Manifesto on Basic Goodness

Inspired by the teachings in "The Shambhala Principle," a group of my students gathered to create this manifesto:

We want to live in a world of peace and goodness. We want a world where the highest values are tolerance, generosity, creativity, kindness and fearlessness rather than self-absorption, aggression and speed.

A single glance at today's news will tell you that we are at a crossroads. But we still have everything we need to create a good future.

Politics, strategies, wars and religions have not solved our problems. An internal shift is required. On first glance, it may not sound like much but it actually has the power to change everything.

All you have to do is know beyond doubt that you are good, that you possess inherent worth and value.

When you do, something extraordinary happens. You come into your power. Your confidence rises and your distrust lessens. Your world becomes full of possibility rather than hassles. You see that others also possess this goodness and your heart opens to them.

None of this means that we won't have sorrow, rage, disappointment and confusion. We will. But when we trust ourselves, we discover a way to conquer them and help others to do so too.

When we see ourselves as worthy, we have the confidence to view this world as also worthy. When we see ourselves as unworthy, we lose faith -- not just in ourselves, but in everyone else. We treat others as potential threats because we are easily frightened.

To approach ourselves, others, and our world as basically good rather than basically bad, changes our actions, words, intentions, aspirations, gestures, energy -- everything. This subtle shift in our state of mind can alter the atmosphere we live in. It can quell the epidemic of shame, doubt and mistrust that seems to infect us all. It can actually change the world.

We possess the power to create a sane world. We can do it. Each of us holds human destiny in our hands. It will be completely determined, not by what we think, but by how we feel. It all turns on each person's discovery of self-respect. It is that simple -- and that daunting.

Do we want a world that where everyone feels they are basically good, worthy and kind? I believe we do. Now I ask you to touch your heart, feel your inborn courage, intelligence and kindness, and offer them to the world.

If you would like to add your name to the list of people proclaiming this manifesto please click here. Three hundred people have already signed on!