Awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1949, a few years after the first Atom Bombs exploded, William Faulkner alludes, in his Nobel address, to the power of annihilation that humans now possess. He goes on to tell us that, despite this, he is optimistic about the future of humanity.
“I believe that man will not merely endure: he will prevail.” Any why does William have this faith? Because the human has a “spirit capable of compassion and sacrifice and endurance.”
In a Talk titled “Compassion and the Individual”, the Dalai Lama encourages us to cultivate this spirit that William speaks about. ” We do not need to become religious, nor do we need to believe in an ideology”, the sage tells us. “All that is necessary is for each of us to develop our good human qualities.”
In what is known as “The Russell-Einstein Manifesto”, a document dated 9th July 1955, a group of eminent people including Albert Einstein and Bertrand Russell cautioned the leaders of the world about “the perils that have arisen as a result of the development of weapons of mass destruction.”
Speaking “not as members of this or that nation, continent, or creed, but as human beings, members of the species Man,”, this group asks the world to focus on “progress in happiness, knowledge, and wisdom” by finding “peaceful means for the settlement of all matters of dispute”.
They make a plea to each of us:
“We appeal as human beings to human beings: Remember your humanity, and forget the rest.”