On the other, we confront the destiny of our fellow man, our brothers. How can we say that we are followers of Christ if this dual responsibility does not seem to us the essence and heart of our religion?
We cannot cheat on DNA. We cannot get round photosynthesis. We cannot say I am not going to give a damn about phytoplankton. All these tiny mechanisms provide the preconditions of our planetary life. To say we do not care is to say in the most literal sense that "we choose death."
Every single ancient wisdom and religion will tell you the same thing - don't live entirely for yourself, live for other people. Don't get stuck inside your own ego, because it will become a prison in no time flat.
There is no human failure greater than to launch a profoundly important endeavour and then leave it half done. This is what the West has done with its colonial system. It shook all the societies in the world loose from their old moorings. But it seems indifferent whether or not they reach safe harbour in the end.
It is only when people begin to shake loose from their preconceptions, from the ideas that have dominated them, that we begin to receive a sense of opening, a sense of vision...That is the sort of time we live in now. We...live in an epoch in which the solid ground of our preconceived ideas shakes daily under our uncertain feet.
If a man has lived in a tradition which tells him that nothing can be done about his human condition, to believe that progress is possible may well be the greatest revolution of all.
The modern world is not given to uncritical admiration. It expects its idols to have feet of clay and can be reasonably sure that the press and camera will report their exact dimensions.