The death, last week, of Garry Davis at a hospice in Williston, Vermont, in the US, at age 91, would not have made news had it not been for what he did for the last 60 years of his Life. Davis worked relentlessly and passionately for creating One World, where people were not divided by nationality. His thinking was that if there were no nations, there would be no war. Davis was not the first champion of the idea of One World, but was its most consistent, visible and vocal protagonist. To be sure, Albert Schweitzer, Albert Einstein, Jean-Paul Sartre and E.B.White too had led with that idea but Davis was the only one who persevered with it, establishing the World Government for World Citizens, a self-proclaimed international governmental body that has issued documents — passports, identity cards, birth and marriage certificates — and occasional postage stamps and currency. In an obit, The New York Times reports: “The quest for a unified earth was an objective on which Mr.Davis had trained his sights very early. It was born of his discomfort with a childhood of great privilege, his grief at the loss of a brother in World War II and his horror at his own wartime experience as a bomber pilot.”
Davis’ response to a divided and increasingly warring world may appear to be bordering on lunacy when we consider the impracticality and impossibility of the idea. But conceptually there is no other way to heal the world. Every day, as we struggle to digest news from the world over, of civil strife, terrorism, bloodshed and violence, the need for peace, understanding and brotherhood seems only more urgent. facebook may have shrunk the world in terms of communication but the distances between its over 1 billion users has only grown wider, not to mention the other 6.5 billion who are not even similarly connected.
Years ago, Osho, the Master, propounded the idea of a commune, which he believed was the right answer to fractured families, societies, nations and the world at large. Osho reasoned as follows:
- It is not about living together. Everyone, everywhere is living together. But where’s the togetherness? In today’s world, people don’t even know their neighbors. This is not togetherness, because there’s no communion. So the current societal framework has to be pulled down.
- The first institution whose myth must be busted is that of the ‘family’. The family is all about possession: husband possesses the wife or vice versa and together they possess the children. The moment you possess a human being, that person’s freedom is lost forever. So, families must cease to exist.
- And so must marriages. Because marriages are built on the tombstones of love. The relating, the love, between people has long ceased but people still remain trapped in the relationship, in the marriage. Love should be the only law between two human beings. If they decide to live together, only joy should be their binding force, not a social framework.
- Right now everybody is living according to the idea of others. Religions, nationalities and faith are dividing people and pigeon-holing them. Human beings must just be seekers, discovering joy and inner peace in every living moment!
Perhaps, drawing from both Davis’ and Osho’s concepts, we must pause to reflect:
- Are any of our beliefs divisive?
- Are any of our actions even remotely isolating people?
- What can we do to create a more understanding, caring and loving world _ beginning with our own circles of immediate influence?
These are not profound or global issues. These are simple baby steps heal our ecosystems and to leave this world a better place than we found it!