THE ACT which is only destructive and inflicts suffering on both oneself and others, is terrorism. In such an act human values are lost in the process of achieving a goal.
Some of the factors that lead to terrorism are:
• Frustration and desperation in achieving a goal
• Confused emotions
• Shortsightedness and impulsive action
• Belief in a non-verifiable concept of heaven and merit; a childish concept of God where God favours some and is angry with others, undermining the omniscience and omnipotence of the Divine.
Terrorism induces fear psychosis in everyone, increases poverty, suffering and loss of life with no apparent gain. Instead of life-supporting solutions the terrorist chooses destruction as an answer. If you criticize without giving a solution, know that it comes from the seed of terrorism.
Although there are certain qualities you can appreciate in a terrorist such as fearlessness, commitment to a goal, and sacrifice, you must learn from them things that you should never do. These are valuing some ideas and concepts more than life, having a narrow perspective of life, and dishonouring its diversity.
The remedy for terrorism is:
• Inculcating a broader perspective of life.
• Valuing life more than race, religion and nationality.
• Providing education in human values – friendliness, compassion, cooperation and upliftment.
• Teaching methods to release stress and tension.
• Cultivating confidence in achieving noble aims by peaceful and non-violent means.
• Weeding out destructive tendencies with spiritual upliftment.
Q: Can terrorism be more than physical violence, such as cultural or economic violence?
Sri Sri: Yes. The solution for economic violence is to “Think globally, buy locally,” and the solution for cultural violence is to “Broaden your vision, deepen your roots.”
Q: How does one cope with the aftermath of terrorism?
Sri Sri: Faith and prayer. When disaster happens, anger is inevitable. To take precautions that one does not react improperly, wisdom is needed not emotional outbursts. One mistake cannot be corrected by another mistake. Strive to have multicultural and multireligious education and have spiritual upliftment reach every part of the globe, for the world will not be safe if even a small pocket of people are left ignorant.
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar